Without these books -- or without having met the people who recommended some of them -- I wouldn't be the kind of person I am today. I'll start with some of my all-time favourite books that mean a lot to me personally.
Dead Souls (Finnish language edition)
by Nikolai Gogol
Gogol's masterpiece, a satire on a man who wants to buy the souls of dead peasants. I only have the Finnish language edition (WSOY, 1968).
The Trial (Finnish language edition)
by Franz Kafka
Poor Joseph K.! What a fantastic and disturbing read. Read all of Kafka and you'll be fine in Brussels.
The Master and Margarita (Finnish language edition)
by Mikhail Bulgakov
Full of black humor and magic.
L'Etranger (French language edition)
by Albert Camus
A timeless story about a man who doesn't care about anything.
Notes from Underground
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Explorations in psychology, philosophy and existentialism. The greatest of all time. Read all of him. I have the Finnish language edition (Arvi A. Karisto OY, 1959), translated by Valto Kallama. I love it.
No Logo -- Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies
by Naomi Klein
Depressing read. This book changed my thinking forever. An eye opener to say the least. Thanks Naomi!
Le Petit Prince (French language edition)
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"A children's book", with profound and touching remarks about human relations. Good for learning some French too!
That's it for today. I'll start preparing Part II which will most probably concentrate on books related to the arts, esthetics and music...