What books should everyone read?

Over a week between posts, and while I have read two new books, I’m not going to review either here. You can find them on the list to the left should you be so inclined. I’ll review one of the two next post.

I’ve been thinking about posting a list of books that I would require everyone to read (had I that authority), especially since this idea received about as much of an enthusiastic reception as anything on my blog does, a single comment. This isn’t at all the same thing as “what books would you take to a desert island” because that list strays into personal preference and utility (How to Build a Raft, or some such, always tops my list when I’m asked the desert island question). This list by contrast is a list of books that not only may be interesting and enjoyable, but also useful and instructive as well. At least, that’s how I understand it.

And there are problems and pitfalls with such a list as this. If the list gets too long, it begins to be simply a list of good books. If the list is too short, there will be obvious omissions and gaps. Perhaps I also ought to make an effort to balance the list between fiction and non-fiction. Or should I make separate lists for fiction and non-fiction? Plus, there is also the danger that if I listed something like The Lord of the Rings someone may simply be inclined to ignore it since everyone and their dog raves about LOTR. Will this then cause one to ignore the rest of my recommendations as well?

Right. Well, at any rate I am coming up with a list, but I don’t have any firm idea yet of what form it will take precisely or how long it will be. I’ve got a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, perhaps I’ll try to finalise it then and post it afterwards.

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