I've got a rant brewing about identification and representation, but most of the time I never wind up writing out that sort of thing and this covers a good chunk of that territory and probably better than I would write it.
I'm also kind of against those "essential" lists - the ones that are billed as "you must read these things to be a True Fan". Lists as recommendations to explore the history of the genre are great. But claiming people must read X and Y before they qualify as a fan is, in my opinion, wrong.
The people who are now bewailing that young people don't read the things they read when they were young and don't write the way writers wrote when they were young are the same people who, when they were young, complained about the previous generation saying the same things about themselves.