On Book Lists, and Advice in General

CIA Library, view down an aisle with books stacked on each side.
Credit

The advice of the elders to young men is very apt to be as unreal as a list of the hundred best books. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

I came across this quote as I was searching for quotations to use in an office-decorating project that I’ve yet to fully finish imagining. It made me think of all those “best-of” lists that can never make anyone happy. Shoot, if I made a list of the hundred best books, and revisited it a year (or even a month!) later, *I’d* even disagree with it.

Do you have a favorite “best of” list? Are you reading from any one in particular? I like to browse them, and then feel woefully under read 😉

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4 thoughts on “On Book Lists, and Advice in General

  1. I think if I had to make a "best of" book list it would have to be VERY specific. "Best of 1996" or "Best of books with green covers" There's no possible way to create a list of the best books because there are so many good ones!

  2. I don't have a list, but I love books like "The New Lifetime Reading Plan" by Fadiman and Major, which lists and discusses 133 world classics. I also have more specific list-type books, like "Book Lust to Go" by Nancy Pearl, which suggests reading to go with travel destinations. Then there are, of course, the Norton anthologies, which I can simply sit and browse through or pick up when I want ideas. You're right, of course; there can be no one perfect list, but they're all fun to explore!

  3. I don't have any favorite lists. But I love looking through lists of books, no matter whose opinions they're based on or how much I disagree with them. I usually find a few books that interest me.

  4. I like the lists but mostly because I'm "listy" by nature. I don't put much stock in them or ever expect to read through a list of any variety. My reading is far too dictated by mood for that. Thanks for the food for thought!

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