• Great Novels Worth Reading
    Joesph Conrad stated in his preface to
    The Nigger of the Narcissus: 
    "A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line. And art itself may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe, by bringing to light the truth, manifold and one, underlying its every aspect. It is an attempt to find in its forms, in its colours, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter and in the facts of life, what of each is fundamental, what is enduring and essential -- their one illuminating and convincing quality -- the very truth of their existence. The artist, then, like the thinker or the scientist, seeks the truth and makes his appeal. "
    Here is a list of great novels worth reading before going off to college, while in college, and even for when you finish college.  This list is not all inclusive (I am sure I missed a few great books), but it is a good starting place for anyone interested in exploring some of the great texts of literary art.

    Things Fall Apart—Chinua Achebe

    Watership Down—Richard Adams

    The Poetics--Aristotle

    Waiting for Godot—Samuel Beckett

    Short Stories—Ambrose Bierce

    Wuthering Heights—Emily Bronte

    Fahrenheit 451—Ray Bradbury

    The Illustrated Man—“”

    A Clockwork Orange--Anthony Burgess 

    If On A Winter's Night a Traveler...—Italio Calvino

    The Stranger—Albert Camus

    The Fall—“”

    Exile and the Kingdom—“”

    In Cold Blood—Truman Capote

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s—“”

    Short Stories—“”

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland—Lewis Carroll

    Through the Looking Glass—“”

    The Awakening—Kate Chopin

    The Last of the Mohicans—James Fennimore Copper

    2001:  A Space Odyssey—Arthur C. Clark

    2010:  Odyssey Two—‘’

    2061:  Odyssey Three—“”

    3001:  The Final Odyssey—“”

    Heart of Darkness—Joseph Conrad


    The Secret Agent—“”

    The Red Badge of Courage—Stephen Crane

    The Divine Comedy—Dante

    White Noise—Don DeLillo

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass—Frederick Douglass,

    Crime and Punishment—Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The Brothers Karamazov—“”

    Notes from Underground—“”

    The Idiot—“”

    Chronicles Volume I—Bob Dylan


    Invisible Man—Ralph Ellison

    Essays—Ralph Waldo Emerson

    The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald

    This Side of Paradise—“”

    Howard’s End—E.M. Forster

    The Good Solider—Ford Maddox Ford

    Grendel—John Gardner

    Beowulf (epic poem)

    The Sorrows of Young Werther—Goethe

    Lord of the Flies—John Golding

    The Pride and the Glory—Graham Greene

    The End of an Affair—“”

    Jude the Obscure—Thomas Hardy

    The Scarlet Letter—Nathanial Hawthorne

    Old Man and the Sea—Ernest Hemingway

    The Sun Also Rises—“”

    A Farewell to Arms—“”

    The Iliad and The Odyssey—Homer

    Les Miserables—Victor Hugo

    The Last Day of a Condemned Man—“”
    Their Eyes Were Watching God--Zora Neale Hurston

    Brave New World—Aldus Huxley

    A Prayer for Owen Meaney—John Irving

    The World According to Garp—“”

    The Haunting of Hill House—Shirley Jackson

    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl—Harriet Jacobs

    Daisy Miller—Henry James

    The Turn of the Screw—“”

    Portrait of a Lady—“”

    Wings of a Dove—“”

    Ulysses—James Joyce

    The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man—“”


    Metamorphosis—Franz Kafka

    The Trial—“”

    The Castle—“”

    On the Road—Jack Kerouac

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—Ken Kesey

    The Walking Dead (graphic novel series)--Robert Krikman

    Kim—Rudyard Kipling

    Sons and Lovers—D.H. Lawrence

    The Rainbow—“”

    Women and Love—“”

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover—“”

    To Kill a Mockingbird—Harper Lee

    A Hero of Our Time—Lermontov

    At the Mountains of Madness—H.P. Lovecraft

    Short Stories—“”

    The Prince—Machiavelli

    Dr. Faustus—Christopher Marlowe

    The Communist Manifesto—Karl Marx
    The Dark Knight Returns--Frank Miller

    Moby Dick—Herman Melville

    Paradise Lost—John Milton

    Watchmen—Allan Moore

    Beloved—Toni Morrison


    Song of Solomon—“”

    The Bluest Eye—“”

    The Crucible—Arthur Miller

    Death of a Salesman—“”

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra—Friedrich Nietzsche

    The Violent Bear it Away—Flannery O’Conner

    Wise Blood—“”

    Short Stories—“”

    1984—George Orwell

    Animal Farm—“”

    The Things They Carried—Tim O’Brien

    Going After Cacciato—“”

    July, July—“”

    In the Lake of the Woods—“”
    Drinking Coffee Elsewhere--Z. Z. Packer

    Short Stories—Edgar Allan Poe

    The Narrative of G. Arthur Pym (read this in connection with Lovecraft’s

                   At the Mountains of Madness)—“”

    The Republic--Plato

    Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time

    (series of six novels)—Marcel Proust

    The Godfather—Mario Puzo

    V—Thomas Pychon

    Gravity’s Rainbow—“”

    The Crying of Lot 49—“”

    The Vampire Chronicles—Anne Rice

                    Interview with the Vampire

                    The Vampire Lastat

                    The Queen of the Damned

                    The Body Snatchers

                    Memnoch the Devil

    The Plot Against America—Phillip Roth

    Portnoy’s Complaint—“”

    Midnight’s Children—Salman Rushdie


    Satanic Verses—“”

    Shalimar the Clown—“”

    The Moor’s Last Sigh—“”

    Nine Stories—J.D. Salinger

    The Catcher in the Rye—“”

    The Wall—Jean Paul Sartre

    No Exit--""

    Frankenstein—Mary Shelley

    The Oedipus Trilogy—Sophocles

    Maus I and II—Art Spiegelman

    The Grapes of Wrath—John Steinbeck

    Of Mice and Men—“”

    East of Eden—“”

    Le Morte D’Arthur (translation of Thomas Malory)

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—Robert Lewis Stevenson

    Dracula—Bram Stoker

    Walden—Henry David Thoreau

    The Hobbit—J.R.R. Tolkien

    The Lord of the Rings—“”

    The Death of Ivan Ilych—Leo Tolstoy

    War and Peace—“”

    Anna Karenina—“”

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—Mark Twain

    Pudd’nhead Wilson—“”
    The Vindication of the Rights of Women--Mary Wolstoncraft

    First They Killed my Father—Loung Ung


    Night—Elie Wiesel

    The Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde

    To the Lighthouse—Virginia Wolfe
    Between the Acts--""

    Black Boy—Richard Wright