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List of Books Hardcover – December 12, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

Edited and compiled by a writer and a scholar, this book recommends an "imaginary library" of over three thousand works, which if assembled would provide balanced, varied, enjoyable and instructive reading on the whole spectrum of subjects - from Anthropology, through Fiction, Medicine and Poetry to Travel and Exploration. Each book is described briefly, though not always reverently, and awarded symbols to denote relative merit, type of content, etc. The editors' intention is to answer the questions "Where shall I begin?" and "What shall I read next?" with candour, without condescension and without concealing the fact that some subjects are more difficult (and rewarding) than others

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers, Inc.; 1st edition (December 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517540177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517540176
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,531,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David K. Hill on June 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Never loan this book to anyone! I made that mistake several years ago and now I have to place an out of print order! The authors solicited a number of English and American critics as to what books they would take with them to a desert island. While the selections are strongly grounded in European and American authors the book does cover every major topic from Anthropology to Zoology. Descriptions are offered for each selection as well as rationale. Stars are added next to seminal writings. This is certainly a worth addition to any book lovers library. Just don't be an "lending" library or you might never see it again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I would love to see an updated version of this wonderful guide to reading. Raphael and McLeish offer essential reading lists for 35 topics (with subcategories under Fiction and History), and I have found many many fine books based on their recommendations.

The format is easy to use, with a paragraph or two of commentary followed by the list of recommended books. Items are cross-referenced and annotated with symbols that denote works that are considered standard, seminal, a pleasure to read, difficult, recommended for beginners to the subject, containing a good bibliography, containing good illustratioins, etc. There is a LOT of information packed in this slim volume, and while it will not be useful as a guide to popular fiction (since it was last published in 1988), it will be a magnificanet guide to the following subject areas:

Anthropology

Archaeology

Architecture

Art and Design

Autobiography

Biography

Children's Books

Diaries and Letters

Drama

Economics

Feminism

Fiction (Crime, Novels, Science Fiction and Short Stories)

Film

Food and Drink

Geography and the Environment

History (American; Ancient; Asian, African and Middle Eastern; Latin American; World)

Home and Garden

Humor

Literary Criticism

Mathematics, Science and Technology

Media

Medicine and Psychiatry

Music

Mythology

Natural History

Occult and Paranormal

Philosophy

Poetry

Politics

Psychology

Reference

Religion

Sex and Love

Sociology

Travel and Exploration

The book concludes with an author index. Superb reference.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By jaspersej@aol.com on April 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This an excellent, opinionated, acerbic review of Western Literature. The only other book in this catergory that comes close to this survey is Clifton McFadden's "A Lifetime Reading Plan". Both books make you want to go out and read the best literatue available. It is also daunting to think others have read this entire catalogue of books. For comments sent mail to my e-mail address.
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Format: Hardcover
I have LOVED this book since buying it back back in 1981. It is beyond time for it to be updated. It would be so interesting to see how the authors' picks have changed since the 1970's. Please, publishers, find these authors and republish this...
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