1,000 Books to Read Before You Die

What to read next? What to read at all? This is the dilemma of all readers, whether they are reading one or 200 books a year. James Mustich’s 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List includes many of the classics you might expect like Plato and Proust and covers fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel, biography, children’s books, history, and more.

Mustich who began his career in book-selling 40 years ago recently joined Roxanne in the Just the Right Book studios to talk about the book that has been called “the ultimate literary bucket-list” by the Washington Post.

Says Roxanne, “There’ve been lots of lists and books put together about what to read over the years, but none have done as charming and genre defying job as (James Mustich)..”

Enter our giveaway on Instagram for a chance to win this book!

To purchase any of the books in this episode, please visit RJ Julia Booksellers

Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Tale of the Genji by Lady Murasaki

An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

A Thousand Place to See Before You by Patricia Schultz

The Finland Station by Edmund Wilson

Growth & Form by D’arcy Wentworth Thompson

Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las by Hunter S. Thompson Vegas

Eloise by Kay Thompson

The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon

Odyssey by Homer

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban

Turtle Diary by Russell Hoban

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban

Middlemarch by George Elliot

Memoir Mass for the Dead by William Gibson

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson


  • Susan in TX Posted December 7, 2018 5:00 pm

    Wonderful episode! Just wanted to pull up a chair and talk with you both (hard to do in rainy traffic 1000 miles away 😉 ). My burning question for you both – Is there anywhere we can get the back issues of The Common Reader? And, to James, I would say, “Listen to Roxanne! Bring back The Common Reader!” Many, many thanks to you, Roxanne, for bringing us this weekly delight – I could listen to you talk books all day.

    • James Mustich Posted December 16, 2018 4:32 pm

      Susan in TX: I always listen to Roxanne. Pondering how to go back to the future, as it were. I appreciate the push!

  • Kathleen Potter Posted December 14, 2018 1:16 pm

    I love knowing that there are other people out there who loved the Common Reader and I love listening to Roxanne and her guests. I agree with Susan in Texas – I could listen to you talk books all day. It took me until my 64 th year to find out that I have a tribe out there – of people who love books – passionately! Thanks to Just the Right Book and Roxanne.

  • Sylvia W. Posted June 13, 2019 8:48 pm

    I started Middlemarch recently on James recommendation from his presentation at the Tucson Book Festival and I have not been disappointed.. The writing is engaging, unlike many of today’s current well reviewed books. I have a copy of 1001 Books and it is the best compilation of books I have ever read. The book is beautiful with color photos of books or authors and his varied lists at the end of the book present you with a whole new TBR list.

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