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What We All Dream of: The Perfect Library

July 21, 2008

This is a very British list… they expressly admit it, but I like the list anyway.


The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
War and Peace by Tolstoy
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Middlemarch by George Eliot


Sonnets by Shakespeare
Divine Comedy by Dante
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
The Prelude by William Wordsworth
Odes by John Keats
The Waste Land by TS Eliot
Paradise Lost by John M ilton
Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
Collected Poems by WB Yeats
Collected Poems by Ted Hughes

Literary Fiction

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
A la Recherche du temps perdu by Proust
Ulysses by James Joyce
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Sword of Honor TRilogy by Evelyn Waugh
The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark
Rabbit Series by John Updike
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MArquez
Beloved by Toni MOrrison
The Human Stain by Philip Roth

Romantic Fiction:

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Le Morte D’Arthur by Thomas Malory
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Alexander Trilogy by Mary Renault
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchel
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas HArdy
The Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy

Children’s Books:

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrove by CS Lewis
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
The Railway Children by E . Nesbit
Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne
HArry Potter by JK Rowling
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The Time Machine by HG Wells
Brave NEw World by Aldous Huxley
1984 by George Orwell
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
Foundation by Isaac Asimon
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Neuromancer by William Gibson


The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The Murder in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Killshot by Elmore Leonard

Books that Changed the World:

Das Kapital by Karl Marx
The Rights of Man by Tom Paine
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
On War by Carl von Clausewitz
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
On the Interpreation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
L’Encyclopedie by Diderot et al

Books that Changed Your World:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Jonathan Livingston Seafull by Richard Bach
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
How to Cook by Delia Smith
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
A Child Called ‘It’ by Dave Pelzer
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
Schott’s Originial Miscellany by Ben Schott

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