If you are a completist, as am I, buying this new book — yes it really is called 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die — is a dangerous move. It has already induced me to purchase George Bataille’s Story of the Eye (not what I thought!), Robert Musil’s Young Törless, Thomas Pynchon’s supposedly underrated Vineland, and Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, which I expect contains the key to the mysteries of Lost. The volume is excellent for browsing and seeing what came out in a particular year. Elsewhere on the book front, David Maruszek’s long-awaited Counting Heads has idea futures, frozen heads, and a compelling literary style. I can’t imagine how it could have a good ending, but I am not yet at the point where I care.