Nick’s Summary of Great Books Lists

Here is the original list of great books I compiled from thirteen “greatest books” lists. You can read some of the background to this list on this page, which introduces my Catholic Classics list. Here are the thirteen lists used in the summary:

I hope this list is helpful for those of you who are looking for great books to read.

Books that showed up on 13 of 13 lists:
Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War

Books that showed up on 12 of 13 lists

Miguel de Cervantes — Don Quixote
Herodotus – The Histories
HomerThe Iliad
Michel de Montaigne – Complete Essays

Books that showed up on 11 of 13 lists
Lucretius – Of the Nature of the Universe
Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel
Virgil – The Aeneid

Books that showed up on 10 of 13 lists

St. Augustine — Confessions
Homer – The Odyssey
Machiavelli – The Prince
Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

Books that showed up on 9 of 13 lists:
Aeschylus – The Oresteia
Aristotle – Nichomachean Ethics
Rene Descartes – Discourse on Method
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust
Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace
Voltaire – Candide

Books that showed up on 8 of 13 lists:

Aristotle – Poetics
Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
Fyodor Dostoyevski – The Brothers Karamazov
Henry Fielding – Tom Jones
Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan
John Stuart Mill – On Liberty
John Milton – Paradise Lost
Blaise Pascal – Pensees
Plato – Republic
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex, Antigone
Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Books that showed up on 7 of 13 lists:
Jane AustenPride and Prejudice
Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales
Dante AlighieriThe Divine Comedy
Edward Gibbon – Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Plato – Symposium
Plutarch – Lives
William Shakespeare – Complete Works
Murasaki ShikibuThe Tale of Genji
VyasaMahabharata

Books that showed up on 6 of 13 lists
Jane Austen – Emma
James Boswell – The Life of Samuel Johnson
Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species
Daniel DeFoeRobinson Crusoe
Fyodor Dostoyevski – Crime and Punishment
George Eliot – Middlemarch
Euripides – Bacchae, Hippolytus
Hamilton, Madison, Jay – The Federalist Papers
William James – Pragmatism
Franz Kafka – The Trial
John Locke – Second Treatise on Government
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels – The Communist Manifesto
Herman Melville – Moby Dick
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Thus Spake Zarathustra
George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-four
Plato – Crito
Jean Jacques Rousseau – Confessions
Sai Shonagon – The Pillow Book
Baruch Spinoza – Ethics
Stendhal – The Red and the Black
Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy
Valmiki – The Ramayana
Virginia Woolf – To the Lighthouse
Cao Xeugin – The Story of the Stone

Books that showed up on 5 of 13 lists
Aristophanes – The Clouds
Samuel Beckett – Waiting for Godot
John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress
Albert Camus – The Stranger
Anton Chekhov – Uncle Vanya
Confucius – The Analects
Charles Dickens – Pickwick Papers
Desiderius Erasmus – In Praise of Folly
Euclid – Elements
William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury
Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams
James Joyce – Ulysses
Franz Kafka – The Castle
Kalidasa – Sakuntala
Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason
Lao-Tzu (Laozi) – Tao te Ching (Daodejing)
Mencius – The Book of Mencius
John Milton – Areopagitica
Moliere – Tartuffe
Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil
Plato – Meno
Plotinus – Enneads
Marcel Proust – Remembrance of Things Past
Sima Qian – Records of the Grand Historian
Sophocles – Oedipus at Colonnus
Ivan Turgenev – Fathers and Sons
Adam Smith – Wealth of Nations
Tacitus – Annals
St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica
Henry David Thoreau – Walden
Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America

1 Response

  1. November 5, 2010

    […] Read a work of classic literature. […]

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