1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

A celebration of the reading life by the co-founder of the acclaimed A Common Reader presents a cross-genre, historically representative compendium of 1,000 forefront works of literature, complemented by essays on each book’s particular relevance.

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The Collector’s Apprentice

By B. A. Shapiro. Abandoned in 1922 Paris when she is wrongly accused of theft, 19-year-old Paulien changes her identity and is swept up in the expatriate art world of Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse while working to recover her father’s stolen collection. By the author of The Art Forger.

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The Witch Elm

By Tana French. Left for dead by burglars while partying with friends, a happy-go-lucky charmer takes refuge at his dilapidated ancestral home before a grisly discovery reveals an unsuspected family history. By the New York Times best-selling author of The Trespasser.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter

By Kate Morton. More than 150 years after an artist’s retreat on the banks of the Upper Thames ends in murder, theft and ruin, a London archivist is drawn by a striking photograph and a sketchbook to discover a manor’s secrets. By a New York Times best-selling author.

A Spark of Light A Spark of Light

By Jodi Piccoult. When a deranged gunman forces his way into the Center, a women’s reproductive health services clinic, and takes hostages, the police hostage negotiator discovers his daughter is inside the clinic.

Transcription

By Kate Atkinson. BBC radio producer Juliet Armstrong finds herself targeted by dangerous individuals from her past as a World War II espionage monitor for MI5.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

By Hank Green. The first to document the appearance of the Carls, giant robot-like statues popping up around the world, April May finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight that puts her relationships, identity and safety at risk.

Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety

By Donald Hall. Presents a collection of essays on old age, touching upon such topics as the pleasures of solitude, the death of his wife, and the author’s literary friendships over the decades.

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Clock Dance

By Anne Tyler. After receiving a call from a stranger about her son’s ex-girlfriend being injured, Willa flies across the country to Baltimore to take care of her and her nine-year-old daughter.

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