Book Recommendations, Reading

The 100 Most-Recommended Classics

When I was a high school senior, my AP Lit teacher gave us several book lists at the beginning of the year to help us become more well-read. I set a goal then and there that I was going to read every single work listed on the “100 Most-Often-Recommended” list (list taken from here). I wish that I were creating this post to tell you, “Hey, guess what? I read all 100 works!”
But I’m not.
I’m creating this post because I want to share the wealth…and compare books.
The ones I’ve read in their entirety are in red.
Those which I’ve read excerpts from are in blue.
Which ones have you read? Any that I haven’t, and that I should start right away?
Any that you hated? (Like Heart of Darkness, maybe?)
Let’s talk books.

 P.S. Yes, the reason that I’ve read more from the beginning of the list is because I just started to go through and do the thing in order. Shebam.

***Note: list updated with my latest reads January 2019


The 100 Most-Often-Recommended Works
Novels and Short Stories
Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
British, 1813
James Baldwin
Go Tell It on the Mountain
American, 1953
Saul Bellow
Seize the Day
American, 1956
Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre
British 1847
Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights
British, 1847
Albert Camus
The Stranger
French, 1942
Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
British, 1865
Willa Cather
My Antonia
American, 1918
Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote
Spanish, 1605, 1617
Kate Chopin
The Awakening
American, 1899
Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness
British, 1902
Stephen Crane
The Red Badge of Courage
American, 1895
Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe
British, 1719
Charles Dickens
Great Expectations
British, 1860-61
Feodor Dostoevski
Crime and Punishment
Russian, 1866
George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss
British, 1860
Ralph Ellison
Invisible Man
American, 1947
William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury
American, 1929
Henry Fielding
Tom Jones
British, 1749
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
American, 1925
Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary
French, 1857
E.M. Forster
A Passage to India
British, 1924
Gabriel García Márquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Columbian, 1967
William Golding
Lord of the Flies
British, 1954
Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
British, 1891
Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter
American, 1850
Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms
American, 1929
Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God
American, 1937
Aldous Huxley
Brave New World
British, 1932
Henry James
The Turn of the Screw
American, 1898
James Joyce
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Irish, 1916
Franz Kafka
The Trial
Czechoslovakian, 1925
D.H. Lawrence
Sons and Lovers
British, 1913
Sinclair Lewis
American, 1922
Bernard Malamud
The Assistant
American, 1957
Thomas Mann
Death in Venice
German, 1912
Herman Melville
American, 1851
Toni Morrison
American, 1973
Flannery O’Connor
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
American, 1955
Tillie Olsen
Tell Me a Riddle
American, 1956-60
George Orwell
Animal Farm
British, 1945
Alan Paton
Cry, the Beloved Country
South African, 1948
Edgar Allan Poe
Great Tales and Poems
American, 1839-45
J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye
American, 1951
Sir Walter Scott
British, 1820
Mary Shelley
British, 1818
John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath
American, 1939
Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels
British, 1726
William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair
British, 1847-48
Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace
Russian, 1865-69
Ivan Turgenev
Fathers and Sons
Russian, 1862
Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
American, 1886
John Updike
Rabbit, Run
American, 1961
French, 1759
Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five
American, 1969
Alice Walker
The Color Purple
American, 1982
Eudora Welty
Thirteen Stories
American, 1965
Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence
American, 1920
Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse
British, 1927
Richard Wright
Native Son
American, 1940
Greek, 458 BCE
Greek, 411, BCE
Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot
Irish, 1952
Bertolt Brecht
Mother Courage and Her Children
German, 1941
Anton Chekov
The Cherry Orchard
Russian, 1904
Greek, 431 BCE
Johann von Goethe
Faust, Part I
German, 1808
Henrik Ibsen
A Doll’s House
Norwegian, 1879
Christopher Marlowe
Doctor Faustus
British, 1604
Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman
American, 1949
The Misanthrope
French, 1666
Eugene O’Neill
Desire Under the Elms
American, 1924
William Shakespeare
British, 1600
George Bernard Shaw
British, 1913
Oedipus Rex
Greek, 430 BCE
Oscar Wilde
The Importance of Being Earnest
British, 1895
Thornton Wilder
Our Town
American, 1938
Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie
American, 1945
Allison, Alexander, Editor
Norton Anthology of Poetry (Shorter Edition)
British & American
British, c. 700
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
British, c. 1350-1400
Geoffrey Chaucer
Canterbury Tales
British, 1387-1400
Italian, c. 1320
The Odyssey
Greek, c. 9th C. BCE
John Milton
Paradise Lost
British, 1667
The Aeneid
Italian, c. 18 BCE
Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass
American, 1855
Greek, 4th C. BCE
Saint Augustine
Italian, 397-401
Bible (esp. King James Version)
Charles Darwin
Origin of the Species
British, 1859
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The American Scholar”
American, 1837
Benjamin Franklin
American, 1771
Sigmund Freud
Civilization and Its Discontents
German, 1930
Edith Hamilton
American, 1940
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince
Italian, 1532
Karl Marx
Communist Manifesto
German, 1848
Michel de Montaigne
Selected Essays
French, 1580
Greek, c. 370 BCE
Henry David Thoreau

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