Who can talk more authoritatively about the importance of books than the people who create and critique them? In this thoughtful collection, major writers and critics discuss the books that changed their lives and offer informed suggestions for titles that might do the same for others. Organized around themes inspired by Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man," the book covers a diverse array of subjects and includes classic to contemporary fiction and nonfiction, as well as graphic novels. Serious yet accessible survey essays are complemented by top ten lists chosen by Time Out's unrivalled team of critics. The book also includes fact boxes perfect for dipping, along with brief, autobiographical "Reading Experience" pieces by famous readers and writers. Designed as both a reference and an entertaining read, the book includes commissioned illustrations, photographs, and vintage book jacket images.