Influential classics, non-fiction, books about peoples original ideas. Ideas that changed the world. Great thinkers, who influenced the way we think, with what they wrote. Politics, philosophy, science, and to a lesser extent, economics, history, psychology.
People like (and these are examples only, provided to set the tone): Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Noam Chomsky, Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, Ann Raynd, & Sigmund Freud.
Try to limit yourself to no more than one book per author. If someone was prolific, what was their best and most important work?
Note: These should be books that can be understood by a reasonably intelligent non-expert. I realise Einstein's 'Relativity: The Special and General Theory' is an important work in the field of physics, but I would expect it to be way over my head without extensive study in maths and prior physics.
I'd also like to avoid works which have since been largely discredited (which is why Freud comes last on my list of example authors).
Lastly, if the author wrote in a languge other than English (ie, Das Kapital, or Art of War) I'd appreciate the suggestion including the specific translation recommended for the English reader.
I look forward greatly to reading your suggestions! And then reading them.
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