Here is a bit more on how I would assemble a genuine library:
Guirand , Felix, et al. New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (Feltham, Middlesex: Hamlyn House, 1972). John Kieran suggested a good book of myths after the Bible, so one would understand the alliterations in other works. His choice was Bulfinch, but I think Larousse is incomparable in its scope and in its range of pantheons, from the ancient (cave dwellers!) to the obscure (Slavonic).
Morse, John M., et al.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia (
Tolstoy, Leo (trans. Constance Garnett). War and Peace (NY, NY: Modern Library, 1994). Time to get some classics into the library. I haven’t actually read Tolstoy yet, but War and Peace is often called the greatest novel ever written. It’s also the definitive “monstrous book you’ve got to read for a class.” I’ll read it sometime, because I have one of my goofy ideas for a story that involves the place and time (Napoleonic Wars).