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101 Great Books Series: Part 1 by Umair Mirxa

Travel through more than four thousand years of great literature with this series of ‘101 Great Books’ blog posts, and discover a lifetime’s worth of reading material written from 2100 BCE all the way to the present day.

The first 101 Great Books span more than 3,900 years, and areas as diverse as Ancient Sumer, Greece, Arabia, Scandinavia, Japan, China, Britain, France, and the United States. So without any further ado whatsoever or more words you are not going to read anyway, here is the first list:

Click here for the second part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1872 to 1916

  1. Epic of Gilgamesh – Anonymous – 2100 BCE
  2. The Iliad – Homer – 750 BCE
  3. The Odyssey – Homer – 720 BCE
  4. Aesop’s Fables – Aesop – 560 BCE
  5. Aeneid – Virgil – 20 BCE
  6. Arabian Nights – Anonymous – 800
  7. Beowulf – Anonymous – 975
  8. The Tale of Genji – Lady Murasaki Shikibu – 1021
  9. Romance of the Three Kingdoms – Luo Guanzhong – 1323
  10. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer – 1390
  11. The Tale of Two Lovers – Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini – 1467
  12. Le Morte D’Arthur – Sir Thomas Malory – 1485
  13. Beware the Cat – William Baldwin – 1561
  14. Water Margin – Shi Nai’an – 1589
  15. Journey to the West – Wu Cheng’en – 1592
  16. Don Quixote de la Mancha – Miguel de Cervantes – 1615
  17. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – 1719
  18. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe – 1722
  19. Roxana – Daniel Defoe – 1724
  20. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift – 1726
  21. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling – Henry Fielding – 1749
  22. Candide – Voltaire – 1759
  23. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman – Laurence Stern – 1767
  24. Dream of the Red Chamber – Cao Xueqin – 1791
  25. The Lady of the Lake – Sir Walter Scott – 1810

Click here for the third part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1917 to 1952

  1. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen – 1811
  2. The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Brothers Grimm – 1812
  3. The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann David Wyss – 1812
  4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 1813
  5. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen – 1814
  6. Emma – Jane Austen – 1815
  7. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen – 1817
  8. Persuasion – Jane Austen – 1817
  9. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley – 1818
  10. Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott – 1819
  11. Rip Van Winkle – Washington Irving – 1819
  12. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving – 1820
  13. The Talisman – Sir Walter Scott – 1825
  14. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper – 1826
  15. The Red and the Black – Stendhal – 1830
  16. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo – 1831
  17. Pére Goriot – Honoré de Balzac – 1834
  18. The Complete Fairy Tales – Hans Christian Andersen – 1835
  19. Lost Illusions – Honoré de Balzac – 1837
  20. The Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens – 1837
  21. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – 1838
  22. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens – 1839
  23. The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal – 1839
  24. The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens – 1840
  25. Barnaby Rudge – Charles Dickens – 1841

Click here for the fourth part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1953 to 1976

  1. Dead Souls – Nikolai Gogol – 1842
  2. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – 1843
  3. Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens – 1844
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – 1844
  5. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas – 1844
  6. Twenty Years After – Alexandre Dumas – 1845
  7. Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë – 1847
  8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë – 1847
  9. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë – 1847
  10. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray – 1847
  11. Dombey and Son – Charles Dickens – 1848
  12. Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell – 1848
  13. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë – 1848
  14. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens – 1849
  15. Shirley – Charlotte Brontë – 1849
  16. The Vicomte de Bragelonne – Alexandre Dumas – 1850
  17. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne – 1851
  18. Moby Dick – Herman Melville – 1851
  19. The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne – 1851
  20. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe – 1852
  21. 12 Years a Slave – Solomon Northup – 1853
  22. Bleak House – Charles Dickens – 1853
  23. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell – 1853
  24. Villette – Charlotte Brontë – 1853
  25. Hard Times – Charles Dickens – 1854

Click here for the fifth part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 1977 to 1999

  1. Walden – Henry David Thoreau – 1854
  2. Little Dorritt – Charles Dickens – 1855
  3. North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell – 1855
  4. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert – 1856
  5. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – 1859
  6. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins – 1859
  7. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – 1860
  8. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot – 1860
  9. Silas Marner – George Eliot – 1861
  10. Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev – 1862
  11. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo – 1862
  12. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott – 1862
  13. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne – 1864
  14. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – 1865
  15. Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens – 1865
  16. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 1866
  17. Wives and Daughters – Elizabeth Gaskell – 1866
  18. Good Wives – Louisa May Alcott – 1868
  19. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – 1868
  20. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins – 1868
  21. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – 1868
  22. The Man Who Laughs – Victor Hugo – 1869
  23. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne – 1869
  24. Little Men – Louisa May Alcott – 1871
  25. Middlemarch – George Eliot – 1871
  26. Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll – 1871

Click here for the sixth part of this series: 101 Great Books – from 2000 to 2017

Honorable Mentions

Clarissa – Samuel Richardson – 1748

Fanny Hill – John Cleland – 1748

Amelia – Henry Fielding – 1751

Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos – 1782

 

What do you think? Did I miss books you would add to the list and/or are there books you feel do not belong in such exalted company? Let me know in the comments section below.

 


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