Great Books Meme   4 comments

Once upon a time, I thought this collection of books was the neatest one in my parent’s library. It was just so impressive, visually, dominating a shelf or three (depending upon which house we lived in at what the configuration of the library was at the time), brown tomes lined up in an impressive array of Things Which Ought To Be Read.  When I worked for Loyola High School they replaced the copy they had in the library as too worn, and I picked up the discards.  I’ve lugged them around for over a decade now.  I’m missing Aristotle II (probably one of the Jesuits in the community checked it out informally and forgot to return it), but I’ve got the rest.  Some of the criticisms of the collection are of justifiable validity, but on the whole it’s not a bad idea to read the original set, and the Second Edition contains some additional “must reads”.

So, here’s the list of works that are included in both editions.  Copy, paste, and strike-through those you’ve read.  I probably should get back to work on these, I still have a long way to go.  I know if my mother reads this she’ll respond with horror, “You haven’t read Emma?  You haven’t read War and Peace?”  No, I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

[edited to add] Out of curiosity, I wanted to know how many of these were banned somewhere.  Turns out a few were on the Index of Forbidden Books,  and others have been banned here or there at one time or another, which I noted next to the books in question.  The Index has been dead for a while, and to the best of my knowledge none of these books are still banned in the areas listed, but book burnings and censorship are still out there.


Posted October 7, 2008 by padraic2112 in books, memes

4 responses to “Great Books Meme

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  1. Wow. There is a lot I need to read.

  2. Holy crap, Pat.

    I have/had mom & dad’s set but it is now boxed and in dad’s closet – no room! – but some you can check off for me (that you haven’t read): War and Peace, Brothers Karamazov, Heart of Darkness, The Life of Johnson, Shakespeare’s Richard II.

    We do have a few in common but not many!

  3. Well, some of them aren’t really necessary. Aristotle’s naturalism books are fun, but they’re horribly dated and filled full of stuff that we know now are based on slew of erroneous assumptions. I wouldn’t recommend them over your standard entry Biology textbook for solid science theory.

    But it does illustrate what “inquiry” looked like prior to the scientific revolution, and that in itself is good reading… particularly because so many people are apparently *still* locked in that mindset…

  4. Pingback: Thursday Themes (N+1) « Pat’s Daily Grind

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