Top 40

My Top 40 Reading Recommendations

  1. Ulysses — James Joyce
  2. Madame Bovary — Gustave Flaubert
  3. À La Recherche du temps perdu — Marcel Proust
  4. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy — Laurence Sterne
  5. Don Quixote — Miguel de Cervantes
  6. The Brothers Karamazov — Fyodor Dostoevsky
  7. Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy
  8. The Faerie Queene — Edmund Spenser
  9. Finnegans Wake — James Joyce
  10. Waiting For Godot — Samuel Beckett
  11. Our Lady of the Flowers — Jean Genet
  12. Under the Volcano — Malcolm Lowry
  13. The Last Temptation of Christ — Nikos Kazantzakis
  14. The Cairo Trilogy — Naguib Mahfouz [Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street]
  15. La Vie mode d’emploi — Georges Perec
  16. Bouvard et Pécuchet — Gustave Flaubert
  17. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man — James Joyce
  18. The Magic Mountain — Thomas Mann
  19. JR — William Gaddis
  20. Crime and Punishment — Fyodor Dostoevsky
  21. Le Voyeur — Alain Robbe-Grillet
  22. The Makioka Sisters — Junichero Tanizaki
  23. Absalom, Absalom! — William Faulkner
  24. To the Lighthouse — Virginia Woolf
  25. Lolita — Vladimir Nabokov
  26. The Sea of Fertility — Yukio Mishima
  27. Middlemarch — George Eliot
  28. Moby Dick — Herman Melville
  29. The Leopard — Giuseppe di Lampedusa
  30. A Dance to the Music of Time — Anthony Powell
  31. Mulligan Stew — Gilbert Sorrentino
  32. Naked Lunch — William S. Burroughs
  33. The Good Soldier — Ford Madox Ford
  34. The Awakening Land — Conrad Richter
  35. The Alexandria Quartet — Lawrence Durrell
  36. Clarissa — Samuel Richardson
  37. Europe Central — William Vollmann
  38. The Tin Drum — Günter Grass
  39. The Adventures of Augie March — Saul Bellow
  40. Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace

3 responses

  1. I just wanted you to know that I discovered your website in 1998 or 1999. I was in college at the time and just happened across it one day. I remember thinking to myself that you had a killer reading list. It became a habit, every few weeks, to check to see what you had added. Over the years, I have discovered many new writers because of your site. Often times, when I read a book that is good (in my opinion) and thought-provoking, I’ll check to see if you have read it as well, and what your thoughts were. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your website (in it’s many incarnations) has helped me find some good books along the way.


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