The Great Books List

The Great Books

I’ve always considered it to be a major educational and developmental deficit to have never read the great books. I’ve tried to make up for lost time by reading a few here and there for this project, but I know I’m missing something by not knowing the canon.

I recently listened to a podcast episode where Tommy Collison shared his goal of reading through The Great Books over the next four years. I got inspired.

I’ve replicated his list below and now I’m considering going through it. I’d intersperse the great books into my yearly reading lists with a goal of getting through all 196 books below by the year 2030.

# Book Author
1 Iliad Homer
2 Odyssey Homer
3 Agamemnon Asechylus
4 Prometheus Bound Asechylus
5 Oedipus at Colonius Sophocles
6 Oedipus Rex Sophocles
7 Antigone Sophocles
8 Metamorphoses Ovid
9 History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides
10 Theogony Hesiod
11 Works and Days Hesiod
12 Clouds Aristophanes
13 Lysistrata Aristophanes
14 Bacchae Euripides
15 Meno Plato
16 Gorgias Plato
17 The Republic Plato
18 The Last Days of Socrates (Euthyphro, Apoloy, Crito, Phaedo) Plato
19 Elements Euclid
20 On the Nature of Things Lucretius
21 Lycurgus Plutarch
22 Solon Plutarch
23 Arithmetic Nicomachus
24 Elements of Chemistry Lavoisier
25 Motion of the Heart and Blood Harvey
26 Enchiridion Epictetus
27 Letters from a Stoic Seneca
28 Meditations Marcus Aurelius
29 Analects Confucius
30 The Book of Chuang Tzu Chuang Tzu
31 The Bhagavad-Gita in the Mahabharata
32 Basic Writings of Mo Tzu Mo Tzu
33 Hsun Tzu Mo Tzu
34 Han Fei Tzu Mo Tzu
35 The Way of Lao Tzu Lao Tzu
36 The Bible
37 Symposium Plato
38 Parmenides Plato
39 Theaetetus Plato
40 Sophists Plato
41 Timaeus Plato
42 Phaedrus Plato
43 Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle
44 Eudemian Ethics Aristotle
45 Rhetoric Aristotle
46 Conics Apollonius
47 Aeneid Virgil
48 Caesar Plutarch
49 Cato the Younger Plutarch
50 Discourses Epictetus
51 Manual Epictetus
52 Annuals Tacitus
53 Almagest Ptolemy
54 Confessions Augustine
55 Proslogium S. Anselm
56 Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas
57 Summa Contra Gentiles Thomas Aquinas
58 Divine Comedy Dante
59 Mass Des Prez
60 Life of Johnson Boswell
61 The Prince Machiavelli
62 Discourses Machiavelli
63 On the Revolution of the Spheres Copernicus
64 The Freedom of a Christian Martin Luther
65 Preface to Romans Martin Luther
66 Concerning Governmental Authority Martin Luther
67 The Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants Martin Luther
68 Friendly Admonition to Peace Concerning the Twelve Articles of the Swabian Peasants Martin Luther
69 Gargantua and Pantagruel Rabelais
70 Missa Papae Marcelli Palestrina
71 Essays (Of Custom, and That We Should Not Easily Change a Law Received; Of Pedantry; Of the Education of Children; That It Is Folly to Measure Truth and Error by Our Own Capacity; Of Cannibals; That the Relish of Good and Evil Depends in a Great Measure upon the Opinion We Have of Them; Upon Some Verses of Virgil) Montaigne
72 Introduction on the Analytical Art Viete
73 Novum Organum Francis Bacon
74 Richard II William Shakespeare
75 Henry IV William Shakespeare
76 Henry V William Shakespeare
77 The Tempest William Shakespeare
78 As You Like It William Shakespeare
79 Hamlet William Shakespeare
80 Othello William Shakespeare
81 Macbeth William Shakespeare
82 King Lear William Shakespeare
83 Coriolanus William Shakespeare
84 Sonnets William Shakespeare
85 Antony and Cleopatra William Shakespeare
86 The Winter’s Tale William Shakespeare
87 Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare
88 Twelfth Night William Shakespeare
89 The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare
90 The Rigveda
91 Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
92 A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift
93 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
94 Middlemarch George Eliot
95 Canterbury Tales Chaucer
96 Autobiography Mill
97 Don Quixote Cervantes
98 Leviathan Hobbes
99 Two New Sciences Galileo
100 Meditations Descartes
101 Rules for the Direction of the Mind Descartes
102 Paradise Lost Milton
103 Maxims La Rochefoucauld
104 Fables La Fontaine
105 Pensées (Numbers 72, 82-83, 100, 128, 131, 139, 142-143, 171, 194- 195, 219, 229, 233-234, 242, 273, 277, 282, 289, 298, 303, 320, 323, 325, 330-331, 374, 385, 392, 395-397, 409, 412-413, 416, 418, 425, 430, 434-435, 463, 491, 525- 531, 538, 543, 547, 553, 556, 564, 571, 586, 598, 607-610, 613, 619-620, 631, 640, 644, 673, 675, 684, 692-693, 737, 760, 768, 792-793) Pascal
106 Treatise on Light Huygens
107 On the Movement of Bodies by Impact Huygens
108 Theological-Political Treatise Spinoza
109 Second Treatise on Government Locke
110 Phaedra Racine
111 Principia Mathematica Newton
112 Epitome IV Kepler
113 Monadology Leibniz
114 Discourse on Metaphysics Leibniz
115 Essay on Dynamics Leibniz
116 Philosophical Essays Leibniz
117 Principles of Nature and Grace Leibniz
118 Autobiography Frederick Douglass
119 Treatise on Human Nature David Hume
120 Enquiry David Hume
121 Dialogues on Natural Religion David Hume
122 Essays David Hume
123 The Social Contract Rousseau
124 On the Origin of Inequality Rousseau
125 Confessions Rousseau
126 The Misanthrope Molière
127 The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith
128 Critique of Pure Reason Kant
129 Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant
130 Don Giovanni Mozart
131 Essays Francis Bacon
132 Civil and Moral Francis Bacon
133 Essays on the Theory of Numbers Dedekind
134 Kumārasaṃbhava: in The Origin of the Young God Kālidāsa
135 Discourses on the Noble Quest
136 Discourse to Kālāmas
137 The Greater Discourse on Cause, Early Buddhist Discourses
138 The Holy Teaching of Vimalakīrti Vimalakīrti Sūtra
139 The Tale of the Heike
140 The Difference Between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism Kūkai
141 Attaining Enlightenment in This Very Existence Kūkai
142 The Meanings of Sound, Word, and Reality Kūkai
143 The Pillow Book Shōnagon
144 Articles of Confederation
145 Declaration of Independence
146 Constitution of the United States
147 Supreme Court Opinions
148 Candide Voltaire
149 The Federalist Papers Hamilton, Jay, Madison
150 Origin of Species Charles Darwin
151 Phenomenology of Mind Hegel
152 Logic Hegel
153 Theory of Parallels Lobachevsky
154 Democracy in America De Tocqueville
155 Philosophical Fragments Kierkegaard
156 Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard
157 Tristan and Isolde Wagner
158 Capital Karl Marx
159 Political and Economic Manuscripts of 1844 Karl Marx
160 The German Ideology Karl Marx
161 Brothers Karamazov Dostoyevsky
162 War and Peace Tolstoy
163 Anna Karenina Tolstoy
164 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
165 Selected Stories Flannery O’Connor
166 Psychology William James
167 Briefer Course William James
168 Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche
169 Thus Spake Zarathustra Nietzsche
170 Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche
171 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis Freud
172 The Interpretation of Dreams Freud
173 Civilization and its Discontents Freud
174 Mass Pyschology and Other Writings Freud
175 Poems Valery
176 Selected Writings Booker T. Washington
177 The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois
178 What Is Philosophy? Heidegger
179 The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory Heisenberg
180 Selected Papers Einstein
181 The Electron Millikan
182 David Copperfield Charles Dickens
183 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
184 Great Expectations Charles Dickens
185 Heart of Darkness Conrad
186 The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
187 The Bear William Faulkner
188 Go Down, Moses William Faulkner
189 Benito Cereno Herman Melville
190 Moby Dick Herman Melville
191 “The Gītagovinda” in Love Song of the Dark Lord Jayadeva
192 The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Kundera
193 The Unbearable Lightness of Being Kundera
194 American Pastoral Roth
195 Sabbath’s Theater Roth
196 North and South Gaskell

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