Book ReviewReadingHow Well-Read Are You? - The Ready Writers

October 28, 2021by readywriters

WhWHow well-read are you, really? It is no longer news that writers must be readers. This is because the depth of your writing is determined by the wealth of other writings you have consumed. What if you were to do a count of other works, articles, books and publications you have read, can you boldly say that you are well-read?

If you can’t answer that question with the affirmative, worry not. If you can, kudos to you. Whichever way, we are dedicated to helping you become the best writer that you can be. That is why we are publishing a list of the best 100 literary works, according to the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Of course, there are countless amazing books out there, but these have been polled as world classics of all time. If you can get these books and read them, then you can boldly say that you are a well-read writer. 

Top 100 Works in World Literature

The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors from 54 countries on what they considered the “best and most central works in world literature. Here is the list below.

A

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy Tales and Stories

Anon – The Epic of Gilgamesh

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

B

Honore de Balzac – Old Father Goriot

Samuel Beckett – Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable

Giovanni Boccaccio – Decameron

Jorge Luis Borges – Collected Fictions

Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

C

Albert Camus – The Stranger

Paul Celan – Poems

Louis-Ferdinand Celine – Journey to the End of the Night

Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote

Geoffrey Chaucer – Canterbury Tales

Anton Chekhov – Selected Stories; Thousand and One Nights

Joseph Conrad – Nostromo

D

Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations

Denis Diderot – Jacques the Fatalist and His Master

Alfred Doblin – Berlin Alexanderplatz

Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov

E

George Eliot – Middlemarch

Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man

Euripides – Medea

F

William Faulkner – Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury

Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education

Federico Garcia Lorca – Gypsy Ballads

G

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Faust

Nikolai Gogol – Dead Souls

Günter Grass – The Tin Drum

Joao Guimaraes Rosa – The Devil to Pay in the Backlands

H

Knut Hamsun – Hunger

Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea

Homer – The Iliad; The Odyssey

Henrik Ibsen – A Doll’s House

Anon – The Book of Job

J

James Joyce – Ulysses

K

Franz Kafka – The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle

Kalidasa –The Recognition of Sakuntala

Yasunari Kawabata – The Sound of the Mountain

Nikos Kazantzakis – Zorba the Greek

L

H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers

Halldor K. Laxness – Independent People

Giacomo Leopardi – Complete Poems

Doris Lessing – The Golden Notebook

Astrid Lindgren – Pippi Longstocking

Lu Xun – Diary of a Madman and Other Stories

Anon – Mahabharata

M

Naguib Mahfouz – Children of Gebelawi

Thomas Mann – Buddenbrooks; The Magic Mountain

Herman Melville – Moby Dick

Michel de Montaigne – Essays

Elsa Morante – History

Toni Morrison – Beloved

Murasaki Shikibu – The Tale of Genji

Robert Musil – The Man Without Qualities

N

Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita; Njal’s Saga

O

George Orwell – 1984

Ovid – Metamorphoses

P

Fernando Pessoa – The Book of Disquiet

Edgar Allan Poe – The Complete Tales

Marcel Proust – Remembrance of Things Past

R

Francois Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel

Juan Rulfo – Pedro Paramo

Jalalu’l-Din Rumi – The Mathnawi

Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

S

Sheikh Saadi of Shiraz – The Bostan of Saadi (The Orchard)

Tayeb Salih – A Season of Migration to the North

Jose Saramago – Blindness

William Shakespeare – Hamlet; King Lear; Othello

Sophocles – Oedipus the King

Stendhal – The Red and the Black

Laurence Sterne – The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

Italo Svevo – Confessions of Zeno

Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

T

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

V

Valmiki – Ramayana

Virgil – The Aeneid

W

Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass

Virginia Woolf – Mrs Dalloway; To the Lighthouse

Marguerite Yourcenar – Memoirs of Hadrian

 

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