"In this heartfelt favorites list, American political scientist Flynn (Defend Humane Ideals), who is based in New Zealand, waxes nostalgic about reading for pleasure, which, he’s observed, is a waning practice among his students. Originally from a poor Irish-American family of self-educated book lovers, including his uncle Ed—who read by torchlight on a naval ship during WWI—Flynn wants to guide readers through books that will expand their minds, educate as well as entertain, and ultimately lead to self-liberation. The fiction and nonfiction titles are separated into broad categories, such as science and early civilization, American history, the human condition, and European history. The discussion of each title is brief—in one memorable case, referring readers to a Wikipedia entry—and Flynn’s list skews noticeably towards older titles, few of which were written by women. Flynn’s sometimes curmudgeonly tone charms, and his exhortation to teach children to love reading as a lifelong gift is touching, but it’s hard to understand who the audience for this book would be; though he promises “this book will set your feet on the way to the kind of education no university offers,” the selection feels too outdated and the commentary insufficient to meet these goals. (Nov.)"--Publishers Weekly.
(looks like a bad review -- so who wrote the reviews below? the author, the publisher, ...?)
"The definitive list: 200 works so wonderful to read and so revealing about times and places, they make learning enjoyable and effortless."
"A brilliant road map for discovering history, science, civilization, and the human condition, this engaging record recommends must-read books: those so revealing about times and places that they take the reader beyond day-to-day concerns into a magic realm of knowledge and imagination. From Arthur Koestler’s take on the universe and Barbara Tuchman’s view on 14th-century life to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s impressions of American morality and Robert Fisk’s analysis of the West’s history of intervention in the Middle East, this engaging account is an idiosyncratic and endlessly interesting tour of the world through literature."
This a list, not an honor/award. <-- True, but this falls under the same category as "1001 Books to Read before You Die", so please leave this up.
The actual list sometimes has multiple books under a single entry, hence "198.1" and "198.2" whenever the books were originally published separately.