I love discovering new lists of recommended books, even if I never get to the end of them. Here's another one: 30 books to read before you're 30.
The extra-good thing about this list is that I don't feel under any compulsion to complete it, seeing as I've already passed the finishing point. The interesting thing about it is, as always, seeing which titles I can already tick off. The surprising thing I realised (when doing that exercise) is that I obviously read under some categories far more widely than others, and the ones I'm missing out on most are science (The Origin of Species) and the political side - The Rights of Man by Tom Paine, Rousseau's The Social Contract , The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Prince, Walden and Plato's Republic - all titles that I've heard of but never sat down and read in their entirety.
On the other hand I can tick off most of the novels, even the hefty classics like War and peace or Crime and punishment - but I did read Crime and punishment a long time ago, and reading it again now would probably be a totally different experience.
Who makes up thse lists? They multiply all over the Internet so it's hard to track down the intial list maker. Maybe it's all just a ploy to sell the two books on the Bonus list at the end (How To Cook Everything and Honeymoon with My Brother.) Still, I'm glad to see there is at least one children's book in there (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.)
I'm not sure if I'll follow up on any of these, although I do like the sound of Getting Things Done by David Allen. I heard about this list through my daughter who has decided to tick some of them off, so she's started with 1984 and To Kill a Mockingbird, but I think she probably needs a list of 20 books to read before you're 20. Now there's an idea...