My youngest son is counting down the last ten days til his 18th birthday. I’m finding his dad, Alan, dwells on this pending milestone far more than #4 son as he shared the list of the top ten books he wished #4 son had read to prepare him to be a better man.
In no particular order his Top Ten List of Books My Son Should Read As He Verges On Manhood (plus one that he has not yet read but which may make the list):
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant by Ulysses S Grant
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Travels with Charley by Steinbeck (originally Alan included Texas by James Michener who is one of his favorite authors but then he decided to stick with the "classics")
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
(#11 It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis)
This list reflects Alan’s wishes for his family. He doesn’t claim this is a comprehensive list and that a list for girls should probably be chosen by women. Also, Alan believes families should choose books that reflect their values for their own list. In choosing their books they should choose books that have stood the test of time. There’s a reason that most of these books are considered classics and families should avoid the flavor of the moment books.
I know my personal list for young men would be different. So I throw this to you, readers, what would you put on your top ten list of books you wish your own child had read?