A Lifetime’s Reading: The World’s 500 Greatest Books


by Philip Ward:

Year 1

  • Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
    Complete Works
  • Plato (c. 429-347 BC)
    Apology
    Crito
    Phaedo
  • The Old Testament
  • Vaclav Havel (b. 1936)
    The Garden Party
    The Memorandum
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Tacitus (c. 55-c. 120 AD)
    Annals
    Histories
  • Ondra Lysohorsky (b. 1905)
    Selected Poems
  • Ernst Hans Gombrich (b. 1909)
    The Story of Art
  • Poem Into Poem: World Poetry in Modern Verse Translation
  • Pierre Abélard (1079-1143) and Héloïse (1101-1164)
    Letters
    Historia Calamitatum of Abélard

Year 2

  • The New Testament
  • Suetonius (c. 69-after 121 AD)
    The Twelve Caesars
  • Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978-1030)
    Tale of Genji
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    Tragedies
  • Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
    Complete Letters
  • Maxim Gorki (1868-1936)
    The Lower Depths and Other Plays
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
    The Portable Coleridge
  • Lin Yutang (b. 1895)
    The Importance of Living
  • Aeschylus (525-456 BC)
    Oresteia

Year 3

  • Mark Twain (1835-1910)
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Buddhist Scriptures
  • Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyvesky (1821-1881)
    The Brothers Karamazov
  • Ramón Gómez de la Serna (1888-1963)
    Greguerías: Selección
  • William Trevor (1928- )
    The Love Department
    The Children of Dynmouth
  • Teresa de Jesús, St. (1515-1582)
    The Life of Saint Teresa
  • Apuleius, ca. 125-ca. 180 AD
    Metamorphoses
  • Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886
    Complete Poems
  • Arrian, ca. 100-180 AD
    Anabasis
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930
    Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes

Year 4

  • The Penguin Book of French Verse
  • Talmud
  • Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
    Sentimental Education
  • Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
    Poems
    The Bell Jar
  • Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799)
    Barber of Seville
    Marriage of Figaro
  • Ovid (43 BC-17 AD)
    Metamorphoses
  • Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695)
    Selected Fables Set in Verse
  • Plutarch (c. 46-c. 127)
    Parallel Lives
  • Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra
    Primitive Song
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
    Pickwick Papers

Year 5

  • Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)
    Madame Bovary
  • Aristophanes (c. 448-c. 388 BC)
    Plays
  • Albert Camus (1913-1960)
    The Stranger
    The Plague
    The Fall
  • Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
    The Secret Agent
    Under Western Eyes
  • Villon (1431-after 1462)
    Poems
  • Ssu-ma Ch’ien (145-c. 86 BC)
    Records of the Grand Historian of China
  • Reiner Kunze (b. 1933)
    Poems
    Stories
    The Lovely Years
  • Moliere (1622-1673)
    Selected Plays
  • Boris Pasternak (1890-1960)
    Doctor Zhivago
  • Voltaire (1694-1778)
    Candide
    Zadig
    L’Ingénu
  • Pliny the Younger (c. 62-c. 113 AD)
    Letters

Year 6

  • The Poem Itself
  • Max Frisch (b. 1911)
    Andorra
    I’m Not Stiller
  • La Chanson de Roland
  • Friedrich Dürrenmatt (b. 1921)
    The Visit
    The Physicists
  • Émile Zola (1840-1902)
    Thèrése Raquin
    L’Assommoir
    Germinal
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
    Complete Stories and Poems
  • Honoré Balzac (1799-1850)
    La Comédie Humaine
  • Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky (1823-1886)
    The Thunderstorm
  • Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)
    The Father Brown Stories

Year 7

  • The Penguin Book of Latin Verse
  • Nagai Kafu (1879-1959)
    Kafu the Scribbler: The Life and Writings
  • Plautus (c. 254-184 BC)
    Comedies
  • Juan Ruiz (c. 1283-c. 1350)
    The Book of Good Love
  • Cicero (106-43 BC)
    Selected Works
  • Charles Singer
    A Short History of Scientific Ideas to 1900
  • Emily Brontë (1818-1848)
    Wuthering Heights
  • Virgil (70-19 BC)
    Aeneid
  • Five German Tragedies
  • Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Year 8

  • Benedetto Croce (1866-1952)
    Philosophy, Poetry, History: An Anthology
  • Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793)
    Three Comedies: Mine Hostess, The Boors, and The Fan
  • Modern Arab Poets, 1950-1975
  • Dino Buzzati (1906-1972)
    The Tartar Steppe
  • Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574)
    Lives of the Most Eminent Painters and Sculptors
  • Catullus (c. 84-c. 54 BC)
    Poems
  • Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936)
    The Late Mattia Pascal
    Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
  • Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
    The New Life
  • Stendhal (1783-1842)
    The Red and the Black

Year 9

  • Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
    Divine Comedy
  • Wu Ch’eng-en (c. 1510-1582)
    Journey to the West
  • Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571)
    Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    Poems
  • Italo Calvino (b. 1923)
    The Non-Existent Knight and the Cloven Viscount
    The Baron in the Trees
  • Stendhal (1783-1842)
    The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)
    Poems
  • Post-War Russian Poetry

Year 10

  • Medieval Literature in Translation
  • Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
    The Adventures of Don Quixote
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    Historical Plays
  • Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)
    Canto General
  • Thomas Mann (1875-1955)
    The Buddenbrooks
  • Tirso de Molina (1583-1648)
    The Rogue of Seville
  • Songs of the Provencal Troubadors
  • Camilo José Cela (b. 1916)
    Journey to the Alcarria
  • P’u Sung-Ling (1640-1715)
    Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio
  • Antonio Machado (1875-1939)
      Juan de Mairena: Epigrams, Maxims, Memoranda, and Memoirs of an Apocryphal Professor, with an Appendix of Poems from ‘The Apocryphal Songbooks’

Year 11

  • Lope Félix de Vega Carpio
    Five Plays
  • Wang Ch’ung (27-c. 97 AD)
    Philosophical and Miscellaneous Essays (Lun-Heng)
  • Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross) (1542-1591)
    Complete Poetry
  • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
    Comedies
  • Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1928)
    One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Herodotus (c. 484-c. 424 BC)
    Histories
  • The Penguin Book of Spanish Verse
  • Panchatantra
  • Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)
    Fictions
    Labyrinths
    The Aleph and Other Stories
  • Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD)
    Letters from a Stoic

Year 12

  • Gil Vicente (c. 1465-c. 1536)
    Four Plays
  • Tanizaki Junichiro (1886-1965)
    The Makioka Sisters
  • Luís Vaz de Camões
    Lusiads
  • Konstantin Paustovsky (1892-1968)
    The Story of a Life
  • José María Eça de Queiróz (1843-1900)
    The Sin of Father Amaro
    Dragon’s Teeth
    The Maias
  • Suryakant Tripathi Nirala (1898-1961)
    A Season on the Earth: Selected Poems
  • Alves Redol (b. 1911)
    The Man with Seven Names
  • Classical Literary Criticism (Aristotle’s On the Art of Poetry,
      Horace’s On the Art of Poetry, Longinus’ On the Sublime)
  • Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
    Selected Poems
  • François Rabelais (c. 1494-1553)
    The Histories of Gargantua and Pantagruel

Year 13

  • The Penguin Book of German Verse
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
    Faust
  • Harold Pinter (b. 1930)
    The Caretaker
    The Room
    The Dumb Waiter
  • Johann Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (c. 1625-1676)
    Simplicius Simplicissimus
  • Wang Wei (c. 699-c. 761)
    Poems
  • Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)
    The Good Woman of Setzuan
    Caucasian Chalk Circle
  • Lucretius (c. 99-c. 55 BC)
    On the Nature of Things
  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
    Hunchback of Notre Dame
    Hernani
  • East German Poetry: An Anthology
  • Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
    Out of My Life and Thought
    On the Edge of the Primeval Forest
    More From the Primeval Forest

Year 14

  • Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)
    Anna Karenina
  • Paul Celan (1920-1970)
    Poems
  • The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts
  • Friedrich von Schilleer (1759-1805)
    Don Carlos
  • Shih Nai-an (1296-1370)
    The Water Margin
  • Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929)
    Selected Works
  • Karl Marx (1818-1883)
    Capital
  • Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
    Autobiography: Poetry and Truth From My Own Life
  • Paul Klee (1879-1940)
    The Thinking Eye
    The Nature of Nature

Year 15

  • Kafka, Franz (1883-1924)
    Collected Works
  • Su Tung-p’o (1036-1101)
    Selections from a Sung Dynasty Poet
  • Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)
    The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi)
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
    The Interpretation of Dreams
  • Fernando de Rojas (c. 1465-1541)
    La Celestina
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger (b. 1929)
    Poems
  • Herman Melville (1819-1891)
    Moby Dick, or the White Whale
  • Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946)
    Five Plays
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
    Poems
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
    Confessions

Year 16

  • The Penguin Book of Greek Verse
  • Great Sanskrit Plays in New English Transcreations
  • Pausanias (c. 120-180)
    Description of Greece
  • Homer
    Odyssey
  • D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
    Sons and Lovers
  • Aristotle (384-322 BC)
    Politics
  • Plato (c. 429-347 BC)
    The Republic
  • Shih Ching (The Book of Songs)
  • Osip Emilievich Mandelstam (1891-1938)
    Selected Poems

Year 17

  • Xenophon (c. 429-c. 354 BC)
    Cyropaedia
  • Robert Burns (1759-1796)
    Poems and Songs
  • Euripides (c. 480-406 BC)
    Tragedies
  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
    Notebooks
  • Epicurus (341-270 BC)
    Writings
  • Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811)
    Writings
  • Homer
    Iliad
  • Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725)
    Major Plays
  • Sophocles (c. 496-406 BC)
    Tragedies

Year 18

  • Somadeva Bhatta (11th C)
    Kathasaritsagara
  • Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963)
    Selected Poems
  • Musharrif ad-Din bin Muslih Sa’di (c. 1208-c. 1292)
    Gulistan
  • Mehmet bin Süleyman Fuzuli (c. 1490-c. 1556)
    Leyla and Mejnun
  • Evliya Celebi (c. 1611-c. 1684)
    Narrative of Travels in Europe, Asia and Africa
  • Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273)
    Mathnawi
    It Contains What It Contains
  • Oliver Goldsmith (1729-1774)
    Vicar of Wakefield
    She Stoops to Conquer
    The Deserted Village
  • Sadeq Hedayat (1903-1951)
    The Blind Owl
  • Yahya Kemal Bayatli (1884-1958)
    Selected Poems
  • Mohammed Shamsuddin Hafiz (1327-1390)
    Divan

Year 19

  • Anthology of Islamic Literature, From the Rise of Islam to Modern Times
  • Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
    Nausea
  • Al-Qur’an
  • Terence (c. 195-159 BC)
    Comedies
  • The Seven Odes
  • Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890)
    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah
  • Procopius (c. 498-c.560)
    Works
  • ‘Ali Ahmad Ibn Hazm (994-1064)
    The Ring of the Dove: A Treatise on the Art and Practice of Arab Love
  • Giuseppe Gioachino Belli (1791-1863)
    The Roman Sonnets
  • Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah Ibn Battuta (1304-1369)
    Travels in Asia and Africa

Year 20

  • Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)
    Poems
  • A Thousand and One Nights
  • Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)
    Life is a Dream
  • Hadith (Traditions of Islam)
  • Daniel Defoe (c. 1660-1731)
      The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner
  • ‘Abd Ar-Rahman bin Muhammad Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)
    Prolegomena (Muqaddimah)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Abu Muhammad al-Qasim Al-Hariri (1054-1122)
    The Assemblies
  • Takeda Izumo (c. 1690-c. 1749) Chushingara
  • Lucan (39-65 AD)
    Pharsalia

Year 21

  • Joseph, Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857)
    Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing
  • Al-Jahiz (c. 780-c. 868)
    The Life and Works of Jahiz
  • Po Chü-i (772-846)
    Poems
  • Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali (1059-1111)
    The Deliverer from Error
  • Sinuhe (c. 2000 BC)
    The Story of Sinuhe
  • Yevgeni Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937)
    We
  • Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
    Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
    The Education of Henry Adams
  • Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934)
    Selected Poems
  • Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) Jude the Obscure
  • Al-Mutanabbi (915-965)
    Poems
  • Henry Elmer Barnes (b. 1889)
    A History of Historical Writing

Year 22

  • The Penguin Book of Russian Verse
  • The Aztecs
  • Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)
    War and Peace
  • William Blake (1757-1827)
    The Complete Writings
  • Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904)
    Plays
  • Patañjali (c. 300 AD)
    Yogasutra
  • Marco Polo (c. 1254-1324)
    Travels
  • Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov (1812-1891)
    Oblomov
  • Kamo no Chomei (1153-1216)
    An Account of My Hut

Year 23

  • Aristotle (384-322 BC)
    Nichomachean Ethics
  • Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
    Crime and Punishment
  • Charles Lamb (1775-1834)
    Essays of Elia
    Last Essays of Elia
  • Isaac Emmanuelovich Babel (1894-c. 1940)
    Collected Stories
  • Norbert Lynton
    The Story of Modern Art
  • Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-1883)
    Fathers and Children
  • Ghalib (1797/8-1869)
    Ghazals
  • Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918)
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • Kukai (774-835)
    Kukai and His Major Works
  • Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837)
    Eugene Onegin

Year 24

  • Sources of Chinese Tradition
  • Queste del Saint Graal
  • Anthology of Chinese Literature
  • Jane Austen (1775-1817)
    Pride and Prejudice
  • Li Po (701-762)
    Poems
  • Ts’ao Hsüeh-ch’in (c. 1715-c. 1763)
    The Dream of the Red Chamber
  • Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)
    Three Tragedies
  • Confucius (c. 551-c. 479 BC)
    Analects
  • Alexander Ivanovich Kuprin (1870-1938)
    The Garnet Bracelet
  • Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976)
    Selected Works

Year 25

  • Mencius (372-289 BC)
    Works
  • Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)
    Selected Poems and the essay „Teoría y juego del duende”
  • The Texts of Taoism
  • John Keats (1795-1821)
    Poetical Works
  • Chin P’ing Mei
  • Molière (1622-1673)
    Selected Plays
  • Tu Fu (712-770)
    Poems
  • Wu Ch’ing-tzu (1701-1754)
    The Scholars
  • Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
    Essays and Aphorisms
  • Lu Hsün (1881-1936)
    Selected Works

Year 26

  • Sources of Indian Tradition
  • Cantar de Mio Cid
  • Bhagavad Gita
  • Saint Augustine (354-430)
    Confessions
  • Poems from the Sanskrit
  • Premchand (1880-1936)
    The Gift of a Cow
    World of Premchand: A Selection of Short Stories
  • Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)
    Poems
    Triumphs
    Latin Poetry
    Prose
    Letters from Petrarch
  • Saddharma-Pundarika Sutra (Sutra of the Lotus of the True Law)
  • William Faulkner (1897-1962)
    The Sound and the Fury
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
    An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

Year 27

  • Thucydides (c. 471-c. 400 BC)
    History of the Peloponnesian War
  • Khushhal, Khan Khatak (1613-1689)
    Divan
  • Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970)
    A Passage to India
  • Dhammapada
  • Modern Spanish Theatre: An Anthology of Plays
  • Abe Kobo (b. 1925)
    The Woman in the Dunes
  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz (b. 1911)
    Poems
  • Günter Grass (b. 1927)
    The Tin Drum
  • Mallanga Vatsyayana (c. 3rd Century AD)
    Kama Sutra
  • Robert Lowell (1917-1977)
    Poems

Year 28

  • Valmiki (c. 3rd C BC)
    Ramayana
  • Upanishads (1,000-500 BC)
  • Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
    An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
  • Contemporary Indonesian Poetry
  • Pio Baroja (1872-1956)
    The Restlessness of Shanti Andía and Other Writings
  • Chairil Anwar (1922-1949)
    Complete Poetry and Prose
  • Mediaeval Latin Lyrics
  • Kautilya (c. late 4th C)
    Artha Shastra
  • Lady Sarashina (1008-c. 1065)
    As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
  • Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)
    The Book of the Courtier

Year 29

  • Sacred Writings of the Sikhs
  • Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)
    Complete Short Stories
  • A Celtic Miscellany
  • James Boswell (1740-1795)
    The Life of Samuel Johnson
  • Hung Sheng (1646-1704)
    The Palace of Eternal Youth
  • Franç:ois, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)
    The Maxims
  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
    Complete Works
  • Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826-1889)
    The Golovlyov Family
  • Kabir (c. 1430-c. 1518)
    Kabir
  • Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD)
    Moral Essays

Year 30

  • An Anthology of Sinhalese Literature up to 1815
  • Giusseppe Tomasi, prince of Lampedusa
    The Leopard
  • Chandidas (15th C)
    Love Songs of Chandidas
  • Lucian (c. 115-c. 180)
    Works
  • Milindapa&ntildeha
  • Sandor Petöfi (1823-1849)
    Petöfi
  • Bibhutibhusan Banerji (1894-1950)
    Pather Panchali (Song of the Road)
  • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
    The Advancement of Learning
    New Atlantis
    Essays
  • Bilhana (c. 1040-1095)
    Caurapañcasika (Phantasies of a Love-Thief)
  • Okagami

Year 31

  • Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1469-1536)
    Colloquies
    In Praise of Folly
  • Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843)
    Poems and Fragments
  • Jakob Rosenberg
    Rembrandt: Life and Work
  • Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
    The Provincial Letters
    Les Pensées
  • A Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry
  • Baruch Spinoza (1634-1677)
    Ethics
  • Emil M. Cioran (b. 1911)
    A Short History of Decay
    The Temptation to Exist
    The Fall Into Time
    The New Gods
  • Francisco Gómez de Quevedo y Villegas (1580-1645)
    Sueños (Dreams)
    Historia de la Vida del Buscón (Life and Adventures of Don Pablos the Sharper)
  • Poetry of the Netherlands in its European Context, 1170-1930
  • Kenko (1283-1350)
    Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa)

Year 32

  • Robert, Edler von Musil (1880-1942)
    The Man Without Qualities
  • Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)
    Complete Poems, 1909-1962
  • Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
    Memoirs of a Nun
    Dialogues
    Rameau’s Nephew
    Jacques the Fatalist and his Master
  • David Farrant Bland
    A History of Book Illustration: The Illuminated Manuscript and the Printed Book
  • Birds Through a Ceiling of Alabaster: Three Abbasid Poets
  • The Zend-Avesta
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
    Complete Poems
  • Ernst Robert Curtius (1886-1956)
    European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages
  • Juvenal (c. 60-c. 140 AD)
    Satires
  • Mo Tzu (c. 470-c. 391 BC)
    Basic Writings

Year 33

  • Kalevala
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
    Utilitarianism
    On Liberty
    Representative Government
    Autobiography
  • Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
    Brand
    Peer Gynt
  • Gunnar Ekelöf (1907-1968)
    Poetry
  • Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)
    Essays
  • Hjalmar Söderberg (1869-1941)
    Doctor Glas
    Selected Short Stories
  • Propertius (c. 50-c. 16 BC)
    Works
  • Knut Hamsun (1859-1952)
    Hunger
    Mysteries
  • John Donne (1572-1631)
    Poems
  • Njal’s Saga

Year 34

  • Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)
    The Pillars of Society
    A Doll’s House
  • Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)
    Les Enfants Terribles
  • Eino Leino (1878-1926)
    Helkavirsiä (Whitsongs)
  • Henry Fielding (1707-1754)
    Tom Jones: The History of a Foundling
  • August Strindberg (1849-1912)
    Plays
  • Han Fei Tzu (c. 280-233 BC)
    Complete Works
  • Tarjei Vesaas (1897-1970)
    The Ice Palace
    The Boat in the Evening
  • Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
    Either/Or
    Stages on Life’s Way
  • Chinua Achebe (b. 1930)
    Things Fall Apart
  • Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241)
    Heimskringla

Year 35

  • Anthology of Japanese Literature to the Nineteenth Century
  • George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
    Man and Superman
    Saint Joan
  • Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693)
    The Life of an Amorous Woman and Other Writings
  • Ch’an and Zen Teaching
  • St.-John Perse (1887-1975)
    Poems
  • Basho (1644-1694)
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches
  • Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340-1400)
    The Canterbury Tales
  • Ueda Akinari (1734-1809)
    Ugetsu Monogatari (Tales of Moonlight and Rain)
  • Manyoshu
  • Epictetus (c. 55-135)
    Discourses

Year 36

  • The Penguin Book of Japanese Verse
  • Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)
    Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
  • Twenty Plays of the No Theatre
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1980)
    The Family Moskat
  • Hekigan Roku
  • Pär Lagerkvist (1891-1974)
    Evening Land
  • Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972)
    The Snow Country
    The Thousand Cranes
  • Mabinogion
  • Sei Shonagon (c. 966-after 1008)
    The Pillow Book
  • Marcus Aurelius (121-180)
    Meditations

Year 37

  • The New Oxford Book of American Verse
  • Antoine-Francois, l’Abbé Prévost (1697-1763)
    Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut
  • John Ruskin (1819-1900)
    Praeterita
  • Horace (65-8 BC)
    Odes
  • Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
    Works
  • James Joyce (1882-1941)
    Ulysses
  • Nikolai Semyonovich Leskov (1831-1895)
    Selected Tales
  • Abolqasim Mansur bin Hasan Firdausi (c. 940-1020)
    Shahnameh (Epic of Kings)
  • Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920)
    Nazarín
    Halma
    Misericordia
  • Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
    Collected Poems

Year 38

  • Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920)
    Fortunata y Jacinta
  • Jayadeva (12th C)
    Gitagovinda
  • Samuel Pepys (1633-1703)
    Diary
  • Petronius (d. c. 65 or 66 AD)
    Satyricon
  • Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953)
    Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  • Pre-Columbian Peru
  • Josef Skvorecky (b. 1924)
    The Cowards
    The Bass Saxophone
  • Demosthenes (384?-322 BC)
    Philippics, Olynthiacs, and Minor Public Orations
  • Marina Ivanova Tsvetayeva (1894-1941)
    Selected Poems
  • George Eliot (1819-1880)
    Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Year 39

  • The Penguin Book of Latin American Verse
  • Li Yu (1125-1210)
    Poems
  • Modern Czech Poetry
  • Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
    Walden, or Life in the Woods
  • William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
    Collected Poems
  • Jaroslav Hasek (1883-1923)
    The Good Soldier Schweik
  • Portuguese Voyages (1498-1663)
  • Like Water, Like Fire: An Anthology of Byelorussian Poetry from 1828 to the Present
  • Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
    The Idiot
  • New Writing in Yugoslavia

Year 40

  • Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
    Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World by Lemuel Gulliver
  • Polish Post-War Poetry
  • Natsume Soseki (1867-1916)
    Kokoro
  • Poems of Black Africa
  • James Cook (1728-1779)
    Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery
  • Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (1798-1855)
    Pan Tadeusz
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)
    Plays
  • Sasuntsi Davith (Saga of Sassoun)
  • Slawomir Mrozek (b. 1930)
    Tango
    The Ugupu Bird
  • Romanian Poems: A Bilingual Anthology

Year 41

  • Anna Comnena (1083-c. 1153)
    Alexiad
  • Moses ben Jacob ben Ezra (c. 1055-c.1138)
    Selected Poems
  • Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744)
    The New Science of Giambattista Vico
  • Samuel Beckett (b. 1906)
    Molloy
    Malone Dies
    The Unnamable
    Waiting for Godot
  • Nikolai Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) (1870-1917 [sic])
    Selected Works
    What is to be Done?
  • Shota Rustaveli (fl. 1200)
    The Man in the Panther’s Skin
  • Miguel de Unamuno (1846-1936)
    The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations
  • Robert Graves (b. 1895)
    Collected Poems
  • Theodor Fontane (1819-1898)
    Effi Briest
  • Modern Hungarian Poetry

Year 42

  • Giovanni Verga (1840-1922)
    The House by the Medlar Tree
    Little Novels of Sicily
    Mastro Don Gesualdo
  • Jacobus de Varagine (c. 1227-1298)
    The Golden Legend
  • Guillaume de Lorris (c. 1212-c. 1237) and Jean de Meun (c. 1237-c. 1305)
    Le Roman de la Rose (Romance of the Rose)
  • Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent.
  • Hungarian Short Stories and Folktales of Hungary
  • Wang Yang-ming (1472-1529)
    Instructions for Practical Living, and Other Neo-Confucian Writings
  • Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927)
    Rasomon and Other Stories
  • Judah Ha-Levi (c. 1075-after 1140)
    Selected Poems
  • James Joyce (1882-1941)
    Finnegans Wake
  • Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533)
    Orlando Furioso

Year 43

  • Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
    Jane Eyre
  • Pindar (c. 518-438 BC)
    The Odes, Including Principle Fragments
  • René Descartes (1596-1650)
    Discourse on Method
  • Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873)
    I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed: A Tale of XVII Century Milan)
  • Bhartrhari (7th C AD)
    Poems
  • Sean O’Casey (1884-1964)
    Three Plays: Juno and the Paycock, The Shadow of a Gunman, The Plough and the Stars
  • Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977)
    Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
  • T’ao Ch’ien (365-427)
    The Poetry of T’ao Ch’ien
  • Ivy Compton-Burnett (1892-1969)
    A God and His Gifts
  • Gottfried von Strassburg (fl. 1210)
    Tristan

Year 44

  • The Maya
  • Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
    The Cantos
  • Mariano Azuela (1873-1952)
    The Underdogs
  • Octavio Paz (b. 1914)
    The Labyrinth of Solitude
    Configurations
  • Chu Hsi (1130-1200)
    Reflections on Things at Hand: The Neo-Confucian Anthology
  • Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)
    The Chief Plays
  • Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980)
    The Lost Steps
  • Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938)
    Poetry
  • Hasan ibn Ali Tusi, Nizam al-Mulk (1018-1092)
    The Book of Government, or Rules for Kings
  • Juan Jose Arreola (b. 1918)
    Confabulario and Other Inventions

Year 45

  • Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892)
    The Naturalist on the River Amazons
  • João Guimarães Rosa (1908-1967)
    Sagarana
    The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
  • Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
    The Rights of Man
  • Orlando and Claudio Villas Boas (b. 1914 and 1916)
    Xingu: The Indians, Their Myths
  • Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
    Leaves of Grass
  • Gilberto Freyre (b. 1900)
    The Masters and the Slaves
    The Mansions and the Shanties
    Order and Progress
  • Tokutomi Kenjiro (1868-1927)
    Footsteps in the Snow
  • Theophrastus (c. 372-c. 287 BC)
    Characters
  • Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
    The Spirit of the Laws
  • Ovid (14 BC-17 AD)
    Ars Amatoria

Year 46

  • Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837)
    The Captain’s Daughter and Other Stories
  • Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)
    Gerusalemme Liberata
  • Herbert Read (1893-1968)
    The Contrary Experience: Autobiographies
    The Green Child
  • Vidyapati Thakur (1352-1448?)
    Love Songs
  • Pierre Carlet de Chamblin de Marivaux (1688-1763)
    Up From the Country
  • Luis Vélez de Guevara (1579-1644)
    El Diablo Cojuelo
  • Maimonides (1135-1204)
    Guide for the Perplexed
  • Hermann Broch (1886-1951)
    The Death of Virgil
  • Milarepa (1052-1135)
    The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
  • Apollonius Rhodius (fl. 220 BC)
    Argonautica

Year 47

  • Anthology of Korean Poetry, From the Earliest Era to the Present
  • Italo Svevo (1861-1928)
    Confessions of Zeno
  • Ch’u Tz’u: The Songs of the South
  • St. Thomas More (1477-1535)
    Libellus … de Optimo Reipublicae Statu, deque Nova Insula Utopia
  • Farid ad-Din Attar (c. 1136-c. 1230)
    Ilahinama (Book of Divine Wisdom)
    The Conference of the Birds
  • Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
    Complete Plays
  • Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (1768-1848)
    Memoires d’Outre-Tombe
  • Carlos Fuentes (b. 1928)
    Terra Nostra
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
    Portable Emerson
  • David Jones (1895-1974)
    In Parenthesis
    The Anathemata

Year 48

  • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
    Waverley, or ‘Tis Sixty Years Since
  • Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540)
    The History of Italy
  • Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
    Poems
  • Henry James (1843-1916)
    The American Novels and Stories
    The Portrait of a Lady
  • Li Ho (791-817)
    The Poems of Li Ho
  • Amos Tutuola (b. 1920)
    The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads’ Town
  • Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (1893-1930)
    Poems
  • Ilango Adigal (2nd C AD)
    Shilappadikaram (The Ankle Bracelet)
  • Bertrand, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970)
    History of Western Philosophy
  • Shimazaki Toson (1872-1943)
    The Broken Commandment

Year 49

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
    Selected Writings
  • George Borrow (1803-1881)
    Lavengro
    Romany Rye
  • Kuruntokai (The Interior Landscape: Love Poems from a Classical Tamil Anthology)
  • William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)
    Vanity Fair
  • Sirat ‘Antar (Adventures of Antar)
  • Benjamin Jonson (1572-1637)
    Plays
  • Salvador Dalí (b. 1904)
    The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí
  • Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
    À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past)
  • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
    Selections
  • Mishima Yukio (1925-1970)
      Sea of Fertility tetralogy (Spring Snow, The Runaway Horses, The Temple of the Dawn, Decay of the Angel)

Year 50

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)
    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
  • Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1374)
    Decameron
  • Nur ad-Din ‘Abd Ar-Rahman Jami (1414-1492)
    Baharistan
  • Plotinus (c. 205-c. 262 AD)
    Enneads
  • Abu Bakr Muhammad bin ‘Abdulmalik Ibn Tufail (c. 1105-1185)
    Awakening of the Soul (Hayy ibn Yaqzan)
  • José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955)
    Invertebrate Spain
    Revolt of the Masses
  • Sir Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
    Collected Poems and Plays
  • Yüan Mei (1716-1798)
    Poems
  • John Milton (1608-1674)
    Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicens’d Printing
    Poetical Works
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
    Critique of Pure Reason

Source: Ward, Philip. A Lifetime’s Reading: The World’s 500 Greatest Books. New York: Stein and Day, 1983. © 1982 by Philip Ward and The Oleander Press.

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