Great Books and Classics

Lists of Bests: Books (Bill Turner): Top 100 lists, best books of the year lists, others. Includes Phobos Entertainment's 100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read; Sports Illustrated's Top 100 Sports Books of All Time; The Chronicle Western 100; the BBC's The Big Read - Top 100 Books; English PEN's The Bigger Read; Feminista!'s 100 Great 20th Century Works of Fiction by Women; etc. Not all are fiction lists.

Recommended Reading List from How to Read a Book : Chronologically organised list of many great books, no links. List developed by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, an appendix to their 1972 book.

Lifetime Reading Plan : Chronologically organised list of 'Great Books,' provides author and text, no links. List developed by Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major (1997 version, 4th edition).

A Lifetime's Reading: The World's 500 Greatest Books : List developed by Philip Ward. Suggests about 10 books per year for 50 years.

St. John's College Reading List (St. John's College, Annapolis): Required reading list for St. John's College students, organised by year in which they're read, with introductory comments. No links. There's also the reading list for the Santa Fe campus.

A Reading List for English Majors (Rutgers University, NJ): Not actually Rutger's English majors' list, this list is '... an attempt to reconstruct the English comprehensive reading list used at one eastern liberal arts college (Dartmouth) between the 1940s and the mid-1960s, the specific purpose of which was to guide reading for senior comprehensive examinations. In its essentials, however, it will be seen to give the outlines of the English major as it existed at similar colleges and universities up to about 1965.' Sections are Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Renaissance, 17th Century, Restoration and 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, Twentieth Century; and American Literature: Colonial, Revolution and Early Republic, Nineteenth Century, and Modern. Simply lists author and title(s).

The Master's Comprehensive Exam: Reading List (Rutgers University English Dept.): List of authors and titles suggested, in subject areas: Medieval and Renaissance, 17th and 18th Century British Literature, Romantic and Victorian Literature, American Literature (Colonial to 1900), 20th Century Literature, and Literary Criticism.

American Classics (Seattle Public Library): Author, title, short summary for about 30 books of classic fiction by American authors, from James Agee's A Death in the Family to Richard Wright's Native Son.

British Classics (Seattle Public Library): Author, title, short summary for about 30 books of classic fiction from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.

Books That Change Lives: Each of over twenty 20th-century achievers (explorers, surgeons, politicians, scientists, etc.) explains which book changed his or her life and why.

All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine): '100 Best English Language novels from 1923 to 2005' according to Time critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo. List in title order, with author, title, summary, cover image for each.

100 World Fiction Classics (Multnomah County Library, OR): Author, title, pub. year, webcat link, and one-line summary for 100 novels (plus some short story writers), from Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart to Emile Zola's Germinal.

A Guide to Oriental Classics (William T. de Bary and Ainslie Embree): Simple list of titles and authors (or just authors) -- Indian, Islamic, Chinese, and Japanese.

Great Classics List (Halton Hills Public Library -- Georgetown, Ontario, CAN): Titles of world classics of literature, listed by author. Short list. Also: Classic Prequels and Sequels.

American Classics (Maryann Mondrus, Skokie Public Library, IL): Summary, author, publication year, webcat link for 20 books, in chronological order from The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850) to Native Son (Richard Wright, 1940).

Readable Fiction Classics (Madison Public Library, WI): 'A classic is a work of enduring interest and appeal in which successive generations can find some truth that will not stale. Readable narrows our selection because although a classic, by our definition, has appeal, it may require a reader's determined effort to discern it. We call readable those books whose appeal is immediately apparent and continues throughout.' Author, title, publication date, and summary for each of about 100 classics. Compiled 2001, updated Jan. 2007.

Classics and Near Classics (Elmhurst Public Library, IL): Author, title, summary, webcat link for 200 or so classics. The list was created by the Adult Reading Round Table and is organized alphabetically by author.

Classic Fiction (Durham County Library, NC): Lists author and title only of Historical Classics and Modern Classics, by place of origin: The Americas, Great Britain and Ireland, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia. Compiled August 1998, updated Nov. 2000.

Cult Classics (Denver Public Library, CO): Author, title, summary, webcat link for about 15 books, from The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey to Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. Updated Jan. 2007.

Cult Fiction (Suzanne Booker, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Interesting list of about 50 novels. Author, title, year published. Includes Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Lord of the Rings, Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, The Catcher in the Rye, Edward Gorey's Amphigorey, a couple of Hesse books, Iceberg Slim's Trick Baby, Don Quixote, and lots more. Updated Dec. 2006.

Words to Live By: 25 political novels for summer reading (Mother Jones): Compiled 1998 by Arthur I. Blaustein. 'These 25 books offer an alternative to terminal consumerism and empty escapism. If read widely, they could do wonders for our social vision and moral sensibility by introducing us to fictional -- yet ordinary -- people who struggle to achieve genuine individuality and human connection.' Author, title, and summary.

Classic Sequels and Prequels (Halton Hills Public Library -- Georgetown, Ontario, CAN): Listed by author, books written by other authors as prequels or sequels to classic works of literature, e.g., Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett (based on characters from Gone with the Wind) and Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea (Jane Eyre).

Sequels to Classics (AART, Rolling Meadows Library, IL): Author, title, publication year, page count, and original classic/author listed for 9 novels, from Joan Aiken's Eliza?s Daughter to Emma Tennant's Pemberley.

Sequels to Classics (Bundaberg Library, Queensland, Australia) : About 40 sequels to classics, sorted by the name of the classic, with author's name. No summaries or webcat links. Includes sequels to books by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, AC Doyle, Rex Stout, Kenneth Grahame, Rudyard Kipling, etc.

Modern Versions of Classics (Ricki Nordmeyer, Fiction-L): Retellings of fairy tales, King Lear, Jane Eyre, and more.

Book-A-Minute Classics: Extremely short versions of the classics of literature, from Beowulf by Anonymous to Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Updated Sept. 2006.

Books for Booklovers Or, the Joy of Text (Evanston Public Library, IN): Non-fiction books about books, with summaries. From Sven Birkerts' Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age to Patricia Jean Wagner's Bloomsbury Review Booklover's Guide: A Collection of Tips, Techniques, Anecdotes, Controversies and Suggestions for the Home Library.