photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
Facebook founder, the youngest billionier, one of the most influential people
“The Aeneid” by Virgil
–from interview to The New Yorker
Also mentioned in Books That Inspire CNN Founder Ted Turner
Most schoolchildren know the basics of the Trojan horse, but Virgil outlines all of the intriguing details of myth and legend. Tension between the gods of the heavens and the underworld, true love, flaming pyres, shipwreck, political intrigue, revenge – no drama is left out or neglected. Aeneas recounts tales of strange beasts, the goddess Juno plots a settling of scores with Troy (for their future role in the destruction of noble Carthage), and battles erupt. While Virgil is no longer around to rejoice at his work’s placement on numerous book lists, this unfinished epic poem is still worth a read after nearly 2,000 years of translations.
“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
Mark Zuckerberg listed this book as the only one on his Facebook profile
Sensitive parents may not find Card’s work to be one of the best books (or most uplifting) for child reading, according to commonsensemedia.org. However, book recommendations from newspapers like The Guardian point out that Ender Wiggins’ adventures while training at Battle School (to wipe out war-hungry aliens) include explorations into timeless virtues of courage in the face of peer exclusion. The book’s prestigious accolades, such as the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, may make parents think twice about reading the book for themselves – as well as to find out if the themes are damaging to children or not.