The Times Literary Supplement's 100 Most Influential Books Since the War
I found it interesting to see how few I had read, yet I have probably seen the thought of many of them retailed by other writers. It doesn't say whether the influence was good or bad -- that's probably a "readerly" decision, as the postmodernists might say.
The ones I have read are:
- Albert Camus: The Outsider
- Arthur Koestler: Darkness at Noon
- George Orwell: Animal Farm
- George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-four
- Norman Cohn: The Pursuit of the Millennium
- Boris Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
That's not much out of a list of 100, only 6%, but I suppose "influential" means that the thought of those books has also permeated other books. I have, for example, read many books that cite Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, though I haven't read Kuhn's book myself.
I also don't know how the list was compiled, or who compiled it, though perhaps it says that elsewhere on the site.