Five more categories from my magnum opus "225 Books by Genre" reading recommendation list:
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything 
John McPhee, Annals of the Former World 
Lewis Thomas, Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher 
Richard Dawkins, River Out Of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life 
Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature 
Henry Petroski, To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design 
Eve Curie, Madame Curie: A Biography 
Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind 
Carl Sagan, Cosmos (book / television series) 
UPDATE: The new "Cosmos," host by Carl Sagan protégé Neil DeGrasse Tyson, begins on the Fox channel here in the USA tonight at 9/8C. Thanks to several commenters for pointing this out.
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind 
Craig Thompson, Blankets (graphic novel) 
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre 
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton 
William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet (play) 
Ivan Turgenev, First Love (novella) 
Beryl Markham, West with the Night 
Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, Treasure Island (young adult) 
Jim Tully, Beggars of Life 
Jack London, To Build a Fire (short story*) 
Homer, translated by Robert Fagles, The Odyssey (epic poem) [c. 700 B.C.]
Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail 
Jon Kracauer, Into the Wild 
It's been nearly a year now since I wrote about my unpublished book about books and its accompanying list of recommended reading called "225 Books by Genre." I published only one "genre" in that original post, "Money and Finance," comprising seven titles. Which didn't get us very far, considering there are 36 genres and 225 books on the list.
The list was originally targeted at "bright teenagers." It consists of recommendations, not personal favorites; and enjoyment potential is ranked as highly as edification in the selection process. It's not a "greatest books" list in the usual sense, but more of a collection of good reads, not all of them difficult and none too much so. And it has taken an inordinate amount of research to compile it—it's a good thing I enjoy the work! I even went so far as to find a professional mathematician to see if he thought A Beautiful Mind gave a reasonably accurate picture of the practice of mathematics for laymen. (He thought that it did, as far as it goes.)
I should add that I don't necessarily agree with all the authors, politically or otherwise. The list is not meant to be a reflection of my prejudices and preferences, although of course in some senses it cannot help but be. Oh, and the list is Americentric, because I'm an American, although I don't think that disqualifies too many titles.
The goal of the list as a whole is to give an ambitious teenager or an adult autodidact a rounded and thorough grounding in cuture and intellectual cultivation—a sort of substitute education if need be—within a managable, varied and not overly punitive program of reading. The choices are meant to provide a sampling as well as a sort of "thumbnail" overview of the category, insofar as such a thing is possible.
Regarding Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (note that most publishers get the title wrong; there's no definite article), the version to have is the facsimile of the first edition published by First Edition Library, which can be found at abebooks.com and sometimes on eBay. It reproduces all the original illustrations and chapter heads, which I think increases the enjoyment of the experience. There's a sorta-kinda good enough Kindle version which patches in the illustrations and reproduces the whole page on which chapter headings appear. Crude, and barely serviceable, but, like many too-popular books in the public domain, there isn't a readily available, wholly recommendable edition. You're on your own there.
(I do wonder if the "Crime" list is as strong as it could be.)
Also, if anyone finds any bad links, I hope you'll please let me know. It's a lot of fiddley work to build so many links, and my mind tends to wander.
*Entire story is at the link.
"Open Mike" is the editor's outlet page at TOP and our weekly jaunt off-topic.
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