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A Book Whose Goal Is To Have You Read 1,000 Other Books

Margot Mustich

In a past life, James Mustich steered people to a lot of books. Mustich co-founded and ran the book catalog A Common Reader for two decades. But his latest project takes that work one step — or maybe a thousand steps — further.

Mustich is the author of a new book, 1,000 Books to Read Before You DieIt's his first book, and it's been in the works for nearly 15 years. The book spans genres from fiction to memoir, to nature, to children's literature.

And while Mustich doesn't expect people to read every title the book describes, he hopes it has a "down the rabbit hole" effect on readers.  "This is meant to be an invitation to discovery," Mustich explains. "Open it anywhere and find something that catches your fancy.

That's one of the reasons the book is arranged alphabetically, rather than by genre or date.  I didn't want people to get siloed and just go look at biographies if that's what they like to read."

The book has also spawned a website allowing people to chart their own reading bucket lists, with an open invitation to weigh in on the 1,000 that Mustich chose for his list.

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