Reading classic literature is a good thing. Sometimes we just don’t have the time, or want to find out what it’s all about before diving in, so here are some famous books, summarized into bite-sized form. Despite my smartass take on these, most of them are actually pretty good. YMMV. Now for your TL;DR pleasure:
Gilgamesh: It ain’t all about how long you live, but how you live your life
The Bible: In the beginning, God created the world. Then we screwed it up. Jeremiah was a bullfrog.
The Talmud: Rabbis sometimes get a wicked case of OCD
Confessions: The classic in which Saint Augustine created Catholic guilt singlehandedly
The Quran: Make war on the unbelievers. There is to be no compulsion in religion.
Paradise Lost: Beware of talking snakes
The Book of Mormon: Fan fiction like the Quran, except it’s pretty boring
Liber AL Vel Legis: Pursue your purpose in life singlehandedly. Party on too, and try our cookies with a secret ingredient.
The Iliad: The Greek-Turkish conflict, back in 800BC
The Odyssey: The trip back to Greece isn’t quite a three hour tour after all
The Republic: Let’s imagine a perfect society in order to have a cool discussion about the nature of reality and the meaning of virtue
The Laws: How to engineer a town of 5000 with an infrastructure suitable for a city of 200,000
Apology: Being a smartass gets you in a lot of trouble
Gorgias: Postmodernism was bullshit even 2300 years ago
Euthyphro: Why does God need a starship?
Crime And Punishment: Do the ends justify the means? Oops, it’s not quite so simple…
The Brothers Karamazov: If God doesn’t exist, then does this mean that anything goes? That plus 1000 pages of commentary, which is actually more interesting than it sounds.
We, The Living: Communism doesn’t work. Srsly.
The Fountainhead: Creative, industrious architect who gives a damn less than honey badger. Chick falls for him and tries to sabotage him because the world doesn’t deserve him. Chicks are weird.
Atlas Shrugged: Get off our backs, you slackers!
Anthem: The essence of all of the above, with 3000 fewer pages to read
The Communist Manifesto: The world would be awesome if everyone shared everything (and I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn)
Catcher In the Rye: The thrilling tale of a teenager going through a midlife crisis
Portnoy’s Complaint: Wanker wangsting
The Tommyknockers: Proof that Stephen King did the right thing when he quit sniffing coke
The Selfish Gene: How to learn about natural selection and cure your insomnia at the same time
Foucault’s Pendulum: I bet someone wearing a tinfoil hat thinks this is nonfiction, which was kind of the point of the story