January 22nd, 2009

tea-or-book

The compelling power of lists...

I think it's possible that I've trained my brain to regard almost any list as a to-do list.

For example, the Guardian has just published the science fiction, fantasy, and horror portion of its "1000 Books Everyone Must Read" (Part One; Part Two; Part Three). And despite fastfwd already having succinctly pointed out some of the list's deficiencies, including a criminal absence of works by fastfwd, I'm peculiarly tempted to set out to read/reread my way through the list.

Actually, doing the whole list would certainly drive me nuts.

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Do you have any books you consider must-read? I'm rather reluctant to tell anyone else what they must read, but when I list the books that I think were must reads for me in the sense that I'd probably be a different person if I hadn't read them, the first three that spring to mind are The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Once and Future King. All of which actually made the Guardian's list.

(The next three are The Phantom Tollbooth, Dante's Inferno, and D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, none of which are on the Guardian's science fiction, fantasy, and horror list. The last two aren't really novels, anyway.)