I have tried to assemble all the suggested titles and will give them here with no comment from me, but I have included some of the contributors’ comments.
Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, Brave New World, 1984, That Hideous Strength. This contributor noted that these books kept him from being drawn toward totalitarianism. And A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (15+).
Count of Mt Cristo
Taking Charge of Your Fertility – a fabulous look at how and why and when a woman’s body does what it does.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The contributor says that the author comes at it from a fairly liberal perspective, but her experiences and knowledge about how we get our food and the importance of supporting local food sources is fascinating. High school.
Beowulf, Song of Roland, The Fairie Queene, Paradise Lost, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, The Unvanquished, The Great Gatsby, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and Hie to the Hunters. I have a few other favorites that are hard sells to the kids, such as The Deerslayer by James F. Cooper. I love Paul Johnson’s History of the American People and Ernle Bradford’s books such as The Great Siege (kids love it), Hannibal, and Thermopylae. He adds, “My guv’mint students usually enjoy Ayn Rand’s short work Anthem. I like using Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live? with both the book and film series.
Science Set Free by Rupert Sheldrake, which the contributor says is a “way to frame the rest of my scientific education.”
John Barach responded, “I’m a big fan of The Pickwick Papers. Oliver Twist wasn’t my favorite. Somewhere I remember reading C. S. Lewis saying that he had recently (re?)read Oliver Twist and didn’t think he would do so again.
The same contributor who spoke of Dickens also said, “As for things I wish I read (or could’ve read) earlier: Emily Dickinson’s poetry, Circus Days and Nights by Robert Lax, and for 11th/12th: David Dark’s Everyday Apocalypse. Annie Dillard, and Figures of Speech by Arthur Quinn.
On Food and Cooking (McGee), Home Comforts (Mendelson)
Madeleine L’Engle’s series starting with A Wrinkle in Time
Ideas Have Consequences-Richard Weaver
Jayber Crow– Wendell Berry
City of God-Augustine
The Quest for Community-Robert Nisbet
Knowing God-J.I. PackerOne contributor said, “I read a bunch of Stephen King in Middle & High School. Though I can’t recommend all of it due to some of its sexual raunchiness, there are few writers I’ve found who match King’s ability to evoke childhood horror. It wasn’t out when I was in High-school but Cormac McCarthy’s The Road comes close yet holds hope close to the reader & an powerful but silent appreciation for society, culture, & tradition. I’d recommend this for Junior or Seniors. I think this would be a great read in concert with teaching on Original Sin.
The Federalist Papers
Writings of the Anti-Federalists (should be read along with the Federalists)
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (high school)
Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman.
A Disquisition on Government by John C. Calhoun.
Religion and the Rise of Western Culture by Christopher Dawson.
How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol.
Ben Hur by Lew Wallace.
Bruchko – adventurous missionary story.
Henry Adams, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
Aeschylus, The Oresteia: Agamemnon / The Libation Bearers / The Eumenides
Dante, Divine Comedy
Athanasius, On the Incarnation
Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot
Georges Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest
Bonaventure, The Journey of the Mind to God
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson
George Mackay Brown, Magnus
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture
John Donne, Complete Poems
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
John Milton, Paradise Lost
John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Erwin Panofsky, Meaning In the Visual Arts
Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History
Tacitus, The Annals of imperial Rome
Eric Voegelin, Anamnesis
Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences
John P. White, The Birth and Rebirth of Pictorial Space
Larzer Ziff, Literary Democracy: The Declaration of Cultural Independence in America
Brian Aldiss, Frankenstein Unbound; Hothouse; Cryptozoic!
J.G. Ballard, The Crystal World
Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man; Golem100
James Blish, Cities in Flight; A Case of Conscience; Black Easter; The Day After Judgement
Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun; The Illustrated Man; The Martian Chronicles; A Medicine for Melancholy; Fahrenheit 451; R is for Rocket; Dandelion Wine
Ernest Bramah, Kai Lung’s Golden Hours
John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar; The Squares of the City; The Jagged Orbit; The Shockwave Rider; The Sheep Look Up
Algis Budrys, Who?; Michaelmas; Rogue Moon
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes; A Princess of Mars
James Branch Cabell, Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice
Karel Čapek, War with the Newts
Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep; The Lady in the Lake; Farewell, My Lovely; Killer in the Rain; The Long Goodbye
Avram Davidson, The Phoenix and the Mirror
Samuel R. Delany, Nova; Babel 17; The Ballad of Beta-2; The Einstein Intersection
Philip K. Dick, The Divine Invasion; A Maze of Death; Radio Free Albemuth; Martian Time-slip; VALIS; The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; The Transmigration of Timothy Archer; Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said; We Can Build You; Ubik; Now Wait for Last Year; The Man in the High Castle
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles
Lord Dunsany, At the Edge of the World
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest; The Thin Man; The Maltese Falcon; The Dain Curse; The Glass Key
Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit-Will Travel; Time For The Stars; The Star Beast; The Door into Summer; Double Star; Red Planet; Starman Jones; Citizen of the Galaxy
Frank Herbert, Dune
William Hope Hodgson, The House on the Borderland
Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood
Robert E. Howard, Solomon Kane
Elmer Kelton, The Good Old Boys; The Time It Never Rained; Massacre at Goliad; Llano River
Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time; A Swiftly Tilting Planet; A Wind in the Door
R.A. Lafferty, 900 Grandmothers; Reefs of Earth; Past Master; Ringing Changes;
Through Elegant Eyes: Stories of Austro and Men Who Know Everything; Golden Gate and Other Stories; Does Anyone Else Have Something Further to Add?; Strange Doings; Iron Tears
John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; The Honourable Schoolboy; Smiley’s People
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore; The Lathe Of Heaven
Elmore Leonard, Hombre; Valdez Is Coming; The Law at Randado
Ross Macdonald, The Underground Man; The Barbarous Coast; The Galton Case; The Goodbye Look; The Zebra-Striped Hearse; The Ivory Grin; The Way Some People Die; The Far Side of the Dollar; Blue Hammer; Black Money
Richard Matheson, I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man
Walter. M. Miller, A Canticle For Leibowitz
Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melniboné; The Sailor on the Seas of Fate; The Weird of the White Wolf; The Sleeping Sorceress; The Bane of the Black Sword; Stormbringer
Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome
Keith Roberts, The Chalk Giants
Robert Silverberg, Son of Man; Thorns; The Man in the Maze
Clifford D. Simak, City
Isaac Bashevis Singer, A Crown of Feathers; Gimpel the Fool; In My Fathers Court; The Spinoza of Market Street
Clark Ashton Smith, Zothique; Hyperborea; Xiccarph; Poseidonis; The City of the Singing Flame; The Last Incantation; The Monster of the Prophecy
Cordwainer Smith, The Best of Cordwainer Smith; The Instrumentality of Mankind
Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human
Jack Vance, The Gray Prince; The Narrow Land; To Live Forever; Showboat World; The Dying Earth; The Blue World; The Languages of Pao
Kate Wilhelm; Fault Lines; Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang; Juniper Time; Margaret and I
Gene Wolfe, The Fifth Head of Cerberus; The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories and Other Stories; The Shadow of the Torturer; The Sword of the Lictor; The Claw of the Conciliator; The Citadel of the Autarch
Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness; Lord of Light; Isle of the Dead; My Name is Legion; Roadmarks
The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien
The Accursed Kings – Maurice Drouin (awesome historical novel series)
Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
Brave New World – Huxley