This list of ten books not to read before you die is hilarious (and very tongue-in-cheek.) My favorite was the reason not to read Proust:
“Yes, yes, he tasted a biscuit that made him think of childhood, we’ve all done that. If I want to remember my childhood I look at some photographs.”
Hemingway, Joyce, Tolstoy, and some lesser-known writers also make their appearances. I have read none of the books on the list, so I guess so far I’m a success.
As he’s done the past two years with music, this year Largehearted Boy is compiling all the best books of 2008 lists in one place. I agree completely when he says “These year-end lists are one of my favorite things about the end of the year. . . I am constantly reading, but it seems like the more I read, even more books are published that look interesting. “Best of 2008” lists often introduce me to wonderful books or remind me of those lost in the shuffle of my hectic reading life.” The list will be updated regularly, so check back often. And check out the rest of the site for free music downloads and the extremely cool Book Notes series, where writers offer playlists that relate to their recent books. There are contributions from Harper Perennial authors Toby Barlow and Marcy Dermansky, among others.