asked what my point was in creating the last book list and pointed out that it was heavily weighted toward English language/western European culture (English language was intentional; western European was not.) and weighted against non-fiction.
Which got me thinking, what non-fiction works should we be covering? And I think there should be a separate list for works of world literature not written originally in English.
Originally, it was just a whim based on the Mark Twain list. I wanted to show a bit about how the language we speak grew and introduce a few ideas, including references to popular culture which have stuck in the language (e.g., Sherlock Holmes). So, we'll now have at least two open slots on the original list. I was thinking of adding one of the Geste's of Robin Hood to emphasize the language evolution. I tend to like them better than Chaucer. Suggestions are welcome for the other slot.
This means that "Any Slave narrative" off my original list, starts the non-fiction list. undauntra
suggested Godel, Escher, Bach
by the other Hofstadter (Douglas rather than Richard who wrote Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
), too. I love Arthur Koestler's The Act of Creation
, but I think The Sleepwalkers
might be better for a list aimed at teenagers. I am also tempted to include his pamphlet against the death penalty. It is credited with winning the referendum opposing the death penalty in Britain. I welcome any and all suggestions on the topics of science, mathematics, history, or philosophy in the comments.
The other new list will start with Verne's Around the World in 80 Days
which was the clear winner in the poll, much to my surprise. I'm also incorporating another undauntra
suggestion: a good translation of Journey to the West
. This should be culturally broad and possibly historically broad as well. If you have specific suggestions for translations, please include that.