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Mike Johnston’s 266 (or so) Books By Genre

Over on The Online Photographer the host Mike Johnston recently wrote about a list of books he’s been compiling for some time:

The list started when my son decided at age ten or 11 that he didn’t like to read. As an inveterate reader and bibliophile, this consternated me deeply—how do you learn about the world if you don’t read? Books are where you find most of what humans know, and have learned, and have thought; they are where, mostly, the great glorious life of the mind resides.

So, taking a cue from our epic read-aloud traversal of the Harry Potter series when my fine lad was in single digits, I got a bright idea. I figured I’d just pick a bunch of the best books I know for finding out about the world, and read them aloud to him. Who says you can only read aloud to little kids?

I had started thinking about which books would be worth reading aloud to him…and by extension which books would be worth reading if you could only read a few…

…Think about it; they had to be comprehensible to a teenager, they had to be interesting and fun to read, but I wanted them to contain some education, too—some wisdom and useful information—some measure of truth about humans and our lives in the world. My idea was, if they end up fated to be the only books he ever reads, which ones should those be?

Although Mike doesn’t share his list with us (currently at 266 titles, it’s not yet finished) the post is a pleasantly interesting ramble around the idea of what such a list means. And focusing on books that are to be read aloud is also a novel twist.