Reading List: A Journey Through World Literature

Have you ever contemplated embarking on a reading journey through literature’s most celebrated novels?  If you’re interested in getting lost in some of the greatest books of all time, then this reading list is for you.

The first half of this list comes from the undergrad Lit Department of the San Jose State University and offers you one noteworthy fiction novel per author.  The second half of the list comes from the Princeton undergrad Lit Department and offers a few novels per author. Take your pick.  The Princeton list does have some books in common with the San Jose list but also offers a lot more novels from notable authors from around the world as opposed to mainly from the US and UK.  Included in this list are just the novels but for more genres; Epics, Dramas, Non Fiction, please follow the links at the end of each list for further reading.

John Barth > Lost in the Funhouse < 1979

Charlotte Bronte > Jane Eyre < 1847

Raymond Carver > What We Talk About When We Talk About Love < 1981

Anton Chekov > Anton Chekov’s Short Stories < 1979

Don DeLillo > White Noise < 1985

Junot Diaz > Drown < 1996

William Faulkner > Go Down, Moses < 1942

Gustave Flaubert > Madame Bovary < 1857

Gabriel Garcia Marquez > One Hundred Years of Solitude < 1967      [my review]

Ernest Hemingway > In Our Time < 1925

Zora Neale Hurston > Their Eyes Were Watching God < 1937

Henry James > Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man < 1917

Franz Kafka > In the Penal Colony < 1914

Jhumpa Lahiri > Interpreter of Maladies < 1999

Cormac McCarthy > Blood Meridian < 1985

Toni Morrison > Beloved < 1987

Lorrie Moore > Birds of America < 1998

Alice Munro > Selected Stories < 1997

Vladimir Nabokov > Lolita < 1955

Flannery O’Connor > Complete Stories < 1996

Virginia Woolf > Mrs Dalloway < 1925

Sherwood Anderson > Winesburg < 1919

Margaret Atwood > Cat’s Eye < 1988

Donald Barthelme > Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts < 1968

Jorge Luis Borges > Labyrinths < 1964

Italo Calvino > Cosmicomics < 1968

Miguel Cervantes > Don Quixote < 1605-1615

John Cheever > Stories of John Cheever < 1978

J M Coetzee > Waiting for the Barbarians < 1980

Robert Coover > Pricksongs and Descants < 1969

E L Doctorow > Ragtime < 1975

Louise Erdrich > Love Medicine < 1984     [my review]

William Faulkner > Absalom, Absalom < 1936

Nadine Gordimer > July’s People < 1982    [my review]

Edward P Jones > Lost in the City < 1992

James Joyce > Ulysses < 1922

Tim O’Brien > The Things They Carried < 1990

Grace Paley > Collected Stories < 1994

Jayne Anne Phillips > Black Tickets < 1979

Edgar Allan Poe > Selected Short Stories < 1966

Salman Rushdie > Midnight’s Children < 1981

Leslie Marmon Silko > Ceremony < 1977

Laurence Sterne > Tristram Shandy < 1759-1767

Bram Stoker > Dracula < 1897

Eudora Welty > Collected Stories < 1982

Edith Wharton > Age of Innocence < 1920


For more books of from other genres on the San Jose State University Lit Reading List


Abdulrazak Gurnah > Paradise. Desertion. By the Sea.

Alex La Guma > In the Fog of the Season’s End.

Ama Ata Aidoo > Our Sister Killjoy. The Rape of Shavi.

Amitav Ghosh > Shadow Lines.

Amos Tutuola > The Palm Wine Drinkard.

Anita Desai > Baumgartner’s Bombay.

Aphra Behn > Oroonoko.

Bem Okri > The Famished Road.

Bessie Head > A Question of Power.

Bram Stoker > Dracula.

Buchi Emecheta > The Joys of Motherhood.

Charles Dickens > Great Expectations.

Charlotte Lennox > The Female Quixote.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie > Half of a Yellow Sun.

Chinua Achebe > Arrow of God. Things Fall Apart.

Daniel Defoe > Robinson Crusoe. Roxana. Moll Flanders.

Doris Lessing > The Golden Notebook.

Djuna Barnes > Nightwood.

E M Forster > A Passage to India.

Edwidge Danticat > Breath. Eyes. Memory.

Eliza Haywood > Love in Excess. Fantomina.

Emily Bronte > Wuthering Heights.

Ernest Hemingway > The Old Man and the Sea.

F Scott Fitzgerald > The Great Gatsby.

Frances Burney > Evelina.

G V Desani > All about H Hatterr.

George Eliot > Middlemarch.

George Lamming > The Emigrants.

Henry Fielding > Tom Jones.

Henry James > Portrait of a Lady.

Herman Melville > Moby Dick.

J M Coetzee > Waiting for the Barbarians.

James Baldwin > Go Tell It on the Mountain.

James Fenimore Cooper > The Last of the Mohicans. The Deersayer. The Pathfinder.

James Joyce > Ulysses.

Jean Rhys > Wide Sargasso Sea.

Jean Toomer > Cane.

John Bunyan > Pilgrim’s Progress.

John Steinbeck > Grapes of Wrath.

Jonathan Swift > Gulliver’s Travels.

Joseph Conrad > Heart of Darkness.

Kazuo Ishiguro > Remains of the Day.    [my review]

Leo Tolstoy > Anna Karenina. War and Peace.

Margaret Atwood > The Handmaid’s Tale.    [my review]

Mary Shelley > Frankenstein.

Maxine Hong Kingston > The Woman Warrior.

Michael Odaantje > Coming through Slaughter.

Miles Franklin > My Brilliant Career.

Mulk Raj Anand > Untouchable. 1937

Nadine Gordimer > July’s People.

Nathaniel Hawthorne > The Scarlet Letter. House of Seven Gables.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o > Petals of Blood.

Nurridin Farah > Gifts. Maps.

Ralph Ellison > Invisible Man.

Salman Rushdie > Midnight’s Children. The Satanic Verses. Shame.

Samuel Richardson > Pamela. Clarissa.

Thomas Pynchon > Mason and Dixon. Gravity’s Rainbow.

Tsitsi Dangarembga > Nervous Conditions.

V S Naipaul > House for Mr Biswas. A Bend in the River. Mimic Men.


For more literature of other genres and also in other languages see the Princeton Lit Department List




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