Suggested Reading List

The following is a list of books that students should have had exposure to before entering college. 

The 100 Most-Often-Recommended Works for College Freshman

Novels and Short Stories

Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

British, 1813

James Baldwin

Go Tell It on the Mountain

American, 1953

Saul Bellow

Seize the Day

American, 1956

Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

British 1847

Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

British, 1847

Albert Camus

The Stranger

French, 1942

Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

British, 1865

Willa Cather

My Antonia

American, 1918

Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote

Spanish, 1605, 1617

Kate Chopin

The Awakening

American, 1899

Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness

British, 1902

Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage

American, 1895

Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe

British, 1719

Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

British, 1860-61

Feodor Dostoevski

Crime and Punishment

Russian, 1866

George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss

British, 1860

Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man

American, 1947

William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury

American, 1929

Henry Fielding

Tom Jones

British, 1749

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

American, 1925

Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary

French, 1857

E.M. Forster

A Passage to India

British, 1924

Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Columbian, 1967

William Golding

Lord of the Flies

British, 1954

Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

British, 1891

Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

American, 1850

Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms

American, 1929

Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God

American, 1937

Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

British, 1932

Henry James

The Turn of the Screw

American, 1898

James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Irish, 1916

Franz Kafka

The Trial

Czechoslovakian, 1925

D.H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

British, 1913

Sinclair Lewis


American, 1922

Bernard Malamud

The Assistant

American, 1957

Thomas Mann

Death in Venice

German, 1912

Herman Melville


American, 1851

Toni Morrison


American, 1973

Flannery O'Connor

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

American, 1955

Tillie Olsen

Tell Me a Riddle

American, 1956-60

George Orwell

Animal Farm

British, 1945

Alan Paton

Cry, the Beloved Country

South African, 1948

Edgar Allan Poe

Great Tales and Poems

American, 1839-45

J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

American, 1951

Sir Walter Scott


British, 1820

Mary Shelley


British, 1818

John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

American, 1939

Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels

British, 1726

William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair

British, 1847-48

Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace

Russian, 1865-69

Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons

Russian, 1862

Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

American, 1886

John Updike

Rabbit, Run

American, 1961



French, 1759

Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five

American, 1969

Alice Walker

The Color Purple

American, 1982

Eudora Welty

Thirteen Stories

American, 1965

Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence

American, 1920

Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse

British, 1927

Richard Wright

Native Son

American, 1940






Greek, 458 BCE



Greek, 411, BCE

Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot

Irish, 1952

Bertolt Brecht

Mother Courage and Her Children

German, 1941

Anton Chekov

The Cherry Orchard

Russian, 1904



Greek, 431 BCE

Johann von Goethe

Faust, Part I

German, 1808

Henrik Ibsen

A Doll's House

Norwegian, 1879

Christopher Marlowe

Doctor Faustus

British, 1604

Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

American, 1949


The Misanthrope

French, 1666

Eugene O'Neill

Desire Under the Elms

American, 1924

William Shakespeare


British, 1600

George Bernard Shaw


British, 1913


Oedipus Rex

Greek, 430 BCE

Oscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest

British, 1895

Thornton Wilder

Our Town

American, 1938

Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie

American, 1945




Allison, Alexander, Editor

Norton Anthology of Poetry (Shorter Edition)

British & American



British, c. 700


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

British, c. 1350-1400

Geoffrey Chaucer

Canterbury Tales

British, 1387-1400



Italian, c. 1320


The Odyssey

Greek, c. 9th C. BCE

John Milton

Paradise Lost

British, 1667


The Aeneid

Italian, c. 18 BCE

Walt Whitman

Leaves of Grass

American, 1855






Greek, 4th C. BCE

Saint Augustine


Italian, 397-401


Bible (esp. King James Version)


Charles Darwin

Origin of the Species

British, 1859

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The American Scholar"

American, 1837

Benjamin Franklin


American, 1771

Sigmund Freud

Civilization and Its Discontents

German, 1930

Edith Hamilton


American, 1940

Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince

Italian, 1532

Karl Marx

Communist Manifesto

German, 1848

Michel de Montaigne

Selected Essays

French, 1580



Greek, c. 370 BCE

Henry David Thoreau


American, 1854

Back to Top


Free background & costume graphics by Tara Maginnis