"In nonfiction, you have that limitation, that constraint, of telling the truth."
June 14, 2011 12:30 PM   Subscribe

The 100 greatest non-fiction books: [Via: The Guardian] After keen debate at the Guardian's books desk, this is our list of the very best factual writing, organised by category, and then by date.
posted by Fizz (74 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm betting there will be disagreement.
posted by chavenet at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm betting there will be disagreement.

You're new to metafilter, aren't you. ;-)
posted by Fizz at 12:34 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lots of stuff from the 1970s, disproportionately so, I guess from when the writers of the article were in college and they totally know how important it is.
posted by four panels at 12:38 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Unfortunately, I cut of my other hand before I remembered I hadn't yet written my scathing rebuttal. Typing this with a pencil between my teeth took all the steam outta me.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:40 PM on June 14, 2011


Freud, Pepys, Shirky?
posted by zippy at 12:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wait, no Jane Goodall? How do they figure?
posted by heyho at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2011


I wouldn't even begin to know how to make a list like this. (Except that Tony Judt would never, never be on it.) Also, surely there is more great non-fiction that is not in English/by ancient Greeks?
posted by Frowner at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2011


Yes this is a sort of a stupid exercise. Top lists are the best argument against the wisdom of the masses. 1) People love them. 2) Have you seen the lists where people vote for the contents?
posted by grobstein at 12:44 PM on June 14, 2011


Come to that, why would you even make a list like this? To what purpose? I could read all of these that I haven't read already, and they would not provide me with a coherent understanding or history of anything. You might conceivably make a plausible list of, say, the 100 greatest books about modern English history, or travels through Asia in the 19th century, etc....even a list of the 100 greatest English-language novels makes more sense.

And what does it profit me to read Weber if I don't also read Marx? What does it profit me to read Graves if I don't read Fussell, Sassoon and a good history of the Belle Epoque?
posted by Frowner at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come to that, why would you even make a list like this? To what purpose?

Page views.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:48 PM on June 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


... I don't know about you, but I found Post War to be rather good tho he did tend to overemphasize specific cultural events. Pray tell, what have you against Judt?

My complaint is that the History section veers a bit too much to the classics, the Science section seems rather sparse and I am a bit surprised at the lack of an Economics header but then again I suppose within 100 titles you can't satisfy everyone.

I find it rather hard to pre-judge nonfiction books; often books with subpar prose turn out to be important or well researched and vice versa. As a result, though I may disagree with the sections I am interested in, I find these lists to be useful whenever I next browse a bookstore.

Does anyone else have any other similarly inclined lists?
posted by pmv at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2011


That's weird, they said it was non-fiction but The Interpretation of Dreams is definitely on there.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


Pepys's diary is NOT a book. He didn't set out to write a book, it was never intended for public consumption - he wrote it in code, for heaven's sake. Sure, it's been mined by historians, and is possibly one of the most important single primary sources for the early modern period - but not a book.
posted by jb at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stein's Autobiography is hardly non-fiction, as a recent NYT article points out:

... hungry for fame, [Stein] now wanted more of it, and of a different, wider kind. So she shifted out of vanguard mode, turned on the charm and produced “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.”

Written under the name of her longtime lover, “Autobiography” is a book-length advertisement for Stein herself as she wanted the world to see her: not only as a genius-writer, but also as the primary shaper of early Modernism in Paris and as a pioneer of a gay sensibility.

The book took just weeks to turn out, and it’s a breeze to read. In Alice’s voice Stein name-drops, dishes, fabricates (“God, what a liar she is,” her older brother, Leo, fumed) and self-promotes with a gee-whiz American wit of a kind Andy Warhol would later perfect.


This list is lazy and slapped together.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This list is pathetic. Obviously zero thought went into this list. The science section is a joke especially, its as if those were the only 5 science books the compilers could even remember. Can we go ahead and not encourage "Best of Lists" designed to garner page views and nothing else?
posted by cyphill at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed Lorna Sage's memoir a lot (and her ex-husband was one of the best professors I ever had -- students of Vic Sage, Joyce and Beckett scholar, REPRESENT!), but I just can't see it taking its place among Homage to Catalonia.

Anyway, this sort of list can never be exhaustive or satisfy everyone, but I tend to enjoy them anyway because they usually spur me to put some new books on the ol' wishlist, which is never a bad thing.
posted by scody at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2011


(er, that should be "taking its place beside Homage to Catalonia.")
posted by scody at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2011


Otherwise, the list is not nearly as bad as it could be. There are a substantial number of pre1900 titles, even pre1600 titles (which 3/4 of the historians of the planet tend to ignore, let alone newspapers) - and when I look at areas I know anything about (like history), I think that the selections are pretty good. Of course, they are heavily biased towards British history, and E.P.Thomson was there, so my biases are happy.
posted by jb at 12:54 PM on June 14, 2011


No Goodall and no Gould. They include Hume in Philosophy but not his amazing history of England, and of ALL the damned Nietzsche to include, they put in one of his most stark raving mad ones? Frazer's Bough is useless unless you read it as the start of OODLES of people telling him how wrong he is. No Wallerstein (even if I DO think he's wrong). And there is nothing on here that is related to the experiences of non-western Europeans, really, other than Cao Jinqing, Solzhenitsyn and Ibn Battuta. None of the great works of Chinese philosophy or statecraft? Not even The Art of War?!
posted by strixus at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've read roughly 16 of them, but the one I just finished (News of a Kidnapping) was fantastic.
posted by klangklangston at 12:57 PM on June 14, 2011


strixus, The Art of War heads up the Politics category.
posted by likeso at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2011


No Asimov. Worthless.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm blinkered because 80% of my non-fiction reading is history, but where is Citizens? Where is The Brutal Shore? Where is anything by Will Durant? Where is In the Heart of the Sea, for crying out loud? Do they hate history? At least they got bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Grumble. Grumble.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:03 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Frowner: Come to that, why would you even make a list like this? To what purpose? I could read all of these that I haven't read already, and they would not provide me with a coherent understanding or history of anything. You might conceivably make a plausible list of, say, the 100 greatest books about modern English history, or travels through Asia in the 19th century, etc....even a list of the 100 greatest English-language novels makes more sense.

I like the list and I very much look forward to reading what's on it that I've not read. It doesn't have to be much more complicated than that.

And what does it profit me to read Weber if I don't also read Marx? What does it profit me to read Graves if I don't read Fussell, Sassoon and a good history of the Belle Epoque?

What does it profit me to bother reading anything at all?

strixus: And there is nothing on here that is related to the experiences of non-western Europeans, really, other than Cao Jinqing, Solzhenitsyn and Ibn Battuta.

Chinua Achebe and Edward Said are on the list.
posted by blucevalo at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not a bad list, as far as book lists go.

National Geographic Top 100 Adventure/Travel
Chessler's 100 Best Mountaineering Books
Classic science auto-biographies
The 50-most cited books
David Shields, author of REALITY HUNGER, must-read Creative Nonfiction.
posted by stbalbach at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'd like a good top 100 top 100 lists list. That way I would have my next 10000 things planned.
posted by srboisvert at 1:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Where is The Very Hungry Caterpillar pray tell? This list is shit. Entomology not rate anymore?

And on a related note, I am incredibly poorly read when discussing English language non fiction classics.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Seconding bluevalo: I'm disappointed they even broke it down by subject. It's not (or, at least, shouldn't be) mean to delimit the Western Canon.

Despite having been disappointed on a couple points, I consider a listing on the Modern Library 100 best nonfiction worth the recommendation of two or three good friends. Whatever your interest in the subject matter, there are volumes like the Cadillac Desert, Guns of August, or Eichmann in Jerusalem which are, solely by virtue of the quality of prose, intensely pleasurable reads.
posted by 7segment at 1:18 PM on June 14, 2011


I'm guessing that the people who put this list together have not read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason or Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind, and would probably be surprised to discover how outrageously bad (and often completely inscrutable) the prose in these books is. They just decided that they should throw some Kant and Hegel in there, looked up on Wikipedia what their most famous books are, and tossed hem on.
posted by goethean at 1:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ok, so I missed the Art of War, and Said and Achebe. So that makes six books out of 100. Wow. Color me impressed?
posted by strixus at 1:19 PM on June 14, 2011


I've read two of those, and forgotten entirely what was in them. Fortunately, the kind of people who've read them all don't really seem that much more interesting at dinner parties.
posted by klanawa at 1:19 PM on June 14, 2011


Wait... four. Still...
posted by klanawa at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2011


Thanks, stbalbach. The Guardian's list was just too sprawling to be of any use.
posted by Phreesh at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2011


Hey now, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is quite readable - in German. In English not so much. I usually ended up reading it with two translations and the original German open, to hash through some sentences.

Honestly, if someone wanted to include Kant, I would have gone with the Groundwork. It is much more readable in English than nearly everything else he wrote of any length.
posted by strixus at 1:21 PM on June 14, 2011


The Medium is the Massage.

That's kinda deep.
posted by heatvision at 1:23 PM on June 14, 2011


why would you even make a list like this?

Because it is fun to fantasize about reading canonical books.
posted by swift at 1:24 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I make a point of only reading books that have been turned in to movies. If they are not good enough for film, they are wanting.
posted by Postroad at 1:25 PM on June 14, 2011


So they skipped all of engineering and math, then.

(No, I don't count GEB as any of: good, nonfiction, or mathematics.)
posted by atbash at 1:31 PM on June 14, 2011


I was pleased to see Godel Escher Bach and displeased not to see The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Also, an odd choice of Levi texts.

Now I know you all agree with me. 'Kay?
posted by tigrefacile at 1:31 PM on June 14, 2011


Needs more Orwell.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:37 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like the list and I very much look forward to reading what's on it that I've not read. It doesn't have to be much more complicated than that.

But you're not learning anything. A "non-fiction" book read in a vacuum is pretty much the equivalent to a novel - you don't have the means to judge whether it's at all accurate or not, what it's responding to...jeez, I love Goodbye To All That, but it 1. isn't precisely non-fiction in that bits of it are rather fictional and 2. it doesn't actually tell you too much about the WWI. If the book list is "fun books that the Guardian endorses and thinks reliable", well, that's your apres-midi and not mine, but to say that there's some kind of educational value in this sort of spotty "great books" approach to reading--!

It's not even a "start your reading here" list...

And I say this with regret, after many years of learning the unreliability even of favorite books like Linebaugh's London Hanged (for example) which is a fantastic book of history, but if you don't read some corrective/additional material you are getting a huge amount of bad interpretation.


And I don't like Tony Judt because he does that special-snowflake, I-see-through-both-sides-of-the-debate/truth is somewhere in the middle thing that is the absolute downfall of the well-heeled left.
posted by Frowner at 1:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


But you're not learning anything.

Sorry, that came across as extremely snotty. I don't mean that you personally can't get anything out of the books or shouldn't read them.
posted by Frowner at 1:43 PM on June 14, 2011


Would MeFites like to create their own top 100 list? I made a new document on collabedit. (Though I've never used collabedit before, so I hope I'm doing it right.)
posted by MrFTBN at 1:46 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've got The Communist Manifesto in Politics, but they've put Weber's Economy and Society in "Society"? If I were selecting truly great Marx, I would probably pick Capital over the Manifesto, and put it alongside Weber. Or I would put The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte in History.



Also, surely there is more great non-fiction that is not in English/by ancient Greeks?

I think they consider Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio, et al. to be a little arriviste.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought this list was OK. I mean, anytime you make a list of "the 100 greatest whatever-broad category" it's going to be faintly ridiculous. But this seems like a perfectly reasonable guide to great non-fiction, even if it is missing some wonderful books. Of course, I've only read three of them (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Homage to Catalonia, and The Prince) in full, and parts of a few others, so I'm not exactly an expert.

All that said, The Power Broker really ought to be in the biography section. I mean, really.
posted by breakin' the law at 2:03 PM on June 14, 2011


Do they hate history?

No, they had E.P. Thompson - that's all they needed, because he covers a) English history and b) social history. People keep telling me that there are other bits of history out there, but I don't believe them. Macauley was obviously superfluous (and while really influential, kinda a little out of date now).
posted by jb at 2:04 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the spirit of improving on the given list: The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk and The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes are two of my favorite nonfiction works. Incredibly stories, masterfully told.

Also pretty much anything by Oliver Sacks.
posted by echo target at 2:07 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Guardian:

Suicide by Émile Durkheim (1897)
An investigation into protestant and catholic culture, which argues that the less vigilant social control within catholic societies lowers the rate of suicide


From Wikipedia:

Durkheim explores the differing suicide rates among Protestants and Catholics, arguing that stronger social control among Catholics results in lower suicide rates.


If the Guardian editors aren't going to bother actually reading the books on the list, they could at least learn to plagiarize without reversing the entire point of the book.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:12 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


The more I dwell on this the grumpier I get about it. Best book lists are just link bait for people that think they are too smart or too cultured to avoid all the other link-bait (Best 5 Supervillains, Top 10 Swimsuit Pictures, 14 Russian Novelists no Collection is Complete Without!) They start from someone else's list, or worse, one of the "complete canons" series and tinker a bit, but they always make sure to leave in enough popular works (even if, as many people have already pointed out, they are far from even that author's best work) so that people pass them around on facebook comparing how many of them they've read (which I see we get a bit of in here too!). You'll probably get more nuance, context, and explanation in this thread then you will from any Guardian top list ever.



I would probably pick Capital over the Manifesto,

There's pretty much no excuse for picking the Manifesto over Das Capital, unless you haven't read both of them and you are picking the more famous one. One is a an actual non-fiction exploration of economics with examples, and the other is a manifesto. There really isn't a choice if you are actually compiling a list of 100 greatest non-fiction books. I have a really strong suspicion that these books were not read by the compilers.
posted by cyphill at 2:16 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Bible? I'm shocked.
posted by Renoroc at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of these things is not like the others.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Mythologies by Roland Barthes
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is such a ludicrous list, really, its not much better than a pseudo-intellectual version of the linkspam lists that populate lifehacker and about.com. I thought Will Davies rant / response was spot on:

The problem with the 'non-fiction top 100' is that it assumes that books are normally novels. How else to lump together such a ragbag of 'non-fiction', as to include Hegel's Phenomenology and Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody? But of course the novel is a latecomer, emerging in the 18th century. And so to describe a work of philosophy as 'non-fiction' is a bit like describing Beethoven as "non-jazz music"
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If all the MeFites posted their 100 most _________ books, and then someone wrote a program to merge all the similar titles, would these sets converge into a canonical set of 100 ________ books that all the MeFites would agree somewhat were worthwhile?
posted by njohnson23 at 2:32 PM on June 14, 2011


strixus: And there is nothing on here that is related to the experiences of non-western Europeans, really, other than Cao Jinqing, Solzhenitsyn and Ibn Battuta.

blucevalo: Chinua Achebe and Edward Said are on the list.


Achebe is on that list as writing literary criticism of Joseph Conrad and Said was a Princeton/Harvard educated professor at Columbia most famous for writing about the West's distorted views of the Near East (whose first book was, incidentally, a literary criticism of Joseph Conrad). Both are a relief from an otherwise bland array of Victorian Era bestsellers, but neither are exactly foreign interlopers to the Western canon.

Personally, I'd like to propose some sort of literary Bechdel Test for the token inclusion of "foreign" authors on lists likes these, wherein:
posted by Panjandrum at 2:41 PM on June 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


On a more trivial point than science - and the fact that there are more travel books than science books may say something about people's reading proclivities (and interests in general) or the Guardian editors' preferences, who knows - I think Paul Theroux belongs somewhere in the travel book section. I'd pick Dark Star Safari; most would pick the much older Riding the Iron Rooster.
posted by kozad at 2:44 PM on June 14, 2011


That's weird, they said it was non-fiction but The Interpretation of Dreams is definitely on there.

I know it's de rigueur to diss Freud because of a couple highly publicized snippets of his biography (Freud was a coke addict! He didn't understand women!), but it makes me sad that his name is now synonymous with "discredited overthinking academic hack." Interpretation of Dreams is still a landmark discourse on the subconscious, which was not even a thing until Freud came around. Freud radically reinterpreted the inner life of man in a way that was both scientific and Shakespearean.

If anyone is interested in how Freud's research fundamentally affected both our advertising and political landscape, check out Adam Curtis' Century of The Self, which chronicles how Freud's hugely powerful and influential American nephew Edward Bernays applied Freudian psychoanalysis to radically change how corporations, advertising companies and our very governments control people. I dare anyone who watches that documentary to scoff at Freud as a hack afterward.
posted by zoomorphic at 3:02 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have heard of many of these books.
posted by Standeck at 3:18 PM on June 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hey now, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is quite readable - in German.

Ha ha ha! Oh, you big kidder, you! Stop kidding around! Ha ha ha! I'll critique your pure reason if you're not careful!
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:30 PM on June 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is Greil Marcus 'The Old, Weird America - The Story of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes' on there? If not, it's invalid.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:02 PM on June 14, 2011


Hey, cool. I've read 18 of them cover-to-cover, and there must be around an equal number that I've at least studied excerpts from. I guess that means I'm a white, middle-class anglophone.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:21 PM on June 14, 2011


Hey now, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is quite readable - in German

My anecdata suggests the opposite: I have not known any German Kant scholars well, but the American and British Kant scholars who I have known universally claim that even Germans prefer to study Kant in English.

I am neither a German speaker nor a Kant scholar, so I have no special expertise.
posted by Kwine at 5:03 PM on June 14, 2011


Among the many questionable choices: Herodotus. I'm quite fond of his book, but it's not quite properly non-fiction.
posted by fredludd at 5:16 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I see echo target beat me to mentioning The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which surely should be on any such list.

If you have to pick one book -- and probably only one book given the scope of the list -- to represent our history of the Nazis, it seems a bit quirky to pick Eichmann in Jerusalem over The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

If it was my personal list I'd also include Colin Wilson's A Criminal History of Mankind but I realize I'm not gonna get a committee to agree with that.
posted by localroger at 5:29 PM on June 14, 2011


but to say that there's some kind of educational value in this sort of spotty "great books" approach to reading--!

Oh, please. Reading these books by themselves won't make anyone an expert on the topic; it won't even make them well-educated, but of course there's some kind of educational value in even the most dilettantish approach to these books. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that no one should bother to read any of them at all if they can't devote all the time and effort to them you can. But, yes, as you so astutely point out it isn't an academic list. Quelle surprise. Besides, it can't be the 100th greatest non-fiction books; they left off Vitruvius' De architectura.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Should I be surprised to see that Symons' The Quest For Corvo is absent from the biography section? I don't know, but I am.

Kuhn but no Wittgenstein? Really? And Meditations? Important to all those Stoics who don't exist.

I could go on. I hope I won't.
posted by howfar at 6:30 PM on June 14, 2011


Wealth of Nations?
A Timeless Way of Building/ A Pattern language?
posted by storybored at 6:36 PM on June 14, 2011


Panjandrum: "Personally, I'd like to propose some sort of literary Bechdel Test for the token inclusion of "foreign" authors on lists likes these, wherein:
  • The author is not European, or has at least spent the majority of their life outside of Europe.
  • They write about something outside of Europe.
  • That something is not about European exploits abroad.
"

How about suggesting some of these books, then? I read a lot of different non-fiction stuff, but just glancing at my bookshelf shows that at least 99% of them are by Europeans or Americans (I assume you meant to include Americans too when you say "Europeans" in your list).
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:33 PM on June 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


A "non-fiction" book read in a vacuum is pretty much the equivalent to a novel - you don't have the means to judge whether it's at all accurate or not, what it's responding to

Whatever book you pick to "start" with is going to be in some sort of vacuum if you don't know much about the subject. And there's no sin in just picking one that looks most interesting to you (in specific subject matter, in approach, in structure), reading that, and then circling around to read what it's responding to (if anything in particular), or what book is in response to it, and so on.
posted by rtha at 7:36 PM on June 14, 2011


I have a semi-autodidactic system that's done me well in regards to history -- Read a broad general history of something, that's widely regarded as accurate, maybe based on the recommendations of people I know and/or trust (AskMe is good for this) then in the course of reading something broad, take notes about specific events or individuals that I'd like to drill down further into, and hit the bibliography. Good historians will have good source materials, and you can go off on a really good tangent if you're willing to track down semi-obscure stuff, like university press publications.

I've covered a wide swath of Texana, exploration and conquest of the American west and Native American history this way, and am now pretty well-read after pursuing it semi-regularly for about 15 years. Probably as well as anyone who'd taken a college course or two, at least. I'm not saying I'd pass any 4-year college criteria, but I've got a pretty good grasp, and I've built it from a really shitty working-class high school education. You don't have to work in a complete vacuum, even at the beginning - you just have to carefully choose a good jumping-off point, and it should be broad and shallow to start. Plumb the depths from there.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:10 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This week on the Guardian culture pages: The 100 Greatest Colours. After keen debate among our panel of experts, this is our list of the 100 very best colours:

1. Red. Discredited by the fall of Communism, red made a comeback in Krzysztof Kieslowski's cinematic masterpiece Three Colors: Red.

2. Yellow. The colour of the sun, yellow has inspired a host of classic songs from the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' to Coldplay's 'Yellow'.

3. Black. The enduring popularity of the little black cocktail dress means that black isn't just for funerals.

Disagree with our selection? What have we missed? Join the debate on our blog!

Next week in the Guardian: The 100 Greatest Numbers.
posted by verstegan at 2:06 AM on June 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


No "Guns, Germs and Steel"? For shame.
posted by Decani at 2:33 AM on June 15, 2011


No "Poetics of Space"? Double shame.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 AM on June 15, 2011


This is a great list, I expect that some classics have been missed.
posted by walee at 7:08 AM on June 15, 2011


I like how two of the biggest criticisms in this thread are:

a) he only has old stuff
b) he's included some new guy
posted by DU at 4:34 AM on June 20, 2011


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