Shelf respect — 20 literary titles every person should own

you could argue that no other personal accoutrement is as revealing...

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but to judge a person by his/her books, well that’s perfectly acceptable. On display for all and sundry to see, you could persuasively argue that no other personal accoutrement is as revealing as the literary titles that reside on your shelves.

Irrespective of how dusty they might be, one would hope to find your worldly perspective reflected in a well-rounded literary assemblage. There are some titles whose presence is simply obligatory; never mind if their spine hasn’t once been broken. The following are some bona fide masterpieces that will help demarcate an astute taste in books.

1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper

3. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

4.  The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

5. The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

6. Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

8. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

10. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

11. 1984 by George Orwell

12. The Human Stain by Philip Roth

13. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

15. The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger

16. Papillon by Henri Charrière

17, The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

18. A short history of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

19. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

20. The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King


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