Classics Reading List

Following is the list of books we’re reading in our Classics Book Club.

Our current selection is in bold-faced red.

Prehistory to 3500 B.C.: The First Humans

  • Visual arts: study Paleolithic cave art, megaliths
  • Neanderthal flute is the earliest human instrument; the 43,000-82,000 year old cave bear femur bone segment with four holes, matches Do-Re-Mi scale.
  • 1300 B.C., the Ten Commandments
  • c. 1035-972 B.C. David, King of Israel

3500 to 500 B.C.: Asia and Egypt

  • The Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Deborah; Ruth, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes; the minor Prophets; Esther, Malachi; Job.
  • 1780 B.C., The Code of Hammurabi (Mesopotamia).
  • 700 B.C., The Epic of Gilgamesh

3000 B.C. to 500 A.D.: The East

  • 638-713 B.C. Hui-Neng, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
  • 604-521 B.C. Lao-Tze, Tao Te Ch’ing
  • 551-479 B.C. Confucius, The Analects of Confucius
  • 500-477 B.C. Buddha
    • The Pali Canon TipiTaka
    • The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh
    • The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • 450-380 B.C., Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
  • 400 B.C. Kalidasa, The Cloud Messenger and Sakuntala
  • 372-289 B.C. Mencius, The Book of Mencius (aka Meng-Tze, Ment the Sage)
  • 300 B.C. Valmiki, The Ramayana
  • 200 B.C. Vyasa, The Mahabharata
  • 200 B.C. The Bhagavad Gita

1900 B.C. to 133 B.C.: The Gifts of Greece

  • 800 B.C. Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • 525-456 B.C. Aeschylus, The Oresteia, Dramas
  • 494-425 B.C. Herodotus, The Histories
  • 496-406 B.C. Sophocles, Dramas; Oedipus Rex, Oedipus of Colonus, Antigone
  • 469-399 B.C. Socrates, in Plato and Xenophon (see Plato)
  • 480-406 B.C. Euripedes, Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus, The Trojan Women, Electra
  • 460-400 B.C., Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
  • 448-388 B.C. Aristophanes, The Frogs, Lysistrata
  • 428-348 B.C. Plato, Apology, Crito, Dialogues
  • 384-322 B.C. Aristotle, Ethics, Politics, Poetics
  • 150-216 B.C. Clement of Alexandria, The One Who Knows God

600 B.C. to 500 A.D.: The Roman World

  • 538 B.C., Cyrus of Persia decrees the return of the Jews: Ezra (458 B.C.) and Nehemiah (444 B.C.)
  • 100-50 B.C. Lucretius, Of the Nature of Things
  • 70-19 B.C. Virgil, The Aeneid
  • 68 A.D. Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers
  • 55-135 A.D., Epictetus, Golden Thoughts
  • 60-100 A.D. The Didache
  • 95-97 A.D., Clement, “The Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians”
  • 98-117 A.D. Ignatius, “The Letters of Ignatius”
  • 121-180 A.D. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
  • 480-525 A.D. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

4 B.C. to A.D. 900: The Rise of Christendom

  • 6 B.C. to 30 A.D., Jesus Christ; read the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
  • 5 B.C. to 64 A.D., St. Paul, the letters of St. Paul, New Testament Bible
  • 64 A.D. (d.), St. Peter, 1 and 2 Peter, the Gospel of Mark
  • 101 A.D. St. John the Apostle, The Gospel of John (John the Theologian); The First Epistle of John (John the Evangelist); 2 and 3 Epistles of John (John the Presbyter); The Book of Revelation (John of Patmos)
  • 47-120 A.D. Plutarch, Plutarch’s Lives
  • 100-165 A.D. St Justin the Martyr, Apologies
  • 354-430 A.D., Saint Augustine, Confessions
  • 673-735 A.D., The Venerable Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation
  • 949-1022 A.D., St. Symeon the New Theologian, The First Created Man; On the Priesthood and Eucharist

A.D. 400-1500: The Islamic World

  • Cornell University: Islamic Literature
  • 650 A.D. Muhammad, The Koran

A.D. 400-1500: The Golden Age of the East

  • 976-1015, Lady Murasaki, The Tale of Genji
  • 1048, Omar Khayyamm, The Rubaiyat
  • 1330-1400, Luo Kuan-chung, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms

1000-1500: The Middle Ages

  • 1033-1109, Anselm of Canterbury, The Major Works
  • 1098-1179, Hildegard von Bingen, Secrets of God; listen to her music CD, Canticles of Ecstasy, Vision
  • 1100-1173, Richard of St. Victor, The 12 Patriarchs, The Mystical Ark, Book Three of the Trinity
  • 1181-1226, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assissi
  • 1225-1274, Thomas Aquinas, The Light of Faith
  • 1260-1427, Master Eckhart, Writings
  • 1265-1321, Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
  • 1293-1381, Jan van Ruysbroeck, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage
  • 1303-1373, Birgitta (Bridget) of Sweden, Life and Revelations
  • 1342-1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
  • 1342-1416, Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
  • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, The Holy Grail
  • (c. 1800s) Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Morte d’Arthur and Galahad

1400-1600: European Renaissance & Reformation

  • 1469-1527, Machiavelli, The Prince
  • 1517, Martin Luther posts The Ninety-Five Theses; read Address to the German Nobility and Concerning Christian Liberty 
  • 1478-1535, St. Thomas More, Utopia
  • 1483-1553, Francois Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • 1509-1564, John Calvin, Dedication to the Institution of the Christian Religion
  • 1513-1572, John Knox, Preface to the History of the Reformation
  • 1515-1582, St. Theresa of Avila, Interior Castle
  • 1553-1592, Michel de Montaigne, Essays
  • c. 1540, St. Ignatius, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
  • 1542-1592, St. John of the Cross, Collected Works of St. John of the Cross; The Ascent of Mount Carmel
  • 1561-1626, Sir Francis Bacon, Essays
  • 1564-1616, William Shakespeare, Complete Works
  • 1573-1631, John Donne, Selected Works
  • 1575-1624, Jacob Boehme, Writings
  • 1596-1650, Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method
  • 1588-1679, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  • 1608-1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost
  • c. 1600, St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
  • 1605-1691, Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

1450-1800: The Age of Expansion

  • 1454-1512, Amerigo Vespucci, Account of His First Voyage
  • c. 1500, The Thousand and One Nights
  • 1500-1582, Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West
  • 1618, Chin P’ing Mei, The Plum in the Golden Vase
  • 1685, Madame Jean Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ
  • 1689, Matsuo Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • 1651-1715, St. John Maximovitch of Tobolsk, The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God

1550-1815: The Age of Enlightenment & Revolution

  • 1574-1630, Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
  • 1590-1697, William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation
  • Early American Poets, Slave Poetry by Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), Jupiter Hammon (1720-1800) and Phillis Wheatley
  • 1600-1681, Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Life is a Dream
  • 1623-1662, Blaise Pascal, Thoughts (Pensees)
  • 1628-1688, John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress
  • 1660-1731, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • 1667-1745, Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal
  • 1694-1773, Voltaire, Candide
  • 1706-1790, Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • 1707-1754, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones
  • 1711-1776, David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • 1713-1795, Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy
  • 1712-1778, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (the first modern autobiography)
  • 1724-1804, Immanuel Kant, Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
  • 1737-1809, Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”
  • 1740-1795, James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (the first modern biography)
  • 1723-1790, Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  • 1789-1859, Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • 1789-1851, James Fenimore Cooper, Leather Stocking Tales
  • 1787, Hamilton, Madison and Jay, The Federalist Papers
  • 1797, Hannah Foster, The Coquette
  • 1819-1892, Walt Whitman, War Poems and Poems on the Death of Lincoln

American Diaries

  • Samuel Sewall (1674-1729)
  • Cotton Mather (1663-1728)
  • William Byrd (1674-1744), History of the Dividing Line
  • Robert Beverley (1673-1722)
  • Olaudah Equiano (Gustavus Vassa) (1745-1797), The Interesting Narrative of…Olauda Equiano, Slave

Literary Criticism

  • Hume, On the Standard of Taste
  • Burke, On Taste and On the Sublime and Beautiful
  • Thackeray, Jonathan Swift

Essays

  • 1690, John Locke, “Second Treatise of Government”
  • 1690, John Locke, “Some Thoughts on Education”
  • Jonathan Swift, “Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding”
  • Daniel Defoe, “The Shortest Way with Dissenters”
  • Daniel Defoe, “Education of Women”

Music

  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major (1721), Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Organ Fugue in G Minor (1709), Bach
  • Suite No. 3 in D. Major (1729-1731), Bach
  • Cantata No. 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, a Voice is Calling Us, 1731), Bach
  • Orpheo (Orpheus, 1607), Claudio Monteverdi
  • Dido and Aeneas (1689), Henry Purcell
  • Trio Sonata in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 10 (1689), Arcangelo Corelli
  • La Primavera (Spring), Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 8, No. 1, from ​The Four Seasons​ (1725)
  • George Frideric Handel: Messiah (1741)
  • Symphony No. 94 in G Major (​Surprise,​ 1791), Joseph Haydn
  • Trumpet Concerto in E Flat Major (1796), Haydn
  • Eine kleine Nachtmusik​ (​A Little Night Music,​ 1787), K. 525, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Don Giovanni (1787)
  • String Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4 (1798-1800), Ludwig von Beethoven
  • Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 (​Pathetique,​ 1798), Beethoven
  • Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (1808)

1800-1870: Industrialization & Nationalism

European Authors

  • 1749-1832, Johann Wolfgang von Goethë, Faust
  • 1757-1827, William Blake, Selected Works
  • 1770-1850, William Wordsworth, Poems
  • 1772-1834, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan
  • 1775-1817, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Emma
  • 1783-1842, Stendhal, The Red and the Black
  • 1799-1850, Honoré de Balzac, Peré Goriot, Eugenie Grandet, Cousin Bette
  • 1811-1863, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
  • 1812-1882, Anthony Trollope, The Warden, The Last Chronicle of Barset, The Way We Live Now
  • 1816-1855, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • 1818-1848, Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
  • 1821-1880, Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Russian Authors

  • 1809-1852, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, Dead Souls
  • 1818-1883, Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
  • 1821-1881, Feodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamozov
  • 1828-1910, Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

American Authors

  • 1803-1882, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Selected Works, including “Self Reliance” (essay); Poems; and literary criticism (The Poet, Beauty, Literature)
  • 1804-1864, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
  • 1809-1849, Edgar Allan Poe, Short Stories
  • 1811-1896, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • 1817-1862, Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  • 1819-1891, Herman Melville, Moby Dick
  • 1819-1892, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
  • 1835-1910, Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
  • 1807-1882, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Evangeline,” “Song of Hiawatha”
  • 1830-1886, Emily Dickinson, Collected Poems
  • 1835-1894, Celia Thaxter, Collected Poems

Autobiographies & Political

  • 1797-1883, Autobiography of Sojourner Truth
  • 1817-1895, Autobiography of Frederick Douglass
  • 1818-1896, Autobiography of Harriet Jacobs
  • 1818-1883, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  • 1861-1865, American Civil War; Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863)

Music: The Romantic Period

  • 1797-1828, Franz Schubert, Erlkonig (The Erlking), Die Forelle (The Trout)
  • 1810-1856, Robert Schumann, Carnival
  • 1810-1849, Frederic Chopin, Nocturne in E Flat Major (1830), Etude in C Minor (1831), Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op. 53 (1842)
  • 1811-1886, Franz Liszt, Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor (1851)
  • 1813-1901, Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto (1851)
  • 1809-1847, Felix Mendelssohn, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op. 54 (1844)
  • 1803-1869, Hector Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique (1830)
  • 1813-1883, Richard Wagner, The Valkyrie (1856)
  • 1824-1884, Bedrich Smetana, The Moldau (1874)
  • 1833-1897, Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 4; A German Requiem(1868)
  • 1839-1881, Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition (arr. by Maurice Ravel, 1922)
  • 1840-1893, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet (1869)
  • 1841-1904, Antonin Dvorak, Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, From the New World (1893)
  • 1844-1908, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherezade, Op. 35 (1888)

1870-1914: Mass Society and the National State in the West

European Literature

  • 1819-1880, George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch
  • 1828-1906, Henrik Ibsen, Plays
  • 1840-1928, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the Obscure
  • 1865-1939, William Butler Yeats, Collected Poems
  • 1867-1916, Natsume Soseki, Kokoro
  • 1879-1970, E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; A Room With a View; Howard’s End

American Literature

  • 1832-1898, Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass
  • 1895, Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage
  • 1903, Jack London, The Call of the Wild
  • 1903, Henry James, The Ambassadors
  • 1911, Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
  • 1856-1915, Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery
  • 1871-1938, James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man
  • 1868-1963, W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

Politics and War

  • 1805-1859, Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  • 1806-1873, John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, The Subjection of Woman
  • 1817-1862, Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
  • 1838-1918, Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams
  • 1878-1968, Upton Sinclair, The Jungle

Philosophy, Religion, Science, and Psychology

  • 1809-1882, Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of the Species
  • 1844-1900, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morality, The Anti-Christ, Ecco Homo 
  • 1842-1910, William James, The Principles of Psychology, Pragmatism, essays from The Meaning of Truth, The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • 1873-1897, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul
  • 1880, Thomas H. Huxley, Science and Culture

Visual Arts

  • 1830-1926, Claude Monet
  • 1841-1919, Auguste Renoir
  • 1830-1903, Camille Pissarro
  • 1881-1973, Pablo Picasso
  • 1882, Childe Hassam

Music

  • 1858-1924, Giacomo Puccini, La Boheme
  • 1868-1917, Scott Joplin (American Jazz), Maple Leaf Rag
  • Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, 1894), Claude Debussy
  • The Moldau (1874), Bedrich Smetana
  • Symphony No. 9 in E Minor (​From the New World,​ 1893)
  • Romeo and Juliet,​ Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90, Johannes Brahms
  • 1858-1924, Giacomo Puccini, La Boheme
  • 1868-1917, Scott Joplin (American Jazz), Maple Leaf Rag
  • The Rite of Spring (1913), Igor Stravinsky
  • Pierrot lunaire (Moonstruck Pierrot, 1912), Arnold Schoenberg
  • Mondestrunken (Moondrunk), Schoenberg

1914-1919: World War I

  • 1857-1924, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, Nostromo
  • 1856-1950, George Bernard Shaw, Selected Plays
  • 1856-1939, Sigmund Freud, Selected Works, incl. The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Civilization and Its Discontents
  • 1860-1904, Anton Chekhov, short stories, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard
  • 1862-1937, Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence
  • 1871-1922, Marcel Proust, Remembrances of Things Past
  • 1875-1926, Rainer Maria Rilke, Elegies
  • 1882-1941, Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves
  • 1882-1941, James Joyce, Ulysses
  • 1883-1924, Franz Kafka, The Trial, The Castle, selected short stories
  • 1885-1930, D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love
  • 1899-1961, Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • 1894-1961, James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times
  • 1916, Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Music

  • Wozzeck (1917-1922), Alban Berg
  • Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 10 (1911-1913), Anton Webern
  • Putnam’s Camp, Redding, Connecticut (1912), from Three Places in New England (1908-1914), Charles Ives

1919-1939: Between the World Wars

  • 1868-1950, Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
  • 1874-1963, Robert Frost, Collected Poems
  • 1878-1967, Carl Sandburg, Collected Poems
  • 1879-1955, Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems
  • 1883-1963, William Carlos Wiliams, Collected Poems
  • 1885-1972, Ezra Pound, Collected Poems
  • 1888-1965, T. S. Eliot, Collected Poems, Collected Plays
  • 1888-1953, Eugene O’Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey into Night
  • 1894-1963, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  • 1896-1966, John of Shanghai, The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, the Birthgiver of God
  • 1902-1968, John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men
  • 1903-1960, Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • 1930, Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science”
  • 1938, St. Maria Faustine Kowalska, Diary

Music

  • Rhapsody in Blue (1924), George Gershwin
  • Lost Your Head Blues (1926) Bessie Smith
  • Hotter Than That (1927), Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five
  • Afro-American Symphony (1931), William Grant Still (b. 11 May 1895, d. 3 Dec 1978)

1939-1945: World War II

  • 1874-1963, Robert Frost, Collected Poems
  • 1875-1955, Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
  • 1885-1951, Sinclair Lewis, Main Street (1920), Babbitt (1922), Arrowsmith (1925, Pulitzer Prize), Elmer Gantry (1927)
  • 1886-1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • 1892-1973, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937), The Lord of the Rings (1954-1956)
  • 1897-1962, William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying
  • 1897-1975, Thornton Wilder, Our Town
  • 1899-1961, Ernest Hemingway, Short Stories
  • 1902-1967, Langston Hughes, Poems
  • 1903-1950, George Orwell, Animal Farm, 1984, Burmese Days
  • 1906, R. K. Narayan, The English Teacher, The Vendor of Sweets
  • 1908-1960, Richard Wright, Native Son (1940), Black Boy (1945)
  • 1911-1983, Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie (1945), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)

Music

  • Concerto for Orchestra (1943), Bela Bartok
  • Appalachian Spring (1943-1944), Aaron Copland

1945-1970: The Cold War

  • 1893-1963, Mao Tse-Tung, Quotations from Mao Tse-Tung (The Little Red Book)
  • 1897-1963, A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (1957), The Knowledge of the Holy (1961)
  • 1919-., J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  • 1932-1963, Sylvia Plath, Collected Poems, The Bell Jar (1963)
  • 1928-1974, Anne Sexton, Collected Poems
  • 1923-1997, James Dickey, Deliverance (1970)
  • 1914-1993, John Hersey, A Bell for Adano (1944), Hiroshima (1946)
  • 1929-., Adrienne Rich, Collected Poems
  • 1922-1907, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Slaughterhouse Five (1969)
  • 1905-1989, Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men (1946)
  • 1924-1987, James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
  • 1914-1994, Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
  • 1925-1964, Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
  • 1931-1989, Donald Barthelme, Short Stories
  • 1944-., Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1983, Pulitzer Prize)
  • 1941-., Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist, Breathing Lessons
  • 1922-1969, Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)
  • 1924-1984, Truman Capote, In Cold Blood (1966); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958)
  • 1876-1941, Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
  • 1899-1986, Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths, Dreamtigers
  • 1899-1977, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; Speak, Memory
  • 1906-1989, Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape
  • 1907-1973, W. H. Auden, Collected Poems
  • 1913-1960, Albert Camus, The Plague, The Stranger
  • 1915-., Saul Bellow, Humboldt’s Gift, Herzog
  • 1918-., Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962), The Gulag Archipelago (1973), The First Circle (1968)Harvard Commencement Speech (8 June 1978)
  • 1925-1970, Mishima Yukio, Confessions of a Mask, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
  • 1928-., Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • 1930-., Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

Music

  • Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1946-1948), John Cage
  • Poème électronique​ (​Electronic Poem,​ 1958), Edgard Varese
  • Fugata (1969), Astor Piazzolla
  • Concerto Grosso 1985, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
  • Yo-Yo Ma, cellist, playing Piazzolla’s Fugata
  • Short Ride in a Fast Machine​ (1986), John Adams
  • Bloomdido (1950), Charlie Parker
  • Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (1969), Miles Davis
  • West Side Story (1957), Leonard Bernstein
  • Musicals by: Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Loesser, George Gershwin, George Balanhine, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim (​West Side Story, Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd​)

1970 to 1999

  • Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth (1931)
  • Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
  • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (1949)
  • Rachel Carson, The Sea Around Us (1951), Silent Spring (1962)
  • William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
  • John LeCarre, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1963)
  • Richard Adams, Watership Down (1972)
  • Eudora Welty, The Optimist’s Daughter (1973)
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970), Song of Solomon (1977)
  • John Irving, The World According to Garp (1978)
  • John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever (1978)
  • Norman Mailer, The Executioner’s Song (1980)
  • John Updike, Rabbit is Rich (1982), Rabbit at Rest (1991)
  • William Kennedy, Ironweed (1984)
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove (1986)

2000-2021: Nobel Prize in Literature

  • Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (2000)
  • Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde (2000)
  • Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay (2001)
  • Julia Glass, Three Junes (2002)
  • Shirley Hazzard, The Great Fire (2003)
  • Lily Tuck, The News from Paraguay (2004)
  • William T. Vollman, Europe Central (2005)
  • Richard Powers, The Echo Maker (2006)
  • Doris Lessing (2007)
  • Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (2008)
  • Herta Müller (2009)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa (2010)
  • Tomas Tranströmer (2011)
  • Mo Yan (2012)
  • Alice Munro (2013)
  • Patrick Modiano (2014)
  • Svetlana Alexievich (2015)
  • Bob Dylan, American songwriter (2016)
  • Kazuo Ishiguro (2017)
  • Olga Tokarczuk (2018)
  • Peter Handke (2019)
  • Louise Glück (2020)
  • TBA 7 October (2021)

2000-2021: Pulitzer Prize, Memoir

  • Jimmy Carter, An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood (2002)
  • Joan Didion, ​The Year of Magical Thinking​ (2006)
  • Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World: A Memoir (2016)
  • Susan Faludi, In the Darkroom (2017)
  • Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (2017)
  • Deirdre Bair, Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me (2020)
  • Amy Stanley, Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World (2021)