Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #47257 posted on 09/06/2008 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

You all appear from the responses the questions asked to have a reasonable amount of knowledge, especially in your given realm of learning. I am trying to compile a list of books for my children that they should read before the leave my direct influence as a parent and they are off in the cold harsh world to fend for themselves. Within each of your own spheres of knowledge, what would be the top ten books that you would recommend that an individual, lets say a werf, should read before or even during college. I am not restricting these to any age group but if there are any on a young reader level that you would like to include in your list that would be great!

- the list lover

A: Dear list,

This isn't really in my realm of learning, but when your kids are entering high school, I'd recommend having them (and you) read The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins. Maybe even have them read it at a younger age if you think they'll benefit.

-Curious Physics Minor
A: Dear Ethel,

I won't list the scriptures since everyone should be reading them anyway.

In no particular order:
-The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (or the entire series) by C.S. Lewis
-1984 by George Orwell
-The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
-To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
-Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
-The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
-The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (all 5 books in the trilogy)
-The Lesson by Carol Lynn Pearson

and last but not least,
-Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (just kidding!)

-Polly Esther
A: Dear list lover,

In the realm of linguistics I recommend Language Myths, edited by Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill and Far from the Madding Gerund, by Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum.

- Katya
A: Dear LoL (lover of lists),

The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
My Name is Asher Lev, Chiam Potok
How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, Frank Bettger
Yolanda's Genius, Carol Fenner
Maniac McGee, Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
The Double Helix, James Watson
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
Lord of the Rings series, J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

I gave you extra because I tried to include a good smattering of books for older and younger people. Some of the books on this list teach excellent life lessons (pretty much all of them, actually), and some I included especially because they're those books where everyone just assumes you've read them, and most everyone remembers as being really good (like A Wrinkle in Time).

Happy reading ...