Fiction: Why do Birds
Damon Knight wrote this perfect science fiction novel that’s nothing like most science fiction novels. It sure isn’t a space opera. It does have time travel, maybe. And it does concern the end of the Earth, again, maybe. But it is a perfect critique of human values, particularly the reader’s. I will say no more.
Non-Fiction: The C Programming Language, 1st ed
Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie created the perfect, simple programming book, along with a pretty good language. The first edition reads like Euclid, almost. I recommend it as a beginning book in logic or aesthetics. Just beautiful.
Oh, and since we’re encouraged to second other choices, I’d second The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. It might be fiction, might be fact, but however you catagorize it, it’s a wonderful book and a powerful idea.
What a great idea! Ask people what they like!