Reading Projects

The New Life Time Reading List

Well, we all know this is a problem of mine….finding, posting and “committing” to huge reading lists…but I read love this one! I recently purchased Clifton Fadiman’s A New Lifetime Reading Plan. Loved it so, I posted this big ole list! I honestly doubt i’ll read all of these…but it gives me inspiration just having it on my site.

Last Updated: January 20

The Reading List

The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Iliad – Homer
The Odyssey – Homer
The Analects – Confucius
The Books of Moses, The Old Testament – Anonymous
The Oresteia – Aeschylus
Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
Oedipus at Colonus – Sophocles
Antigone – Sophocles
Alcestis – Euripides
Medea – Euripides
Hippolytus – Euripides
The Trojan Women – Euripides
Electra – Euripides
The Bacchae – Euripides
The Histories – Herodotus
The History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides
The Art of War – Sun-tzu
Lysistrata – Aristophanes
The Clouds – Aristophanes
The Birds – Aristophanes
Selected Works – Plato
Ethics – Aristotle
Politics – Aristotle
Poetics – Aristotle
The Book of Mencius – Mencius
Bala Kanda, Book One of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Ayodhya Kanda, Book Two of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Aranya Kanda, Book Three of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Kishkindha Kanda, Book Four of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Sundara Kanda, Book Five of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Lanka Kanda, Book Six of The Ramayana – Anonymous
Uttara Kanda, Book Seven of the Ramayana – Anonymous
Adi Parva, Book One of The Mahabharata – Anonymous
Sabha Parva, Book Two of the Mahabharata – Anonymous
Vana Parva, Book Three of the Mahabharata – Anonymous
The Bhagavad Gita
Records of the Grand Historian – Ssu-ma Ch’ien
On the Nature of Things – Lucretius
The Aeneid – Virgil
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
The New Testament – Anonymous
The Confessions – Saint Augustine
The Cloud Messenger – Kalidasa
Sakuntala – Kalidasa
The Koran
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch – Hui-neng
Shah Nameh – Firdausi
The Pillow Book – Sei Shônagon
The Tale of Genji – Lady Murasaki
The Rubaiyat – Omar Khayyam
The Divine Comedy – Dante
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms – Luo Kuan-chung
The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
The Thousand and One Nights
The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli
Gargantua and Pantagruel – François Rabelais
Journey to the West – Wu Ch’eng-en
Selected Essays – Michel de Montaigne
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
Complete Works – William Shakespeare
Selected Works – John Donne
The Plum in the Golden Vase – Chin P’ing Mei
Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems – Galileo
Leviathan – Thomas Hobbes
Discourse on Method – René Descartes
Paradise Lost – John Milton
Lycidas – John Milton
On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity – John Milton
Sonnets – John Milton
Areopagitica – John Milton
Selected Plays – Molière
Thoughts (Pensées)- Blaise Pascal
Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Second Treatise of Government – John Locke
The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Matsuo Bashô
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Candide and other works – Voltaire
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – David Hume
Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
The Dream of the Red Chamber (a.k.a. The Story of the Stone)- Ts’ao Hsüeh-ch’in
Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
The Life of Samuel Johnson – James Boswell
Basic Documents in American History – Thomas Jefferson and others
The Federalist Papers – Hamilton, Madison, and Jay
Faust – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Selected Works – William Blake
The Prelude – William Wordsworth
Selected Shorter Poems – William Wordsworth
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads – William Wordsworth
The Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Christabel – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Biographia Literaria – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Writings on Shakespeare – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Emma – Jane Austen
The Red and the Black – Stendhal
Père Goriot – Honoré de Balzac
Eugénie Grandet – Honoré de Balzac
Cousin Bette – Honoré de Balzac
Selected Works – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Selected Tales – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Democracy in America – Alexis de Tocqueville
On Liberty – John Stuart Mill
The Subjection of Women – John Stuart Mill
The Voyage of the Beagle – Charles Darwin
The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol
Short Stories and Other Works – Edgar Allan Poe
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Hard Times – Charles Dickens
Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
Little Dorrit – Charles Dickens
The Warden – Anthony Trollope
The Last Chronicle of Barset – Anthony Trollope
The Eustace Diamonds – Anthony Trollope
The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope
Autobiography – Anthony Trollope
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau
Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Bartleby the Scrivener – Herman Melville
The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Selected Poems – Walt Whitman
Democratic Vistas – Walt Whitman
Preface to the first issue of Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
A Backward Glance O’er Travelled Roads – Walt Whitman
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Selected Plays – Henrick Ibsen
Collected Poems – Emily Dickenson
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking-Glass – Lewis Carroll
Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Education of Henry Adams – Henry Adams
The Mayor of Castorbridge – Thomas Hardy
The Principles of Psychology – William James
Pragmatism – William James
Four Essays from The Meaning of Truth – William James
The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James
The Ambassadors – Henry James
Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The Genealogy of Morals – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality – Sigmund Freud
Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud
Selected Plays and Prefaces – George Bernard Shaw
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
Uncle Vanya – Anton Chekhov
Three Sisters – Anton Chekhov
The Cherry Orchard – Anton Chekhov
Selected Short Stories – Anton Chekhov
The Custom of the Country – Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
Collected Poems – William Butler Yeats
Collected Plays – William Butler Yeats
Autobiography – William Butler Yeats
Kokoro – Natsume Sôseki
Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust
Collected Poems – Robert Frost
The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
A Passage to India – E.M. Forster
Collected Short Stories – Lu Hsün
Ulysses – James Joyce
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
Orlando – Virginia Woolf
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
The Trial – Franz Kafka
The Castle – Franz Kafka
Selected Short Stories – Franz Kafka
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki
Mourning Becomes Electra – Eugene O’Neill
The Iceman Cometh – Eugene O’Neill
Long Day’s Journey into Night – Eugene O’Neill
Collected Poems – T.S. Eliot
Collected Plays – T.S. Eliot
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
Short Stories – Ernest Hemingway
Beauty and Sadness – Yasunari Kawabata
Labyrinths – Jorge Luis Borges
Dreamtigers – Jorge Luis Borges
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
Speak, Memory – Vladimir Nabokov
Animal Farm – George Orwell
1984 – George Orwell
Burmese Days – George Orwell
The English Teacher – R.K. Narayan
The Vendor of Sweets – R.K. Narayan
Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett
Endgame – Samuel Beckett
Krapp’s Last Tape – Samuel Beckett
Collected Poems – W.H. Auden
The Plague – Albert Camus
The Stranger – Albert Camus
The Adventures of Augie March – Saul Bellow
Herzog – Saul Bellow
Humboldt’s Gift – Saul Bellow
The First Circle – Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Cancer Ward – Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Thomas Kuhn
Confessions of a Mask – Yukio Mishima
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion – Yukio Mishima
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

Going Further

Watership Down – Richard Adanms
Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
Winesburg, Ohio – Sherwood Anderson
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Rector of Justin – Louis Auchincloss
Collected Stories (1994) – Louis Auchinloss
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
The Sot-weed Factor – John Barth
Tidewater Tales – John Barth
The Second Sex – Simone De Beauvoir
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles
The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Phillip II – Fernand Braudel
Mother Courage – Berthold Brecht
The Good Woman of Szechuan – Berthold Brecht
The Caucasian Chalk Circle – Berthold Brecht
The Threepenny Opera – Berthold Brecht
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany – Berthold Brecht
So Forth – Joseph Brodsky
The Good Earth – Pearl Buck
The Master and the Margarita – Mikhail Bulgavko
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller – Italo Calvino
Other Voices, Other Rooms – Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
The Sea Around Us – Rachel Carson
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
My Antonia – Willa Cather
Death Comes for the Archbishop – Willa Cather
Shadows on the Rock – Willa Cather
Collected Stories – John Cheever
The Rebel Angels – Robertson Davies
What’s Bred in the Bone – Robertson Davies
The Lyre of Orpheus – Robertson Davies
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
The Meaning of Relativity – Albert Einstein
The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night
The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
The Recognitions – William Gaddis
J.R. – William Gaddis
Collected Poems – Federico Garcia Lorca
The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Spire – William Golding
I, Claudius – Robert Graves
Good-Bye to All That – Robert Graves
The Quiet American – Graham Greene
The Heart of the Matter – Graham Greene
The Good Soldier Schweik – Jaroslav Hasek
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
The Call – John Hersey
A Bell for Adano – John Hersey
Hiroshima – John Hersey
The Negro Speaks of Rivers – Langston Hughes
Collected Poems – Langston Hughes
The World According to Garp – John Irving
The Berlin Stories – Christopher Isherwood
Christopher and His Kind – Christopher Isherwood
From Here to Eternity – James Jones
Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantzakis
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Rickshaw – Lau Shaw (translation by Jean James)
Collected Poems (1993) – Philip Larkin
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold – John LeCarre
Tristes Tropiques – Claude Levi-Strauss
Structural Anthropology – Claude Levi-Strauss
The Raw and the Cooked: Introduction to a Science of Mythology – Claude Levi-Strauss
Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
Arrowsmith – Sinclair Lewis
Elmer Gantry – Sinclair Lewis
Dodsworth – Sinclair Lewis
Changing Places – David Lodge
Small World – David Lodge
The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer
The Armies of the Night – Norman Mailer
The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer
Man’s Fate – Andre Malraux
The Group – Mary McCarthy
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers
Coming of Age in Samoa – Margeret Mead
Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller
The Crucible – Arthur Miller
Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
Jazz – Toni Morrison
A Severed Head – Iris Murdoch
Sandcastle – Iris Murdoch
The Man Without Qualities – Robert Musil
Complete Stories (1971) – Flannery O’Connor
Appointment at Samarra – John O’Hara
The Revolt of the Masses – Jose Ortega Y Gassett
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
Life, A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
The Caretaker – Harold Pinter
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig
Personae – Ezra Pound
A Dance to the Music of Time – Anthony Powell
This Earth of Mankind – Pramoedya Ananta Tier
Complete Collected Stories – V.S. Pritchett
Excellent Women – Barbara Pym
An Unsuitable Attachment – Barbara Pym
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
Duino Elegies – Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus – Rainer Maria Rilke
Giants in the Earth – Ole Edvart Rolvaag
Goodbye, Columbus – Philip Roth
Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth
Children of the Arbat – Anatoli Rybakov
Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Seymour – J.D. Salinger
Being and Nothingness – Jean-Paul Sartre
No Exit – Jean-Paul Sartre
Citizens – Simon Schama
Negritude – Leopold Sedar Senghor
Selected Poems – Leopold Sedar Senghor
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Magician of Lublin – Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Interpreters – Woke Soyinka
Death and the King’s Horsemen – Woke Soyinka
The Big Rock Candy Mountain – Wallace Stegner
Angle of Repose – Wallace Stegner
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Harmonium – Wallace Stevens
Collected Poems – Wallace Stevens
Eminent Victorians – Lytton Strachey
Queen Victoria – Lytton Strachey
Is Sex Necessary – James Thurber
My Life and Hard Times – James Thurber
The Hobbit – J.R.R Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
Collected Stories – William Trevor
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Rabbit Redux – John Updike
Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
Rabbit at Rest – John Updike
Myra Breckenridge – Gore Vidal
Burr – Gore Vidal
Omeros – Derek Walcot
Collected Stories – Derek Walcot
Ti-Jean and His Brothers – Derek Walcot
The Double Helix – James D. Watson
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
The Loved One – Evelyn Waugh
Collected Stories – Eudora Welty
Black Lamb and Greg Falcon – Rebecca West
Voss – Patrick White
Riders in the Chariot – Patrick White
Our Town – Thornton Wilder
The Bridge of San Luis Rey – Thornton Wilder
The Glass Menagerie – Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
Collected Poems, Volume I – William Carlos Williams
Collected Poems, Volume II – William Carlos Williams
Native Son – Richard Wright
Black Boy – Richard Wright

Check the archive if you are interested in other reading projects I’m working on. Also, I’ve recently posted my 2018 Reading Stats and 2018 Blog Stats.

What reading projects are you working on currently?

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I'm an avid reader and love most all books, but my favorite genres tend to be mystery, adventure, science fiction and classics. Genres I tend to shy away from include romance, contemporary fiction and chick lit. If I’m not actually reading books, I’m probably at work shelving them at my local library.


  • Jillian

    I just have to tell you: your blog is completely beautiful. I’m guessing you put a lot of work into it. In case no one has mentioned it, my it is lovely. The aesthetic makes me want to read. x

    Lots of great books above! I like that they include a sampling of some world lit and female voices. I kind of wonder what this list will look like 500 years from now, & if any of our own writing (meaning our generation) will be included. 🙂

    • Books In Bloom

      Thank you soo much for the compliment. I too wonder which books of today would be considered “world-changing” or essential to ready. 🙂 Thanks for coming by.

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