I swear we like reading books about lists so we can quibble over the lists. Mustich is the man behind the Common Reader book catalog, which went out of business in 2006.
This actually is a pretty good list of books to read before you die. Unlike other books of similar titles, with a few exceptions, Mustich confines it to one book per author. There are 71 exceptions to this, including Shakespeare and Dickens. 58 of the 71 are male, 13 female. The list breaks down to roughly 663 men and 204 women, with only 3 Native American authors. The books run though various genres, and while some choices are no suprise, there are quite a few surprises.
There is attention paid to fantasy and sci-fi (though the writers chosen in those genres are primary male) as well as sports writing. Children's books are present as are graphic novels (most of those chosen are by women, so that's nice)
The best part are the notes section under each volume - listing other works, further reading, and the odd factoid. The Try feature actually makes this a list of over 1,000. There is a checklist at the end. Additionally, there is a themantic index in addition to the general one.
Of course, there are some things that don't quite make sense. Why no mention of Angela Carter? Why no mention of the editorial work of Datlow and Windling whose fairy tale series paved the way for the rich retellings we have today? Why no Terry Pratchett has an offical entry, but only a try?
Still a lovely well crafted volume.
But who would be on your list?