Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Books.

It has taken me some time to come up with a book list. Trying to name all the classics is a much more difficult task than it might seem.

I started by locating my AP English binder from high school. Since I seem to be a big pack-rat, this was easy. As part of our requirement for the class, we had to read one book a month from the list. The problem with this list, as I soon found out, is that it includes a lot of books that aren’t on any other “classic” lists. After doing some research online, I deleted some entries off the list. Some of them had only appeared on the AP test once, or they were so new there is no way I could deem them as a “classic,” even though they might be notable works.

Secondly, I did a search online for classic book lists, primarily looking at lists that were limited to 100 titles or so. I found a few such lists and added on titles as I saw fit. It was actually kind of difficult to narrow down titles, especially when you have authors such as Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare, who are known for their body of work.

On one hand, I want to make sure that the really important books are on this list so that no one can look back at me at the conclusion of this and say, “But you didn’t read so-and-so’s book by this title!” However, I also didn’t want this list to take up the rest of my life. The truth is if I wanted to read all of the great books, this would be a never-ending task. So I have had to put a limit on it, at least for now.

In all there are 250 books on this list. Of those, quite a few are Shakespeare’s plays, or other short works. Also, some of the titles are misleading. Where it says Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Complete Sherlock Holmes, that actually includes four novels and numerous short stories, which is a lot more than it seems. Also, we all know that The Lord of the Rings is broken into 3 novels. So this list can be slightly misleading. In addition, I decided to keep books on this list that I have already read. About 70 of these titles I have already read at some point in my life, but I think to complete this fully, I need to reread them.

I also want to point out that there may seem to be many novels and works NOT on this list. When I was compiling I tended to stay away from what many might consider young adult literature. That is why you won’t see Black Beauty, Heidi, or The Chronicles of Narnia on this list, even though they are all notable works of fiction. I also tried to stay away from many works specific to one genre. Granted, I do have some great works of fantasy and mystery on here, but there are a few that are not on this list. Primarily, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which was on so many lists, as well as Fahrenheit 451 (although, I kept the latter off because I wrote a huge unit plan on the novel in college and I know it inside and out. I honestly can’t stomach another reading of it, even though I love it). Perhaps at the end of this I may add on some titles, like the above, to flesh out my reading.

I am open to the additions of other works to this list. When coming up with it, I tried to limit works by any single author to what is considered to be their best. Even with doing that, I still have quite a few works by Dickens and Austen on here. However, if you think there is a book not on here that should be, please comment and tell me. I don’t think this list is final, nor should it be. So suggest away!

Now the list: alphabetized by author, and if they have more than one notable book, by title (I will point out that attempting to alphabetize this was quite the chore. You might notice some titles missing a “the” or “a” at the beginnings. I did my best to get them accurate, but I know there are some mistakes).

Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart
Adams, Richard: Watership Down
Aeschylus: The Eumenides
Albee, Edward: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women
Anaya, Rudolfo: Bless Me, Ultima
Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Aristophanes: Lysistrata
Aristophanes: Oresteia
Arnow, Harriette: The Dollmaker
Atwood, Margaret: A Handmaid’s Tale
Atwood, Margaret: Alias Grace
Austen, Jane: Emma
Austen, Jane: Mansfield Park
Austen, Jane: Persuasion
Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane: Sense and Sensibility
Barrie, J.M.: Peter Pan
Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot
Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre
Bronte, Charlotte: Villete
Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights
Bunyon, John: Pilgrim’s Progress
Burns, Olive: Cold Sassy Tree
Burgess, Anthony: A Clockwork Orange
Camus, Albert: Fall
Camus, Albert: Stranger
Cather, Willa: My Antonia
Cather, Willa: O Pioneers!
Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales
Chekov, Anton: Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate: The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph: Lord Jim
Cooper, James Fenimore: The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen: Red Badge of Courage
Dante: The Divine Comedy
Darwin, Charles: Origin of Species
deCervantes, Miguel: Don Quixote
De Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John: Letters from an American Farmer
De Saint-Exupery, Antonie: The Little Prince
Defoe, Daniel: Moll Flanders
Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles: Bleak House
Dickens, Charles: David Copperfield
Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations
Dickens, Charles: Hard Times
Dickens, Charles: Nicholas Nickleby
Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist
Dickens, Charles: Tale of Two Cities
Douglass, Frederick: My Bondage and My Freedom
Dostoevesky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
Dostoevesky, Fyodor: The Brothers Karamazov
Dostoevesky, Fyodor: The Idiot
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Lost World
Dreiser, Theodore: American Tragedy
Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie
Du Maurier, Daphne: Rebecca
Dumas, Alexandre: Count of Monte Cristo
Dumas, Alexandre: The Man in the Iron Mask
Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Muskateers
Eliot, T.S.: Murder in the Cathedral
Eliot, T.S.: The Waste Land
Eliott, George: Middlemarch
Eliott, George: Mill on the Floss
Eliott, George: Silas Marner
Ellison, Ralph: The Invisible Man
Euripedes: Medea
Faulk, Sebastian: Birdsong
Faulkner, William: Absalom, Absalom!
Faulkner, William: As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William: Light in August
Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry: Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott: Tender is the Night
Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Beautiful and Damned
Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustav: Madame Bovary
Forster, E.M.: Passage to India
Forster, E.M.: Room With a View
Franklin, Benjamin: Autobiography
Gaines, Ernest: A Lesson Before Dying
Goethe, Johann: Faust
Golding, William: Lord of the Flies
Greene, Graham: Brighton Rock
Greene, Graham: The Power and Glory
Hansberry, Lorraine: Raisin in the Sun
Hardy, Thomas: Far From the Madding Crowd
Hardy, Thomas: Jude the Obscure
Hardy, Thomas: Mayor of Casterbridge
Hardy, Thomas: Return of the Native
Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the D’Ubervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The House of Seven Gables
Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph: Catch-22
Hellman: Little Foxes
Hemingway, Ernest: A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway, Ernest: The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway, Ernest: The Sun Also Rises
Hesse, Hermann: Siddhartha
Hesse, Hermann: Steppenwolf
Homer: The Iliad
Homer: The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor: Les Miserables
Hugo, Victor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zore Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrick: Doll’s House
Ibsen, Henrick: Enemy of the People
Ishiguro, Kazuo: Remains of the Day
James, Henry: Daisy Miller
James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry: Turn of the Screw
James, Henry: Washington Square
Johnson, Ben: Volpone
Joyce, James: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Joyce, James: The Dead
Joyce, James: The Dubliners
Joyce, James: Ulysses
Kafka, Franz: Metamorphosis
Kafka, Franz: The Trial
Kerouac, Jack: On the Road
Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Kingsolver, Barbara: The Poisonwood Bible
Kipling, Rudyard: Kim
Knowles, John: A Separate Peace
Laurence, Margaret: The Stone Angel
Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Lawrence, D.H.: Sons and Lovers
Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair: Babbitt
Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
London, Jack: White Fang
Machiavelli, Niccolo: The Prince
Mann, Thomas: Death in Venice
Marlowe, Christopher: Doctor Faustus
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman: Billy Budd
Melville, Herman: Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur: Death of a Salesman
Miller, Arthur: The Crucible
Milton, John: Paradise Lost
Mitchell, Margaret: Gone with the Wind
Moliere: Misanthrope
More, Thomas: Utopia
Morrison, Toni: Beloved
Morrison, Toni: Song of Solomon
Morrison, Toni: Sula
Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye
Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita
Nabokov, Vladimir: Pnin
Norris, Frank: McTeague
O’Brian, Tim: Going After Cacciato
O’Conner, Flannery: Wise Blood
Orczy, Baroness: The Scarlet Pimpernel
Orwell, George: 1984
Orwell, George: Animal Farm
Paine, Thomas: Common Sense
Pasternak, Boris: Doctor Zhivago
Paton, Alan: Cry, the Beloved Country
Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar
Plato: The Trial and Death of Socrates
Pope, Alexander: Rape of the Lock
Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News
Rand, Ayn: Atlas Shrugged
Rand, Ayn: The Fountainhead
Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front
Rhys, Jean: Wide Sargasso Sea
Richardson, Samuel: Clarissa
Richardson, Samuel: Pamela
Rostand, Edmond: Cyrano de Bergerac
Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye
Scott, Sir Walter: Ivanhoe
Scott, Sir Walter: Lady of the Lake
Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William: A Winter’s Tale
Shakespeare, William: Antony and Cleopatra
Shakespeare, William: As You Like It
Shakespeare, William: Hamlet
Shakespeare, William: Henry IV
Shakespeare, William: Julius Caesar
Shakespeare, William: King Lear
Shakespeare, William: Macbeth
Shakespeare, William: Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare, William: Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare, William: Othello
Shakespeare, William: Richard III
Shakespeare, William: Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare, William: The Tempest
Shakespeare, William: Twelfth Night
Shaw, George Bernard: Mrs. Warren’s Profession
Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon: Ceremony
Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles: Antigone
Sophocles: Oedipus Rex
Spark, Muriel: Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men
Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath
Steinbeck, John: The Winter of Our Discontent
Steinbeck, John: Travels with Charley in Search of America
Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, Robert Louis: Treasure Island
Stoker, Bram: Dracula
Stoppard, Tom: Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead
Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathon: Gulliver’s Travels
Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club
Thackeray, William Makepeace: Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David: Civil Disobedience
Thoreau, Henry David: Walden
Tolkein, J.R.R.: The Hobbit
Tolkein, J.R.R.: The Lord of the Rings
Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina
Tolstoy, Leo: The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace
Trollope, Anthony: Barchester Towers
Turgenev, Ivan: Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Verne, Jules: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Verne, Jules: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Virgil: The Aenid
Voltaire: Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt: Slaughterhouse Five
Walker, Alice: The Color Purple
Welch, James: Winter in the Blood
Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine
Wells, H.G.: The War of the Worlds
Wharton, Edith: Ethan Frome
Wharton, Edith: The Age of Innocence
Wharton, Edith: The Glimpses of the Moon
Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth
White, T.H.: The Once and Future King
Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilder, Thornton: Our Town
Williams, Tennessee: A Streetcar Named Desire
Williams, Tennessee: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Williams, Tennessee: The Glass Menagerie
Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway
Woolf, Virginia: Night and Day
Woolf, Virginia: Room of One’s Own
Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse
Woolf, Virginia: The Voyage Out
Wright, Richard: Native Son
X, Malcom: The Autobiography of Malcom X
Zola, Emile: Germinal

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