Wednesday, July 9, 2008

AOL's list of 10 books to read before you die. I have a better list.

AOL has a list of "10 books you should read before you die." I'm putting in bold the ones that I have read. Here's the full list:

1. Gone With The Wind
2. Lord of the Rings
3. Harry Potter
4. The Stand
5. The Da Vinci Code
6. To Kill a Mockingbird
7. Angels and Demons
8. Atlas Shrugged
9. Catcher in the Rye
10. The Holy Bible*

* I've only read parts of the Jewish scriptures, the Tanakh.

Ok, a few things. First of all, including "The Holy Bible" in this list is a little bizarre and slightly insulting. The picture on the webpage shows the King James version, which is probably the most biased, badly translated version of the text in history. The Jewish scriptures, the Tanakh, are translated by the Jewish Publication Society, and make for a much more accurate read. Of course, the JPS didn't do a translation of the Christian scriptures, for obvious reasons.

Secondly, two of these "books" are actually series of books - Harry Potter and LOTR, so you've automatically got more than 10 books in that list.

Thirdly, this is probably the most arbitrary list of "important" books I've ever seen.

Here's my arbitrary list of 10 good books I think everyone should read. And, since AOL can include series of books in its list, so can I.

1. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five books by Douglas Adams
2. The six original books in the Dune series by Frank Herbert
3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
5. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
6. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
7. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
8. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
9. The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman