I met the woman who would later become my wife when I was seventeen. Anyone remember what they were like when they were seventeen? When we started dating just over half a year later I had a strange request: “read these four books.” Teenagers, right? I felt like these four books had helped make me who I was at that time.
As you all know I have a habit of engaging in public embarrassment so here’s my list of books. Teenage earnestness is almost always amusing. I’m not sure I would still list these as essential books — people change — but I wouldn’t go back and change this list if I were to make it again.
- Have Spacesuit Will Travel by Robert Heinlein
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
- Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
There may have been a fifth book, Douglas Coupland’s Generation X, helping to offset the juvenile science-fiction — I really can’t recall, though. But my wife, she read them all. Even the Heinlein. That same summer we went on a road-trip to some of her essential places. People have to do stuff like that.
Anyway, essential books, we all have them. We buy them for others at Christmas, make sure they’re listed in our Blogger profiles — I know someone who wanted his tattooed in a stack on his left bicep — they make an impression.