You know, as a bibliophile, a book about books sounds like fun. Taylor talks about the 50 most influential books in history, not just focussing on the literary one. There’s religious and political and scientific entries as well as fiction.
If you haven’t read some and intend to, there’s a bit of a spoiler risk, but it generally overviews the plot before looking at the author and then its general significance on society and history. Though the list is clearly subjective, the inclusion of a number seem clearly justified: the Bible, Qur’an, The Interpretation of Dreams, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory.
They made a big difference, but then there’s inclusions with a different kind of impact: the dictionary, for one, and more randomly – the phone book. You don’t necessarily consider it important when you look at books, yet it is. Whether it’s interesting to read about, however, is another matter.
Personal highlights lay in the science and fiction. Beyond Einstein (and Kama Sutra, because it’s not a book you read much about history-wise), the most interesting personally were Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Catcher in the Rye and, of course, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Some are more interesting than others, and the beauty of a book this subjective is that it’ll probably cause a discussion. Everyone will likely have one book they disagree with. I liked it. And hey! It turns out books have actually been super important over the years. A fun read for book lovers.
Pub: 6th March 2014 | Quercus Books