14 July 2009

Newsweek's "50 Books for Our Times: What to Read Now and Why"

I'm all for lists (see my first posts to this blog - what an extensive list those are).  Best-of lists are particularly interesting, however, because they try to cut through all the excess for people who only want to know the best things to read, the most pertinent and important works that they will get the most benefit from reading.  And I think, sometimes, that is problematic, because sometimes you have to read the not-so great or influential books in order to really appreciate a work of genius or importance when you read it.  And just because something wasn't extremely influential does not mean that it is not extremely enjoyable, you know? So, take lists with a grain of salt, and remember that, ultimately, they are composed by people who sit in a room and make up lists of the best books. Those people probably also really enjoyed other books, but they did not consider them to be the most important books, so they fall by the wayside. And these lists have definite trends, so that must be considered as well.  

But that's not the point. This list by Newsweek was actually very good. A web-exclusive, it lists a variety of books--modern, victorian, ficiton, nonfiction--and tries to stray away from the books that typically makes these lists.  

You can read the whole article, and see the whole list (plus even a review by ME on the LivingSocial reviews for #37-Persepolis) here.

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