Books I should read

I already have a list of books I’ve bought and need to read in order to justify spending money on them. That list alone is rather long, but then there are books that I know I should read because they are a significant part of the heritage of English literature, are classics, or would be good for me. I know that such a list of books one should read could easily get out of hand, everyone has some book they think everyone else should read, so I’m trying to limit this list to books that are strongly recommended by numerous sources.

This list will grow and morph as I add books, read books and hopefully become better for it. Once I read books on this list I will add them to my list of books I’ve read and delete them from here (and my giant to read list if appropriate).

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • Jane Austen, Emma
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion
  • Saul Bellow, Seize the Day
  • Thomas Bernhard, Wittgenstein’s Nephew
  • Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
  • A.P. Checkhov, Ward No. 6
  • A.P. Checkhov, Rothschild’s Fiddle
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Lady with the Little Dog
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Bishop
  • A.P. Checkhov, The Seagull
  • J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello
  • Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
  • Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  • Denis Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
  • F.M. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede
  • George Eliot, Middlemarch
  • Frederick Exley, A Fan’s Notes
  • William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  • William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom!
  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews
  • Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
  • Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education
  • Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
  • Theodor Fontane, Effi Briest
  • Henry Green, Caught
  • Henry Green, Loving
  • Knut Hamsun, Hunger
  • Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Thomas Hardy, Tess
  • Homer, Iliad
  • Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
  • Henry James, What Maisie Knew
  • Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
  • B.S. Johnson, Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry
  • James Joyce, Dubliners
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • James Joyce, Ulysses
  • Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis
  • D.H. Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia
  • D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow
  • Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
  • Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
  • Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks
  • Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • Guy de Maupassant, Pierre and Jean
  • Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
  • Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
  • Ian McEwan, Atonement
  • Robert McLoskey, Make Way for Ducklings
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin
  • Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • V.S. Naipaul, A house for Mr Biswas
  • Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past
  • A.S. Pushkin, Eugene Onegin
  • Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
  • Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
  • Joseph Roth, The Radetzky March
  • Philip Roth, Sabbath’s Theater
  • Philip Roth, The Counterlife
  • Norman Rush, Mortals
  • Norman Rush, Mating
  • Jose Saramago, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
  • W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants
  • Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • Stendhal, The Red and the Black
  • Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Italo Svevo, Confessions of Zeno
  • W.M. Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  • L.N Tolstoy, Hadji Murad
  • L.N. Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • L.N. Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  • John Updike, Terrorist
  • John Updike, Of the Farm
  • David Foster Wallace, Oblivion and other stories
  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
  • Virginia Woolf, The Waves
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse


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