A Recommended Reading List

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from Appendix A of How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

1. Homer (9th Century B.C.?)


2. The Old Testament

3. Aeschylus (c.525-456 B.C.)


4. Sophocles (c.495-406 B.C.)

Tragedies (Oedipus Rex)

5. Herodotus (c.484-425 B.C.)


6. Euripides (c.485-406 B.C.)


7. Thucydides (c.460-400 B.C.)

History of the Peloponnesian War

8. Hippocrates (c.460-377? B.C.)

Medical Writings

9. Aristophanes (c.448-380 B.C.)


10. Plato (c.427-347 B.C.)


11. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)


12. Epicurus (c.341-270 B.C.)

``Letter to Herodotus''
``Letter to Menoecus''

13. Euclid (fl.c. 300 B.C.)


14. Archimedes (c.287-212 B.C.)


15. Apollonius of Perga (fl.c.240 B.C.)

Conic Sections

16. Cicero (106-43 B.C.)


17. Lucretius (c.95-55 B.C.)

On the Nature of Things

18. Virgil (70-19 B.C.)


19. Horace (65-8 B.C.)


20. Livy (59 B.C.--A.D. 17)

History of Rome

21. Ovid (43 B.C.--A.D. 17)


22. Plutarch (c.45-120)

Parallel Lives

23. Tacitus (c.55-117)


24. Nicomachus of Gerasa (fl.c. 100 A.D.)

Introduction to Arithmetic

25. Epictetus (c.60-120)


26. Ptolemy (c.100-170; fl. 127-151)


27. Lucian (c.120-c.190)


28. Marcus Aurelius (121-180)


29. Galen (C. 130-200)

On the Natural Faculties

30. The New Testament

31. Plotinus (205-270)

The Enneads

32. St. Augustine (354-430)

On the Teacher
City of God
On Christian Doctrine

33. The Song of Roland (12th century?)

34. The Nibelungenlied (13th century?)

(Volsunga Saga as Scandinavian version)

35. The Saga of Burnt Njal

36. St. Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274)

Summa Theologica

37. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

The New Life
On Monarchy
The Comedy (The Inferno)

38. Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1340-1400)

Troilus and Criseyde
The Canterbury Tales

39. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)


40. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

The Prince
Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy

41. Desiderius Erasmus (c.1469-1536)

The Praise of Folly

42. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

43. Sir Thomas More (c.1478-1535)


44. Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Table Talk
Three Treatises

45. Francois Rabelais (c.1495-1553)

Gargantua and Pantagruel

46. John Calvin (1509-1564)

Institutes of the Christian Religion

47. Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)


48. William Gilbert (1540-1603)

On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies

49. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

Don Quixote

50. Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599)

The Faerie Queene

51. Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

Advancement of Learning
Novum Organum
New Atlantis

52. William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Poetry and Plays
(Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice)
(Selected Sonnets)

53. Galieo Galilei (1564-1642)

The Starry Messenger
Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences

54. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

Epitome of Copernican Astronomy
Concerning the Harmonies of the World

55. William Harvey (1578-1657)

On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
On the Circulation of the Blood
On the Generation of Animals

56. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

The Leviathan

57. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Rules for the Direction of the Mind
Discourse on the Method
Meditations on First Philosophy

58. John Milton (1608-1674)


59. Moliere (1622-1673)


60. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

The Provincial Letters
Scientific Treatises

61. Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695)

Treatise on Light

62. Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)


63. John Locke (1632-1704)

Letter Concerning Toleration
``Of Civil Government''
Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Thoughts Concerning Education

64. Jean Baptiste Racine (1639-1699)


65. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

66. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)

Discourse on Metaphysics
New Essays Concerning Human Understanding

67. Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

Robinson Crusoe

68. Jonathon Swift (1667-1745)

A Tale of a Tub
Journal to Stella
Gulliver's Travels (We watch the movie)
A Modest Proposal

69. William Congreve (1670-1729)

The Way of the World

70. George Berkeley (1685-1753)

Principles of Human Knowledge

71. Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Essay on Criticism
Rape of the Lock
Essay on Man

72. Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)

Persian Letters
Spirit of Laws

73. Voltaire (1694-1778)

Letters on the English
Philosophical Dictionary

74. Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Joseph Andrews
Tom Jones

75. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

The Vanity of Human Wishes
The Lives of the Poets

76. David Hume (1711-1776)

Treatise on Human Nature
Essays Moral and Political
An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding

77. Jean Jaques Rousseau (1712-1778)

On the Origin of Inequality
On the Political Economy
The Social Contract

78. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768)

Tristram Shandy
A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

79. Adam Smith (1723-1790)

The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Wealth of Nations

80. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Critique of Pure Reason
Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals
Critique of Practical Reason
The Science of Right
Critique of Judgment
Perpetual Peace

81. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

82. James Boswell (1740-1795)

Life of Samuel Johnson, Ll.D.

83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794)

Elements of Chemistry

84. John Jay (1745-1829), James Madison (1751-1836), and Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

Federalist Papers
(together with Articles of Confederation, Constitution of the United States, and Declaration of Independence)

85. Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
Theory of Fictions

86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Poetry and Truth

87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768-1830)

Analytical Theory of Heat

88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)

Phenomenology of Spirit
Philosophy of Right

Lectures on the Philosophy of History

89. William Wordsworth (1770-1850)


90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Biographia Literaria

91. Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Pride and Prejudice

92. Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)

On War

93. Stendhal (1783-1842)

The Red and the Black
The Charterhouse of Parma
On Love

94. George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Don Juan

95. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Studies in Pessimism

96. Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

Chemical History of a Candle
Experimental Researches in Electricity

97. Charles Lyell (1797-1875)

Principles of Geology

98. Auguste Comte (1798-1857)

The Positive Philosophy

99. Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

Pere Goriot
Eugenie Grandet

100. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Representative Men

101. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter

102. Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Democracy in America

103. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

A System of Logic
On Liberty
Representative Government
The Subjection of Women

104. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man

105. Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Works (opt. Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities)

106. Claude Bernard (1813-1878)

Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine

107. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Civil Disobedience

108. Karl Marx (1818-1883)

(together with Communist Manifesto)

109. George Eliot (1819-1880)

Adam Bede

110. Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Moby Dick
Billy Budd

111. Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)

Crime and Punishment
The Idiot
The Brothers Karamazov

112. Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)

Madame Bovary
Three Stories

113. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Plays (A Doll House)

114. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

War and Peace
Anna Karenina
What is Art?
Twenty-Three Tales (The Death of Ivan Illych)

115. Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Mysterious Stranger

116. William James (1842-1910)

The Principles of Psychology
The Varieties of Religious Experience
Essays in Radical Empiricism

117. Henry James (1843-1916)

The American
The Ambassadors

118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Beyond Good and Evil
The Geneology of Morals
The Will to Power

119. Jules Henri Poincare (1854-1912)

Science and Hypothesis
Science and Method

120. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)

The Interpretation of Dreams
Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
Civilization and Its Discontents
New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

121. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Plays and Prefaces

122. Max Planck (1858-1947)

Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory
Where Is Science Going?
Scientific Autobiography

123. Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

Time and Free Will
Matter and Memory
Creative Evolution
The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

124. John Dewey (1859-1952)

How We Think
Democracy and Education
Experience and Nature
Logic, the Theory of Inquiry

125. Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)

An Introduction to Mathematics
Science and the Modern World
The Aims of Education and Other Essays
Adventures of Ideas

126. George Santayana (1863-1952)

The Life of Reason
Skepticism and Animal Faith
Persons and Places

127. Nikolai Lenin (1870-1924)

The State and Revolution

128. Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

Remembrance of Things Past

129. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

The Problems of Philosophy
The Analsysis of Mind
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth
Human Knowledge; Its Scope and Limits

130. Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

The Magic Mountain
Joseph and His Brothers

131. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

The Meaning of Relativity
On the Method of Theoretical Physics
The Evolution of Physics (with L. Infeld)

132. James Joyce (1882-1941)

``The Dead'' in Dubliners
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

133. Jaques Maritain (1882- )

Art and Scholasticism
The Degrees of Knowledge
The Rights of Man and Natural Law
True Humanism

134. Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

The Trial
The Castle
(The Metamorphosis)

135. Arnold Toynbee (1889- )

A Study of History
Civilization on Trial

136. Jean Paul Sartre (1905- )

No Exit
Being and Nothingness

137. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (1918- )

The First Circle
The Cancer Ward

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