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Great Books List

 

"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."

- Henry David Thoreau

   

1.       

 

The Bible

2.      Homer

3.       

8th cent BC

The Iliad (Lattimore translation) 

The Odyssey (Fitzgerald translation) 

4.      Aeschylus

5.      Sophocles

6.      Euripides

c.525-456 BC

c.496-406 BC

c.485-406 BC

Greek Tragedies (3 vols, U. of Chicago ed.) 

7.      Thucydides

c.460-400 BC

The Peloponnesian War

8.      Plato

c.429-347 BC

The Republic (Larson trans., Harlan Davidson) 

9.      Aristotle

384-322 BC

Nicomachean Ethics

10.  Virgil

70-19 BC

The Aeneid (Fagles translation) 

11.  Ovid

43 BC-17 AD

Metamorphoses (Mandelbaum translation) 

12.  Augustine

354-430

Confessions

13.  Marie de France   

12th century   

Lais       

14.   

13th cent.

Njal's Saga

15.  Dante

1265-1321

The Divine Comedy

(3 vols., Mandelbaum translation) 

16.  Giovanni Boccaccio

1313-1375

The Decameron

17.  Geoffrey Chaucer

c.1342-1400

The Canterbury Tales (Penguin, Coghill trans.) 

18.  Niccolò Machiavelli

1469-1527

The Prince

19.  Thomas More

1478-1535

Utopia

20.  François Rabelais

c.1495-1553

Gargantua and Pantagruel

21.  Michel de Montaigne

1533-1592

Essays  (Penguin) 

22.  Miguel de Cervantes

1547-1616

Don Quixote (Harper, Grossman translation) 

23.  William Shakespeare

1564-1616

The Riverside Shakespeare

24.  John Milton

1608-1674

Paradise Lost

25.  Jonathan Swift

1667-1745

Gulliver's Travels

26.  Voltaire

1694-1778

Candide

27.  Henry Fielding

1707-1754

Tom Jones

28.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1712-1778

The Confessions

29.  Laurence Sterne

1713-1768

Tristram Shandy

30.  Johann von Goethe

1749-1832

Faust (Part I)

31.  Mary Wollstonecraft

1759-1797

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

32.  Jane Austen

33.   

1775-1817

Pride and Prejudice

Emma

34.  Stendhal

1783-1842

The Red and the Black

35.  Mary Shelley

1797-1851

Frankenstein

36.  John Stuart Mill

1806-1873

On Liberty

37.  William Thackeray

1811-1863

Vanity Fair

38.  Charles Dickens

39.   

1812-1870

Bleak House

David Copperfield

40.  Charlotte Brontë

1816-1855

Jane Eyre

41.  Henry David Thoreau

1817-1862

Walden

42.  Emily Brontë

1818-1848

Wuthering Heights

43.  Ivan Turgenev

1818-1883

Fathers and Sons

44.  George Eliot

1819-1880

Middlemarch

45.  Herman Melville

1819-1891

Moby Dick

46.  Gustave Flaubert

1821-1880

Madame Bovary

47.  Fyodor Dostoevsky

48.   

1821-1881

Crime and Punishment

The Brothers Karamazov

(Pevear and Volokhonsky translations) 

49.  Henrik Ibsen

1828-1906

Four Major Plays (Vol. 1, Signet)

50.  Leo Tolstoy

51.   

1828-1910

War and Peace

Anna Karenina

(Pevear and Volokhonsky translations)

52.  Thomas Hardy

1840-1928

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

53.  Henry James

1843-1916

The Portrait of a Lady

54.  Friedrich Nietzsche

1844-1900

Beyond Good and Evil

55.  Sigmund Freud

1856-1939

Civilization and Its Discontents

56.  Joseph Conrad

1857-1924

Heart of Darkness

57.  Knut Hamsun

1859-1952

Hunger

58.  Anton Chekhov

1860-1904

The Major Plays (Signet)

59.  Marcel Proust

1871-1922

Swann's Way

60.  Thomas Mann

1875-1955

The Magic Mountain

61.  E. M. Forster

1879-1970

Howards End

62.  James Joyce

63.   

1882-1941

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Ulysses

64.  Virginia Woolf

1882-1941

To the Lighthouse

65.  Sigrid Undset

1882-1949

Kristin Lavransdatter (Nunnally trans., Penguin)

66.  Franz Kafka

1883-1924

The Trial

67.  Isak Dinesen

1885-1962

Seven Gothic Tales

68.  Mikhail Bulgakov

1891-1940

The Master and Margarita

(Pevear and Volokhonsky translation)

69.  Pär Lagerkvist

1891-1974

The Dwarf

70.  F. Scott Fitzgerald

1896-1940

The Great Gatsby

71.  William Faulkner

72.   

1897-1962

Light in August

Absalom, Absalom!

73.  Vladimir Nabokov

74.   

1899-1977

Lolita

Pale Fire

75.  Jorge Luis Borges

1899-1986

Collected Fictions

76.  Halldór Laxness

1902-1998

Independent People

77.  Samuel Beckett

1906-1989

Endgame

78.  Albert Camus

1913-1960

The Plague

79.  Robertson Davies

1913-1995

The Cornish Trilogy

80.  Ralph Ellison

1914-1994

Invisible Man

81.  Iris Murdoch

1919-1999

The Sea, the Sea

82.  José Saramago

1922-2010

Blindness

83.  Dorothy Dunnett

1923-2001

The Game of Kings

84.  Nadine Gordimer

1923-       

Burger's Daughter

85.  Flannery O'Connor

1925-1964

The Complete Stories

86.  John Fowles

1926-2005       

The Magus

87.  Günter Grass

1927-

The Tin Drum

88.  Gabriel García Márquez

1928-       

One Hundred Years of Solitude

89.  Milan Kundera

1929-       

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

90.  Chinua Achebe

1930- 2013      

Things Fall Apart

91.  Toni Morrison

1931-       

Beloved

92.  A.S. Byatt

1936-       

Possession

93.  Thomas Pynchon

1937-       

V.

94.  Tom Stoppard

1937-       

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

95.  Margaret Atwood

1939-

The Blind Assassin

96.  Salman Rushdie

1947-       

Midnight's Children

97.  Ian McEwan

1948-

Atonement

98.  Kazuo Ishiguro

1954-

The Remains of the Day

99.  Barbara Kingsolver

1955-

The Poisonwood Bible

100.           

 

Norton Anthology of Poetry