What we do need, in a world with precious little time to read (and think), is to know which books—new or old, fiction or nonfiction—open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways.
Some of the books they list:
- Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman: There’s no better season to read the Great American Poem than summer, and no better place than the outdoors for savoring its charms, both contemplative (“I lean and loafe at my ease”) and ecstatic (“Mad naked summer night!”).
- Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick: Before Wall-E, there was this penetrating parable of the grim future of technology and life on an Earth without animals (and the basis for Blade Runner).
- Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne: Even innocent bystanders in the culture wars should understand the evidence that supports evolution, and this book by a leading evolutionary biologist presents it clearly but not pedantically.
I don’t agree with the “precious little time to read (and think)” comment – that’s bullshit. They’re just using that to entice lazy fuckers who think reading is “work”. Interesting list though.