Thursday, January 22, 2009

List: 100 Greatest Books Ever (Easton Press)

"The most renowned works of literature by history’s greatest authors," according to the Editorial Advisory Board of Easton Press.  It is an interesting mix because it goes back to ancient times, covers the globe, and includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Easton Press sells the whole set in very fancy covers, but all of these books are available in about a zillion different editions.

Those I have read are in red.  I've read 63 of them, plus bits and pieces of others in high school or college, but I don't count those as finished.  Those currently on my TBR shelf are in blue.

As always, if anyone else is reading the books on this list, please feel free to leave a comment with a link to your progress report and I will add it to this post.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift

Moby Dick by Herman Melville (reviewed here)*

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling*

The Odyssey by Homer

The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce (reviewed here)

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Tales From The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (reviewed here)

Candide by Voltaire

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper*

The Sea Wolf by Jack London

Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmund Rostand

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Collected Poems by Robert Browning

Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (reviewed here)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Collected Poems by John Keats

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Collected Poems by Robert Frost

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

The Iliad by Homer

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas*

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Aesop's Fables by Aesop

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas*

Politics and Poetics by Aristotle

The Aeneid by Virgil

Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Pygmalion and Candida by George Bernard Shaw

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe*

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The Analects of Confucius by Confucius

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Collected Poems by William Butler Yeats

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Necklace and Other Tales by Guy de Maupassant

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The History of Early Rome by Livy

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Dracula by Bram Stoker (reviewed here)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Omar Khayyám

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Republic by Plato

Collected Poems by Emily Dickinson

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding*

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay

Silas Marnerby George Eliot

The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Billy Budd by Herman Melville

The Confessions by St. Augustine

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler*

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (reviewed here)*

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain*

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


* Marks those that I have in the fancy Easton Press edition, thanks to a lovely Christmas gift from Hubby.

Last updated on August 7, 2015.

(If you would like to be listed here, please leave a comment with your links to any progress reports or reviews and I will add them here.)


  1. Visiting your blog could be dangerous for me--lists are too tempting. There's a lot of my favorites on there.

  2. Rose City Reader, I'm amazed at some of them that you *haven't* read -- because I know you are such a prolific reader. For instance, Crime and Punishment is one of my favorites. But I know you have about 1,000,000 lists, so...

  3. Rose City Reader, I knew you would love that list. I almost e-mailed it to you. And I know you had to e-mail Easton Press to get it because I know it's not posted on their Web site. Impressive number in blue. Stop by and say hi to Josephine, won't you?

  4. Oh, yes -- it is shameful that I haven't read C&P yet. Not that it gets me off the hook, but it is loaded on my iPog and I will get to it this year. Same with War & Peace and Swann's Way.

    All I can say is that "Books I am Ashamed I Have Not Read (Yet)" is definitely the LONGEST book list I am working on.

  5. Oh, I'm not saying you should be "ashamed" -- you have read MANY more books than I have. You still win as most prolific reader I know in cyberspace!

    I was just surprised that you got through school without reading C&P, for example. I think you'd probably like it.

  6. I know! I can't believe I've never read C&P -- or W&P for that matter.

    But don't worry, I'm not really "ashamed" about my (better name) "Books I Regret Not Having Read Yet" list. I'll get to them someday.

    Laura -- Feel free to email any lists you may think I'll like. I love that idea! I actually found this one on Lists of Bests when I didn't see it on the Easton web site. I hope it is accurate.

  7. I have no desire to read W&P, to be honest. I blame on the movie, which was so long I kept falling asleep. I'd try again and fall asleep again. I tend to hate movies of books, so that was a mistake. Maybe someday I'll try the book....

  8. Movies can really do terrible things to books, even changing the plots and endings sometimes! The latest version of Anna Karenina was a botch job, and I heard the ending for Jane Eyre does not leave him blind. I like how you did your list with the colors, and 49 is a great number - you've beat me by 2 at the current date.

  9. I love lists and this one is no exception! I've been making a conscious effort to read more classics in the past five years and so I've actually read a number of titles from the list (even though I'm not reading *from* the list!)

    I'm currently participating in a year-long- read-along of Tolstoy's WAR & PEACE and I have to say I'm loving it! I'm not sure what my reservations were, other than it's a gabillion pages long; but it is amazingly readable in that it's basic linear narrative, very straight-forward and conspicuously absent of esoteric or otherwise obtuse language.

  10. dog eared copy - Glad you like this list. It is the one I turn to when I want a little inspiration to read a "classic." I'll get to War & Peace one of these days. I am sure I will like it, although it is long. Last year I read Crime & Punishment, this year I read The Count of Monte Cristo, and next year I will read War & Peace. One huge classic a year.


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