1001 Books


Okay, I admit: I invented the title as an attention grab. Peter Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die birthed a franchise advocating the media world's best books, movies, music, and other entertainments.

As a reviewer, I've dedicated my time and effort to helping readers sort through new books and other media, determining which are most worth their time. Then it occurred to me: as I help readers choose new books, I can also help readers select books worth their time, even among books that have circled the block a few times.

Maybe I'll reach my self-imposed 1001 target. At the current rate, I should have 1001 books around November of the year 2054. But more important than reaching the final number, I desire to encourage readers to look at the books I have presented, and decide which ones will improve their lives or keep them up past their bedtimes.

Not everyone loves every book, of course. Why should we? But every time we open ourselves to new opportunities, our horizons get that much wider. Hopefully, these books will help open the discussions we have and the experiences which make us worthy people. Please enjoy.
  1. We Are Marlow: Joseph Conrad's Modern Relevance
    Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  2. An American Where the Dead Walk
    Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow
  3. Sir Tom Stoppard's Maiden Voyage to Nowhere
    Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  4. Susanna Clarke's New Fantastic Tradition
    Susanna Clarke, Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
  5. The Day Freud Psychoanalyzed God
    Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion
  6. The Mormon Moment and the Everlasting Prophecy
    Stephen Mansfield, The Mormonizing of America
  7. Paolo Bacigalupi's Carbon-Soaked Apocalypse
    Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
  8. Gatto's School of Immeasurable Meaning
    John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
  9. In Praise of Routine Work
    Barbara Garson, All the Livelong Day: the Meaning and Demeaning of Routine Work
  10. High Noon for the Economic Assassins
    Matt Taibbi, Griftopia, and Michael Lewis, Boomerang
  11. The Australian Frontier and the Meaning of Justice
    Chloe Hooper, Tall Man: the Death of Doomadgee
  12. Slippery Rhymes and Fleeting Poetic Truths
    A.E. Stallings, Olives: Poems
  13. Catholic School as War Zone: John Patrick Shanley on Slippery Belief
    John Patrick Shanley, Doubt: A Parable
  14. Self-Sanctification in a Forgotten Sci-Fi Classic
    Jerry J. Davis, Travels
  15. The Right Fear at the Right Time
    Barry Glassner, The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things
  16. How To Work At Work
    Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
  17. Deborah Landau and the Trouble With Silence
    Deborah Landau, The Last Usable Hour