August 03, 2009

Another Great "100 Essential Books" List recently posted an article called "The 100 Essential Books You Should Have Read in College". Go to the site if you want to see the division and a brief explanation of why each book is on the list. Or, for your convenience, I have made a copy of the titles just for you. (Ain't I thoughtful?)

1.Beowulf, Anonymous
2.The Iliad, Homer
3.The Odyssey, Homer
4.The Republic, Plato
5.Oresteia, Aeschylus
6.Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
7.The Aeneid, Virgil
8.1984, George Orwell
9.Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
10.Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
11.Candide, Voltaire
12.Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
13.Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
14.The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
15.Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
16.Catch 22, Joseph Heller
17.Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
18.Bartleby, the Scrivener, Herman Melville
19.The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
20.In the Penal Colony, Franz Kafka
21.The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
22.A Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
23.One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
24.Lolita, Vladamir Nobokov
25.The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
26.Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
27.The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
28.A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
29.Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
30.The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
31.All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
32.A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
33.The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
34.The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
35.Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
36.Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
37.Watership Down, Richard Adams
38.Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
39.I Served the King of England, Bohumil Hrabal
40.Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein
41.The Road, Cormac McCarthy
42.The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
43.On Beauty, Zadie Smith
44.A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
45.The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
46.Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
47.Beloved, Toni Morrison
48.Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
49.The Color Purple, Alice Walker
50.Native Son, Richard Wright
51.My Antonia, Willa Cather
52.Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
53.Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
54.Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass
55.The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin
56.The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
57.The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
58.The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine
59.The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
60.Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington
61.The Stranger, Albert Camus
62.The Bible
63.Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, Edith Hamilton
64.Confessions, Saint Augustine
65.Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
66.Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant
67.Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for None and All, Friedrich Nietzsche
68.Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
69.Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
70.The Art of Happiness, The Dalai Lama
71.The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James
72.The Golden Bough, James George Frazer
73.Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
74.The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekov
75.The Divine Comedy, Dante
76.The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams
77.Hamlet, William Shakespeare
78.Paradise Lost, John Milton
79.The Misanthrope, Moliere
80.Faust, Johann von Goethe
81.A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen
82.Mother Courage and Her Children, Bertolt Brecht
83.Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
84.A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
85.Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond
86.Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
87.The Double Helix, James D. Watson
88.A River Out of Eden, Richard Dawkins
89.The Mismeasure of Man, Stephen Jay Gould
90.Principia Mathematica, Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell
91.Illuminations, Walter Benjamin
92.The Lives of the Artists, Vasari
93.On Painting, Alberti
94.Poetics, Aristotle
95.Art and Illusion, Ernest H. Gombrich
96.Walden, Henry David Thoreau
97.The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
98.The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
99.The Art of War, Sun Tzu
100.Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud

My one complaint about these lists is that the authors remain the same but the particular work changes. So even though I have read half a dozen Shakespeare I haven't read Hamlet so I can't count it in my list of "number of books read". So my total is low, a measly 17. I've got a lot of reading in my future.


Lezlie said...

Thanks for the list!

pussreboots said...

I've read 64 but there are a bunch that were published after I was in college.

Jenny said...

Hm. 46 - and exactly half of those were books I was required to read in college (for my English Lit degree). I enjoyed 17 of them enough to want to own/reread them. That's not a very good percentage, but I don't know if it reflects badly on me or on The Canon. :) And I have the same problem as you - lots of authors I've read but not the specific books.

Elizabeth said...

I've only read 11 - boy, that's depressing.