Ten Books That Shook the World

Now that’s an idea. There are all these lists all the time – Prospect’s list of the top intellectuals, the BBC’s list of Favourite Reads or whatever it was called, Norm’s lists of everyone’s favourite movies, three novels (was it?), rock groups (that last one actually incited my colleague to vote, though he usually thinks he’s too good for such frivolities) (that’s a tease, obviously), and so on. Now Norm has a new list, just his own this time, of

10 great books of my life (sort of). Though I’ve been thinking about the list for some time, I protect myself against assault by saying that these are not necessarily what I judge to be the 10 most important of the works that I’ve read in my life (on whatever criterion, or set of criteria, or scale). But they’re all ones which have had a marked and lasting influence on the way I think about the world.

What a good idea. I want to do that. Let’s do that. I’ll do one, or perhaps I’ll do several (on account of how I’m terrible at making up my mind, I’m mushy and vacillating and unstable and fickle and undiscriminating, I like everything, or not everything but a lot of things), and if you feel like it you can do yours in comments or by email.

And while you’re at it, check out a new blog by Jonathan Derbyshire. He’s a colleague of my colleague’s and his colleague (if you see what I mean) – that is to say, he’s Reviews Editor of TPM. There’s a delightfully eclectic note to the blog, with a post on Jeeves and Wooster cheek by jowl with one on secularism. I love eclecticism (see above about fickleness and mushiness which is actually eclecticism, breadth, wideness of views, love of variety and multiplicity, etc.).

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