Great Books Reading List

From the book “How To Read a Book” by Mortimer Adler (1972)

  1. Homer

    1. The Iliad

    2. The Odyssey

  2. The Old Testament

  3. Aeschylus

    1. The Persians

    2. Seven Against Thebes

    3. The Suppliants

    4. The Oresteia

      1. Agamemnon

      2. The Libation Bearers

      3. The Eumenides

    5. Prometheus Bound

  4. Sophocles

    1. Oedipus Rex

    2. Oedipus at Colonus

    3. Antigone

    4. Ajax

    5. Women of Trachis

    6. Electra

    7. Philoctetes

  5. Herodotus: Histories

  6. Euripides

    1. Alcestis

    2. Medea

    3. Heracleidae

    4. Hippolytus

    5. Andromache

    6. Hecuba

    7. The Suppliants

    8. Electra

    9. Heracles

    10. The Trojan Women

    11. Iphigenia in Tauris

    12. Ion

    13. Helen

    14. Phoenician Women

    15. Orestes

    16. Bacchae

    17. Iphigenia at Aulis

    18. Rhesus

    19. Cyclops

  7. Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War

  8. Hippocrates: Medical Writings

  9. Aristophanes

    1. The Acharnians

    2. The Knights

    3. The Clouds

    4. The Wasps

    5. Peace

    6. The Birds

    7. Lysistrata

    8. Thesmophoriazusae

    9. The Frogs

    10. Ecclesiazusae

    11. Wealth

  10. Plato: Complete Dialogues

  11. Aristotle: Complete Works

  12. Epicurus

    1. Letter to Herodotus

    2. Letter to Menoecus

  13. Euclid: Elements

  14. Archimedes: Complete Works

  15. Apollonius of Perga: Conic Sections

  16. Cicero: Complete Works

  17. Lucretius: On the Nature of Things

  18. Virgil: Complete Works

  19. Horace: Complete Works

  20. Livy: History of Rome

  21. Ovid: Complete Works

  22. Plutarch

    1. Parallel Lives

    2. Moralia

  23. Tacitus

    1. Histories

    2. Annals

    3. Agricola

    4. Germania

  24. Nicomachus of Gerasa: Introduction to Arithmetic

  25. Epictetus

    1. Discourses

    2. Encheiridion

  26. Ptolemy: Almagest

  27. Lucian: Complete Works

  28. Marcus Aurelius: Meditations

  29. Galen: On the Natural Faculties

  30. The New Testament

  31. Plotinus: The Enneads

  32. St. Augustine

    1. On the Teacher

    2. Confessions

    3. City of God

    4. On Christian Doctrine

  33. The Song of Roland

  34. The Nibelungenlied

  35. The Saga of Burnt Njál

  36. St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica

  37. Dante Alighieri

    1. The Divine Comedy

      1. Inferno

      2. Purgatorio

      3. Paradiso

    2. The New Life

    3. On Monarchy

  38. Geoffrey Chaucer

    1. Troilus and Criseyde

    2. The Canterbury Tales

  39. Leonardo da Vinci: Notebooks

  40. Niccolò Machiavelli

    1. The Prince

    2. Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy

  41. Desiderius Erasmus: The Praise of Folly

  42. Nicolaus Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

  43. Thomas More: Utopia

  44. Martin Luther

    1. Table Talk

    2. Three Treatises

      1. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation

      2. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church

      3. The Freedom of a Christian

  45. François Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel

  46. John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion

  47. Michel de Montaigne: Essays

  48. William Gilbert: On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies

  49. Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote

  50. Edmund Spenser

    1. Prothalamion

    2. The Faerie Queene

  51. Francis Bacon

    1. Essays

    2. Advancement of Learning

    3. Novum Organum

    4. New Atlantis

  52. William Shakespeare

    1. Plays

      1. Tragedies

        1. Antony and Cleopatra

        2. Coriolanus

        3. Hamlet

        4. Julius Caesar

        5. King Lear

        6. Macbeth

        7. Othello

        8. Romeo and Juliet

        9. Timon of Athens

        10. Titus Andronicus

        11. Troilus and Cressida

      2. Comedies

        1. All’s Well That Ends Well

        2. As You Like It

        3. The Comedy of Errors

        4. Cymbeline

        5. Love’s Labour’s Lost

        6. Measure for Measure

        7. The Merchant of Venice

        8. The Merry Wives of Windsor

        9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

        10. Much Ado About Nothing

        11. Pericles, Prince of Tyre

        12. The Taming of the Shrew

        13. The Tempest

        14. Twelfth Night

        15. The Two Gentlemen of Verona

        16. The Two Noble Kinsmen

        17. The Winter’s Tale

      3. Histories

        1. Henry IV, Part 1

        2. Henry IV, Part 2

        3. Henry V

        4. Henry VI, Part 1

        5. Henry VI, Part 2

        6. Henry VI, Part 3

        7. Henry VIII

        8. King John

        9. Richard II

        10. Richard III

        11. Edward III

    2. Poetry

      1. A Lover’s Complaint

      2. Sonnets

      3. The Phoenix and the Turtle

      4. The Rape of Lucrece

      5. The Passionate Pilgrim

      6. Venus and Adonis

      7. A Funeral Elegy

      8. To the Queen

  53. Galileo Galilei

    1. Starry Messenger

    2. Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences

  54. Johannes Kepler

    1. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy

    2. Concerning the Harmonies of the World

  55. William Harvey

    1. On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals

    2. On the Circulation of the Blood

    3. On the Generation of Animals

  56. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

  57. René Descartes

    1. Rules for the Direction of the Mind

    2. Discourse on the Method

    3. Geometry

    4. Meditations on First Philosophy

  58. John Milton: Complete Works

  59. Molière

    1. Le Médecin volant

    2. La Jalousie du barbouillé

    3. L’Étourdi ou les Contretemps

    4. Le Dépit amoureux

    5. Le Docteur amoureux

    6. Les Précieuses ridicules

    7. Sganarelle ou Le Cocu imaginaire

    8. Dom Garcie de Navarre ou Le Prince jaloux

    9. L’École des maris

    10. Les Fâcheux

    11. L’École des femmes

    12. La Jalousie du Gros-René

    13. La Critique de l’école des femmes

    14. L’Impromptu de Versailles

    15. Le Mariage forcé

    16. Gros-René, petit enfant

    17. La Princesse d’Élide

    18. Tartuffe ou L’Imposteur

    19. Dom Juan ou Le Festin de pierre

    20. L’Amour Médecin

    21. Le Misanthrope ou L’Atrabilaire amoureux

    22. Le Médecin malgré lui

    23. Mélicerte

    24. Pastorale comique

    25. Le sicilien ou L’Amour peintre

    26. Amphitryon

    27. George Dandin ou Le Mari confondu

    28. L’Avare ou L’École du mensonge

    29. Monsieur de Pourceaugnac

    30. Les Amants magnifiques

    31. Le Bourgeois gentilhomme

    32. Psyché

    33. Les Fourberies de Scapin

    34. La Comtesse d’Escarbagnas

    35. Les Femmes savantes

    36. Le Malade imaginaire

  60. Blaise Pascal

    1. The Provincial Letters

    2. Pensees

    3. Scientific Treatises

  61. Christiaan Huygens: Treatise on Light

  62. Benedict de Spinoza: Ethics

  63. John Locke

    1. Letter Concerning Toleration

    2. Of Civil Government

    3. Essay Concerning Human Understanding

    4. Thoughts Concerning Education

  64. Jean Baptiste Racine

    1. La Thébaïde

    2. Alexandre le Grand

    3. Andromaque

    4. Britannicus

    5. Bérénice

    6. Bajazet

    7. Mithridate

    8. Iphigénie

    9. Phèdre

    10. Esther

    11. Athalie

  65. Isaac Newton

    1. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

    2. Optics

  66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

    1. Discourse on Metaphysics

    2. New Essays Concerning Human Understanding

    3. Monadology

  67. Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe

  68. Jonathan Swift

    1. A Tale of a Tub

    2. Journal to Stella

    3. Gulliver’s Travels

    4. A Modest Proposal

  69. William Congreve: The Way of the World

  70. George Berkeley: Principles of Human Knowledge

  71. Alexander Pope

    1. Essay on Criticism

    2. Rape of the Lock

    3. Essay on Man

  72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu

    1. Persian Letters

    2. Spirit of Laws

  73. Voltaire

    1. Letters on the English

    2. Candide

    3. Philosophical Dictionary

  74. Henry Fielding

    1. Joseph Andrews

    2. Tom Jones

  75. Samuel Johnson

    1. The Vanity of Human Wishes

    2. Dictionary

    3. Rasselas

    4. The Lives of the Poets

  76. David Hume

    1. Treatise on Human Nature

    2. Essays Moral and Political

    3. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

  77. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    1. On the Origin of Inequality

    2. On the Political Economy

    3. Emile—or, On Education

    4. The Social Contract

  78. Laurence Sterne

    1. Tristram Shandy

    2. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

  79. Adam Smith

    1. The Theory of Moral Sentiments

    2. The Wealth of Nations

  80. Immanuel Kant

    1. Critique of Pure Reason

    2. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals

    3. Critique of Practical Reason

    4. The Science of Right

    5. Critique of Judgment

    6. Perpetual Peace

  81. Edward Gibbon

    1. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

    2. Autobiography

  82. James Boswell

    1. Journal

    2. Life of Samuel Johnson

  83. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier: Traité Élémentaire de Chimie

  84. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison: The Federalist Papers

  85. Jeremy Bentham

    1. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

    2. Theory of Fictions

  86. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    1. Faust

    2. Poetry and Truth

  87. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier: Analytical Theory of Heat

  88. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

    1. Phenomenology of Spirit

    2. Philosophy of Right

    3. Lectures on the Philosophy of History

  89. William Wordsworth

    1. Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems

      1. “Simon Lee”

      2. “We are Seven”

      3. “Lines Written in Early Spring”

      4. “Expostulation and Reply”

      5. “The Tables Turned”

      6. “The Thorn”

      7. “Lines Composed A Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”

    2. Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems

      1. Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

      2. “Strange fits of passion have I known”

      3. “She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways”

      4. “Three years she grew”

      5. “A Slumber Did my Spirit Seal”

      6. “I travelled among unknown men”

      7. “Lucy Gray”

      8. “The Two April Mornings”

      9. “The Solitary Reaper”

      10. “Nutting”

      11. “The Ruined Cottage”

      12. “Michael”

      13. “The Kitten At Play”

    3. Poems, in Two Volumes

      1. “Resolution and Independence”

      2. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

      3. “My Heart Leaps Up”

      4. “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”

      5. “Ode to Duty”

      6. “The Solitary Reaper”

      7. “Elegiac Stanzas”

      8. “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”

      9. “London, 1802”

      10. “The World Is Too Much with Us”

    4. “French Revolution”

    5. Guide to the Lakes

    6. “To the Cuckoo”

    7. The Excursion

    8. Laodamia

    9. The White Doe of Rylstone

    10. Peter Bell

    11. Ecclesiastical Sonnets

    12. The Prelude

  90. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    1. Poetry

    2. Biographia Literaria

  91. Jane Austen

    1. Pride and Prejudice

    2. Emma

  92. Carl von Clausewitz: On War

  93. Stendhal

    1. The Red and the Black

    2. The Charterhouse of Parma

    3. On Love

  94. Lord Byron: Don Juan

  95. Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies in Pessimism

  96. Michael Faraday

    1. Chemical History of a Candle

    2. Experimental Researches in Electricity

  97. Charles Lyell: Principles of Geology

  98. Auguste Comte: The Positive Philosophy

  99. Honoré de Balzac

    1. Pére Goriot

    2. Eugenie Grandet

  100. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    1. Representative Men

    2. Essays

    3. Journal

  101. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

  102. Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America

  103. John Stuart Mill

    1. A System of Logic

    2. On Liberty

    3. Representative Government

    4. Utilitarianism

    5. The Subjection of Women

    6. Autobiography

  104. Charles Darwin

    1. The Origin of Species

    2. The Descent of Man

    3. Autobiography

  105. Charles Dickens

    1. Pickwick Papers

    2. David Copperfield

    3. Hard Times

  106. Claude Bernard: Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine

  107. Henry David Thoreau

    1. Civil Disobedience

    2. Walden

  108. Karl Marx

    1. Capital

    2. The Communist Manifesto

  109. George Eliot

    1. Adam Bede

    2. Middlemarch

  110. Herman Melville

    1. Moby-Dick

    2. Billy Budd

  111. Fyodor Dostoevsky

    1. Crime and Punishment

    2. The Idiot

    3. The Brothers Karamazov

  112. Gustave Flaubert

    1. Madame Bovary

    2. Three Stories

      1. Un Cœur simple

      2. La Légende de Saint-Julien l’Hospitalier

      3. Hérodias

  113. Henrik Ibsen

    1. Catilina

    2. Kjæmpehøjen

    3. Norma eller en Politikers Kjaerlighed

    4. Sancthansnatten

    5. Fru Inger til Østeraad

    6. Gildet paa Solhaug

    7. Olaf Liljekrans

    8. Hærmændene paa Helgeland

    9. Kjærlighedens Komedie

    10. Kongs-Emnerne

    11. Brand

    12. Peer Gynt

    13. De unges Forbund

    14. Kejser og Galilæer

    15. Samfundets Støtter

    16. Et Dukkehjem

    17. Gengangere

    18. En Folkefiende

    19. Vildanden

    20. Rosmersholm

    21. Fruen fra Havet

    22. Hedda Gabler

    23. Bygmester Solness

    24. Lille Eyolf

    25. John Gabriel Borkman

    26. Når vi døde vaagner

  114. Leo Tolstoy

    1. War and Peace

    2. Anna Karenina

    3. What is Art?

    4. Twenty-Three Tales

  115. Mark Twain

    1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    3. The Mysterious Stranger

  116. William James

    1. The Principles of Psychology

    2. The Varieties of Religious Experience

    3. Pragmatism

    4. Essays in Radical Empiricism

  117. Henry James

    1. The American

    2. The Ambassadors

  118. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

    1. Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    2. Beyond Good and Evil

    3. The Genealogy of Morals

    4. The Will to Power

  119. Jules Henri Poincaré

    1. Science and Hypothesis

    2. Science and Method

  120. Sigmund Freud

    1. The Interpretation of Dreams

    2. Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

    3. Civilization and Its Discontents

    4. New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

  121. George Bernard Shaw

    1. Widowers’ Houses

    2. The Philanderer

    3. Mrs. Warren’s Profession

    4. Arms and the Man

    5. Candida

    6. You Never Can Tell

    7. The Devil’s Disciple

    8. Caesar and Cleopatra

    9. Captain Brassbound’s Conversion

    10. The Gadfly

    11. The Man of Destiny

    12. Man and Superman

    13. John Bull’s Other Island

    14. Major Barbara

    15. The Doctor’s Dilemma

    16. Getting Married

    17. Misalliance

    18. The Admirable Bashville

    19. How He Lied to Her Husband

    20. Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction

    21. The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet

    22. Press Cuttings

    23. The Fascinating Foundling

    24. The Glimpse of Reality

    25. Fanny’s First Play

    26. Androcles and the Lion

    27. Pygmalion

    28. Heartbreak House

    29. The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

    30. Overruled

    31. The Music Cure

    32. Great Catherine

    33. The Inca of Perusalem

    34. O’Flaherty V.C.

    35. Augustus Does His Bit

    36. Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress

    37. Back to Methuselah

    38. Saint Joan

    39. The Apple Cart

    40. Too True to Be Good

    41. On the Rocks

    42. The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles

    43. The Millionairess

    44. Geneva

    45. In Good King Charles’s Golden Days

    46. Buoyant Billions

    47. A Village Wooing

    48. The Six of Calais

    49. Cymbeline Refinished

    50. Farfetched Fables

    51. Shakes versus Shav

    52. Why She Would Not

  122. Max Planck

    1. Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory

    2. Where Is Science Going?

    3. Scientific Autobiography

  123. Henri Bergson

    1. Time and Free Will

    2. Matter and Memory

    3. Creative Evolution

    4. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion

  124. John Dewey

    1. How We Think

    2. Democracy and Education

    3. Experience and Nature

    4. Logic

    5. The Theory of Inquiry

  125. Alfred North Whitehead

    1. An Introduction to Mathematics

    2. Science and the Modern World

    3. The Aims of Education and Other Essays

    4. Adventures of Ideas

  126. George Santayana

    1. The Life of Reason

    2. Skepticism and Animal Faith

    3. Persons and Places

  127. Vladimir Lenin: The State and Revolution

  128. Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past

  129. Bertrand Russell

    1. The Problems of Philosophy

    2. The Analysis of Mind

    3. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth

    4. Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits

  130. Thomas Mann

    1. The Magic Mountain

    2. Joseph and His Brothers

  131. Albert Einstein

    1. The Meaning of Relativity

    2. On the Method of Theoretical Physics

    3. The Evolution of Physics

  132. James Joyce

    1. “The Dead”

    2. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    3. Ulysses

  133. Jacues Maritain

    1. Art and Scholasticism

    2. The Degrees of Knowledge

    3. The Rights of Man and Natural Law

    4. True Humanism

  134. Franz Kafka

    1. The Trial

    2. The Castle

  135. Arnold J. Toynbee

    1. A Study of History

    2. Civilization on Trial

  136. Jean-Paul Sartre

    1. Nausea

    2. No Exit

    3. Being and Nothingness

  137. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    1. The First Circle

    2. The Cancer Ward

    3. The Gulag Archipelago