How well read are you?

There is a new “meme” running through the lit blog community (see here and here) that involves revealing how many literary “classics” you have read. I did this awhile back with the Modern Library’s top 100 English language novels. To further reveal my lack of culture I will use the list provided this time. The ones in bold are the ones I have read:


Beowulf
Achebe, Chinua — Things Fall Apart
Agee, James — A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane — Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James — Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel — Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul — The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte — Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily — Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert — The Stranger
Cather, Willa — Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey — The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton — The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate — The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph — Heart of Darkness
Cooper, James Fenimore — The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen — The Red Badge of Courage
Dante — Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel — Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel — Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles — A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor — Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick — Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore — An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre — The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George — The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph — Invisible Man
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
Flaubert, Gustave — Madame Bovary
Ford, Ford Madox — The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von — Faust
Golding, William — Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas — Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Hawthorne, Nathaniel — The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph — Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest — A Farewell to Arms
Homer — The Iliad
Homer — The Odyssey

Hugo, Victor — The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale — Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous — Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik — A Doll’s House
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
Lewis, Sinclair — Babbitt
London, Jack — The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas — The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García — One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman — Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman — Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur — The Crucible
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
Pasternak, Boris — Doctor Zhivago
Plath, Sylvia — The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan — Selected Tales
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
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
Sophocles — Oedipus Rex
Steinbeck, John — The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis — Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher — Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan — Gulliver’s Travels
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
Voltaire — Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. — Slaughterhouse—Five
Walker, Alice — The Color Purple
Wharton, 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
Woolf, Virginia — To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard — Native Son

Not all that impressive. In my defense, if I need one, I have been slowly working on the list. In high school and college I seemed to lack the focus to read these classic works, as an adult I am attempting to make up for that lost time.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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6 Comments

  • A (Short) List of (Long) Book Lists

    It was during my adventures in arts blogging that I learned about the popularity of book lists in the blogosphere. Here’s how they work: you read the lists, count the books you’ve read, and then decide whether you’re entitled to

  • I think I have read about 14 on the list. Some few I felt were profitable. I really became more engaged to authors than works and if the author did not grab me neither would the book.

    I really enjoyed Jack London, Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Crane, and Theodore Dreiser. I think this list proves it is only a list.

  • This list is made by a bunch of pompous, paraffin-headed peabrains, as they left off “The Old Man and the Sea” by Hemingway. Not that I’m opinionated or anything like that. :)

  • College makes you stupid

    So I finally came across the list yeah that list, for one of a thousand places that have posted it recently, but I’m like really lazy and stuff, so I’m not going to bother and bold all the ones I’ve…

  • Reading list

    (I was poking around the weblog archives and found this, a post that never got published. Oops. I think it comes from back when I was thinking about Will Durant’s reading list. There’s a project that got lost…) Here’s another…