I am not sure about these lists. I have read “Tale of Two Cities” and I hated every page of it. At the time though I was fifteen, and if I was ever set on making my children hate reading I would have them read stuff like that during their formative years.
I have actually read a good chunk of the Modern 10 list. Including Constitution, Federalist Papers (which are excellent) and Wealth of Nations. I think his list is a little off though and should have included Locke and Mill as well. I would also add in this vein of Political stuff, that Constitutional Case book that Simich had us read. I still have it and will open it up from time to time. I think that reading some of these Supreme Court cases is beneficial in two ways; it is incredible writing, and it a great example of great logic and insight as to the application of wisdom and the Constitution.
My Four Books I would tell everyone to read are.
1. Something by Steinbeck. Especially “East of Eden.”
2. “Mere Christianity” Truly the definition of a Classic, this book will be read and relevant a hundred years from now.
3. The Bible. Start with the Gospel of John. Then read Genesis along with Proverbs. Then read Romans and 1 John or James. And then read everything else.
4. Some systematic theology. Either Grudem or Erickson would be a safe bet. Grenz is a bit more simplistic but still a fun read. Branch out from there you can read some great NT theologies like Ladd, Marshall, or Guthrie.
There are many others I would recommend that people read including as much biography that you can take. Marsden has written an Epic biography on Edwards that I love. Martin Marty and Ronald Bainton have both written great biographies on Martin Luther. This is just to hard to talk about what books people should read, truth is people do not need to just read a list of books and think they are done, but read and read and read.