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1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU

1,000 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU

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"The ultimate literary bucket list." --The Washington Post
"If there's a heaven just for readers, this is it." --O, The Oprah Magazine

Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that's as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.

Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it's not a proscriptive list of the "great works"--rather, it's a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton.

There are nuts and bolts, too--best editions to read, other books by the author, "if you like this, you'll like that" recommendations, and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned--a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading.

"948 pages later, you still want more!" --THE WASHINGTON POST

BK ON THE BKSHELF

BK ON THE BKSHELF

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From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.

Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn't. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.

BOOK

BOOK

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The book as object, as content, as idea, as interface.

What is the book in a digital age? Is it a physical object containing pages encased in covers? Is it a portable device that gives us access to entire libraries? The codex, the book as bound paper sheets, emerged around 150 CE. It was preceded by clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Are those books? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Amaranth Borsuk considers the history of the book, the future of the book, and the idea of the book. Tracing the interrelationship of form and content in the book's development, she bridges book history, book arts, and electronic literature to expand our definition of an object we thought we knew intimately.

Contrary to the many reports of its death (which has been blamed at various times on newspapers, television, and e-readers), the book is alive. Despite nostalgic paeans to the codex and its printed pages, Borsuk reminds us, the term "book" commonly refers to both medium and content. And the medium has proved to be malleable. Rather than pinning our notion of the book to a single form, Borsuk argues, we should remember its long history of transformation. Considering the book as object, content, idea, and interface, she shows that the physical form of the book has always been the site of experimentation and play. Rather than creating a false dichotomy between print and digital media, we should appreciate their continuities.

CALL ME ISHMAEL PHONE BOOK: AN

CALL ME ISHMAEL PHONE BOOK: AN

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For fans of My Ideal Bookshelf and Bibliophile, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere: a quirky and entertaining interactive guide to reading, featuring voicemails, literary Easter eggs, checklists, and more, from the creators of the popular multimedia project.

The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is an interactive illustrated homage to the beautiful ways in which books bring meaning to our lives and how our lives bring meaning to books. Carefully crafted in the style of a retro telephone directory, this guide offers you a variety of unique ways to connect with readers, writers, bookshops, and life-changing stories. In it, you'll discover...

-Heartfelt, anonymous voicemail messages and transcripts from real-life readers sharing unforgettable stories about their most beloved books. You'll hear how a mother and daughter formed a bond over their love for Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, or how a reader finally felt represented after reading Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese, or how two friends performed Mary Oliver's Thirst to a grove of trees, or how Anne Frank inspired a young writer to continue journaling.

-Hidden references inside fictional literary adverts like Ahab's Whale Tours and Miss Ophelia's Psychic Readings, and real-life literary landmarks like Maya Angelou City Park and the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum.

-Lists of bookstores across the USA, state by state, plus interviews with the book lovers who run them.

-Various invitations to become a part of this book by calling and leaving a bookish voicemail of your own.

-And more!

Quirky, nostalgic, and full of heart, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is a love letter to the stories that change us, connect us, and make us human.

EX LIBRIS: 100+ BOOKS TO READ

EX LIBRIS: 100+ BOOKS TO READ

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Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today--with beautiful illustrations throughout.

"A book tailormade for bibliophiles."--Oprah Winfrey (One of 6 Books Oprah Loves to Give as Gifts During the Holidays)

"An ebullient celebration of books and reading."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

In the introduction to her new collection of essays, Ex Libris 100+ Books to Read and Reread, Michiko Kakutani writes: "In a world riven by political and social divisions, literature can connect people across time zones and zip codes, across cultures and religions, national boundaries and historical eras. It can give us an understanding of lives very different from our own, and a sense of the shared joys and losses of human experience."

Readers will discover novels and memoirs by some of the most gifted writers working today; favorite classics worth reading or rereading; and nonfiction works, both old and new, that illuminate our social and political landscape and some of today's most pressing issues, from climate change to medicine to the consequences of digital innovation. There are essential works in American history (The Federalist Papers, The Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.); books that address timely cultural dynamics (Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, Daniel J. Boorstin's The Image, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale); classics of children's literature (the Harry Potter novels, Where the Wild Things Are); and novels by acclaimed contemporary writers like Don DeLillo, William Gibson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Ian McEwan.

With richly detailed illustrations by lettering artist Dana Tanamachi that evoke vintage bookplates, Ex Libris is an impassioned reminder of why reading matters more than ever.

How Should One Read a Book?

How Should One Read a Book?

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Where are we to begin? How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read?

Published for the first time as a standalone volume, Virginia Woolf's short, impassioned essay, How Should One Read a Book? celebrates the enduring importance of great literature. In this timeless manifesto on the written word, rediscover the joy of reading and the power of a good book to change the world.

One of the most significant modernist writers of the 20th Century, Virginia Woolf and her visionary essays are as relevant today as they were nearly one hundred years ago.

Features a new introduction by Sheila Heti.

HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A

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A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster's classic guide--a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes and contexts, that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable.

While many books can be enjoyed for their basic stories, there are often deeper literary meanings interwoven in these texts. How to Read Literature Like a Professor helps us to discover those hidden truths by looking at literature with the eyes--and the literary codes-of the ultimate professional reader, the college professor.

What does it mean when a literary hero is traveling along a dusty road? When he hands a drink to his companion? When he's drenched in a sudden rain shower?

Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices and form, Thomas C. Foster provides us with a broad overview of literature--a world where a road leads to a quest, a shared meal may signify a communion, and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just a shower-and shows us how to make our reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

This revised edition includes new chapters, a new preface and epilogue, and incorporates updated teaching points that Foster has developed over the past decade.

Language of Thieves: My Family's Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate

Language of Thieves: My Family's Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate

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Centuries ago in middle Europe, a coded language appeared, scrawled in graffiti and spoken only by people who were wiz (in the know). This hybrid language, dubbed Rotwelsch, facilitated survival for people in flight--whether escaping persecution or just down on their luck. It was a language of the road associated with vagabonds, travelers, Jews, and thieves that blended words from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Romani, Czech, and other European languages and was rich in expressions for police, jail, or experiencing trouble, such as being in a pickle. This renegade language unsettled those in power, who responded by trying to stamp it out, none more vehemently than the Nazis.

As a boy, Martin Puchner learned this secret language from his father and uncle. Only as an adult did he discover, through a poisonous 1930s tract on Jewish names buried in the archives of Harvard's Widener Library, that his own grandfather had been a committed Nazi who despised this language of thieves. Interweaving family memoir with an adventurous foray into the mysteries of language, Puchner crafts an entirely original narrative. In a language born of migration and survival, he discovers a witty and resourceful spirit of tolerance that remains essential in our volatile present.

Library: A Catalogue of Wonders

Library: A Catalogue of Wonders

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Excellent . . . Tracks the history of that greatest of all cultural institutions. --The Washington Post

Libraries are much more than mere collections of volumes. The best are magical, fabled places whose fame has become part of the cultural wealth they are designed to preserve. Some still exist today; some are lost, like those of Herculaneum and Alexandria; some have been sold or dispersed; and some never existed, such as those libraries imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien, Umberto Eco, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others.

Ancient libraries, grand baroque libraries, scientific libraries, memorial libraries, personal libraries, clandestine libraries: Stuart Kells tells the stories of their creators, their prizes, their secrets, and their fate. To research this book, Kells traveled around the world with his young family like modern-day "Library Tourists." Kells discovered that all the world's libraries are connected in beautiful and complex ways, that in the history of libraries, fascinating patterns are created and repeated over centuries. More important, he learned that stories about libraries are stories about people, containing every possible human drama.

The Library is a fascinating and engaging exploration of libraries as places of beauty and wonder. It's a celebration of books as objects, a celebration of the anthropology and physicality of books and bookish space, and an account of the human side of these hallowed spaces by a leading and passionate bibliophile.

Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

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From a New York Times-bestselling historian comes the story of how the alphabet ordered our world. A Place for Everything is the first-ever history of alphabetization, from the Library of Alexandria to Wikipedia. The story of alphabetical order has been shaped by some of history's most compelling characters, such as industrious and enthusiastic early adopter Samuel Pepys and dedicated alphabet champion Denis Diderot. But though even George Washington was a proponent, many others stuck to older forms of classification -- Yale listed its students by their family's social status until 1886. And yet, while the order of the alphabet now rules -- libraries, phone books, reference books, even the order of entry for the teams at the Olympic Games -- it has remained curiously invisible. With abundant inquisitiveness and wry humor, historian Judith Flanders traces the triumph of alphabetical order and offers a compendium of Western knowledge, from A to Z.

A Times (UK) Best Book of 2020
PROUST & THE SQUID

PROUST & THE SQUID

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Human beings were never born to read, writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child's life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.

Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today's technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.

Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

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A brilliant examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs--rivaling any scientific inventions--and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind.

Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere--from Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, and others--each made a unique technical breakthrough that can be viewed as both a narrative and neuroscientific advancement. Literature's great invention was to address problems we could not solve: not how to start a fire or build a boat, but how to live and love; how to maintain courage in the face of death; how to account for the fact that we exist at all.

Wonderworks reviews the blueprints for twenty-five of the most powerful developments in the history of literature. These inventions can be scientifically shown to alleviate grief, trauma, loneliness, anxiety, numbness, depression, pessimism, and ennui--all while sparking creativity, courage, love, empathy, hope, joy, and positive change. They can be found all throughout literature--from ancient Chinese lyrics to Shakespeare's plays, poetry to nursery rhymes and fairy tales, and crime novels to slave narratives.

An easy-to-understand exploration of the new literary field of story science, Wonderworks teaches you everything you wish you learned in your English class. Based on author Angus Fletcher's own research, it is an eye-opening and thought-provoking work that offers us a new understanding of the power of literature.

WORKING

WORKING

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"One of the great reporters of our time and probably the greatest biographer." --The Sunday Times (London)

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Power Broker and The Years of Lyndon Johnson: an unprecedented gathering of vivid, candid, deeply moving recollections about his experiences researching and writing his acclaimed books.

Now in paperback, Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work in these evocatively written, personal pieces. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses and to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses' Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ's mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of working in solitude, he found a writers' community at the New York Public Library, and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books.
Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page. Taken together, these reminiscences--some previously published, some written expressly for this book--bring into focus the passion, the wry self-deprecation, and the integrity with which this brilliant historian has always approached his work.