Twelve Essential Books

01. History of the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides, 411 BC)
[all of politics]

02. The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas, 1844)
[friendship, youth, honor and career]

03. Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain, 1884)
[friendship, youth, and awakening to principle]

04. The Way of Zen (Alan Watts, 1957)
[awakening to mindful living]

05. Eichmann in Jerusalem (Hannah Arendt, 1963)
[“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire]

06. The Divine Proportion: A Study in Mathematical Beauty (H. E. Huntley, 1970)
[beauty is natural]

07. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins, 1976)
[life is amoral, and relentless]

08. Cadillac Desert (Marc Reisner, 1986)
[short-sightedness in self-interest amidst natural grandeur]

09. The First Man (Albert Camus, 1994)
[remembering the growth of one’s understanding]

10. Reappraisals (Tony Judt, 1994-2006, 2008)
[portraits of the human society that birthed us]

11. Postwar: A history of Europe since 1945 (Tony Judt, 2005)
[understanding modern Europe]

12. In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan, 2008)
[food for life]

What twelve books would you pick for your Desert Island Library, to read and reread with pleasure, and to understand the human condition of finite lives within eternal cycles?