What the heck, all the cool kids seem to be doing it

The 101 Great Books as listed by the College Board. Books I’ve read are in bold.
Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
Austin, Jane – Pride and Prejudice –Ughh!
Baldwin, James – Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot — Borrrring.
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie March
Bronte, Charlotte – Jane Eyre
Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger
Cather, Willa – Death Comes for the Archbishop
Cervantes, Miguel de – Don Quixote
Chaucer, Geoffrey – The Canterbury Tales — Excerpts only
Chekhov, Anton – The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate – The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness — I feel like I’ve read it, it seems every movie ever made has been based on it.
Cooper, James Fenimore – The Last of the Mohicans — Saw the movie.
Crane, Stephen – The Red Badge of Courage
Dante – Inferno — Cliff’s Notes
Defoe, Daniel – Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles – A Tale of Two Cities — Dickens always seemed a very slow read, but the stories were just interesting enough to keep them barely on the positive side of the spectrum.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor – Crime and Punishment — Slightly on the negative side of the scale. It had its good points but then there’d be decent sized chunks that just made no sense whatsoever.
Douglass, Frederick – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass — Did a book report on it. Can’t say it really made much of an impact at all.
Dreiser, Theodore – An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre – The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man — I HATED, HATED, HATED, HATED this book. Most boring book I have ever read.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – Selected Essays
Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William – The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry – Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby — Meh.
Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox – The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von – Faust
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies — Decent book. Suffered from having it assigned by the English Teacher From Hell.
Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The Scarlet Letter — Meh. Not interesting enough to really form an opinion one way or the other.
Heller, Joseph – Catch 22 — It’s no M*A*S*H.
Hemingway, Ernest – A Farewell to Arms
Homer – The Iliad
Homer – The Odyssey — An ok read as far as 2,000+ year old books go. The stories are good, the prose resulting from the translation can do you in though.
Hugo, Victor – The Hunchback of Notre Dame — Read Les Mis.
Hurston, Zora Neale – Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik – A Doll’s House — I had completely forgotten about this one. Can’t say I cared for it.
James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry – The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Kafka, Franz – The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong – The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper – To Kill a Mockingbird — Good book, probably not as good as it’s made out to be though.
Lewis, Sinclair – Babbitt — Meh. I read it, can’t say any of it stuck with me. I think it may have started with something about a skyscraper.
London, Jack – The Call of the Wild — Wasn’t really good, wasn’t really bad.
Mann, Thomas – The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman – Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman – Moby Dick — Very long. I was like 10 and I got the book-on-tape and was quite determined to make it through the whole thing. For the life of me I don’t know why though.
Miller, Arthur – The Crucible — Meh
Morrison, Toni – Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene – Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George – Animal Farm — One of the better books on the list that I’ve read. A good enough read that you don’t find yourself slogging through it like so many books on this list.
Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allen – Selected Tales — I’ll count this one. I’ve read the great majority of his stories.
Proust, Marcel – Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas – The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria – All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond – Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry – Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. – The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William – Hamlet — All of Shakespeare’s stuff is pretty hard to properly comprehend nowadays.
Shakespeare, William – Macbeth
Shakespeare, William – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William – Romeo and Juliet
Shaw, George Bernard – Pygmalion
Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon – Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles – Antigone — Meh
Sophocles – Oedipus Rex — Meh
Steinbeck, John – The Grapes of Wrath — An ok book, I did find myself struggling to keep going at times.
Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels — An ok book.
Thackeray, William – Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David – Walden
Tolstoy, Leo – War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan – Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — An ok read.
Voltaire – Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. – Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice – The Color Purple
Warton, Edith – The House of Mirth
Welty, Eudora – Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt – Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar – The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie — Decent, didn’t really find anything spectacular about it though.
Woolf, Virginia – To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard – Native Son
I’m actually a fairly prolific reader in my free time. Read pretty much all of Orson Scott Card’s non-Biblical/Mormon stuff. Been trying to work my way through some of the more important stuff recently (at least the important stuff that piques my curiosity), some of Asimov’s robot stuff, Stranger in a Strange Land, most of Rand’s stuff.


  1. Not Todd says:

    Have you tried China Mieville? His politics are goofy but his books are good. I’d recommend “Perdido Street Station” and it’s follow-up “The Scar”. In your SF/Fantasy section.

  2. DarthVOB says:

    Slaughterhouse-Five is a must-read.
    Did you need a Rand book? I thought I’d offered one to you…

  3. Rob Bernard says:

    There was a cat hair issue with the copy of The Fountainhead I checked out from the library but I worked through it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *