Starting with Number of the Beast Heinlein began the systematic incorporation of most of his great novels into a single multiverse. Additionally, he included works by other authors in this multiverse.
My question is pretty simple: What order should these books - and their connected books - be read in?
I'll be happy with just a reading order, meant to prevent spoilers, for all the World as Myth books that Heinlein wrote. Including ones prior to Number of the Beast that are talked about in the World as Myth books. For example, reading Number of the Beast before Stranger in a Strange Land will result in some spoilage. So one should read Stranger first.
Chronological order would be pretty meaningless, so focus on preventing spoilage.
Ideally I want a list of ALL books that are part of this multiverse and might be spoiled by reading World as Myth so I will create and dole out a maximum bounty to the first person who can produce what looks like a complete listing of not only the Heinlein books, but the books of anyone else involved. Yes, 500 rep is up for grabs.
Orders that aren't acceptable and why
Order Written - While it seems on the surface that the order these books were written in is the logical reading order, this doesn't take into consideration the capabilities of the human mind. Take To Sail Beyond the Sunset for example. Within this book, there are references to works that were written long enough ago that they might be lost in the shuffle. After reading the entire Barsoom series (11 books) and the entire Future History series (24 books) would anyone still remember the reference to All You Zombies?
It would, therefore, be logical for people to read All You Zombies at the last possible chance before encountering themes from that story within the World as Myth universe.
The same applies to the books from the Moon is a Harsh Mistress series, reading them right before reading The Cat Who Walks Through Walls would be ideal.
Chronological - To expand on why Chronological order won't work well, we need only see that many books are broken into different time-lines. While it might be REALLY INTERESTING to read all of these books in the correct chronology, you'd be skipping from book to book and lose the narrative. Not ideal for a first read.
The ideal order, therefore, is to read things at the last possible moment before they are brought up. So you can safely read the Future History series before reading all the books that are brought up in Number of the Beast. Then reading all the books brought up in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls and so on.
My question is still one of reading order, in that no list seems to exist of all the books mentioned and in what order can they be safely read in.