Greatest Works of Literature – Ranked

I collected over 35 lists of the best books and best literature of all time and combined them into one meta-list. Here are the results: every book (or body of work) on at least three of the original source lists, organized by rank, that is, with the literary works on the most lists at the top.

I have not imposed any artificial restrictions on the list: there are novels and non-fiction books, plays and books of poetry, books of short stories and books of essays, highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow, and even some books for children. Most of the items are books, which are in boldface type, but some are bodies of work, such as an author’s poems or short stories, which are italicized.  I have organized this list first by number of lists that the work is on, then chronologically by date of publication. There is another version of this list that is entirely chronological, if that suits you better, here.  If you want to see the list organized by author, click here.


Don Quixote (Spain, 1605 [Pt. 1], 1615 [Pt. 2])
– Miguel de Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra) (fiction: novel)


One Hundred Years of Solitude
(Colombia, 1967)
– Gabriel García Márquez (fiction: novel)


The Divine Comedy (Italy, c. 1308-1321)
– Dante Alighieri (poetry: narrative)

Anna Karenina (Russia, 1877)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novel)


The Odyssey (Ancient Greece, c. 775-700 BCE)
– Homer (attrib.) (poetry: narrative)

In Search of Lost Time (seven novels) (France, 1913-1927)
– Marcel Proust (fiction: novels)


(US, 1851)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novel)

War and Peace (Russia, 1869) (22)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novel)

(Ireland/France, 1922)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

The Stranger (Algeria/France, 1942)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)


The Iliad
(Ancient Greece, c. 800-725 BCE)
– Homer (attrib.) (poetry: narrative)

(England, 1600)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Madame Bovary
(France, 1857)
– Gustave Flaubert (fiction: novel)

Nineteen Eighty-Four
(UK, 1949)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

Midnight’s Children
(India/UK, 1981)
– Salman Rushdie (fiction: novel)


Pride and Prejudice
(UK, 1815)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

The Great Gatsby (US, 1925)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)


Crime and Punishment
(Russia, 1866)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (US, 1884)
– Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (fiction: novel)


The Brothers Karamazov
(Russia, 1880)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Trial (Czechoslovakia, 1914-1915, pub. 1925)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

Invisible Man
(US, 1952)
– Ralph Ellison (fiction: novel)


Oedipus the King
(Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

The Aeneid
(Roman Empire, 29-19 BCE)
– Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (poetry: narrative)

Gulliver’s Travels
(Ireland/GB, 1726)
– Jonathan Swift (fiction: satire)

(esp. The Metamorphosis) (Czechoslovakia, 1904-1924)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: stories)

The Sound and the Fury
(US, 1929)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

The Grapes of Wrath
(US, 1940)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novel)


The Canterbury Tales
(England, c. 1380-1400)
– Geoffrey Chaucer (fiction: linked stories/poetry)

Wuthering Heights
(UK, 1847)
– Emily Brontë (fiction: novel)

(UK, 1871-1872)
– George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (fiction: novel)

Heart of Darkness (Poland/UK, 1899 [serial], 1902 [book])
– Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski) (fiction: novella)

The Catcher in the Rye
(US, 1951)
– J.D. Salinger (fiction: novel)

(USSR/US, 1955)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)


King Lear
(England, 1605)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Red and the Black (France, 1830)
– Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle) (fiction: novel)

Jane Eyre
(UK, 1847)
– Charlotte Brontë (fiction: novel)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (UK, 1865)
– Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) (fiction: novel)

Things Fall Apart (Nigeria, 1958)
– Chinua Achebe (fiction: novel)

To Kill a Mockingbird
(US, 1960)
– Harper Lee (fiction: novel)


A Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights)

(India/Persia/Arabia, c. 900-1300, first European translation, 1704-1717)
– Anonymous (fiction: linked stories)

The Tale of Genji
(Japan, c. 1021)
– Murasaki Shikibu (fiction: novel)

Gargantua and Pantagruel
(five novels) (France, 1532-1534)
– François Rabelais (fiction: novels)

(France, 1580)
– Michel de Montaigne (non-fiction: essays)

(England, 1604)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

(France, 1759)
– Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (fiction: novel)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
(Ireland/GB, 1759)
– Laurence Sterne (fiction: novel)

The Magic Mountain
(Germany, 1924)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

The Sun Also Rises
(US, 1926)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

To the Lighthouse
(UK, 1927)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Brave New World
(UK, 1932)
– Aldous Huxley (fiction: novel)


(Ancient Greece, c. 431 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (England, 1594-1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Prince (Italy, 1513)
– Niccolò Machiavelli (non-fiction: political philosophy)

David Copperfield (UK, 1849-1850)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Tales (esp. The Lady with the Dog) (Russia, 1880-1903)
– Anton Chekhov (fiction: stories)

Sons and Lovers (UK, 1913)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

(Argentina, 1944)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

Labyrinths (Argentina, 1962)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories/poetry/non-fiction: essays)

Beloved (US, 1987)
– Toni Morrison (fiction: novel)


The Bible: Old Testament
(various books) (Palestine/Mesopotamia, c. 750 BCE – 100 CE)
– Various Authors (religious texts)

The Bible: New Testament (various books) (Palestine/Roman Empire, c. 50-120 CE)
– Various Authors (religious texts)

Confessions (Algeria/Ancient Rome, c. 400 CE)
– Augustine of Hippo (non-fiction: memoir)

Paradise Lost
(England, 1667)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

Faust (Germany, 1808 [Pt. 1], 1832 [Pt. 2])
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (drama)

On the Origin of Species
(UK, 1859)
– Charles Darwin (non-fiction: science)

Great Expectations
(UK, 1860-1861)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Les Misérables (France, 1862)
– Victor Hugo (fiction: novel)

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Ireland, 1916)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

The Age of Innocence
(US, 1920)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

Absalom, Absalom! (US, 1936)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

The Little Prince (France, 1943)
–  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (fiction: novel)

The Old Man and the Sea (US, 1952)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novella)

The Lord of the Rings (three novels) (UK, 1956)
– J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction: novels)

(US, 1961)
–  Joseph Heller (fiction: novel)

Love in the Time of Cholera (Colombia, 1985)
– Gabriel García Márquez (fiction: novel)


The Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia, c. 2000 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Ramayana (India, c. 500-200 BCE)
– Valmiki (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/religious text)

The Oresteia (three plays) (Ancient Greece, 458 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

Antigone (Ancient Greece, 442-441 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

The Histories (Ancient Greece, 441, BCE)
– Herodotus (non-fiction: history)

(India, c. 300-400 CE)
– Vyasa (Krishna Dvaipāyana) (attrib.) (poetry: narrative/religious text)

Richard III (England, 1592-1593)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Romeo and Juliet (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Merchant of Venice (England, 1596)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Julius Caesar (England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Macbeth (England, 1605)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Tom Jones (GB, 1749)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)

Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone) (China, 1763-1764 [manuscripts], 1791 [1st printed edition])
– Cao Xueqin (fiction: novel)

Vanity Fair (UK, 1848)
– William Makepeace Thackeray (fiction: novel)

Leaves of Grass (US, 1855 [1st Ed.])
– Walt Whitman (poetry: lyric)

A Doll’s House (Norway, 1879)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

The Interpretation of Dreams
(Austria, 1899)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)

The Cherry Orchard (Russia, 1904)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

A Passage to India (UK, 1924)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

Mrs. Dalloway (UK, 1925)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Journey to the End of the Night (France, 1932)
– Louis-Ferdinand Céline (fiction: novel)

Gone with the Wind (US, 1936)
– Margaret Mitchell (fiction: novel)

Animal Farm
(UK, 1945)
– George Orwell (fiction: novel)

Waiting for Godot (Ireland/France, 1953)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

On the Road (US, 1957)
– Jack Kerouac (fiction: novel)


Apology (Ancient Greece, c. 399-387 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Shakuntala (The Recognition of Sakuntala) (India, c. 350-450 CE)
– Kālidāsa (drama)

The Qur’an (Arabia, 610-632 CE)
– Muhammad (attrib.) (religious text)

Henry IV, Pts. 1 & 2 (England, 1597)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Twelfth Night (England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

As You Like It
(England, 1599)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Measure for Measure (England, 1604)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Antony and Cleopatra
(England, 1606)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Tempest (England, 1611)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Robinson Crusoe (GB, 1719)
– Daniel Defoe (fiction: novel)

Emma (UK, 1815)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

(UK, 1818)
– Mary Shelley (fiction: novel)

Tales (esp. The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado) (US, 1832-1849)
– Edgar Allan Poe (fiction: stories)

Le Père Goriot
(France, 1835)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Dead Souls (Russia, 1842)
– Nikolai Gogol (fiction: novel)

The Count of Monte-Cristo (France, 1846)
 Alexandre Dumas (fiction: novel)

The Communist Manifesto (Germany/UK, 1848)
– Karl Marx & Freidrich Engels (non-fiction: political philosophy)

(Poland/UK, 1904)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Out of Africa (Denmark, 1937)
– Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) (non-fiction: memoir)

Native Son (US, 1940)
– Richard Wright (fiction: novel)

In Cold Blood (US, 1966)
– Truman Capote (non-fiction: journalism)

Slaughterhouse-five (US, 1969)
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (fiction: novel)


The Peloponnesian War
(Ancient Greece, 400 BCE)
– Thucydides (non-fiction: history)

The Republic (Ancient Greece, c. 380 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Poetics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

A Comedy of Errors (England, 1589)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Taming of the Shrew (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Two Gentlemen of Verona (England, 1594)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Richard II (England, 1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Much Ado About Nothing (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Henry V (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

All’s Well that Ends Well (England, 1602)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Winter’s Tale (England, 1610)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Tartuffe (France, 1669)
– Molière (drama)

The Pilgrim’s Progress (England, 1679)
– John Bunyan (fiction: novel)

The Life of Samuel Johnson (GB, 1791)
– James Boswell (non-fiction: biography)

Cousin Bette (France, 1846)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

The Scarlet Letter (US, 1850)
– Nathaniel Hawthorne (fiction: novel)

Walden (US, 1854)
– Henry David Thoreau (non-fiction: memoir/philosophy)

Short Novels and Tales (esp. The Turn of the Screw) (US/UK, c. 1864-1910)
– Henry James (fiction: stories/novellas)

Little Women (US, 1868)
– Louisa May Alcott (fiction: novel)

Sentimental Education (France, 1869)
– Gustave Flaubert (fiction: novel)

The Idiot (Russia, 1869)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Portrait of a Lady (US/UK, 1881)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. When You Are Old and The Second Coming) (Ireland, c. 1882-1939)
– William Butler Yeats (poetry: lyric)

Hunger (Norway, 1890)
– Knut Hamsun (fiction: novel)

Dracula (Ireland, 1897)
– Bram Stoker (fiction: novel)

The Castle (Czechoslovakia, 1922-1924, pub. 1926)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (US/France, 1933)
– Gertrude Stein (non-fiction: biography)

The Master and Margarita (USSR, 1929-1939, pub. 1966)
– Mikhail Bulgakov (fiction: novel)

Under the Volcano (UK, 1947)
– Malcolm Lowry (fiction: novel)

The Diary of a Young Girl
(Netherlands, 1947)
– Anne Frank (non-fiction: diary)

The Second Sex (France, 1949)
– Simone de Beauvoir (non-fiction: sociology)

Doctor Zhivago (USSR, 1957)
– Boris Pasternak (fiction: novel)

The Tin Drum (Germany, 1959)
– Günter Grass (fiction: novel)

Silent Spring (US, 1962)
– Rachel Carson (non-fiction: science)

The Complete Stories (US, 1971)
– Flannery O’Connor (fiction: stories)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Canada, 1985)
– Margaret Atwood (fiction: novel)


The Analects of Confucius
(China, c . 551-479 BCE)
– Confucius (attrib.) (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

The Bhagavad-Gita (India, c. (500-100 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative/religious text)

(Ancient Greece, 411 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (Ancient Rome, 50 BCE)
– Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) (poetry: narrative/non-fiction: philosophy)

Metamorphoses (Ancient Rome, 2-8 CE)
– Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (poetry: narrative)

The Decameron (Italy, 1350-1353)
– Giovanni Boccaccio (fiction: linked stories)

Coriolanus (England, 1607)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Confessions (Switzerland, 1781)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: memoir)

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (GB, 1776-1788)
– Edward Gibbon (non-fiction: history)

Songs of Innocence
(GB, 1789)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

Songs of Experience (GB, 1794)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (France, 1831)
– Victor Hugo (fiction: novel)

The Charterhouse of Parma (France, 1839)
– Stendhal (fiction: novel)

Bleak House (UK, 1852-1853)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

A Tale of Two Cities (UK, 1859)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Fathers and Sons (Russia, 1862)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)

Through the Looking Glass (and What Alice Found There)
(UK, 1871)
– Lewis Carroll (fiction: novel)

The Possessed (The Devils) (Russia, 1872)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

Treasure Island (UK, 1883)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland/UK, 1890)
– Oscar Wilde (fiction: novel)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles (UK, 1891)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Lord Jim
(Poland/UK, 1900)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

(Germany, 1901)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

The Call of the Wild (US, 1903)
– Jack London (fiction: novel)

The House of Mirth (US, 1905)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. A Madman’s Diary) (China, 1909-1936)
– Lu Xun (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. The Waste Land) (US/UK, c. 1909-1965)
– T.S. Eliot (poetry: lyric)

The Education of Henry Adams (US, 1918)
– Henry Adams (non-fiction: memoir)

Saint Joan (Ireland/UK, 1924)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany, 1929)
– Erich Maria Remarqué (fiction: novel)

A Room of One’s Own (UK, 1929)
– Virginia Woolf (non-fiction: essay)

As I Lay Dying (US, 1930)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Tropic of Cancer
(US, 1934)
– Henry Miller (fiction: novel)

Their Eyes Were Watching God (US, 1937)
– Zora Neale Hurston (fiction: novel)

Rebecca (UK, 1938)
– Daphne du Maurier (fiction: novel)

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (US, 1940)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (US, 1940)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

U.S.A. (three novels) (US, 1930-1936)
– John Dos Passos (fiction: novels)

The Man Without Qualities (Austria, 1930-1943)
– Robert Musil (fiction: novel)

All the King’s Men (US, 1946)
– Robert Penn Warren (fiction: novel)

The Aleph and Other Stories (Argentina, 1949)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories)

Rabbit, Run
(US, 1960)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

Pale Fire (USSR/US, 1962)
– Vladimir Nabokov (fiction: novel)

The Golden Notebook (Zimbabwe/UK, 1962)
– Doris Lessing (fiction: novel)

Song of Solomon (US, 1977)
– Toni Morrison (fiction: novel)

The Stories of John Cheever (US, 1978)
– John Cheever (fiction: stories)

The World According to Garp (US, 1978)
– John Irving (fiction: novel)

The Color Purple
(US, 1982)
– Alice Walker (fiction: novel)


The Bacchae (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Birds (Ancient Greece, 400 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Nichomachean Ethics (c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (Roman Empire, 100-125 CE)
– Plutarch (non-fiction: biography/history)

(Roman Empire, c. 180 CE)
– Marcus Aurelius (non-fiction: memoir/philosophy)

Odes (Ancient Rome, 65-8 BCE)
– Horace (poetry: lyric)

Le Morte d’Arthur (England, 1485)
– Thomas Malory (fiction: linked stories)

The Praise of Folly (In Praise of Folly)
(Netherlands, 1511)
– Desiderius Erasmus (non-fiction: satire)

Utopia (England, 1516)
– Thomas More (fiction: satire)

Sonnets (esp. Sonnet 18 [“Shall I compare Thee to a summer’s day“]) (England, 1593-1609)
– William Shakespeare (poetry: lyric)

(England, 1651)
– Thomas Hobbes (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Pensées (France, 1669)
– Blaise Pascal (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

The Narrow Road to the Interior (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
(Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Jacques the Fatalist (France, 1765-1780)
– Denis Diderot (fiction: novel)

Dangerous Liaisons (France, 1782)
– Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. The Canti) (Italy, 1816-1837)
– Giacomo Leopardi (poetry: lyric)

Eugénie Grandet (France, 1833)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

A Christmas Carol (UK, 1843)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

The Three Musketeers (France, 1844)
– Alexandre Dumas (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. “‘Hope’ Is the Thing with feathers“) (US, c. 1855-1886)
– Emily Dickinson (poetry: lyric)

On Liberty
(UK, 1859)
– John Stuart Mill (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russia, 1886)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)

Jude the Obscure (UK, 1895)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

The War of the Worlds (UK, 1898)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

Kim (India/UK, 1901)
– Rudyard Kipling (fiction: novel)

The Ambassadors (US/UK, 1903)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Howards End (UK, 1910)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

Death in Venice
(Germany, 1912)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novella)

The Rainbow (UK, 1915)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

The Good Soldier
(UK, 1915)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)

My Ántonia (US, 1918)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

Women in Love (UK, 1920)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

Six Characters in Search of an Author (Italy, 1921)
– Luigi Pirandello (drama)

Babbitt (US, 1922)
– Sinclair Lewis (fiction: novel)

Zeno’s Conscience (The Confessions of Zeno)
(Italy, 1923)
– Italo Svevo (fiction: novel)

An American Tragedy (US, 1925)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)

A Farewell to Arms (US, 1929)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: novel)

Light in August (US, 1932)
– William Faulkner (fiction: novel)

Tender Is the Night
(US, 1934)
– F. Scott Fitzgerald (fiction: novel)

The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money (UK, 1936)
– John Maynard Keynes (non-fiction: economics)

Finnegan’s Wake (Ireland/France, 1939)
– James Joyce (fiction: novel)

The Big Sleep (US, 1939)
– Raymond Chandler (fiction: novel)

The Plague (Algeria/France, 1947)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

Lord of the Flies (UK, 1954)
– William Golding (fiction: novel)

Dreamtigers (El Hacedor) (Argentina, 1960)
– Jorge Luis Borges (fiction: stories/poetry/non-fiction: essays)

A Clockwork Orange (UK, 1962)
– Anthony Burgess (fiction: novel)

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (US, 1962)
– Thomas Kuhn (non-fiction: science)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
(US, 1965)
– Malcolm X (with Alex Haley) (non-fiction: memoir)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (UK, 1979)
– Douglas Adams (fiction: novel)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Czechoslovakia, 1984)
– Milan Kundera (fiction: novel)

A Brief History of Time (UK, 1988)
– Stephen Hawking (nonfiction: science)


Tao Te Ching
(China, c. 624-604 BCE)
– Laozi (Lao Tzu) (attrib.) (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

The Clouds
(Ancient Greece, 423 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Electra (Ancient Greece, c. 418-414 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Physics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy/science)

Politics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Book of Kings (Shahnameh) (Persia, c. 1010)
– Ferdowsi (poetry: narrative)

The Rubaiyat (Persia, c. 1100)
– Omar Khayyam (attrib.) (poetry: lyric)

The Song of Roland (France, c. 1140-1170)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

The Masnavi
(Persia, c. 1258-1273)
– Jalalu’l-Din Rumi (poetry: lyric)

Journey to the West (Monkey) (China, c. 1540-1560)
– Wu Cheng’en (fiction: novel)

Love’s Labour’s Lost (England, 1595)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Poems (esp. Holy Sonnet X [“Death be not proud…“]) (England, c. 1595-1631)
– John Donne (poetry: lyric)

The Merry Wives of Windsor (England, 1598)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Discourse on Method (France/Netherlands, 1637)
 René Descartes (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Misanthrope
(France, 1666)
– Molière (drama)

The Miser (France, 1668)
– Molière (drama)

Phaedra (France, 1677)
– Jean Racine (drama)

Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady
 (GB, 1748)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)

The Vicar of Wakefield (Ireland/GB, 1766)
– Oliver Goldsmith (fiction: novel)

She Stoops to Conquer (Ireland/GB, 1773)
– Oliver Goldsmith (drama)

The Sorrows of Young Werther
(Germany, 1774)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Kubla Khan) (UK, c. 1792-1834)
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. La Belle Dame Sans Merci) (UK, c. 1814-1821)
– John Keats (poetry: lyric)

The Betrothed (Italy, 1827)
– Alessandro Manzoni (fiction: novel)

The Pickwick Papers (UK, 1837)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Oliver Twist (UK, 1838)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Democracy in America (France, 1835-1840)
– Alexis de Tocqueville (non-fiction: journalism/travel)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (US, 1851)
– Harriet Beecher Stowe (fiction: novel)

The Woman in White (UK, 1860)
– Wilkie Collins (fiction: novel)

The Mill on the Floss (UK, 1860)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

Thus Spake Zarathustra
(Germany, 1883)
– Friedrich Nietzsche (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Mayor of Casterbridge (UK, 1886)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

The Time Machine (UK, 1895)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

The Red Badge of Courage (US, 1895)
– Stephen Crane (fiction: novel)

Cyrano de Bergerac (France, 1897)
– Edmond Rostand (drama)

The Importance of Being Earnest
(Ireland/UK, 1899)
– Oscar Wilde (drama)

Sister Carrie (US, 1900)
– Theodore Dreiser (fiction: novel)

The Varieties of Religious Experience (US, 1902)
– William James (non-fiction: religion/psychology)

The Souls of Black Folk 
(US, 1903)
– W.E.B. Du Bois (non-fiction: sociology)

(Japan, 1914)
– Natsume Soseki (fiction: novel)

Dubliners (Ireland, 1914)
– James Joyce (fiction: stories)

Of Human Bondage (UK, 1915)
– W. Somerset Maugham (fiction: novel)

Winesburg, Ohio (US, 1919)
– Sherwood Anderson (fiction: linked stories)

Winnie-the-Pooh (UK, 1926)
– A.A. Milne (fiction: novel)

The Maltese Falcon (US, 1929)
– Dashiell Hammett (fiction: novel)

Independent People (Iceland, 1935)
– Halldór Laxness (fiction: novel)

Murder in the Cathedral (US/UK, 1935)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)

Our Town (US, 1938)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)

Nausea (France, 1938)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (fiction: novel)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (US, 1940)
– Carson McCullers (fiction: novel)

A Streetcar Named Desire (US, 1947)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

If This Is a Man (Survival in Auschwitz) (Italy, 1947)
– Primo Levi (non-fiction: memoir)

Death of a Salesman
(US, 1949)
– Arthur Miller (drama)

Molloy; Molone Dies; The Unnameable (three novels) (Ireland/France, 1951-1953)
– Samuel Beckett (fiction: novels)

The Adventures of Augie March (US, 1953)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Collected Poems (US, 1954)
– Wallace Stevens (poetry: lyric)

The Leopard (Italy, 1958)
– Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (fiction: novel)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (USSR, 1962)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(US, 1962)
– Ken Kesey (fiction: novel)

Herzog (US, 1964)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (China, 1964)
– Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-Tung) (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Invisible Cities (Italy, 1972)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

Gravity’s Rainbow (US, 1973)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
(USSR, 1973)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (non-fiction: history)

The Lives of a Cell (US, 1974)
– Lewis Thomas (non-fiction: science/essays)

Sophie’s Choice (US, 1979)
– William Styron (fiction: novel)

The Right Stuff (US, 1979)
– Tom Wolfe (non-fiction: journalism)

Rabbit Is Rich (US, 1981)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

White Noise (US, 1985)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

The Making of the Atomic Bomb (US, 1987)
– Richard Rhodes (non-fiction: science/history)

The Alchemist (Brazil, 1988)
– Paulo Coelho (fiction: novel)

The Remains of the Day (UK, 1989)
– Kazuo Ishiguro (fiction: novel)

The Things They Carried (US, 1990)
– Tim O’Brien (fiction: linked stories)

American Pastoral
(US, 1997)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The God of Small Things (India, 1997)
– Arundhati Roy (fiction: novel)

Waiting (China/US, 1999)
– Ha Jin (fiction: novel)

The Kite Runner (Afghanistan/US, 2003)
– Khaled Hosseini (fiction: novel)

The Book Thief (Australia, 2005)
– Markus Zusak (fiction: novel)

Harry Potter (series) (UK, 1997-2007)

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)

– J.K. Rowling (fiction: novels)


Mukya Upanishads
(India, c. 800-400 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious texts)

Classic of Poetry (Book of Odes) (China, c. 600 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: lyric/religious text)

(esp. The Tortoise and the Hare and The Grasshopper and the Ant) (Ancient Greece, c. 600-560 BCE)
– Aesop (fiction: stories)

Prometheus Bound (Ancient Greece, c. 460-415 BCE)
– Aeschylus (attrib.) (drama)

Alcestis (Ancient Greece, 438 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Electra (Ancient Greece, 420 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Trojan Women (Ancient Greece, 415 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Frogs (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Oedipus at Colonus
(Ancient Greece, 401 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

The Symposium (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360 BCE)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Phaedo (Ancient Greece, c. 380-360)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Book of Mencius (China, c. 309-289 BCE)
– Mencius (non-fiction: philosophy/religious text)

Records of the Grand Historian (China, c. 109-91 BCE)
– Sima Qian (non-fiction: history)

(Roman Empire, c. 27-66 CE)
– Petronius (poetry: narrative/fiction: novel)

Annals (Roman Empire, 109 CE)
– Tacitus (non-fiction: history)

The Golden Ass (Roman Empire, c. 158-180 CE)
 Apuleius (fiction: novel)

Man’yōshū (Japan, c. 760 CE)
 Various Authors (poetry: lyric)

Beowulf (England, c. 1000)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

The Pillow Book (Japan, c. 1002)
– Sei Shonagon (non-fiction: memoir)

Water Margin (Outlaws of the Marsh)
(China, c. 1296-1372)
– Shi Nai’an (attrib.) (fiction: novel)

Doctor Faustus (England, 1588)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

Henry VI, Pts. 1, 2, 3 (England, 1591)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Titus Andronicus (England, 1592)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

King John (England, 1596)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

The Plum in the Golden Vase
(China, c. 1600)
– Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (fiction: novel)

Troilus and Cressida (England, 1602)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Timon of Athens (England, 1606)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Volpone (England, 1606)
– Ben Jonson (drama)

(England, 1611)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Henry VIII (England, 1613)
– William Shakespeare (drama)

Fuenteovejuna (Lost in a Mirror) (Spain, 1619)
– Lope de Vega (drama)

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Italy, 1632)
– Galileo Galilei (non-fiction: science/fiction: dialogue)

The Would-Be Gentleman
(France, 1655)
– Molière (drama)

The School for Wives (France, 1662)
– Molière (drama)

Paradise Regained (England, 1671)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

Ethics (Netherlands, 1677)
– Benedict de Spinoza (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Princess of Cleves
(France, 1678)
– Madame de La Fayette (fiction: novel)

The Way of the World
(England, 1700)
– William Congreve (drama)

Moll Flanders (GB, 1722)
– Daniel Defoe (fiction: novel)

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews (Joseph Andrews) (GB, 1742)
– Henry Fielding (fiction: novel)

The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (GB, 1759)
– Samuel Johnson (fiction: novel)

The School for Scandal (Ireland/GB, 1777)
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan (drama)

Poems (esp. Daffodils (“I wandered lonely as a cloud“) (GB/UK, 1787-1850)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: lyric/narrative)

The Vindication of the Rights of Woman
(GB, 1792)
– Mary Wollstonecraft (non-fiction: political philosophy/sociology)

Sense and Sensibility (UK, 1811)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Earthquake in Chile) (Germany, 1810-1811)
– Heinrich von Kleist (fiction: stories)

Ivanhoe (UK, 1820)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Concord Hymn, Days, The Rhodora, and The Snow-storm) (US, c. 1823-1882)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (poetry: lyric)

Fairy Tales and Stories (esp. The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Little Mermaid) (Denmark, c. 1825-1872)
– Hans Christian Andersen (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. The Charge of the Light Brigade) (UK, c. 1826-1892)
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson (poetry: lyric)

Essays, 1st Series (US, 1841)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essays)

Essays, 2nd Series
(US, 1844)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essays)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave
(US, 1845)
– Frederick Douglass (non-fiction: memoir)

Representative Men (US, 1850)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essay)

Hard Times (UK, 1854)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Flowers of Evil
(France, 1857)
– Charles Baudelaire (poetry: lyric)

Oblomov (Russia, 1859)
– Ivan Goncharov (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. The Windhover) (UK, c. 1860-1889)
– Gerard Manley Hopkins (poetry: lyric)

Silas Marner (UK, 1861)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

Peer Gynt (Norway, 1867)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

The Moonstone (UK, 1868)
– Wilkie Collins (fiction: novel)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
(France, 1870)
– Jules Verne (fiction: novel)

A Season in Hell (France, 1873)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

Far from the Madding Crowd
(UK, 1874)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Necklace) (France, c. 1875-1893)
– Guy de Maupassant (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. Endless Time (Gitanjali #1); A Moment’s Indulgence (Gitanjali #5); The Lotus (Gitanjali #20); and The Gardener #38 (“My Love Once upon a Time”)
(India, c. 1877-1941)
– Rabindranath Tagore (poetry: lyric)

The Return of the Native (UK, 1878)
– Thomas Hardy (fiction: novel)

(France, 1885)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

Miss Julie (Sweden, 1888)
– August Strindberg (drama)

Hedda Gabler (Norway, 1890)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Billy Budd (US, c. 1891, pub. 1924)
– Herman Melville (fiction: novella)

Das Kapital (Capital)
(three volumes) (Germany/UK, 1867-1894)
– Karl Marx (with Friedrich Engels) (non-fiction: economics/political philosophy)

Poems (incl. Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening) (c. 1894-1963)
– Robert Frost (poetry)

The Awakening (US, 1899)
– Kate Chopin (fiction: novel)

Uncle Vanya (Russia, 1899-1900)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK, 1902)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: novel)

Man and Superman (Ireland/UK, 1902-1903)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Major Barbara (Ireland/UK, 1905)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
(Austria, 1905)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology)

Poems (esp. Poetry and The Fish) (US, c. 1905-1972)
– Marianne Moore (poetry: lyric)

The Secret Agent (Poland/UK, 1907)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Pragmatism (US, 1907)
– William James (non-fiction: philosophy)

A Wind in the Willows
(UK, 1908)
– Kenneth Grahame (fiction: novel)

Main Street (US, 1920)
– Sinclair Lewis (fiction: novel)

The Forsyte Saga
(three novels and two stories) (UK, 1906-1921)
– John Galsworthy (fiction: novels/stories)

Juno and the Paycock (Ireland, 1924)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)

The Counterfeiters (France, 1925)
– André Gide (fiction: novel)

The Good Soldier Švejk (Czechoslovakia, 1926)
 Jaroslav Hašek (fiction: novel)

Gypsy Ballads
(Spain, 1928)
– Federico García Lorca (poetry: lyric)

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (UK, 1928)
– D.H. Lawrence (fiction: novel)

Nadja (France, 1928)
– André Breton (fiction: novel)

Orlando: A Biography (UK, 1928)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth
(India, 1929)
– Mohandas K. Gandhi (non-fiction: memoir)

Look Homeward, Angel (US, 1929)
– Thomas Wolfe (fiction: novel)

Civilization and its Discontents (Austria, 1930)
– Sigmund Freud (non-fiction: psychology/sociology)

The Good Earth (US, 1931)
– Pearl Buck (fiction: novel)

Man’s Fate (France, 1933)
– André Malraux (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. Death Fugue) (Romania/France, c. 1934 -1970)
– Paul Celan (poetry: lyric)

The Book of Disquiet
(Portugal, 1935)
– Fernando Pessoa (fiction: novel)

Of Mice and Men (US, 1937)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novella)

Scoop (UK, 1938)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

Mother Courage and Her Children (Germany, 1938-1939)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

The Power and the Glory (UK, 1940)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
(US, 1941)
– James Agee (with photos by Walker Evans) (non-fiction: journalism/essay)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Germany, 1943-1945)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

Loving (UK, 1945)
– Henry Green (fiction: novel)

Brideshead Revisited
(UK, 1945)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

Zorba the Greek
(Greece, 1946)
– Nikos Kazantzakis (fiction: novel)

Hiroshima (US, 1946)
– John Hersey (non-fiction: journalism)

Doctor Faustus (Germany, 1947)
– Thomas Mann (fiction: novel)

The Heart of the Matter (UK, 1948)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

Snow Country (Japan, 1948)
– Yasunari Kawabata (fiction: novel)

Cry, the Beloved Country (South Africa, 1948)
– Alan Paton (fiction: novel)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 
(Chronicles of Narnia I) (UK, 1950)
– C.S. Lewis (fiction: novel)

Memoirs of Hadrian (France, 1951)
– Marguerite Yourcenar (fiction: novel)

Speak, Memory (USSR/US, 1951)
– Vladimir Nabokov (non-fiction: memoir)

Charlotte’s Web (US, 1952)
– E.B. White (fiction: novel)

East of Eden (US, 1952)
– John Steinbeck (fiction: novella

Go Tell It on the Mountain
(US, 1953)
– James Baldwin (fiction: novel)

Fahrenheit 451 (US, 1953)
– Ray Bradbury (fiction: novel)

Notes of a Native Son (US, 1955)
– James Baldwin (non-fiction: essays)

The Visit (Germany, 1956)
– Friedrich Dürrenmatt (drama)

Endgame (Ireland/France, 1957)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

The Moviegoer
(US, 1961)
– Walker Percy (fiction: novel)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (UK, 1961)
– Muriel Spark (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. A Rose for Emily and That Evening Sun Go Down) (US, c. 1925-1962)
– William Faulkner (fiction: stories)

The Feminine Mystique
(US, 1963)
– Betty Friedan (non-fiction: sociology)

The Bell Jar (US, 1963)
– Sylvia Plath (fiction: novel)

Wide Sargasso Sea (Dominica/UK, 1966)
– Jean Rhys (fiction: novel)

Portnoy’s Complaint (US, 1969)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

Angle of Repose
(US, 1971)
– Wallace Stegner (fiction: novel)

The Great War and Modern Memory (US, 1975)
– Paul Fussell (non-fiction: criticism)

Ragtime (US, 1975)
– E.L. Doctorow (fiction: novel)

Dispatches (US, 1977)
– Michael Herr (non-fiction: journalism)

Orientalism (Palestine/US, 1978)
– Edward Said (non-fiction: cultural studies)

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (Italy, 1979)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 
(UK, 1979)
– Douglas Hofstadter (non-fiction: science/arts)

Schindler’s List (Schindler’s Ark) (Australia, 1982)
– Thomas Keneally (fiction: novel)

The House of the Spirits (Chile, 1982)
– Isabel Allende (fiction: novel)

Ironweed (US, 1983)
– William Kennedy (fiction: novel)

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (US, 1923-1961, pub. 1987)
– Ernest Hemingway (fiction: stories)

Where I’m Calling From
(US, 1988)
– Raymond Carver (fiction: stories)

The Joy Luck Club (US, 1989)
– Amy Tan (fiction: novel)

Possession (UK, 1990)
– A.S. Byatt (fiction: novel)

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
 (US, 1992)
– Tony Kushner (drama)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles
(Japan, 1994)
– Haruki Murakami (fiction: novel)

A Fine Balance (India/Canada, 1995)
– Rohinton Mistry (fiction: novel)

Underworld (US, 1997)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

The Poisonwood Bible (US, 1998)
– Barbara Kingsolver (fiction: novel)

White Teeth (UK, 2000)
– Zadie Smith (fiction: novel)

The Corrections
(US, 2001)
– Jonathan Franzen (fiction: novel)

Atonement (UK, 2001)
– Ian McEwan (fiction: novel)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Dominican Republic/US, 2007)
– Junot Diaz (fiction: novel)


Poems (esp. Fragment 42 and Fragment 155) (Ancient Greece, c. 630-570 BCE)
– Sappho (poetry: lyric)

Hippolytus (Ancient Greece, c. 428 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Knights (Ancient Greece, 424 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

(Ancient Greece, c. 399-387)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Meno (Ancient Greece, c. 387-380)
– Plato (non-fiction: philosophy)

Rhetoric (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

Metaphysics (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

On the Soul (Ancient Greece, c. 335-323 BCE)
– Aristotle (non-fiction: philosophy)

The Zhuangzi
(China, c. 306-286 BCE)
– Zhuangzi (non-fiction: philosophy/fiction: stories)

The Panchatantra (India, c. 300 BCE)
– Vishnu Sharma (attrib.) (fiction: linked stories)

Menaechmi (The Brothers Menaechmus) (Roman Republic, c. 254-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

Satakatraya (The Three Centuries) (India, c. 450-500 CE)
– Bhartrihari (attrib.) (poetry: lyric)

Tristan (Germany, c. 1150-1210)
– Gottfried von Strassburg (poetry: narrative)

The Conference of the Birds (Persia, 1177)
– Attar of Nishapur (poetry: lyric)

The Nibelungenlied (Song of the NIbelungs) (Germay, c. 118-1210)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

The Poem of the Cid (Spain, c. 1195-1207)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Gita Govinda (Song of Govinda)
(India, c. 1200-1245)
– Jayadeva (poetry: narrative)

Njal’s Saga (Iceland, c. 1270-1290)
– Anonymous (fiction: saga)

Poems (esp. Sonnets To Laura in Life: 109) (Italy, c. 1326-1374)
– Petrarch (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. O beautiful wine bearer, bring forth the cup (Ghazal 1)) (Persia, c. 1330-1390)
– Hafez (Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī) (poetry: lyric)

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (China, c. 1380-1400)
– Luo Guanzhong (fiction: novel)

Troilus and Criseyde (England, c. 1385)
– Geoffrey Chaucer (poetry: narrative)

Everyman (England, c. 1490)
– Anonymous (drama)

La Celestine (The Spanish Bawd) (Spain, 1499)
– Fernando de Rojas (drama)

The Book of the Courtier (Italy, 1528)
– Baldassare Castiglione (non-fiction: manners/fiction: dialogue)

Orlando Furioso
(Italy, 1532)
– Ludovico Ariosto (poetry: narrative)

Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Italy, 1550)
– Giorgio Vasari (non-fiction: biography/arts)

The Alchemist (England, 1612)
– Ben Jonson (drama)

Life Is a Dream (Spain, 1629-1635)
– Pedro Calderón de la Barca (drama)

The Cid (France, 1637)
– Pierre Corneille (drama)

Meditations on First Philosophy (France/Netherlands, 1641)
 René Descartes (non-fiction: philosophy)

(England, 1644)
– John Milton (non-fiction: political philosophy/arts)

Don Juan (France, 1665)
– Molière (drama)

Samson Agonistes (England, 1671)
– John Milton (drama)

The Seashell Game (Japan, 1672)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Imaginary Invalid
(France, 1673)
– Molière (drama)

Shriveled Chestnuts (Japan, 1683)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Record of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton (Japan, 1684)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Winter Days (Japan, 1684)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Spring Days (Japan, 1686)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

A Visit to Kashima Shrine (Japan, 1687)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Record of a Travel-Worn Satchel (Japan, 1688)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

Wasteland (Japan, 1689)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Gourd (Japan, 1690)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Monkey’s Raincoat (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

Saga Diary (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric/non-fiction: travel)

On Transplanting the Banana Tree (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

On Seclusion (Japan, 1691)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

(12 books) (France, 1668-1694)
– Jean de La Fontaine (poetry: lyric/narrative)

A Sack of Charcoal (Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Detached Room (Japan, 1694)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Monkey’s Raincoat, Continued (Japan, 1698)
– Matsuo Basho (poetry: lyric)

The Love Suicides at Sonezaki (Japan, 1703)
– Chikamatsu Monzaemon (drama)

Manon Lescaut 
(France, 1731)
– Abbé Prévost (fiction: novel)

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (GB, 1740)
– Samuel Richardson (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. A Red, Red Rose) (GB: Scotland, 1759-1796)
– Robert Burns (poetry: lyric)

The Social Contract (Switzerland, 1762)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Poems (esp. The Erlking and Mignon’s Longing) (Germany, c. 1770-1832)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (poetry: lyric)

The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker (GB, 1771)
– Tobias Smollett (fiction: novel)

Rameau’s Nephew (France, 1761-1772)
– Denis Diderot (non-fiction: philosophy/fiction: dialogue)

Critique of Pure Reason
(Germany, 1781)
 Immanuel Kant (non-fiction: philosophy)

Poems (esp. Bread and Wine and In the Middle of Life) (Germany, c. 1784-1843)
– Friedrich Hölderlin (poetry: lyric)

The Federalist Papers (US, 1787-1788)
– James Madison, Alexander Hamilton & John Jay (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Essays (GB/UK, c. 1791-1834)
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge (non-fiction: essays)

Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (Germany, 1796)
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (fiction: novel)

Waverley (UK, 1814)
– Walter Scott (fiction: novel)

Persuasion (UK, 1818)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Tales (esp. The Queen of Spades) (Russia, c. 18201837)
– Alexander Pushkin (fiction: stories)

The Last of the Mohicans 
(US, 1826)
– James Fenimore Cooper (fiction: novel)

A Harlot High and Low
(France, 1847)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Nature (US, 1849)
– Ralph Waldo Emerson (non-fiction: essay)

The Prelude
(UK, 1850)
– William Wordsworth (poetry: narrative)

Children’s and Household Tales (Grimm’s Fairy Tales) (seven editions) (Germany, 1812-1857)
– Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (fiction: stories)

Little Dorrit (UK, 1857)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Notes from the Underground (Russia, 1864)
– Fyodor Dostoevsky (fiction: novel)

The Last Chronicle of Barset
(UK, 1867)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Thérèse Raquin (France, 1867)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

Kidnapped (UK, 1886)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

Beyond Good and Evil (Germany, 1886)
– Friedrich Nietzsche (non-fiction: philosophy)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (UK, 1886)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novella)

The Father (Sweden, 1887)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion
(UK, 1890)
– James George Frazer (non-fiction: religion/mythology)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (UK, 1892)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: stories)

The Way of All Flesh (UK, c. 1899)
– Samuel Butler (fiction: novel)

The Kreutzer Sonata (Russia, 1899)
– Leo Tolstoy (fiction: novella)

Stories (esp. Bartleby the Scrivener) (US, c. 1845-1891)
– Herman Melville (fiction: stories)

The Master Builder
(Norway, 1892)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Poems (esp. Remember) (UK, c. 1842-1894)
– Christina Rossetti (poetry: lyric)

Effi Briest (Germany, 1896)
– Theodor Fontane (fiction: novel)

Three Sisters (Russia, 1901)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

The Wings of the Dove (US/UK, 1902)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

The Golden Bowl (US/UK, 1904)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

The Jungle
(US, 1906)
– Upton Sinclair (fiction: novel)

The Ghost Sonata (Sweden, 1907)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Playboy of the Western World (Ireland, 1907)
– John Millington Synge (drama)

The Old Wive’s Tale (UK, 1908)
– Arnold Bennett (fiction: novel)

A Room with a View (UK, 1908)
– E.M. Forster (fiction: novel)

Ethan Frome
(US, 1911)
– Edith Wharton (fiction: novel)

Pygmalion (Ireland/UK, 1912-1913)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Poems (esp. A Cloud in Trousers and Past One O’Clock) (Georgia/Russia/USSR, c. 1912-1930)
– Vladimir Mayakovsky (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. Requiem) (Russia/USSR, 1912-1966)
– Anna Akhmatova (poetry: lyric)

Stories (esp. The Story of My Dovecot and My First Goose) (Ukraine/USSR, c. 1915-1940)
– Isaak Babel (fiction: stories)

Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (Germany, 1917)
– Albert Einstein (non-fiction: science)

The Elements of Style (US, 1918)
– William Strunk & E.B. White (non-fiction: reference)

The True Story of Ah Q (China, 1921-1922)
– Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) (fiction: novella)

(Germany/Switzerland, 1922)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)

The Plough and the Stars (Ireland, 1926)
– Sean O’Casey (drama)

Death Comes for the Archbishop (US, 1927)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (US, 1927)
– Thornton Wilder (fiction: novel)

Steppenwolf (Germany/Switzerland, 1927)
– Hermann Hesse (fiction: novel)

Parade’s End (UK, 1924-1928)
– Ford Madox Ford (fiction: novel)

Berlin Alexanderplatz (Germany, 1929)
– Alfred Döblin (fiction: novel)

Les Enfants Terribles
(Frances, 1929)
– Jean Cocteau (fiction: novel)

The Waves (UK, 1931)
– Virginia Woolf (fiction: novel)

Blood Wedding (Spain, 1932)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (US, 1934)
– James M. Cain (fiction: novel)

A Handful of Dust (UK, 1934)
– Evelyn Waugh (fiction: novel)

Appointment in Samarra (US, 1934)
– John O’Hara (fiction: novel)

I, Claudius (UK, 1934)
– Robert Graves (fiction: novel)

Brighton Rock
(UK, 1938)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

Homage to Catalonia (UK, 1938)
– George Orwell (non-fiction: memoir)

The Iceman Cometh (US, 1939)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

And Then There Were None (UK, 1939)
– Agatha Christie (fiction: novel)

Darkness at Noon (Hungary/UK, 1940)
– Arthur Koestler (fiction: novel)

Poems (US, c. 1940-1963)
– Sylvia Plath (poetry: lyric)

The Skin of Our Teeth (US, 1942)
– Thornton Wilder (drama)

(Germany/US, 1942)
– Edith Hamilton (non-fiction: mythology)

The Good Person of Szechwan (The Good Woman of Setzuan) (Germany/US, 1941)
– Bertolt Brecht (drama)

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (UK, 1941)
– Rebecca West (nonfiction: travel/history)

The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) (Germany/Switzerland, 1943)
– Herman Hesse

No Exit (France, 1944)
– Jean-Paul Sartre (drama)

The Glass Menagerie (US, 1944)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

The Madwoman of Chaillot (France, 1945)
– Jean Giraudoux (drama)

Titus Groan (UK, 1946)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

The Palm-Wine Drinkard
(Nigeria, 1946)
– Amos Tutola (fiction: novel)

The Naked and the Dead (US, 1948)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel)

The Bald Soprano (Romania/France, 1950)
– Eugène Ionesco (drama)

Gormenghast (UK, 1950)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

The Story of Art (Austria/UK, 1950)
– Ernst Gombrich (non-fiction: art history)

Day of the Triffids (UK, 1951)
– John Wyndham (fiction: novel)

The Lost Steps (Cuba, 1953)
– Alejo Carpentier (fiction: novel)

I’m Not Stiller (Switzerland, 1954)
– Max Frisch (fiction: novel)

The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca (Spain, 1918-1936, pub. 1955)
– Federico García Lorca (poetry: lyric)

Pedro Páramo (Mexico, 1955)
– Juan Rulfo (fiction: novel)

The Talented Mr. Ripley
(UK, 1955)
– Patricia Highsmith (fiction: novel)

The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (Brazil, 1956)
– João Guimarães Rosa (fiction: novel)

Palace Walk (Egypt, 1956)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

Voss (Australia, 1957)
– Patrick White (fiction: novel)

Jealousy (France, 1957)
– Alain Robbe-Grillet (fiction: novel)

The Baron in the Trees
(Italy, 1957)
– Italo Calvino (fiction: novel)

The Caretaker (UK, 1959)
– Harold Pinter (drama)

Henderson the Rain King (US, 1959)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

The Alexandria Quartet (four novels) (UK, 1957-1960)
– Lawrence Durrell (fiction: novels)

Selected Poems (Chile, c. 1921-1959, pub. 1961)
– Pablo Neruda (Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto) (poetry: lyric)

A House for Mr. Biswas (Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1961)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

The Wretched of the Earth (France, 1961)
– Franz Fanon (non-fiction: psychology/political philosophy)

The Labyrinth of Solitude (Mexico, 1963)
– Octavio Paz (non-fiction: essays)

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (US, 1922-1960, pub. 1965)
– Katherine Anne Porter (fiction: stories)

Dune (US, 1965)
– Frank Herbert (fiction: novel)

The Fixer (US, 1966)
– Bernard Malamud (fiction: novel)

Cancer Ward (USSR, 1966)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

The Double Helix 
(US, 1968)
– James Watson (non-fiction: science)

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (US, 1968)
– Tom Wolfe (non-fiction: journalism)

The Cantos (US/Italy, 1917-1969)
– Ezra Pound (poetry: lyric)

Them (US, 1969)
– Joyce Carol Oates (fiction: novel)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (US, 1969)
– Maya Angelou (nonfiction: memoir)

The Left Hand of Darkness (US, 1969)
– Ursula K. Le Guin (fiction: novel)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (US, 1971)
– Hunter S. Thompson (nonfiction: journalism/memoir)

Poems (esp. Lullaby) (US, 1923-1973)
– W.H. Auden (poetry: lyric)

All the President’s Men (US, 1974)
– Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (non-fiction: journalism)

Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (US, 1975)
– John Ashbery (poetry: lyric)

The Periodic Table (Italy, 1975)
– Primo Levi (fiction: novel)

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales 
(US, 1976)
– Bruno Bettelheim (non-fiction: psychology/criticism)

Samuel Johnson (US, 1977)
– Walter Jackson Bate (non-fiction: biography)

A Bend in the River (Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1979)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

A Confederacy of Dunces (US, 1980)
– John Kennedy Toole (fiction: novel)

So Long, See You Tomorrow (US, 1980)
– William Maxwell (fiction: novel)

The Life and Times of Michael K. (South Africa, 1983)
– J.M. Coetzee (fiction: novel)

The Lover
(France, 1984)
– Marguerite Duras (fiction: novel)

Blood Meridian (US, 1985)
– Cormac McCarthy (fiction: novel)

Oscar and Lucinda (Australia, 1988)
– Peter Carey (fiction: novel)

Billy Bathgate (US, 1989)
– E.L. Doctorow (fiction: novel)

Rabbit at Rest (US, 1990)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

Mao II (US, 1991)
– Don DeLillo (fiction: novel)

Operation Shylock (US, 1993)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The Stone Diaries (US/Canada, 1993)
– Carol Shields (fiction: novel)

The Shipping News (US, 1993)
– E. Annie Proulx (fiction: novel)

The Rings of Saturn (Germany, 1995)
– W.G. Sebald (fiction: novel/non-fiction: essay)

Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) (His Dark Materials I) (UK, 1995)
– Philip Pullman (fiction: novel)

The Blind Assassin (Canada, 2000)
– Margaret Atwood (fiction: novel)

Life of Pi (Canada, 2001)
– Yann Martel (fiction: novel)

Middlesex (US, 2002)
– Jeffrey Eugenides (fiction: novel)

The Known World (US, 2003)
– Edward P. Jones (fiction: novel)

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (US, 2006)
– Lawrence Wright (nonfiction: journalism)

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer 
(India/US, 2010)
– Siddhartha Mukherjee (non-fiction: medicine)


The Tale of Sinhue (Sanehat) (Egypt, c. 2000 BCE)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

I Ching (Book of Changes) (China, c. 1000-750 BCE)
– Anonymous (non-fiction: divination/religious text)

(Ancient Greece, c. 700 BCE)
– Hesiod (poetry: narrative)

The Book of Job (Palestine, c. 600-400 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Avesta (Persia, c. 559-330 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

The Art of War (China, c. 500-400 BCE)
– Sun Tzu (trad. attrib.) (nonfiction: military)

Victory Odes (Ancient Greece, c. 490-443 BCE)
– Pindar (poetry: lyric)

The Persians
(Ancient Greece, 472 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

The Suppliant Women (Ancient Greece, c. 469 BCE)
– Aeschylus (drama)

Women of Trachis (Ancient Greece, c. 450 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Ajax (Ancient Greece, c. 447 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Andromache (Ancient Greece, c. 425 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Hecuba (Ancient Greece, c. 424 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Wasps
(Ancient Greece, 422 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Heracles (Ancient Greece, c. 416 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Iphigenia in Tauris (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Ion (Ancient Greece, 414 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Helen (Ancient Greece, 412 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Philoctetes (Ancient Greece, 409 BCE)
– Sophocles (drama)

Orestes (Ancient Greece, 408 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Iphigenia at Aulis (Ancient Greece, 405 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

Cyclops (Ancient Greece, c. 400 BCE)
– Euripides (drama)

The Assemblywomen (Ancient Greece, 392 BCE)
– Aristophanes (drama)

Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali (India, c. 300 BCE-400 CE)
– Patañjali (religious text)

Han Feizi (China, c. 281-233 BCE)
– Han Fei (attrib.) (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Amphitryon (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

Pseudolus (Roman Republic, c. 220-184 BCE)
– Plautus (drama)

The Dhammapada
(India, 200-100 BCE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Poems (esp. Attis) (Roman Republic, c. 65-54 BCE)
– Catullus (poetry: lyric)

Eclogues (Bucolics) (Roman Republic, 39-38 BCE)
– Virgil (poetry: lyric)

Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) (Roman Empire, 2 CE)
– Ovid (poetry: lyric)

Vimalakirti Sutra (India, c. 100 CE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

Satires (esp. True History (A True Story)) (Roman Empire/Syria, c. 125-190 CE)
– Lucian (fiction: stories)

The Satires (Roman Empire, c. 98-138 CE)
– Juvenal (poetry: lyric)

Lotus Sutra (India, c. 200 CE)
– Anonymous (religious text)

The Enneads (Egypt/Roman Empire, 270 CE)
– Plotinus (non-fiction: philosophy)

The City of God
(Algeria/Roman Empire, 426 CE)
– Augustine of Hippo (non-fiction: religion)

Returning To Live in the Country (Returning to the Farm to Dwell) (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

Returning Home (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

On Moving House (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

In the Sixth Month of 409, Fire (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

Twenty Poems After Drinking Wine (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

On Reading the Classic of Mountains and Seas (China, c. 380-427 CE)
– Tao Yuanming (Tao Qian) (poetry: lyric)

The Hanging Poems (Mu’allaqat)
 (Arabia, c. 550-630 CE)
– Anonymous (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. A Quiet Night ThoughtLong YearningFarewell to Meng Hao-jan, Drinking Alone in the Moonlight, The Moon at the Fortified Pass, and Chuang Tzu and the Butterfly) (China, c. 715-762 CE)
– Li Bai (Li Po) (poetry: lyric)

Poems (esp. Song of an Old CypressTo My Retired Friend Wei, Thinking of Li Bai at the End of the Sky, Spring Night in the Left Office, Moonlit Night, and Ballad of the Army Carts) (China, c. 725-770)
– Du Fu (Tu Fu) (poetry: lyric)

Jujushinron (Ten Stages of the Development of the Mind) (Japan, 830 CE)
– Kukai (religious text)

Kathāsaritsāgara (The Ocean of Rivers of Story) (India, c. 1050-1080)
– Somadeva (fiction: stories/poetry: narrative)

Deliverance from Error
(Persia, c. 1100)
– Al-Ghazali (non-fiction: memoir)

The Assemblies of al-Hariri (Iraq, c. 1100-1122)
– Al-Hariri of Basra (poetry: lyric)

Lais of Marie de France (France, c. 1155-1170)
– Marie de France (poetry: narrative)

Perceval, the Story of the Grail (France, c. 1181-1190)
– Chrétien de Troyes (poetry: narrative)

Commentary on the Four Books (China, c. 1180-1200)
– Zhu Xi (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

Guide for the Perplexed 
(Spain/Morocco, c. 1190-1204)
– Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) (non-fiction: philosophy/religion)

Parzifal Germany, c. 1200-1220)
– Wolfram von Eschenbach (poetry: narrative)

Summa Theologica (Italy, 1265-1274)
– Thomas Aquinas (non-fiction: religion)

Romance of the Rose (France, 1230 [Pt. 1], 1275 [Pt. 2])
– Guillaume de Lorris (Pt. 1) & Jean de Meun (Pt. 2) (poetry: narrative)

The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (China, c. 1200-1280)
– Anonymous (religious text)

The Poetic Edda (Iceland, compiled c. 1200-1300)
– Various Unknown Authors (poetry: narrative)

The New Life (Italy, 1295)
– Dante Alighieri (poetry: narrative)

Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness) (Japan, 1330-1332) 
– Yoshida Kenko (non-fiction: essays)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (England, c. 1350)
– Anonymous (poetry: narrative)

Muqaddimah (Tunisia, 1377)
– Ibn Khaldun (non-fiction: history)

(Japan, c. 1380-1443)
– Zeami Motokiyo (drama)

The Book of the City of Ladies (Italy/France, 1405)
– Christine de Pizan (fiction: allegorical)

Poems (esp. Celestial Love and The Doom of Beauty) (Italy, 1475-1564)
– Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni) (poetry: lyric)

Epic of Layla and Majnun (Turkey/Ottoman Empire, c. 1540-1556)
– Fużūlī (poetry: narrative)

The Heptameron (France, 1558)
– Marguerite de Navarre (fiction: linked stories)

The Lusiads (Portugal, 1572)
– Luís Vaz de Camões (poetry: narrative)

Astrophel and Stella (England, c. 1580)
– Philip Sydney (poetry: narrative)

Jerusalem Delivered (Italy, 1581)
– Torquato Tasso (poetry: narrative)

Tamburlaine, Pts. 1 and 2 (England, 1587-1588)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

The Jew of Malta (England, c. 1589)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

The Spanish Tragedy 
(England, 1582-1592)
– Thomas Kyd (drama)

Edward II (England, 1592)
– Christopher Marlowe (drama)

Poems (esp. On my First Son and Song To Celia (“Drink to me only with  thine eyes”)) (England, c. 1595-1637)
– Ben Jonson (poetry: lyric)

The Faerie Queen (England, 1590 [Bks. I-III], 1596 [Bks. IV-VI])
– Edmund Spenser (poetry: narrative)

Essays (England, 1597)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: essays)

The Advancement of Learning (England, 1605)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: education/science)

The Duchess of Malfi (England, 1614)
– John Webster (drama)

Poems (esp. Upon Julia’s Clothes) (England, c. 1617-1674)
– Robert Herrick (poetry: lyric)

Novum Organum (England, 1620)
– Francis Bacon (non-fiction: philosophy)

New Atlantis 
(England, 1623-1626, pub. 1627)
– Francis Bacon (fiction: novel)

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (England, 1633)
– John Ford (drama)

Poems (esp. To His Coy Mistress) (England, c. 1634-1678) 
– Andrew Marvell (poetry: lyric)

Lycidas (England, 1637)
– John Milton (poetry: narrative)

Ridiculous Precieuses (France, 1659)
– Molière (drama)

School for Husbands (France, 1661)
– Molière (drama)

The Physician in Spite of Himself (France, 1666)
– Molière (drama)

(France, 1667)
– Jean Racine (drama)

Simplicius Simplicissimus (Germany, 1668)
– Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelhausen (fiction: novel)

The Learned Ladies (France, 1672)
– Molière (drama)

The Country Wife 
(England, 1675)
– William Wycherley (drama)

The Plain Dealer (England, 1676)
– William Wycherley (drama)

All for Love (England, 1678)
– John Dryden (drama)

Maxims (France, 1680)
– François de la Rochefoucauld (non-fiction: manners/philosophy/politics)

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (England, 1687)
– Isaac Newton (non-fiction: science)

Oroonoko (England, 1688)
– Aphra Behn (fiction: novel)

Two Treatises of Government (England, 1689)
– John Locke (non-fiction: political philosophy)

Love for Love (England, 1695)
– William Congreve (drama)

Poems (esp. Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot) (GB, c. 1705 -1744)
– Alexander Pope (poetry: lyric/narrative)

The Beggar’s Opera (GB, 1728)
– John Gay (drama)

Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) (Japan, c. 1748)
– Takeda Izumo II (drama)

Émile, or On Education (Switzerland/France, 1762)
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau (non-fiction: education/philosophy)

The Castle of Otranto (GB, 1765)
– Horace Walpole (fiction: novel)

The Rivals (GB, 1775)
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan (drama)

Common Sense (GB/US, 1776)
– Thomas Paine (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Declaration of Independence (US, 1776)
– Thomas Jefferson (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Wealth of Nations (GB, 1776)
– Adam Smith (non-fiction: economics)

Evelina (GB, 1778)
– Fanny Burney (fiction: novel)

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (GB, 1779)
– David Hume (non-fiction: philosophy)

Poetical Sketches 
(GB, 1783)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

The Marriage of Figaro (France, 1784)
– Pierre Beaumarchais (drama)

Hymns and Fragments (Germany, c. 1790-1843)
– Friedrich Hölderlin (poetry: lyric)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (US, 1791)
– Benjamin Franklin (non-fiction: memoir)

The Rights of Man (GB/US/France, 1791)
– Thomas Paine (non-fiction: political philosophy)

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (GB, 1790-1793)
– William Blake (poetry: lyric)

Castle Rackrent
(UK, 1800)
– Maria Edgeworth (fiction:novel)

 (esp. So, We’ll Go No More A Roving and She Walks In Beauty) (UK, c. 1805-1824)
– Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron) (poetry: narrative/lyric)

Poems (esp. Ozymandias) (UK, c. 1810-1822)
– Percy Bysshe Shelley (poetry: lyric)

Mansfield Park (UK, 1814)
– Jane Austen (fiction: novel)

Nightmare Abbey (UK, 1818)
– Thomas Love Peacock (fiction: novel)

Melmoth the Wanderer (Ireland, 1820)
– Charles Maturin (fiction: novel)

The Prince of Homburg (Germany, 1809-1810, pub. 1821)
– Heinrich von Kleist (drama)

Boris Godunov (Russia, 1825)
– Alexander Pushkin (drama)

The Wild Ass’s Skin (France, 1831)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. The Overcoat and The Nose) (Russia, c. 1831-1842)
– Nikolai Gogol (fiction: stories)

Louis Lambert (France, 1832)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

On War (Germany, 1832)
– Carl von Clausewitz (nonfiction: military)

The Girl with the Golden Eyes (France, 1833)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. My Last Duchess) (UK, c. 1833-1889)
– Robert Browning (poetry: lyric)

The Inspector General (The Government Inspector) (Russia, 1836)
– Nikolai Gogol (drama)

Tales and Sketches (esp. Young Goodman Brown) (US, 1837-1864)
– Nathaniel Hawthorne (fiction: stories)

Poems (esp. Dover Beach and The Scholar Gipsy) (UK, c. 1837-1888)
– Matthew Arnold (poetry: lyric)

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (US, 1838)
– Edgar Allan Poe (fiction: novella)

A Hero of Our Time (Russia, pub. 1840, revised 1841)
– Mikhail Lermontov (fiction: novel)

The Deerslayer (US, 1841)
– James Fenimore Cooper (fiction: novel)

Ursule Mirouet 
(France, 1841)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: novel)

Lost Illusions (France, 1837-1843)
– Honoré de Balzac (fiction: serial novel)

Mary Barton (UK, 1848)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. A Ballad of Death) (UK, c. 1849-1909)
– Algernon Charles Swinburne (poetry: lyric)

North and South (UK, 1854-1855)
– Elizabeth Gaskell (fiction: novel)

The Warden (UK, 1855)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Barchester Towers (UK, 1857)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Adam Bede (UK, 1859)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

First Love  (Russia, 1860)
– Ivan Turgenev (fiction: novel)

The Storm 
(Russia, 1860)
– Alexander Ostrovsky (drama)

The Conduct of Life (US, 1860)
– Ralph Waldo Emerdson (nonfiction: essays)

Tales (esp. The Enchanted Wanderer) (Russia, 1862-1895)
– Nikolai Leskov (fiction: stories)

Our Mutual Friend (UK, 1864)
– Charles Dickens (fiction: novel)

Brand (Norway, 1866)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Phineas Finn (UK, 1869)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

The Drunken Boat (France, 1871)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

Erewhon (UK, 1872)
– Samuel Butler (fiction: novel)

Around the World in Eighty Days (France, 1873)
– Jules Verne (fiction: novel)

(France, 1874)
– Arthur Rimbaud (poetry: lyric)

The Way We Live Now (UK, 1875)
– Anthony Trollope (fiction: novel)

Daniel Deronda (UK, 1876)
– George Eliot (fiction: novel)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (US, 1876)
– Mark Twain (fiction: novel)

L’Assommoir (France, 1877)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Kabuliwallah (The Fruitseller from Kabul), Kshudita Pashan (The Hungry Stones), and Nastanirh (The Broken Nest)) (India, c. 1877-1941)
– Rabindranath Tagore (fiction: stories)

Ben-Hur (US, 1880)
– Lew Wallace (fiction: novel)

Nana (France, 1880)
– Émile Zola (fiction: novel)

The Red Room (Sweden, 1880)
– August Strindberg (fiction: novel)

Ghosts (Norway, 1881)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

Little Novels of Sicily (Italy, 1883)
– Giovanni Verga (fiction: stories)

The Wild Duck
(Norway, 1885)
– Henrik Ibsen (drama)

The Bostonians (US/UK, 1886)
– Henry James (fiction: novel)

Fortunata and Jacinta (Spain, 1887)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)

The People of Hemsö (Sweden, 1887)
– August Strindberg (fiction: novel)

The Maias 
(Portugal, 1888)
– José Maria de Eça de Queiroz (fiction: novel)

The Master of Ballantrae (UK, 1889)
– Robert Louis Stevenson (fiction: novel)

News from Nowhere (UK, 1890)
– William Morris (fiction: novel)

The House by the Medlar Tree 
(Italy, 1890)
– Giovanni Verga (fiction: novel)

The Principles of Psychology (US, 1890)
– William James (nonfiction: psychology)

Diary of a Nobody (UK, 1892)
– George & Weedon Grossmith (fiction: novel)

Arms and the Man (Ireland/UK, 1894)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

The Seagull (Russia, 1896)
– Anton Chekhov (drama)

(Spain, 1897)
– Benito Pérez Galdós (fiction: novel)

The Invisible Man (UK, 1897)
– H.G. Wells (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Idgah and Kafan) (India, c. 1900-1936)
– Premchand (Dhanpat Rai) (fiction: stories)

A Dream Play 
(Sweden, 1901)
– August Strindberg (drama)

The Dance of Death (Sweden, 1901)
– August Strindberg (drama)

Poems (esp. Dulce et Decorum Est) (UK, c. 1903-1918)
– Wilfred Owen (poetry: lyric)

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Germany, 1904)
– Max Weber (non-fiction: economics/history)

Riders to the Sea (Ireland, 1904)
– John Millington Synge (drama)

De Profundis (Ireland, 1897, pub. 1905)
– Oscar Wilde (nonfiction: memoir/essay)

The Confusions of Young Törless (Germany, 1906)
– Robert Musil (fiction: novel)

New Poems: First Part and Other Part (Austria, 1907)
– Rainer Maria Rilke (poetry: lyric)

Anne of Green Gables (Canada, 1908)
– Lucy Maud Montgomery (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. The Red Wheelbarrow) (US, 1909-1963)
– William Carlos Williams (poetry: lyric/narrative)

Under Western Eyes (Poland/UK, 1911)
– Joseph Conrad (fiction: novel)

Zuleika Dobson
(UK, 1911)
– Max Beerbohm (fiction: novel)

Short Stories 
(esp. The Garden Party) (New Zealand, 1912-1923)
– Katherine Mansfield (fiction: stories)

Le Grand Meaulnes (France, 1913)
– Henry Alain-Fournier (fiction: novel)

Stories (esp. Rashomon) (Japan, c. 1913-1927)
– Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (fiction: stories)

The Magnificent Ambersons (US, 1918)
– Booth Tarkington (fiction: novel)

Eminent Victorians (UK, 1918)
– Lytton Strachey (non-fiction: biography)

Heartbreak House (Ireland/UK, 1919)
– George Bernard Shaw (drama)

Poems (esp. Harlem (Dream Deferred)) (US, c. 1920-1967)
– Langston Hughes (poetry: lyric)

Seven Pillars of Wisdom (UK, 1922)
– T.E. Lawrence (nonfiction: memoir)

A Lost Lady (US, 1923)
– Willa Cather (fiction: novel)

(France, 1925)
– Jean Cocteau (drama)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (UK, 1926)
– Agatha Christie (fiction: novel)

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (UK, 1927)
– Arthur Conan Doyle (fiction: stories)

Amerika (Czechoslovakia, 1911-1914, pub. 1927)
– Franz Kafka (fiction: novel)

Point Counter Point (UK, 1928)
– Aldous Huxley (fiction: novel)

The Threepenny Opera (Germany, 1928)
– Bertolt Brecht (with music by Kurt Weill) (drama)

The Bedbug (USSR, 1929)
– Vladimir Mayakovsky (drama)

Goodbye to All That 
(UK, 1929)
– Robert Graves (non-fiction: memoir)

Stories (esp. The Doctor’s Son) (US, c. 1930-1970)
– John O’Hara (fiction: stories)

Mourning Becomes Electra (US, 1931)
– Eugene O’Neill (drama)

The Radetzky March (Austria, 1932)
– Joseph Roth (fiction: novel)

Tobacco Road (US, 1932)
– Erskine Caldwell (fiction: novel)

Young Lonigan (US, 1932)
– James T. Farrell (fiction)

Cold Comfort Farm (UK, 1932)
– Stella Gibbons (fiction: novel)

Miss Lonelyhearts (US, 1933)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)

The Young Manhood of Studs Lonigan (US, 1934)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)

Call It Sleep (US, 1934)
– Henry Roth (fiction: novel)

Residence on Earth
(Chile, 1933-1935)
– Pablo Neruda (poetry: lyric)

Judgment Day (US, 1935)
– James T. Farrell (fiction: novel)

Poems (esp. My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereaux Winslow) (US, c. 1935-1977)
– Robert Lowell (poetry: lyric)

The House of Bernarda Alba (Spain, 1936)
– Federico García Lorca (drama)

The Hobbit (UK, 1937)
– J.R.R. Tolkien (fiction: novel)

In Parenthesis (UK, 1937)
– David Jones (poetry: lyric)

Rickshaw Boy (China, 1937)
– Lao She (fiction: novel)

Murphy (Ireland, 1938)
– Samuel Beckett (fiction: novel)

The Day of the Locust (US, 1939)
– Nathanael West (fiction: novel)

The Little Foxes 
(US, 1939)
– Lillian Hellman (drama)

The Time of Your Life (US, 1939)
– William Saroyan (drama)

At Swim-Two-Birds (Ireland, 1939)
– Flann O’Brien (Brian O’Nolan) (fiction: novel)

And Quiet Flows the Don (USSR, 1928-1940)
– Mikhail Sholokhov (fiction: novel)

The Third Policeman (Ireland, 1939-1940)
– Flann O’Brien (fiction: novel)

The Tartar Steppe (Italy, 1940)
– Dino Buzzati (fiction: novel)

Our Lady of the Flowers (France, 1942-1943)
– Jean Genet (fiction: novel)

The Nature and Destiny of Man 
(US, 1943)
– Reinhold Niebuhr (non-fiction: religion)

(esp. Howl) (US, c. 1943-1997)
– Allen Ginsberg (poetry: lyric)

The Bridge on the Drina (Yugoslavia, 1945)
– Ivo Andrić (fiction: novel)

The Berlin Stories (two novellas) (UK, 1945)
– Christopher Isherwood (fiction: novellas)

The Death of Virgil (Austria, 1945)
– Hermann Broch (fiction: novel)

Pippi Longstocking (Sweden, 1945)
– Astrid Lindgren (fiction: novel)

Black Boy (US, 1945)
– Richard Wright (nonfiction: memoir)

The Makioka Sisters (Japan, 1948)
– Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (fiction: novel)

The Cocktail Party (US/UK, 1949)
– T.S. Eliot (drama)

The Kingdom of This World 
(Cuba, 1949)
– Alejo Carpentier (fiction: novel)

The Man with the Golden Arm (US, 1949)
– Nelson Algren (fiction: novel)

The Sheltering Sky (US, 1949)
– Paul Bowles (fiction: novel)

Essays (UK, c. 1923-1950)
– George Orwell (nonfiction: essays)

Canto General (Chile, 1938-1950)
– Pablo Neruda (poetry: lyric)

A Town Like Alice (UK, 1950)
– Nevil Shute (fiction: novel)

The Family Moskat (Poland/US, 1950)
– Isaac Bashevis Singer (fiction: novel)

The Opposing Shore (France, 1951
– Julien Gracq (fiction: novel)

Foundation (USSR/US, 1951)
– Isaac Asimov (fiction: novel)

From Here to Eternity 
(US, 1951)
– James Jones (fiction: novel)

The End of the Affair (UK, 1951)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

The Origins of Totalitarianism (Germany/US, 1951)
– Hannah Arendt (nonfiction: political philosophy)

The Chairs (Romania/France, 1952)
– Eugène Ionesco (drama)

Collected Poems: 1934-1952 (UK, 1952)
– Dylan Thomas (poetry: lyric)

The Crucible (US, 1952)
– Arthur Miller (drama)

Wise Blood (US, 1952)
– Flannery O’Connor (fiction: novel)

Lucky Jim (UK, 1953)
– Kingsley Amis (fiction: novel)

The Long Goodbye (US, 1953)
– Raymond Chandler (fiction: novel)

Philosophical Investigations (Austria/UK, 1953)
– Ludwig Wittgenstein (nonfiction: philosophy)

Under the Net (UK, 1954)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)

Bonjour Tristesse (France, 1954)
– Françoise Sagan (fiction: novel)

The Quiet American (UK, 1955)
– Graham Greene (fiction: novel)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (US, 1955)
– Tennessee Williams (drama)

The Recognitions (US, 1955)
– William Gaddis (fiction: novel)

Tristes Tropiques (France, 1955)
– Claude Lévi-Strauss (nonfiction: anthropology/memoir)

The Fall (France, 1956)
– Albert Camus (fiction: novel)

Seize the Day (US, 1956)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

Things of This World (US, 1956)
– Richard Wilbur (poetry: lyric)

Palace of Desire (Egypt, 1957)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

Sugar Street (Egypt, 1957)
– Naguib Mahfouz (fiction: novel)

The Wapshot Chronicle (US, 1957)
– John Cheever (fiction: novel)

A Death in the Family (US, 1957)
– James Agee (fiction: novel)

The Once and Future King
(UK, 1958)
– T.H. White (fiction: novel)

Krapp’s Last Tape (Ireland/France, 1958)
– Samuel Beckett (drama)

The Affluent Society (US, 1958)
– John Kenneth Galbraith (nonfiction: economics)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (US, 1958)
– Truman Capote (fiction: novel)

Night (Romania/US, 1958)
– Elie Wiesel (nonfiction: memoir)

Titus Alone (UK, 1959)
– Mervyn Peake (fiction: novel)

Naked Lunch (US, 1959)
– William Burroughs (fiction: novel)

The City in History (US, 1961)
– Lewis Mumford (nonfiction: history/urban studies)

Solaris (Poland, 1961)
– Stanislaw Lem (fiction: novel)

The Woman in the Dunes (Japan, 1962)
– Kobo Abe (fiction: novel)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (US, 1962)
– Edward Albee (drama)

The Guns of August (US, 1962)
– Barbara Tuchman (nonfiction: history)

Paterson (US, 1946-1963)
– William Carlos Williams (poetry: narrative)

Cat’s Cradle (US, 1963)
– Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (fiction: novel)

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold 
(US, 1963)
– John Le Carré (fiction: novel)

V. (US, 1963)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

The Making of the English Working Class (UK, 1963)
– E.P. Thompson (nonfiction: social history)

A Moveable Feast (1960, pub. 1964)
– Ernest Hemingway (nonfiction: memoir)

Arrow of God (Nigeria, 1964)
– Chinua Achebe (fiction: novel)

Essays (US/UK, c. 1917-1965)
– T.S. Eliot (nonfiction: essays)

The Magus 
(UK, 1966)
– John Fowles (fiction: novel)

The Crying of Lot 49 (US, 1966)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

Against Interpretation (US, 1966)
– Susan Sontag (nonfiction: essays/criticism)

Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead (UK, 1967)
– Tom Stoppard (drama)

The First Circle (USSR, 1968)
– Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (fiction: novel)

The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel/The Novel as History (US, 1968)
– Norman Mailer (non-fiction: journalism)

Myra Breckenridge (US, 1968)
– Gore Vidal (fiction: novel)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem (US, 1968)
– Joan Didion (nonfiction: essays)

Short Stories (Canada, 1968- )
– Alice Munro (fiction: stories)

The Godfather (US, 1969)
– Mario Puzo (fiction: novel)

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (UK, 1969)
– John Fowles (fiction: novel)

The Sea of Fertility (four novels) (Japan, 1964-1970, pub. 1969-1971)
– Yukio Mishima (fiction: novels)

Deliverance (US, 1970)
– James Dickey (fiction: novel)

The Ogre (France, 1970)
– Michel Tournier (fiction: novel)

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (US, 1970)
– Dee Brown (nonfiction: history)

Rabbit Redux (US, 1971)
– John Updike (fiction: novel)

In a Free State 
(Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1971)
– V.S. Naipaul (fiction: novel)

Henry James: A Biography (five volumes) (US, 1953-1972)
– Leon Edel (non-fiction: biography)

Mythologies (France, 1972)
– Roland Barthes (nonfiction: essays)

Watership Down (US, 1972)
– Richard Adams (fiction: novel)

The Siege of Krishnapur (UK, 1973)
– J.G. Farrell (fiction: novel)

The Civil War (US, 1958-1974)
– Shelby Foote (nonfiction: history)

The Conservationist (South Africa, 1974)
– Nadine Gordimer (fiction: novel)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (US, 1974)
– Robert Pirsig (non-fiction: philosophy)

Dog Soldiers (US, 1974)
– Robert Stone (fiction: novel)

Working (US, 1974)
– Studs Terkel (nonfiction: oral history)

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (US, 1974)
– Robert Caro (nonfiction: biography)

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (US, 1974)
– Annie Dillard (nonfiction: nature/memoir)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (UK, 1974)
– John Le Carré (fiction: novel)

A Dance to the Music of Time (12 novels) (UK, 1951-1975)
– Anthony Powell (fiction: novels)

Humboldt’s Gift (US, 1975)
– Saul Bellow (fiction: novel)

The Selfish Gene (UK, 1976)
– Richard Dawkins (nonfiction: science)

The Shining (US, 1977)
– Stephen King (fiction: novel)

The Sea, the Sea (UK, 1978)
– Iris Murdoch (fiction: novel)

Life: A User’s Manual (France, 1978)
– Georges Perec (fiction: novel)

Buried Child (US, 1978)
– Sam Shepard (drama)

The Snow Leopard (US, 1978)
– Peter Matthiessen (nonfiction: nature/travel)

The Stand (US, 1978)
– Stephen King (fiction: novel)

The Ghost Writer (US, 1979)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (US, 1979)
– Edmund Morris (non-fiction: biography)

The Executioner’s Song
(US, 1980)
– Norman Mailer (fiction: novel/non-fiction: biography)

The Name of the Rose (Italy, 1980)
– Umberto Eco (fiction: novel)

True West (US, 1980)
– Sam Shepard (drama)

A People’s History of the United States (US, 1980)
– Howard Zinn (nonfiction: history)

Obasan (Canada, 1981)
– Joy Kogawa (fiction: novel)

So Long A Letter (Senegal, 1981)
– Mariama Bâ (fiction: novel)

The Mismeasure of Man (US, 1981)
– Stephen Jay Gould (nonfiction: science/history)

The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (Bohemia/Austria, c. 1897-1926, pub. 1982)
– Rainer Maria Rilke (poetry: lyric)

The Changing Light at Sandover (US, 1982)
– James Merrill (poetry: lyric)

Selected Poems (US, 1982)
– Galway Kinnell (poetry: lyric)

‘Master Harold’ … and the Boys (South Africa, 1982)
– Athol Fugard (drama)

The Women of Brewster Place (US, 1982)
– Gloria Naylor (fiction: novel)

The Complete Poems: 1927-1979 
(US, 1983)
– Elizabeth Bishop (poetry: lyric)

Glengarry Glen Ross (US, 1984)
– David Mamet (drama)

Neuromancer (US, 1984)
– William Gibson (fiction: novel)

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (US, 1985)
– J. Anthony Lukas (non-fiction: journalism)

The Accidental Tourist (US, 1985)
– Anne Tyler (fiction: novel)

Lonesome Dove (US, 1985)
– Larry McMurtry (fiction: novel)

The Bonfire of the Vanities (US, 1987)
– Tom Wolfe (fiction: novel)

Fences (US, 1987)
– August Wilson (drama)

Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (US, 1988)
– James M. McPherson (non-fiction: history)

A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and American in Vietnam (US, 1988)
– Neil Sheehan (non-fiction: journalism/history)

The Satanic Verses
(India/UK, 1988)
– Salman Rushdie (fiction: novel)

Nervous Conditions (Zimbabwe, 1988)
– Tsitsi Dangaremba (fiction: novel)

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963 (US, 1988)
– Taylor Branch (nonfiction: bigoraphy/history)

A Prayer for Owen Meany (US, 1989)
– John Irving (fiction: novel)

The Gnostic Gospels (US, 1989)
– Elaine Pagels (non-fiction: religion)

The Power of One (South Africa/Australia, 1989)
– Bryce Courtenay (fiction: novel)

Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico, 1989)
– Laura Esquivel (fiction: novel)

New Selected Poems: 1966-1987 (Ireland, 1990)
– Seamus Heaney (poetry: lyric)

Get Shorty (US, 1990)
– Elmore Leonard (fiction: novel)

A Thousand Acres (US, 1991)
– Jane Smley (fiction: novel)

The English Patient (Canada, 1992)
– Michael Ondaatje (fiction: novel)

The Secret History (US, 1992)
– Donna Tartt (fiction: novel)

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (UK, 1994)
– Louis De Bernières (fiction: novel)

Angela’s Ashes (US/Ireland, 1996)
– Frank McCourt (nonfiction: memoir)

Infinite Jest (US, 1996)
– David Foster Wallace (fiction: novel)

Mason & Dixon (US, 1997)
– Thomas Pynchon (fiction: novel)

Guns, Germs, and Steel (US,1997)
– Jared Diamond (nonfiction: history)

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials II) (UK, 1997)
– Philip Pullman (fiction: novel)

Annals of the Former World (US, 1998)
– John McPhee (nonfiction: science)

The Hours (US, 1998)
– Michael Cunningham (fiction: novel)

Disgrace (South Africa/Australia, 1999)
– J.M. Coetzee (fiction: novel)

The Human Stain (US, 2000)
– Philip Roth (fiction: novel)

Blonde (US, 2000)
– Joyce Carol Oates (fiction: novel)

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials III) (UK, 2000)
– Philip Pullman (fiction: novel)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (US, 2000)
– Michael Chabon (fiction: novel)

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Iran/France, 2000)
– Marjane Satrapi (nonfiction: graphic memoir)

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (US, 2000)
– Dave Eggers (nonfiction: memoir)

Austerlitz (Germany, 2001)
– W.G. Sebald (fiction: novel)

The Namesake (India/US, 2003)
– Jhumpa Lahiri (fiction: novel)

Gilead (US, 2004)
– Marilynne Robinson (fiction: novel)

The Year of Magical Thinking (US, 2005)
– Joan Didion (nonfiction: memoir)

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 (US/US, 2005)
– Tony Judt (nonfiction: history)

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (US, 2006)
– Michael Pollan (nonfiction: food/science)

A Long Way Gone (Sierra Leone, 2007)
– Ishmael Beah (nonfiction: memoir)

Wolf Hall (UK, 2009)
– Hilary Mantel (fiction: novel)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (US, 2010)
– Michelle Alexander (nonfiction: journalism/sociology)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (US, 2010)
– Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction: biography/science)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Israel, 2014)
– Yuval Noah Harari (nonfiction: history)

Station Eleven (Canada, 2014)
– Emily St. John Mandel (fiction: novel)

Between the World and Me (US, 2015)
– Ta-Nehisi Coates (nonfiction: memoir/history)

The Underground Railroad (US, 2016)
– Colson Whitehead (fiction: novel)

7 thoughts on “Greatest Works of Literature – Ranked

  1. Anna Bidoonism

    Amazing work: this popularity listing and this list ordered chronologically too. Do you have a page explaining your methodology? Or a section where you cite the original rankings? I’m really interested in how you do this!

    Thanks for you time and dedication

    1. beckchris

      Thanks for the positive feedback – I really appreciate it. In response to your question on methodology, it looks like you found my post “I Was Told There Would Be No Math”, which partly explains my system. Unfortunately, I don’t keep close track of the original source lists. I started doing this quite a few years ago and didn’t think to write down where I got all the lists. I can tell you that I got the lists from books and websites. You can probably find most of them by Googling phrases like “Greatest Literature of All Time” and “Best Books of All Time.”

      1. Anna Bidoonism

        Deeply appreciated. And yes! I did come across the post “I Was Told There Would Be No Math” subsequent to me sending you this query.

        I will say again, the stuff you do is very worthwhile and will be of benefit to a great many when, like me, they stumble across it.

  2. Jon

    It took me a few years, but yesterday I finished reading every entry with 10+ mentions. I tried to read unabridged versions wherever I could get them, so some of these, like The Mahabharata and the Tales of 1001 Nights ended up having word counts in the millions. It took roughly 3.5 years. I think this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I was surprised at how many of the books I really loved and I read every day now. Thanks for making the list.

    1. beckchris

      Jon: What an impressive accomplishment! I applaud your commitment to the reading list and am so glad to have been part of the inspiration for your reading journey. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      John B.

  3. Tang Weisheng

    Thank you for the great work! But can you tell me how to read the lists in the works you quote?

    1. beckchris Post author

      Thanks for the positive feedback – I really appreciate it. In response to your question, unfortunately, I don’t keep close track of the original source lists. I started doing this quite a few years ago and didn’t think to write down where I got all the lists. I can tell you that I got the lists from books and websites. You can probably find most of them by Googling phrases like “Greatest Literature of All Time” and “Best Books of All Time.”


Leave a Reply