Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Book Shelf Rating

Today the Corner linked to a National Review piece from 1999 listing their choices for the best non-fiction books of that century. I'm quite surprised to know that I own 7 of these books.

Here is how the panel defined their choices:

We have used a methodology that approaches the scientific. But-certainly beyond, say, the first 40 books-the fact of the books' presence on the list is far more important than their rankings. We offer a comment from a panelist after many of the books; but the panel overall, not the individual quoted, is responsible for the ranking. So, here is our list, for your enjoyment, mortification, and stimulation.

Typically amusing National Review Writing, wouldn't you say? :)

Now 7 out of 100 is probably not a great score...but I'm young and my book buying tastes have not always fallen along the lines of the non-fiction, far reaching, world-changing and extraordinary. (I still have my childhood collection of Baby-sitter Club and Nancy Drew Books). But I would say that 7% is a respectable score, given that I'd never heard of many of the books on the list.

Here are my 7 selections:

The Second World War, Winston S. Churchill

The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Modern Times, Paul Johnson

The Diary of a Young Girl, The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Relativity, Relativity, Albert Einstein

Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis

The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Richard Phillips Feynman

Just don't ask me how many of them I've read in their entirety :)