1001 Penguin Classics To Read Whilst You’re Alive

*Click the link below for a downloadable copy of the reading list*

If you ever felt like that there isn’t enough time in life to read all the books you want to read (and by the way there isn’t), then this list is for you.

I wrote in my last blog post that I would post a list of 1001 Penguin Classics to read, and henceforth, here is the list.

I did not copy and paste this list from somewhere on the internet, I wrote it myself, beginning several months ago. The inspiration came from ‘The Penguin Classics Book’ by Henry Eliot, and in particular a quote of his at the beginning of the book which states:

“The 500 authors in this volume span 4,000 years of literary history, and their 1,200 books comprise over 500,000 pages of text. That means that if you found time to read 50 pages a day, every day of the week, it would take you 27 years to read them all”

Which got me thinking – ’27 years to read ‘The Best Books Ever Written’ that would seem worthwhile’. But alas, it is highly unlikely.

First of all, I simply don’t have the time right now to read 50 pages a day (maybe in the future), and try as I might, and though I love reading the classics of course, I can’t believe they would all keep my attention.

I therefore wanted to come up with a list of the Penguin Classics listed in the book, because a) the titles are not listed in the book as a list (see how they are presented in the image below), and b) to try and make a more realistic lifetime reading list of the Penguin Classics, whilst capturing the absolute essentials of the Penguin Classics series. Of course, 1001 is a widely recognised number when it comes to lists as well.

Now, if the 1200 books listed in the Penguin Classics Book, at 50 pages a day, takes 27 years to read, I calculate the average Penguin Classic is around 410 pages. If you read 50 pages a day of the list below, you could complete it in 22 and a half years.

Now that might still seem to be a ridiculous length of time to have a reading list (tucks away my 30 year reading plan), but to have read all the classics in this list would be an amazing literary compendium to have within your mind.

But again, I comeback to the fact that even at 1001 titles, it is likely to leave a lot of titles that just don’t do it for you. You could cut the list in half for yourself, and you would still have 500+ of the greatest books ever written, read in approximately 11 years, which would still be an incredible and satisfying experience.

But before I get to the list (and I can see you sitting there in eager anticipation), there are a few things to know:

Firstly, the books listed in The Penguin Classics Book only cover authors up to the period of the First World War. That is because Penguin also have their Modern Classics series, which takes up books written in the last 100 years. Therefore, this list contains no Joyce, Faulkner, Orwell, Lee, or many other great authors of the last 100 years, that seem indispensable to a classic reading list. Apparently, a Penguin Modern Classics Book is in the making.

Secondly, I have not included specific devotional books for major religions such as The Bible, The Qu’ran and The Bhagavad Gita. This is simply because followers of these and other religions would read these books anyway, regardless of their appearance in this list. There are many books included in this list that are related to, or highly influenced by religious thought and texts, but specific devotional books do not appear.

Thirdly, as you can see from early on in the list, where the authors are unknown, or are represented by a vast number of contributors, these simply appear blank.

Fourth, the order of the list is chronological but geographical as well, which is how they appear in The Penguin Classics Book. Therefore, generally the list runs from earliest to latest, but authors are grouped into geographical location along the timeline, so there will be some chronological overlap. Seriously, don’t get too hung up on this.

Fifth, I am not affiliated with Penguin Classics in any way and to prove my impartiality, I would like to say I am craving for Oxford University Press to release an ‘Oxford World’s Classics Book’ as well, but I don’t know if we will see that soon.

One final tip (because you really are getting restless now I can see) is to view this list if possible on a computer. I can’t imagine it would look easy to read on a phone, as some of the titles (and authors) are really, really long. But I hope it’s easily readable, and well, enjoy the list!

1The Epic of Gilgamesh
2The Egyptian Book of the Dead
3The Dead Sea Scrolls
4I Ching
5The Art of WarSun Tzu
6The AnalectsConfucius
7The Most Venerable BookConfucius
9Ta Hsueh and Chung YungConfucius
10Tao Te ChingLao Tzu
11The Book of Master MoMo Zi
12The IliadHomer
13The OdysseyHomer
14The Homeric Hymns
15Works and DaysHesiod
17Stung with LoveSappho
18The Complete FablesAesop
19The OresteiaAeschylus
20The Persians and Other PlaysAeschylus
21The Theban PlaysSophocles
22Electra and Other PlaysSophocles
23Alcestis and Other PlaysEuripedes
24Medea and Other PlaysEuripedes
25Electra and Other PlaysEuripedes
26Orestes and Other PlaysEuripedes
27The Bacchae and Other PlaysEuripedes
28Heracles and Other PlaysEuripedes
29Lysistrata and Other PlaysAristophanes
30The Frogs and Other PlaysAristophanes
31The Birds and Other PlaysAristophanes
32Early Greek Philosophy
33The Greek Sophists
34The Cynic Philosophers
35Hippocratic Writings
36The Last Days of SocratesPlato
37Early Socratic DialoguesPlato
39Protagoras and MenoPlato
40The RepublicPlato
41The SymposiumPlato
44Timaeus and CritiasPlato
46The LawsPlato
47De Anima (On the Soul)Aristotle
48The MetaphysicsAristotle
49The Nichomachean EthicsAristotle
50The PoliticsAristotle
51The Art of RhetoricAristotle
53The Athenian ConstitutionAristotle
54The HistoriesHerodutus
55History of the Peloponessian WarThucydides
56The Persian ExpeditionXenophon
57A History of My TimesXenophon
58Conversations of SocratesXenophon
59Hiero the Tyrant and Other TreatisesXenophon
60Plays and FragmentsMenander
61The Art of HappinessEpicurus
62The ArgonauticaApollonius of Rhodes
63The Greek Alexander Romance
64The Rise of the Roman EmpirePolybius
65The Pot of Gold and Other PlaysPlautus
66The Rope and Other PlaysPlautus
67The ComediesTerence
68The Nature of ThingsLucretius
69Murder TrialsCicero
70In Defence of the RepublicCicero
71Selected Political SpeechesCicero
72Selected LettersCicero
73On GovernmentCicero
74On the Good lifeCicero
75The Nature of the GodsCicero
76On Living and Dying WellCicero
77The Conquest of GaulJulius Caesar
78The Civil WarJulius Caesar
79Catline’s War, The Jugurthine War, HistoriesSallust
80The PoemsCatullus
81The EcloguesVirgil
82The GeorgicsVirgil
83The AeniedVirgil
84The Satires of Horace and PersiusHorace
85The Complete Odes and EpodesHorace
86The Early History of RomeLivy
87Rome and ItalyLivy
88The War with HannibalLivy
89Rome and the MediterraneanLivy
91The Erotic PoemsOvid
94The History of AlexanderQuintus Curtius Rufus
95Phaedra and Other PlaysSeneca
96Dialogues and LettersSeneca
97The SatyriconPetronius
98Natural HistoryPliny the Elder
99The Jewish WarJosephus
100Agricola and GermaniaTacitus
101The HistoriesTacitus
103The Letters of the Younger PlinyPliny the Younger
104The Twelve CaesarsSuetonius
105The Sixteen SatiresJuvenal
106The Golden AssApuleius
107MeditationsMarcus Aurelius
108The Rise and Fall of AthensPlutarch
109On SpartaPlutarch
110The Age of AlexanderPlutarch
111The Rise of RomePlutarch
112The Makers of RomePlutarch
113Rome in CrisisPlutarch
114Fall of the Roman RepublicPlutarch
116Discourse and Selected WritingsEpictetus
117The Campaigns of AlexanderArrian
118Guide to GreecePausanius
119Chattering CourtesansLucian
120The Civil WarsAppian
121Daphnis and ChloeLongus
122The Roman HistoryCassius Dio
123The EnneadsPlotinus
124Lives of the Later Caesars
125The Later Roman EmpireAmmianus Marcellinus
126The Digest of Roman LawJustinian
127The Secret HistoryProcopius
128Fourteen Byzantine RulersMichael Psellus
129The AlexiadAnna Komnene
130Early Christian Writings
131The History of the ChurchEusebius
132Lives of Roman Christian Women
133The Desert Fathers
134ConfessionsSt. Augustine
135City of GodSt. Augustine
136Early Christian Lives
137The Rule of Benedict
138The Consolation of PhilosophyBoethius
139Life of St. ColumbaAdomnan of Iona
140The Ecclesiastical History of the English PeopleBede
141The Prayers and Mediatations of Saint AnselmSt. Anselm
142The Life and Passion of William of NorwichThomas of Monmouth
143Selected WritingsThomas Aquinas
144The Golden LegendJacobus de Voragine
145Selected WritingsMeister Eckhart
146The Cloud of Unknowing
147English Mystery Plays
148Revelations of Divine LoveJulian Norwich
149The Book of Margery KempeMargery Kempe
150The Imitation of ChristThomas å Kempis
151Personal WritingsSt. Ignatius of Loyola
152The Life of Saint TeresaSt. Teresa of Avila
153The History of the FranksGregory of Tours
154Alfred the GreatAsser
155Medieval Writings on Secular Women
156Chronicles of the First Crusade
157The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
158The History of the Kings of BritainGeoffrey of Monmouth
159The History and Topography of IrelandGerald of Wales
160The Journey through WalesGerald of Wales
161Magna Carta
162The TravelsMarco Polo
163ChroniclesJean Froissart
164The First Poems in English
165Early Irish Myths and Sagas
167A Celtic Miscellany
168The Song of Roland
169The Poem of Cid
170Selections from the Carmina Burana
171The Romance of TristanBeroul
172Arthurian RomancesChretien de Troyes
173The Tain
174The Mabinogion
175The Niebelungenlied
176TristanGottfried von Strassburg
177ParzivalWolfram von Eschenbach
178WillehalmWolfram von Eschenbach
179The Death of King Arthur
180Vita Nuova (Poems of Youth)Dante
181The Divine Comedy: InfernoDante
182The Divine Comedy: PurgatoryDante
183The Divine Comedy: ParadiseDante
185The DecameronGiovanni Boccaccio
186The Works of the Gawain PoetThe ‘Gawain Poet’
187Piers the PloughmanWilliam Langland
188The Canterbury TalesGeoffrey Chaucer
189Troilus and CriseydeGeoffrey Chaucer
190The Treasure of the City of LadiesChristine de Pizan
191Le Morte D’ArthurThomas Malory
192The Prose EddaSnorri Sturluson
193King Harald’s SagaSnorri Sturluson
194The Vinland Sagas
195Orekneyinga Saga
196Egil’s Saga
197The Saga of the People of Laxardal
198The Elder Edda
199The Saga of the Volsungs
200Njal’s Saga
201Hrafnkel’s Saga
202Comic Sagas and Tales from Iceland
203Seven Viking Romances
204Sagas of Warrior-Poets
205The Saga of Grettir the Strong
206The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
207The Thousand and One Nights
208The Book of Dede Korkut
209Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
210The Book of ContemplationUsama ibn Munqidh
211ShahnamehAbolqasem Ferdowsi
212The Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam
213The Conference of the BirdsFarid Attar
214Selected PoemsRumi
215Spiritual VersesRumi
216The Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden
217The HitopadesaNarayana
218Speaking of Siva
219The Five-and-Twenty Tales of the GenieSivadasa
220Thirty-Two Tales of the Throne of VikramadityaSimhasana Dvatrimsika
221A Tale of Four DervishesMir Amman
222The Tibetan Book of the Dead
223The Life of MilarepaTsangnyon Heruka
224PoemsWang Wei
225PoemsLi Po and Tu Fu
226The Romance of the Three KingdomsLuo Guanzhong
227MonkeyWu Ch’eng-en
228Strange Tales from a Chinese StudioPu Songling
229The Story of the Stone: Volume 1Cao Xueqin
230The Story of the Stone: Volume 2Cao Xueqin
231The Story of the Stone: Volume 3Cao Xueqin
232The Story of the Stone: Volume 4Cao Xueqin
233The Story of the Stone: Volume 5Cao Xueqin
234Six Records of a Floating LifeShen Fu
235The Story of Hong Gildong
236The Tales of Ise
237The Pillow BookSei Shonagon
238The Diary of Lady MurasakiMurasaki Shikibu
239The Tale of GenjiMurasaki Shikibu
240As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
241Essays in Idleness and HojokiKenko and Chomei
242The Tale of the Heike
243Japanese No Dramas
244The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthMatsuo Basho
245On Love and BarleyMatsuo Basho
246African Myths of Origin
247SunjataBamba Suso and Banna Kanute
248On PaintingLeon Battista Alberti
249Praise of FollyErasmus
250The PrinceNiccolo Machiavelli
251The DiscoursesNiccolo Machiavelli
252UtopiaThomas More
253The Ninety-Five TheseMartin Luther
254The Dance of DeathHans Holbein
255The Obedience of a Christina ManWilliam Tyndale
256Gargantua and PantagruelFrancois Rabelais
257A Short Account of the Destruction of the IndiesBartolome de las Casas
258The Book of Common Prayer
259Two Spanish Picaresque NovelsTormes and The Swindler
260The PropheciesNostradamus
261The HeptameronMarguerite de Navarre
262AutobiographyBenvenuto Cellini
263EssaysMichel de Montaigne
264The Unfortunate TravellerThomas Nashe
265EssaysFrancis Bacon
266Orlando FuriosoLudovico Ariosto
267Poems and LettersMichelangelo
268The Complete PoemsThomas Wyatt
269The LusiadsLuis Vaz de Camoes
270The Fairie QueenEdmund Spenser
271The Shorter PoemsEdmund Spenser
272Renaissance Women PoetsWhitney, Sidney and Lanyer
273The Countess of Pembroke’s ArcadiaPhilip Sidney
274The SolitudesLuis de Gongora
275The Complete PlaysChristopher Marlowe
276A Lover’s ComplaintWilliam Shakespeare
277A Midsummer Night’s DreamWilliam Shakespeare
278All’s Well that Ends WellWilliam Shakespeare
279Anthony & CleopatraWilliam Shakespeare
280As You Like ItWilliam Shakespeare
281CoriolanusWilliam Shakespeare
282CymbelineWilliam Shakespeare
283HamletWilliam Shakespeare
284Henry IV, Part IWilliam Shakespeare
285Henry IV, Part IIWilliam Shakespeare
286Henry VWilliam Shakespeare
287Henry VI, Part IWilliam Shakespeare
288Henry VI, Part IIWilliam Shakespeare
289Henry VI, Part IIIWilliam Shakespeare
290Henry VIIIWilliam Shakespeare
291Julius CaesarWilliam Shakespeare
292King JohnWilliam Shakespeare
293King LearWilliam Shakespeare
294Love’s Labour’s LostWilliam Shakespeare
295MacbethWilliam Shakespeare
296Measure for MeasureWilliam Shakespeare
297Much Ado About NothingWilliam Shakespeare
298OthelloWilliam Shakespeare
299PericlesWilliam Shakespeare
300Richard IIWilliam Shakespeare
301Richard IIIWilliam Shakespeare
302Romeo & JulietWilliam Shakespeare
303The Comedy of ErrorsWilliam Shakespeare
304The Merchant of VeniceWilliam Shakespeare
305The Merry Wives of WindsorWilliam Shakespeare
306The SonnetsWilliam Shakespeare
307The Taming of the ShrewWilliam Shakespeare
308The TempestWilliam Shakespeare
309The Two Gentleman of VeronaWilliam Shakespeare
310The Two Noble KinsmenWilliam Shakespeare
311The Winter’s TaleWilliam Shakespeare
312Timon of AthensWilliam Shakespeare
313Titus AndronicusWilliam Shakespeare
314Troilus & CressidaWilliam Shakespeare
315Twelfth NightWilliam Shakespeare
316Valpone and Other PlaysBen Jonson
317Five PlaysThomas Middleton
318Three PlaysJohn Webster
319The Duchess of Malfi and Other PlaysJonh Webster and John Ford
320The Complete PoetryGeorge Herbert
321Areopagitica and Other WritingsJohn Milton
322Paradise LostJohn Milton
323Selected PoemsJohn Dryden
324The Rape of the Lock and Other WritingsAlexander Pope
325Exemplary StoriesCervantes
326Don QuixoteCervantes
327The Tale of TalesGiambattista Basile
328The Blazing World and Other WritingsMargaret Cavendish
329The Adventures of Simplicius SimplicissimusHans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen
330Selected FablesJean de la Fontaine
331The Princess de ClevesMadame de Lafayette
332OroonokoAphra Behn
333The StormDaniel Defoe
334Robinson CrusoeDaniel Defoe
335A Journal of the Plague YearDaniel Defoe
336Moll FlandersDaniel Defoe
337RoxanaDaniel Defoe
338Persian LettersMontesquieu
339Gulliver’s TravelsJonathan Swift
340Manon LescautAbbe Prevost
341PamelaSamuel Richardson
342ClarissaSamuel Richardson
343Joseph Andrews and ShamelaHenry Fielding
344The History of Tom JonesHenry Fielding
345Fanny HillJohn Cleland
346Roderick RandomTobias Smollett
347Humphry ClinkerTobias Smollett
348The Female QuixoteCharlotte Lennox
349Tristram ShandyLaurence Sterne
350A Sentimental Journey through France and ItalyLaurence Sterne
351The Castle of OtrantoHorace Walpole
352The Vicar of WakefieldOliver Goldsmith
353EvelinaFrances Burney
354Journals and LettersFrances Burney
355Dangerous LiaisonsPierre Choderlas de Laclos
356The Cid, Cinna, The Theatrical IllusionPierre Corneille
357The Misanthrope and Other PlaysMoliere
358The Miser and Other PlaysMoliere
359Iphigenia, Phaedra, AsthaliahJean Racine
360The Way of the World and Other PlaysWilliam Congreve
361The Beggar’s OperaJohn Gay
362The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of FigaroPierre Beaumarchais
363The School for Scandal and Other PlaysRichard Brinsley Sheridan
364Discourse on MethodRene Descartes
365Meditations and Other Metaphysical WritingsRene Descartes
366The Pocker Oracle and Art of PrudenceBaltasar Gracian
367LeviathanThomas Hobbes
368MaximsFrancois de la Rochefoucauld
369PenseesBlaise Pascal
370Grace Abounding to the Chief of SinnersJohn Bunyan
371The Pilgrim’s ProgressJohn Bunyan
372EthicsBenedict de Spinoza
373An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingJohn Locke
374The Fable of the BeesBernard Mandeville
375Principles of Human KnowledgeGeorge Berkeley
376New ScienceGiambattista Vito
377A Treatise of Human NatureDavid Hume
378Dialogues Concerning Natural ReligionDavid Hume
379Letters on EnglandVoltaire
380Zadig and L’IngenuVoltaire
382Treatise on TolerationVoltaire
383A Discourse on InequalityJean-Jacques Rousseau
384Emile or, On EducationJean-Jacques Rousseau
385The Social ContractJean-Jacques Rousseau
386The ConfessionsJean-Jacques Rousseau
387Reveries of the Solitary WalkerJean-Jacques Rousseau
388A Philosophical EnquiryEdmund Burke
389Reflections on the Revolution in FranceEdmund Burke
390The Theory of Moral SentimentsAdam Smith
391The Wealth of NationsAdam Smith
392The NunDenis Diderot
393Rameau’s Nephew and D’Alembert’s DreamDenis Diderot
394Jacques the FatalistDenis Diderot
395Critique of Pure ReasonImmanuel Kant
396The Anatomy of MelancholyRobert Burton
397The Major WorksSir Thomas Browne
398Selected LettersMadame de Sevigne
399The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A SelectionSamuel Pepys
400Selected LettersLady Mary Wortley Montagu
401Selected EssaysSamuel Johnson
402The History of RasselasSamuel Johnson
403The Life of Samuel JohnsonJames Boswell
404The JournalsCaptain Cook
405The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman EmpireEdward Gibbon
406The Natural History of SelborneGilbert White
407The Interesting NarrativeOlaudah Equiano
408A life in LettersWolfgang Amadeus Mozart
409The Story of My lifeGiacomo Casanova
410Selected PoemsGeorge Crabbe
411PoemsWilliam Blake
412Selected PoemsRobert Burns
413Lyrical BalladsWilliam Wordsworth
414The PreludeWilliam Wordsworth
415Selected PoemsWilliam Wordsworth
416PoemsSamuel Taylor Coleridge
417Selected PoemsLord Byron
418Don JuanLord Byron
419Selected Poems and ProsePercy Bysshe Shelley
420Selected PoemsJohn Clare
421PoemsJohn Keats
422Selected LettersJohn Keats
423Vathek and Other StoriesWilliam Beckford
424A Simple StoryElizabeth Inchbald
425The Mysteries of UdolphoAnn Radcliffe
426The ItalianAnn Radcliffe
427The MonkMatthew Lewis
428Castle Rackrent and EnnuiMaria Edgeworth
429The AbsenteeMaria Edgeworth
430Love and FreindshipJane Austen
431Lady Susan, The Watsons and SanditonJane Austen
432Northanger AbbeyJane Austen
433Sense and SensibilityJane Austen
434Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen
435Mansfield ParkJane Austen
436EmmaJane Austen
437PersuasionJane Austen
438WaverleyWalter Scott
439Guy ManneringWalter Scott
440Rob RoyWalter Scott
441The Heart of Mid-LothianWalter Scott
442The Bride of LammermoorWalter Scott
443IvanhoeWalter Scott
444KenilworthWalter Scott
445Chronicles of the CanongateWalter Scott
446FrankensteinMary Shelley
447Melmoth the WandererCharles Maturin
448A Short Residence in SwedenMary Wollstonecraft
449Caleb WilliamsWilliam Godwin
450Selected ProseCharles Lamb
451A New View of SocietyRobert Owen
452Confessions of an English Opium EaterThomas de Quincey
453Rural RidesWilliam Cobbett
454Principles of GeologyCharles Lyell
455Sketches by BozCharles Dickens
456A Christmas Carol and Other WritingsCharles Dickens
457The Pickwick PapersCharles Dickens
458Oliver TwistCharles Dickens
459Nicholas NicklebyCharles Dickens
460The Old Curiosity ShopCharles Dickens
461Barnaby RudgeCharles Dickens
462Martin ChuzzlewitCharles Dickens
463Dombey and SonCharles Dickens
464David CopperfieldCharles Dickens
465Bleak HouseCharles Dickens
466Hard TimesCharles Dickens
467Little DorritCharles Dickens
468A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens
469Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens
470Our Mutual FriendCharles Dickens
471The Mystery of Edwin DroodCharles Dickens
472Tales of AngriaCharlotte Bronte
473The ProfessorCharlotte Bronte
474Jane EyreCharlotte Bronte
475ShirleyCharlotte Bronte
476VilletteCharlotte Bronte
477Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte
478The Complete PoemsEmily Bronte
479Agnes GreyAnne Bronte
480The Tenant of Wildfell HallAnne Bronte
481Vanity FairWilliam Makepeace Thackeray
482Mary BartonElizabeth Gaskell
483CranfordElizabeth Gaskell
484Gothic TalesElizabeth Gaskell
485RuthElizabeth Gaskell
486North and SouthElizabeth Gaskell
487The Life of Charlotte BronteElizabeth Gaskell
488Sylvia’s LoversElizabeth Gaskell
489Wives and DaughtersElizabeth Gaskell
490The WardenAnthony Trollope
491Barchester TowersAnthony Trollope
492Doctor ThorneAnthony Trollope
493Framley ParsonageAnthony Trollope
494The Small House at AllingtonAnthony Trollope
495The Last Chronicle of BarsetAnthony Trollope
496Can You Forgive Her?Anthony Trollope
497Phineas FinnAnthony Trollope
498The Eustace DiamondsAnthony Trollope
499Phineas ReduxAnthony Trollope
500The Prime MinisterAnthony Trollope
501The Duke’s ChildrenAnthony Trollope
502He Knew He Was RightAnthony Trollope
503The Way We Live NowAnthony Trollope
504Dr. Wortle’s SchoolAnthony Trollope
505News from Nowhere and Other WritingsWilliam Morris
506Scenes of Clerical LifeGeorge Eliot
507Adam BedeGeorge Eliot
508The Mill on the FlossGeorge Eliot
509Silas MarnerGeorge Eliot
510RomolaGeorge Eliot
511Felix HoltGeorge Eliot
512MiddlemarchGeorge Eliot
513Daniel DerondaGeorge Eliot
514The Woman in WhiteWilkie Collins
515No NameWilkie Collins
516ArmadaleWilkie Collins
517The MoonstoneWilkie Collins
518The Law and the LadyWilkie Collins
519Lady Audley’s SecretMary Elizabeth Braddon
520The Water BabiesCharles Kingsley
521The Complete Fairy TalesGeorge MacDonald
522Uncle SilasJ. Sheridan Le Fanu
523Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll
524Through the Looking GlassLewis Carroll
525Jabberwocky and Other NonsenseLewis Carroll
526The Hunting of the SnarkLewis Carroll
527Miss MarjoribanksMargaret Oliphant
528Lorna DooneR. D. Blackmore
529Desperate RemediesThomas Hardy
530Under the Greenwood TreeThomas Hardy
531A Pair of Blue EyesThomas Hardy
532Far from the Madding CrowdThomas Hardy
533The Withered Arm and Other StoriesThomas Hardy
534The Hand of EthelbertaThomas Hardy
535The Return of the NativeThomas Hardy
536The Trumpet-MajorThomas Hardy
537The Distracted Preacher and Other TalesThomas Hardy
538A LaodeceanThomas Hardy
539Two on a TowerThomas Hardy
540The Mayor of CasterbridgeThomas Hardy
541The WoodlandersThomas Hardy
542The Fiddler of the Reels and Other StoriesThomas Hardy
543The Well-BelovedThomas Hardy
544Jude the ObscureThomas Hardy
545PoemsThomas Hardy
546ErewhonSamuel Butler
547The Way of All FleshSamuel Butler
548Black BeautyAnna Sewell
549The EgoistGeorge Meredith
550Treasure IslandRobert Louis Stevenson
551The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr HydeRobert Louis Stevenson
552The Black ArrowRobert Louis Stevenson
553KidnappedRobert Louis Stevenson
554The Master of BallantraeRobert Louis Stevenson
555PoemsRobert Louis Stevenson
556The Story of an African FarmOlive Schreiner
557FlatlandEdwin A. Abbott
558The Soul of Man under SocialismOscar Wilde
559Complete Short FictionOscar Wilde
560The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde
561The Importance of Being Earnest and Other PlaysOscar Wilde
562De ProfundisOscar Wilde
563King Solomon’s MinesH. Rider Haggard
564SheH. Rider Haggard
565A Study in ScarletArthur Conan Doyle
566The Sign of FourArthur Conan Doyle
567The Adventures and The Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesArthur Conan Doyle
568The Hound of the BaskervillesArthur Conan Doyle
569The Return of Sherlock HolmesArthur Conan Doyle
570The Valley of FearArthur Conan Doyle
571The Lost WorldArthur Conan Doyle
572The Man Who Would Be KingRudyard Kipling
573Plain Tales from the HillsRudyard Kipling
574The Jungle BooksRudyard Kipling
575KimRudyard Kipling
576Just So StoriesRudyard Kipling
577PoemsRudyard Kipling
578Three Men in a BoatJerome K. Jerome
579Three Men on the BummelJerome K. Jerome
580New Grub StreetGeorge Gissing
581The Odd WomenGeorge Gissing
582The WhirlpoolGeorge Gissing
583The Diary of a NobodyGeorge and Weedon Grossmith
584The Great God PanArthur Machen
585The White People and other Weird StoriesArthur Machen
586The Country of the Blind and Other StoriesH. G. Wells
587The Time MachineH. G. Wells
588The Island of Doctor MoreauH. G. Wells
589The Invisible ManH. G. Wells
590The War of the WorldsH. G. Wells
591The Sleeper AwakesH. G. Wells
592Love and Mr LewishamH. G. Wells
593The First Men in the MoonH. G. Wells
594KippsH. G. Wells
595A Modern UtopiaH. G. Wells
596The War in the AirH. G. Wells
597Tono-BungayH. G. Wells
598Ann VeronicaH. G. Wells
599The History of Mr PollyH. G. Wells
600The New MachiavelliH. G. Wells
601The Shape of Things to ComeH. G. Wells
602DraculaBram Stoker
603Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird StoriesBram Stoker
604The BeetleRichard Marsh
605Elizabeth and Her German GardenElizabeth von Arnim
606The Enchanted AprilElizabeth von Arnim
607Aurora Leigh and Other PoemsElizabeth Barrett Browning
608The Complete Nonsense and Other VerseEdward Lear
609Selected PoemsAlfred, Lord Tennyson
610Idylls of the KingAlfred, Lord Tennyson
611Selected PoemsRobert Browning
612PoemsChristina Rossetti
613Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in CalydonAlgernon Charles Swinburne
614Poems and ProseGerard Manley Hopkins
615Writings on Irish Folklore, Legend and MythW. B. Yeats
616Selected Poems 1889-1938W. B. Yeats
617When You Are OldW. B. Yeats
618Selected PlaysW. B. Yeats
619A Shropshire LadA. E. Houseman
620SpunyarnJohn Masefield
621On the Origin of SpeciesCharles Darwin
622The Descent of ManCharles Darwin
623AutobiographiesCharles Darwin
624The Expression of the Emotions in Man and AnimalsCharles Darwin
625Unto This Last and Other WritingsJohn Ruskin
626Culture and AnarchyMatthew Arnold
627Records of Shelley, Byron and the AuthorEdward John Trelawny
628Utilitarianism and Other EssaysJohn Stuart Mill
629On LibertyJohn Stuart Mill
630AutobiographyJohn Stuart Mill
631The Malay ArchipelagoAlfred Russell Wallace
632Apologia Pro Vita SuaJohn Henry Newman
633The Golden BoughJames Frazer
634A Woman in ArabiaGertrude Bell
635Travels in West AfricaMary Kingsley
636The Secret Sharer and Other StoriesJoseph Conrad
637Heart of DarknessJoseph Conrad
638Lord JimJoseph Conrad
639Typhoon and Other StoriesJoseph Conrad
640NostromoJoseph Conrad
641The Secret AgentJoseph Conrad
642Under Western EyesJoseph Conrad
643ChanceJoseph Conrad
644VictoryJoseph Conrad
645The Shadow-lineJoseph Conrad
646Anna of the Five TownsArnold Bennett
647The Old Wives’ TaleArnold Bennett
648The CardArnold Bennett
649Riceyman StepsArnold Bennett
650The Complete Short StoriesSaki
651Peter PanJ.M. Barrie
652The Riddle of the SandsErskine Childers
653Hadrian the SeventhFrederick Baron Corvo
654Count Magnus and Other Ghost StoriesM. R. James
655The Haunted Doll’s House and Other Ghost StoriesM. R. James
656Where Angels Fear to TreadE. M. Forster
657The Longest JourneyE. M. Forster
658A Room with a ViewE. M. Forster
659Howards EndE. M. Forster
660MauriceE. M. Forster
661A Passage to IndiaE. M. Forster
662Selected StoriesE. M. Forster
663The Forsyte SagaJohn Galsworthy
664The Fifth QueenFord Madox Ford
665The Good SoldierFord Madox Ford
666Parade’s EndFord Madox Ford
667Selected StoriesD. H. Lawrence
668The Prussian Officer and Other StoriesD. H. Lawrence
669Sons and LoversD. H. Lawrence
670Selected PoemsD. H. Lawrence
671The RainbowD. H. Lawrence
672Sea and SardiniaD. H. Lawrence
673Woman in LoveD. H. Lawrence
674The Fox, The Captain’s Doll, The LadybirdD. H. Lawrence
675The Woman Who Rode Away and Other StoriesD. H. Lawrence
676Lady Chatterley’s LoverD. H. Lawrence
677Apocalypse and the Writings on RevelationD. H. Lawrence
678The Wind in the WillowsKenneth Grahame
679The Man Who Was ThursdayG. K. Chesterton
680The Complete Father Brown StoriesG. K. Chesterton
681The Ragged Trousered PhilanthropistsRobert Tressell
682Plays UnpleasantGeorge Bernard Shaw
683Plays PleasantGeorge Bernard Shaw
684Three Play for PuritansGeorge Bernard Shaw
685Man and SupermanGeorge Bernard Shaw
686John Bull’s Other IslandGeorge Bernard Shaw
687Major BarbaraGeorge Bernard Shaw
688The Doctor’s DilemmaGeorge Bernard Shaw
689Misalliance and The Fascinating FoundlingGeorge Bernard Shaw
690The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet and Fanny’s First PlayGeorge Bernard Shaw
691Androcles and the LionGeorge Bernard Shaw
692PygmalionGeorge Bernard Shaw
693Heartbreak HouseGeorge Bernard Shaw
694Back to MethuselahGeorge Bernard Shaw
695Saint JoanGeorge Bernard Shaw
696Selected Short PlaysGeorge Bernard Shaw
697Plays PoliticalGeorge Bernard Shaw
698Plays ExtravagantGeorge Bernard Shaw
699Last PlaysGeorge Bernard Shaw
700The Playboy of the Western World and Other PlaysJ. M. Synge
701The Aran IslandsJ. M. Synge
702The Essential KeynesJohn Maynard Keynes
703Father and SonEdmund Gosse
704Eminent VictoriansLytton Strachey
705The Journal of a Disappointed Man and A Last DiaryW. N. P. Barbellion
706AdolpheBenjamin Constant
708The Red and the BlackStendhal
709The Life of Henry BrulardStendhal
710The Charterhouse of ParmaStendhal
711Notre-Dame de ParisVictor Hugo
712Les MisérablesVictor Hugo
713Selected Short StoriesHonoré de Balzac
714The Wild Ass’s SkinHonoré de Balzac
715Eugenie GrandetHonoré de Balzac
716Pere GoriotHonoré de Balzac
717History of the ThirteenHonoré de Balzac
718Lost IllusionsHonoré de Balzac
719A Harlot High and LowHonoré de Balzac
720The Black SheepHonoré de Balzac
721Ursule MirouetHonoré de Balzac
722Cousin BetteHonoré de Balzac
723Cousin PonsHonoré de Balzac
724The Confessions of a Child of the CenturyAlfred de Musset
725The Mysteries of ParisEugene Sue
726The Three MusketeersAlexandre Dumas
727The Count of Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas
728The Women’s WarAlexandre Dumas
729The Man in the Iron MaskAlexandre Dumas
730The Black TulipAlexandre Dumas
731The Lady of the CamelliasAlexandre Dumas fils
732Madame BovaryGustave Flaubert
733SalammboGustave Flaubert
734Sentimental EducationGustave Flaubert
735Three TalesGustave Flaubert
736Journey to the Centre of the EarthJules Verne
737Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules Verne
738Around the World in Eighty DaysJules Verne
739Therese RaquinÉmile Zola
740The Drinking Den (L’Assommoir)Émile Zola
741NanaÉmile Zola
742Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Delight)Émile Zola
743GerminalÉmile Zola
744The Earth (La Terre)Émile Zola
745The Beast Within (La Bete Humaine)Émile Zola
746The DebacleÉmile Zola
747Letters from My WindmillAlphonse Daudet
748A Parisian Affair and Other StoriesGuy de Maupassant
749Bel-AmiGuy de Maupassant
750Pierre and JeanGuy de Maupassant
751Against NatureJ.-K. Huysmans
752The DamnedJ.-K. Huysmans
753TrilbyGeorge Du Maurier
754Cyrano de BergeracEdmond Rostand
755The ImmoralistAndré Gide
756Strait is the GateAndré Gide
757The CounterfeitersAndré Gide
758Arsene LupinMaurice Leblanc
759The Phantom of the OperaGaston Leroux
760The Gods Will Have BloodAnatole France
761The Lost EstateAlain-Fournier
762Memoirs from Beyond the TombFrancois-Rene de Chateaubriand
763The Warrior’s LifeAlfred de Vigny
764Democracy in AmericaAlexis de Tocqueville
765The Ancien Régime and the RevolutionAlexis de Tocqueville
766Letters from RussiaAstolphe de Custine
767On SuicideÉmile Durkheim
768Selected WritingsGerard de Nerval
769Selected PoemsCharles-Pierre Baudelaire
770Maldoror and PoemsLautréamont
771Selected Poems and LettersArthur Rimbaud
772CantiGiacomo Leopardi
773ZibaldoneGiacomo Leopardi
774The BetrothedAlessandro Manzoni
775Confessions of an ItalianIppolito Nievo
776Cavalleria Rusticana and Other StoriesGiovanni Verga
777PleasureGabriele d’Annunzio
778Max HavelaarMultatuli
779The LettersVincent Van Gogh
780La RegentaLeopoldo Alas
781The House of UlloaEmilia Pardo Bazan
782Fortunata and JacintaBenito Pérez Galdos
783The Sorrows of Young WertherJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
784Selected PoetryJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
785Italian JourneyJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
786Faust Part IJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
787Faust Part IIJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
788Elective AffinitiesJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
789Maxims and ReflectionsJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
790Romantic Fairy TalesGoethe / Tieck / Fouque / Brentano
791The Robbers and WallensteinFriedrich Schiller
792On the Aesthetic Education of ManFriedrich Schiller
793Mary StuartFriedrich Schiller
794Selected Poems and FragmentsFriedrich Holderlin
795Essays and LettersFriedrich Holderlin
796The Marquise of O- and Other StoriesHeinrich von Kleist
797Complete Plays and LenzGeorg Buchner
798The Treasure ChestJohann Peter Hebel
799TalesJacob and Wilhelm Grimm
800Tales of HoffmannE. T. A. Hoffmann
801The life and Opinions of the Tomcat MurrE. T. A. Hoffmann
802The Harz JourneyHeinrich Heine
803Selected VerseHeinrich Heine
804Rhe Ring of the NibelungRichard Wagner
805Mozart’s Journey to PragueEduard Morike
806The Turnip Princess and Other Fairy TalesFranz Xaver von Schonwerth
807On Tangled PathsTheodor Fontane
808No Way BackTheodor Fontane
809Effi BriestTheodor Fontane
810On WarCarl von Clausewitz
811Introductory Lectures on AestheticsGeorg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
812The Communist ManifestoKarl Marx
813GrundrisseKarl Marx
814CapitalKarl Marx
815The Origin of the Family, Private Property and The StateFriedrich Engels
816Essays and AphorismsArthur Schopenhauer
817The Birth of TragedyFriedrich Nietzsche
818Human, All Too HumanFriedrich Nietzsche
819The Joyous ScienceFriedrich Nietzsche
820Thus Spoke ZarathustraFriedrich Nietzsche
821Beyond Good and EvilFriedrich Nietzsche
822On the Genealogy of MoralsFriedrich Nietzsche
823Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-ChristFriedrich Nietzsche
824Ecco HomoFriedrich Nietzsche
825The Will to PowerFriedrich Nietzsche
826The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of CapitalismMax Weber
827The Manuscript Found in SaragossaJan Potocki
828The AssistantRobert Walser
829Venus in FursLeopold von Sacher-Masoch
830Studies in HysteriaSigmund Freud
831Interpreting DreamsSigmund Freud
832The UncannySigmund Freud
833The Psycho-pathology of Everyday LifeSigmund Freud
834The Joke and Its Relation to the UnconsciousSigmund Freud
835The Psychology of LoveSigmund Freud
836Mass PsychologySigmund Freud
837The ‘Wolfman’ and Other CasesSigmund Freud
838The UnconsciousSigmund Freud
839Beyond the Pleasure PrincipleSigmund Freud
840Civilization and Its DiscontentsSigmund Freud
841An Outline of PsychoanalysisSigmund Freud
842My Inventions and Other WritingsNikola Tesla
843Letters to a Young Poet & The Letter from a Young WorkerRainer Maria Rilke
844Selected PoemsRainer Maria Rilke
845The Notebooks of Malte Laurids BriggeRainer Maria Rilke
846The Scarlet PimpernelBaroness Orczy
847The Confusions of Young TorlessRobert Musil
848Fairy TalesHans Christian Andersen
849Either/OrSøren Kierkegaard
850Fear and TremblingSøren Kierkegaard
851A Literary ReviewSøren Kierkegaard
852The Sickness unto DeathSøren Kierkegaard
853Papers and JournalsSøren Kierkegaard
854Niels LyhneJens Peter Jacobsen
855Peer Gynt and BrandHenrik Ibsen
856A Doll’s House and Other PlaysHenrik Ibsen
857Heddo Gabler and Other PlaysHenrik Ibsen
858Ghosts and Other PlaysHenrik Ibsen
859The Master Builder and Other PlaysHenrik Ibsen
860Three PlaysAugust Strindberg
861The Saga of Gosta BerlingSelma Lagerlof
862The Wonderful Adventure of Nils HolgerssonSelma Lagerlof
863Eugene OneginAlexander Pushkin
864The Bronze Horseman and Other PoemsAlexander Pushkin
865The Queen of Spades and Other StoriesAlexander Pushkin
866Novels, Tales, JourneysAlexander Pushkin
867Tales of BelkinAlexander Pushkin
868The Diary of a Madman and Selected StoriesNikolay Gogol
869Dead SoulsNikolay Gogol
870A Hero of Our TimeMikhail Lermontov
871Poor Folk and Other StoriesFyodor Dostoyevsky
872Notes from the Underground and The DoubleFyodor Dostoyevsky
873The Gambler and Other StoriesFyodor Dostoyevsky
874Netochka NezvanovaFyodor Dostoyevsky
875The Village of StepanchikovoFyodor Dostoyevsky
876The House of the DeadFyodor Dostoyevsky
877Crime and PunishmentFyodor Dostoyevsky
878The IdiotFyodor Dostoyevsky
879DemonsFyodor Dostoyevsky
880The Brothers KaramazovFyodor Dostoyevsky
881Sketches from a Hunter’s AlbumIvan Turgenev
882RudinIvan Turgenev
883Home of the GentryIvan Turgenev
884On the EveIvan Turgenev
885First LoveIvan Turgenev
886Fathers and SonsIvan Turgenev
887Spring TorrentsIvan Turgenev
888Childhood, Boyhood, YouthLeo Tolstoy
889The Cossacks and Other StoriesLeo Tolstoy
890The Kreutzer Sonata and Other StoriesLeo Tolstoy
891The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other StoriesLeo Tolstoy
892Master and Man and Other StoriesLeo Tolstoy
893War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy
894Anna KareninaLeo Tolstoy
895A Confession and Other Religious WritingsLeo Tolstoy
896What is Art?Leo Tolstoy
897ResurrectionLeo Tolstoy
898Last Steps – The Late Writings of Leo TolstoyLeo Tolstoy
899OblomovIvan Goncharov
900Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Other StoriesNikolai Leskov
901The Shooting PartyAnton Chekhov
902PlaysAnton Chekhov
903The Steppe and Other StoriesAnton Chekhov
904Ward No. 6 and Other StoriesAnton Chekhov
905The Lady with the Little Dog and Other StoriesAnton Chekhov
906A Life in LettersAnton Chekhov
907Tevye the Dairyman and Motl the Cantor’s SonSholem Aleichem
908The Little DemonFyodor Sologub
909PetersburgAndrei Bely
910The Conquest of BreadPeter Kropotkin
911My ChildhoodMaxim Gorky
912Selected PoemsRabindranath Tagore
913Selected Short StoriesRabindranath Tagore
914The Home and the WorldRabindranath Tagore
915Noli Me TangereJosé Rizal
916BotchanNatsume Soseki
917KusamakuraNatsume Soseki
918SanshiroNatsume Soseki
919KokoroNatsume Soseki
920RashomonRyunosuke Akutagawa
921The Garden Party and Other StoriesKatherine Mansfield
922The Origin Myth of Acoma PuebloEdward Proctor Hunt
923The Autobiography and Other WritingsBenjamin Franklin
924Common SenseThomas Paine
925Rights of ManThomas Paine
926The Portable EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson
927Walden and Civil DisobedienceHenry David Thoreau
928The Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassFrederick Douglass
929Twelve Years a SlaveSolomon Northup
930Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlHarriet Jacobs
931Personal MemoirsUlysses S. Grant
932Around the World in Seventy-Two DaysNellie Bly
933The Light of TruthIda B. Wells
934The Theory of the Leisure ClassThorstein Veblen
935The Varieties of Religious ExperienceWilliam James
936Pragmatism and Other WritingsWilliam James
937The Souls of Black FolkW.E.B. Du Bois
938The Promised LandMary Antin
939Ten Days That Shook WorldJohn Reed
940The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other StoriesWashington Irving
941The PioneersJames Fenimore Cooper
942The Last of the MohicansJames Fenimore Cooper
943The Fall of the House of Usher and Other WritingsEdgar Allan Poe
944The Pit and the PendulumEdgar Allan Poe
945The Science Fiction of Edgar Allen PoeEdgar Allan Poe
946The Narrative of Arthur Gordon PymEdgar Allan Poe
947RedburnHerman Melville
948Moby-DickHerman Melville
949PierreHerman Melville
950Billy Budd, Bartleby and Other StoriesHerman Melville
951The Confidence-ManHerman Melville
952The Scarlet LetterNathaniel Hawthorne
953The House of the Seven GablesNathaniel Hawthorne
954Uncle Tom’s CabinHarriet Beecher Stowe
955Leaves of GrassWalt Whitman
956Little WomenLouise May Alcott
957The Innocents AbroadMark Twain
958Roughing ItMark Twain
959The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain
960A Tramp AbroadMark Twain
961The Prince and the PauperMark Twain
962The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain
963A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s CourtMark Twain
964Pudd’nhead WilsonMark Twain
965Daisy Miller and Other TalesHenry James
966The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost StoriesHenry James
967The Aspern Papers and Other TalesHenry James
968Roderick HudsonHenry James
969The AmericanHenry James
970Washington SquareHenry James
971The Portrait of a LadyHenry James
972The Princess CasamassimaHenry James
973The BostoniansHenry James
974The Tragic MuseHenry James
975What Maisie KnewHenry James
976The Wings of the DoveHenry James
977The AmbassadorsHenry James
978The Golden BowlHenry James
979The Yellow Wall-Paper Herland and Selected WritingsCharlotte Perkins Gilman
980The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other StoriesSarah Orne Jewett
981The Red Bade of Courage and Other StoriesStephen Crane
982The Wizard of Oz and Other Wonderful Books of OzL. Frank Baum
983The FinancierTheodore Dreiser
984Sister CarrieTheodore Dreiser
985The Call of the White Fang and Other StoriesJack London
986Martin EdenJack London
987The House of MirthEdith Wharton
988Ethan FromeEdith Wharton
989The Age of InnocenceEdith Wharton
990The JungleUpton Sinclair
991Selected StoriesO. Henry
992Three LivesGertrude Stein
993The Autobiography of Alice B. ToklasGertrude Stein
994Anne of Green GablesL.M. Montgomery
995The History of Mary PrinceMary Prince
996Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many LandsMary Seacole
997The Purple CloudM. P. Shiel
998The Sad End of Policarpo QuaresmaLima Barreto
999The Thirty-Nine StepsJohn Buchan
1000Death of a HeroRichard Aldington
1001Goodbye to All ThatRobert Graves

Well done if you got this far! This is my little Marvel movies like post credits section.

As you got this far, I would love to know if any titles caught your attention and made you think ‘I would love to read that!’. Or are there any books on the list you weren’t aware of?

I personally wasn’t aware that H.G. Wells, Henry James and Sigmund Freud had written so many works. Those alone would keep you busy for a long time, though I’m not sure I could sit (or lie) with Freud for so long.

Hope you enjoyed the list and I look forward to coming back with a new blog post soon.

6 thoughts on “1001 Penguin Classics To Read Whilst You’re Alive

  1. Wow! And I have read some of these, too. Well, I saved it to my Pinterest Book Lists. When or if I get done with my Well-Educated Mind reading lists, I will make a new list from all of these other lists I’ve saved over the years. It will be fun to go through this list and check off everything I have read.


  2. What a whale of a list, Pete! As I pored over it, a saying of Thomas Hardy’s from toward the end of his life came to mind, and I think it applies to many of us who have read some of these works over the course of their reading lives. That quote is, “The little done, the undone vast.” Louise Collier Willcox refers to this quote in a fine essay that she wrote on Hardy.

    For another point of view, consider the editor of Great Books of the Western World, Robert M. Hutchins. (Mortimer Adler was his Associate Editor.) Mr. Hutchins averred that in the unlikely event a reader could be found who had read the complete set of these works once, that at this point, the said reader could be said to only have just begun to mine the riches that these works had to offer and should begin again at square one. A pretty tall order, I’d say, from Mr. Hutchins.

    Among many other works on the list you compiled, I was not familiar with The Secret Histories by Procopius. But Donna Tartt’s novel by the same title, about a murderous bunch of college kids studying Greek, was compelling reading for me a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for putting together this prodigious list, Pete. Another quote that it makes me think of comes from Browning. “Man’s reach must exceed his grasp.” Thank you for helping to show us how to grasp widely and deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome George, thanks! I love that Thomas Hardy quote, and with the sheer number of works of his on this list, I’m sure there are a few more for me to learn!

      I really love the sentiment as well from Robert M. Hutchins regarding only just mining the riches, even if all the Great Books had been read. Adler was probably my main inspiration for wanting to read the classics, and he was actually not a proponent of reading widely (though I’m sure he did), always reading well.

      His main belief was that you had to find your own list (and he believed that would be less than 100) that are the inexhaustible books, the books that give something new to you, every time you read them. Which was another reason I set my reading plan at 300 books (increased to 360 of course).

      It is still my aim within that list to find the books that are inexhaustible to me. I have already found a few, I’ve read The Odyssey, The Republic and Hamlet more than once, and I loved them perhaps even more the second time. I know I will keep coming back to them.

      I need to have a much wider grasp of books to plan to read though, as 360 might not be enough to find my inexhaustible books, but I reckon a 1001 should help me find a few!


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