100 Books to Read in a Lifetime (That Are Older Than 200 Years)

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100 Books to Read in a Lifetime (That Are Older Than 200 Years)

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Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2014, 10:32am

Amazon recently posted a list of 100 books you should read in your lifetime. As you might guess, not one was before 1813.

Oh boy…

Come build a reply:


Feb. 16, 2014, 3:32am

Amazon's list is terrible. So many of those books are not going to be culturally relevant in 10 years, yet alone 80.

Librarything's list is already better. I added a couple of Chinese books and Candide.

Feb. 16, 2014, 6:58am

Why not all of The Divine Comedy? For that matter, why not just put in the complete works of Shakespeare rather than piecemeal?

The list has reminded me of dozens of books I've been 'meaning to read' for decades - and added one or two new ones ... so many books, so little time ...

Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2014, 7:11am

Is there any way I can 'star' or 'bookmark' that list?

Strike that - worked it out.

Feb. 16, 2014, 7:33am

That is a good list. I threw in a couple (I think - it's long enough that I worry they were already on); Phaedo, Decameron, Canterbury Tales. Being as it's a weekend I'll think about it; frex. should Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History be on it? It ain't much from the perspective of literature but its historical significance is enormous, similarly Bede.

Feb. 16, 2014, 10:12am

Why not all of The Divine Comedy? For that matter, why not just put in the complete works of Shakespeare rather than piecemeal?

Meh. I'm not sure that a list of 100 books to read before you die needs ALL of Dante, or the minor works of Shakespeare.

Feb. 16, 2014, 10:15am

Should Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History be on it?

Well, obviously I want others to contribute, and I didn't expect it to last up high for long. I include it because of it's historical and historiographic interest--the latter owing to his use of documents. Much the same applies to Valla's On the Donation of Constantine. It's a landmark in how history is written. But… well, de gustibus!

Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2014, 10:25am

Tim, actually I didn't realize it was already there; I was wondering if I should add it. That's one of my problems with over 200 books, making sure I don't try to duplicate an existing entry(this is a good problem to have, BTW). I certainly am not going to criticize what anyone else has put up.

Feb. 16, 2014, 11:12am

#6 by timspalding> No, not all of Dante, but certainly all of the Comedy.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 16, 2014, 11:54am

It's hard to whittle it down to just 100 books!

So, how many books on your list have you yourself read? (I've read 63 out of 115-- so about half)

Feb. 16, 2014, 12:02pm

I see at least one book on the list that is less than 200 years old -- John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, a worthy book indeed, but published in 1859.

Feb. 16, 2014, 12:09pm

Darwin's "The Origin of Species" is also less than 200 years old….

Feb. 16, 2014, 12:43pm

>13 john257hopper: Robinson Crusoe is on there, make sure to go to pages 2 and 3

Feb. 16, 2014, 12:53pm

Pride and Prejudice is just over 200 years old, but it's (of course) on the Amazon list.

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:11pm

Yeah, sorry about Mill…

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:19pm

I put Democracy in America on the list and then thought, wait, wait.... And yeah, I had to take it off.

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:21pm

It belongs on the other list, though.

Feb. 16, 2014, 4:57pm

>17 southernbooklady:, 18 -- Agreed! I nearly put it on this list, as well.

Feb. 16, 2014, 7:13pm

The Mysteries of Udolpho is on the list, too

Feb. 17, 2014, 2:57pm

There are two versions of The Decameron. I put a thumbs down note on the one which had received fewer votes.

Feb. 18, 2014, 1:29pm

There's anything by Shakespeare worse than 99% of the Dreck published in the 21st century?

Feb. 18, 2014, 1:33pm

>22 erilarlo:: For what it's worth, I've never been much of a fan of his "Troilus and Cressida" -- but mostly because I think Chaucer's version is much better.

Feb. 18, 2014, 1:37pm

22 > What's Sturgeon's Law? 90% of everything is crud. We remember Shakespeare because he wasn't in the 90%. The same will be true of 21st century writers.

Feb. 18, 2014, 1:39pm

>22 erilarlo: Two Gentlemen of Verona? I think the dog steals show in that one.

Feb. 20, 2014, 10:36am

T. S. Eliot: "Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third."

Feb. 20, 2014, 10:50am

>22 erilarlo:. The 21st Century is young. Give it a chance. The first decade of the 19th Century was not promising, either (as I mentioned in a Geeks who Read the Classics thread).

Feb. 20, 2014, 11:54am

>26 madpoet: James Joyce reckoned on a third: Daunty, Gouty and Shopkeeper (Finnegans Wake)