Several sets have been compiled over the years of the books that shaped western civilization and of all these The Harvard Classics has one of the best pedigrees. Incredibly out-of-date, of course, hailing from 1909, but I’ve nevertheless elected to read Charles W. Eliot’s Five-Foot Shelf and blog my way through the experience. By reading supplementary material I hope to avoid coming across as too much of an idiot, and by refusing to be intimidated by these venerable texts I hope to keep my posts as engaging as possible.
At the roughest calculation, this project will last me the next 40 years. It’s a 50 book set (well, 49 and an index). The progress so far: