Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

501 Must Read Books (501 Series) Hardcover – September 10, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover, September 10, 2006
$27.90 $1.84

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Series: 501 Series
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Bounty Books (September 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753713438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753713433
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,240,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is currently available in hardback from Costco(!), and is well worth purchasing. I was skeptical when I saw it, but decided that if it had both Naked Lunch and Lolita, that it was probably a guide to serious literature. They were both there, along with dozens more of the best books I've ever read. The book is divided into categories, and isn't snobbish. Big sections on literature, of course, but also mysteries, SF, children's books, travel, history, etc. The SF floored me in the quality of selections (one per author, generally). Ballard's Crystal World, Bester's Demolished Man, Dick's Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Farmer's To Your Scattered Bodies and so forth. Unfortunately the attached lists of "selected works" by the chosen authors are haphazardly, even stupidly, selected. Ignore them, and go with the main work cited. The titles are British, and some were retitled in the U.S. There is also a distinct bias for British works, but it's not excessive. There are also many little errors that should have been caught by the editor (the fall of Berlin was 2.5 years after Stalingrad, not 1). In any case, each book is pictured with a brief non-spoiler plot summary and a very brief statement of the book's or author's significance. It's not a book of critical essays, only a guide to what's worth reading. And it's a very good guide.
Comment 16 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I loved all of the recommendations this book gave. It made a point to not just pick the most well-known books the author wrote. Many times, they recommended books I had never heard of by famous authors, and some books by authors I had never heard of - but now would love to read. There is not one book from this list that I regarded as a throwaway book. I wanted to read everything! This book was published in Britain, which will be evident when you read, but hey, I don't intend to read all-American, so it did give me a better world-view of good books. Highly recommended - you will come away with many reading ideas.
Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I LOVE book list and books about books. I'm the type of person who strives to own (and read) all the Pulitzers. This book was fun to go through and mark what I've read and what I own and plan to read, and it lead me to make many new literary discoveries. However, when I actually began reading it, I found the text itself was sub-par. The synopses of the individual books spend far too long describing the beginnings of books, but rush through the main plot, followed by a two-sentence "review" on why the book was good enough to make it into "501 Must Reads". There are an unacceptable amount of punctuation and capitalization errors. However, I can't complain too much, considering I got it for $10 on the Borders bargain shelf.
Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I just got this book as a gift and I enjoy it a lot. I like looking at the pictures (as it has one picture for each of the 501 books) and I enjoy reading the summaries of the chosen books.

I am not sure that it really is the 501 books I must read, and that is my only problem with it. I would argue that along with it's many sections it should dedicate a section to international books as well (these are quite limited in the book). But, really it is good, and interesting and pretty for your coffee table.
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Not only are the descriptions of the books intelligently written, but most books get a large cover-shot as well, furthering the sensation of wandering down the aisles of a great little bookshop. For some older books there is instead a portrait of the author, and a biographical sidebar.

My first response after reading a few entries from this book was to grab a sheet of paper and start writing down a "wish list." I've only covered one of the 5 sections, and my list already has 10 items on it.

I thought it a bit odd that Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy was in the "juvenile" section. Ok, the Hobbit, sure, but the Trilogy?

This review was for the 2006 original printing. The 2007 reprint is listed at 501 Must-Read Books and has more customer reviews.

P.S. Since writing my review, I've had a chance to check out and read several of the recommendations, and I am happy to report that the books were indeed wonderful. I think my favorite so far is Tom's Midnight Garden which is beautiful, suspenseful, and even a bit eerie.
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
No reader will ever agree on which books ought to be classified as `must read'. I don't know about anyone else but as soon as someone recommends a book to me it puts me off reading it. This means, of course, that I have missed out on some excellent reads in the past, that only much later, I have found to be so. But that generally depends upon who recommended them and my age and the context in which they were recommended. I remember a work colleague about twenty years ago being horrified by my admission that I couldn't get on with `Birdsong': I finally tried again about 6 years ago and found it to be excellent - in parts!

This book is a truly weighty tome so not something that you can or would want to carry around with you: it is definitely meant to sit on a coffee table, or reside sturdily on a shelf somewhere. The must-read books are classified into 8 sections comprising; Children's Fiction, Classic Fiction, History, Memoirs, Modern Fiction, Science Fiction, Thrillers and Travel all capped off with separate book and author indices. Each entry is given its own full page spread and nicely illustrated by the dust jacket of its first edition.

My own sense of outrage was stimulated, initially, by the omission of To Kill a Mockingbird and then fortified by the omissions of Cancer Ward and Dr Zhivago while Captain Correlli's Mandolin is featured! Well, I guess Lincoln was as wise in this as he was in almost every other way when he (is purported to have) said `you can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time'!

Nevertheless, as a means of stimulation for both reading and debate it is, in common with its more grandiose rival (1001 books you must read before you die!) an invaluable resource.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: books 501 must