This list is great. I’ve personally read only a handful of them but everyone should make an effort to check a few out.
Edit: Ok, I wanted to add a bit more to this. I realize a lot of people don’t read anymore. That being said, most of you have heard of these books, which is a start. The web and wikipedia is all fine and dandy but the ability to read or listen or watch a story and grasp the foundational ideas is what’s key. 40 Year Old Virgin is a good example of the sexual pressures put on teenagers. Last Kiss demonstrates a man’s inability to cope with drastic changes. Beyond Good and Evil (Neitzsche) demonstrates the vast gap between existentialism and religion when dealing with philosophy. Great Gastby (Fitzgerald) shows that a single friend is better than many acquaintances. The Hobbit (Tolkein) exemplifies the significant behavior changes found with dangerous stimuli.
So you’re thinking, “so what?”. That’s a good question I suppose. If you live for today, have no aspirations, don’t feel the need to grow as a person, that’s your bottle (Atlast Shrugged deals with this). For those of you who have personal questions, those who have ideas about why we are who we are, those who want to try something new and aren’t certain, read people! There are so many good ideas out there, so much reference and character building reference available, we shouldn’t be leaving it in the library to dust. /rant off 🙂