The New Lifetime Reading Plan
by Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major
(4th ed., 1997)

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"We assume that nearly every reader of this book will own a Bible and be at least somewhat accustomed to reading it; there is nothing we might try to say about it that would not seem presumptuous."
— Fadiman and Major

    Part One

  1. Anonymous, ca. 2000 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh.
  2. Homer, ca. 800 BCE. The Iliad.
  3. Homer, ca. 800 BCE. The Odyssey.
  4. Confucius, 551-479 BCE. The Analects.
  5. Aeschylus, 525-456/5 BCE. The Oresteia.
  6. Sophocles, 496-406 BCE. Oedipus Rex; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone
  7. Euripides, 484-406 BCE. Alcestis; Medea; Hippolytus; Trojan Women; Electra; Bacchae.
  8. Herodotus, ca. 484-425 BCE. The Histories.
  9. Thucydides, 470/460-ca.400 BCE. The History of the Peloponnesian War.
  10. Sun-tzu, ca. 450-380 BCE. The Art of War.
  11. Aristophanes, 448-388 BCE. Lysistrata; The Clouds; The Birds.
  12. Plato, 428-348 BCE. Selected Works.
  13. Aristotle, 384-322 BCE. Ethics; Politics; Poetics.
  14. Mencius, ca. 400-320 BCE. The Book of Mencius.
  15. Valmiki, ca. 300 BCE. The Book of Ramayana.
  16. Vyasa, ca. 200 BCE. The Mahabharata.
  17. Anonymous, ca. 200 BCE. The Bhagavad Gita.
  18. Ssu-ma Ch'ien, 145-86 BCE. Records of the Grand Historian.
  19. Lucretius, ca. 100-ca. 50 BCE. Of the Nature of Things.
  20. Virgil, 70-19 BCE. The Aeneid.
  21. Marcus Aurelius, 121-180. Meditations.

    Part Two

  22. Saint Augustine, 354-430. The Confessions.
  23. Kalidasa, ca. 400. The Cloud Messenger; Sakuntala.
  24. Revealed to Muhammad, ca. 650. The Koran.
  25. Hui-neng, 638-713. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.
  26. Firdausi, ca. 940-1020. Shah Nameh.
  27. Sei Shonagon, ca. 965-1035. The Pillow Book.
  28. Lady Murasaki, ca. 976-1015. Tale of Genji.
  29. Omar Khayyam, 1048-? The Rubaiyat.
  30. Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321. The Divine Comedy.
  31. Luo Kuan-chung, ca. 1330-1400. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
  32. Geoffrey Chaucer, 1342-1400. The Canterbury Tales.
  33. Anonymous, ca. 1500. The Thousand and One Nights.
  34. Niccolò Macchiavelli, 1469-1527. The Prince.
  35. François Rabelais, 1483-1553. Gargantua and Pantagruel.
  36. Wu Cheng-en, 1500-1582. Journey to the West.
  37. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533-1592. Selected Essays.
  38. Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra, 1547-1616. Don Quixote.

    Part Three

  39. William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. Complete Works.
  40. John Donne, 1573-1631. Selected Works.
  41. Anonymous, 1618. The Plum in the Golden Vase (Chin P'ing Mei)
  42. Galileo Galilei, 1574-1642. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
  43. Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679. Leviathan.
  44. René Descartes, 1596-1650. Discourse on Method.
  45. John Milton, 1608-1674. Paradise Lost; Lycidas; On the Morning of Christ's Nativity; Sonnets; Areopagitica.
  46. Molière, 1622-1673. Selected Plays.
  47. Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662. Thoughts (Pensées).
  48. John Bunyan, 1628-1688. Pilgrim's Progress.
  49. John Locke, 1632-1688. Second Treatise of Government.
  50. Matsuo Basho, 1644-1694. The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
  51. Daniel Defoe, 1660-1731. Robinson Crusoe.
  52. Jonathan Swift, 1667-1745. Gulliver's Travels.
  53. Voltaire, 1694-1778. Candide and Other Works.
  54. David Hume, 1711-1776. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
  55. Henry Fielding, 1707-1754. Tom Jones.
  56. Ts'ao Hsüeh-ch'in, 1715-1763. The Dream of the Red Chamber (also called The Story of the Stone).
  57. Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778. Confessions.
  58. Laurence Sterne, 1713-1768. Tristram Shandy.
  59. James Boswell, 1740-1795. The Life of Samuel Johnson.
  60. Thomas Jefferson and others. Basic Documents in American History, edited by Richard B. Morris
  61. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. The Federalist Papers, edited by Clinton Rossiter.

    Part Four

  62. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832. Faust.
  63. William Blake, 1757-1827. Selected Works.
  64. William Wordsworth, 1770-1850. The Prelude; Selected Shorter Poems; Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1800).
  65. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834. The Ancient Mariner; Christabel; Kubla Khan; Biographia Literaria; Writings on Shakespeare.
  66. Jane Austen, 1775-1817. Pride and Prejudice; Emma.
  67. Stendhal, 1783-1842. The Red and the Black.
  68. Honoré de Balzac, 1799-1850. Père Goriot; Eugénie Grandet.
  69. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882. Selected Works.
  70. Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864. The Scarlet Letter; Selected Tales.
  71. Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859. Democracy in America.
  72. John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873. On Liberty; The Subjection of Women.
  73. Charles Darwin, 1809-1882. The Voyage of the Beagle; The Origin of Species.
  74. Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, 1809-1852. Dead Souls.
  75. Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849. Short Stories and Other Works.
  76. William Makepeace Thackeray, 1811-1863. Vanity Fair.
  77. Charles Dickens, 1812-1870. Pickwick Papers; David Copperfield; Great Expectations; Hard Times; Our Mutual Friend; Little Dorrit.
  78. Anthony Trollope, 1815-1882. The Warden; The Last Chronicle of Barset; The Eustace Diamonds; The Way We Live Now; Autobiography.
  79. The Brontë Sisters
    79A. Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1855. Jane Eyre
    79B. Emily Brontë, 1818-1848. Wuthering Heights
  80. Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862. Walden; Civil Disobedience.
  81. Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, 1818-1883. Fathers and Sons.
  82. Karl Marx, 1818-1883, and Friedrich Engels, 1820-1895. The Communist Manifesto.
  83. Herman Melville, 1819-1891. Moby Dick; Bartleby the Scrivener.
  84. George Eliot, 1819-1880. The Mill on the Floss; Middlemarch.
  85. Walt Whitman, 1819-1892. Selected Poems; Democratic Vistas; Preface to the first issue of Leaves of Grass (1855); A Backward Glance O'er Travelled Roads.
  86. Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1880. Madame Bovary.
  87. Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 1821-1881. Crime and Punishment; The Brothers Karamazov.
  88. Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, 1828-1910. War and Peace.
  89. Henrik Ibsen, 1828-1906. Selected Plays.
  90. Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886. Collected Poems.
  91. Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Through the Looking-Glass.
  92. Mark Twain, 1835-1910. Huckleberry Finn.
  93. Henry Adams, 1838-1918. The Education of Henry Adams.
  94. Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928. The Mayor of Casterbridge.
  95. William James, 1842-1910. The Principles of Psychology; Pragmatism; Four Essays from The Meaning of Truth; The Varieties of Religious Experience.
  96. Henry James, 1843-1916. The Ambassadors.
  97. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 1844-1900. Thus Spake Zarathustra; The Genealogy of Morals; Beyond Good and Evil; and other works.

    Part Five

  98. Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939. Selected Works, including The Interpretation of Dreams; Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality; and Civilization and Its Discontents.
  99. George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950. Selcted Plays and Prefaces.
  100. Joseph Conrad, 1857-1924. Nostromo.
  101. Anton Chekhov, 1860-1904. Uncle Vanya; Three Sisters; The Cherry Orchard; Selected Short Stories.
  102. Edith Wharton, 1862-1937. The Custom of the Country; The Age of Innocence; The House of Mirth.
  103. William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939. Collected Poems; Collected Plays; The Autobiography.
  104. Natsume Soseki, 18676-1916. Kokoro.
  105. Marcel Proust, 1871-1922. Remembrance of Things Past.
  106. Robert Frost, 1874-1963. Collected Poems.
  107. Thomas Mann, 1875-1955. The Magic Mountain.
  108. E. M. Forster, 1879-1970. A Passage to India.
  109. Lu Hsün, 1881-1936. Collected Short Stories.
  110. James Joyce, 1882-1941. Ulysses.
  111. Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941. Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse; Orlando; The Waves.
  112. Franz Kafka, 1883-1924. The Trial; The Castle; Selected Short Stories.
  113. D. H. Lawrence, 1885-1930. Sons and Lovers; Women in Love.
  114. Tanizaki Junichiro, 1886-1965. The Makioka Sisters.
  115. Eugene O'Neill, 1888-1953. Mourning Becomes Electra; The Iceman Cometh; Long Day's Journey into Night.
  116. T. S. Eliot, 1888-1965. Collected Poems; Collected Plays.
  117. Aldous Huxley, 1894-1963. Brave New World.
  118. William Faulkner, 1897-1962. The Sound and the Fury; As I Lay Dying.
  119. Ernest Hemingway, 1899-1962. Short Stories.
  120. Kawabata Yasunari, 1899-1972. Beauty and Sadness.
  121. Jorge Luis Borges, 1899-1986. Labyrinths Dreamtigers.
  122. Vladimir Nabokov, 1899-1977. Lolita; Pale Fire; Speak, Memory.
  123. George Orwell, 1903-1950. Animal Farm; Nineteen Eighty-Four; Burmese Days.
  124. R. K. Narayan, 1906- . The English Teacher; The Vendor of Sweets.
  125. Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989. Waiting for Godot; Endgame; Krapp's Last Tape.
  126. W. H. Auden, 1907-1973. Collected Poems.
  127. Albert Camus, 1913-1960. The Plague; The Stranger.
  128. Saul Bellow, 1915- . The Adventures of Augie March; Herzog; Humboldt's Gift.
  129. Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, 1918- . The First Circle; Cancer Ward.
  130. Thomas Kuhn, 1922-1996. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
  131. Mishima Yukio, 1925-1970. Confessions of a Mask; The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
  132. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1928- . One Hundred Years of Solitude.
  133. Chinua Achebe, 1930- . Things Fall Apart.

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First posted: January 1998