Someone once said that books furnish a room. They also change our lives. We go to books for consolation and companionship, to be transported, moved and entertained, sometimes even to be terrified. The books furnishing our rooms tell the story of our lives and also help us to make sense of them. This is not a work of reference; it doesn't prescribe a canon or tell you how to read. Instead, "1000 Books to Change Your Life" celebrates the transforming power of literature. 50 leading novelists, writers and critics draw the arc of a life lived in books, from birth to death - with Kate Clanchy on motherhood, Ali Smith on reading as a child, and Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Coe, Nigella Lawson and Sarah Waters on the volumes that changed their lives. This book is a reminder of the difference that books make. Organised around themes inspired by Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man", the book ranges from birth to death, taking in topics at all points in between, and covering both fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels as well as literary classics. Commentaries by Ali Smith, Nigella Lawson, Jonathan Franzen, Sarah Waters, Jonathan Coe, Barney Hoskyns, Amanda Craig and Nicholas Royle, to name a few, are complemented by Top Ten lists chosen by "Time Out's" unrivalled team of critics. Part of the 1,000 series launched with the bestselling 1,000 films to change your life, "1,000 Books" is a similarly inspirational book.