Reading Lists

These are my reading lists. The first is my unofficial one. If I don’t finish these books before my twentieth birthday I’m not going to be terribly mad, especially considering how long it takes me to finish books while school is in session. However, the Official Long Reading List is the list of books I want to read in the time between my twentieth and thirtieth birthdays, and it is composed mostly of these two lists ( and, plus my personal stipulation that I want to read all of Shakespeare in my lifetime. The crossed-out books are books I’ve already read. Of the ones on the Official Long List, I may read those again if I finish all the others. The starred ones are ones I own a copy of, as I’m also using this as a checklist to build my personal library.

In addition to that, I googled “books every conservative should read” and consulted my honorary uncle for the Conservative and German Major lists. These are books on topics I want to be well-read about. What do you do if you want to be well-read? You read. Duh.

I have read it said that if you want to change the world, you should read books by people you disagree with, and that is why I have left the more liberal material on the Official Long List, because I want to know my enemy, so to speak. One of the conservative lists from which I culled my own conservative list mentioned that all conservatives should read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in order to understand the origins of the current political regime. I feel like that might be fun, but it’s not on the list because it isn’t a priority.

Unofficial Reading List (indeterminate date in 2014 – July 3, 2015)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith*
Divergent and sequels by Veronica Roth
Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag*
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather*
Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
The World’s Greatest Love Letters by Michael Kelahan
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Maze Runner and sequels by James Dashner*
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence*
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell*
Der geteilte Himmel by Christa Wolf
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Enormous Room by e. e. cummings
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman*
The Princess Bride by William Goldman*

Official Long Reading List (July 4, 2015, to July 4, 2025)

  1. Beowulf*
  2. Homer’s Iliad
  3. Homer’s Odyssey*
  4. Plato’s Republic
  5. Aeschylus’ Oresteia
  6. Virgil’s Aeneid
  7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  8. Candide by Voltaire
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  11. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner*
  12. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  14. Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
  15. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  16. In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka
  17. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  18. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  19. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  20. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald*
  21. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  22. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  23. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  24. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  25. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  26. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  27. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  28. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  29. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  30. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  31. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol*
  32. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  33. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  34. I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
  35. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  36. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  37. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  38. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  39. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  40. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  41. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  42. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  43. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  44. Native Son by Richard Wright
  45. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  46. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  47. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  48. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  49. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  50. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  51. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  52. Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
  53. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  54. The Bible*
  55. Edith Hamilton’s Mythology*
  56. St. Augustine’s Confessions
  57. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  58. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  59. Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
  60. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  61. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  62. The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
  63. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
  64. The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
  65. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  66. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
  67. The Divine Comedy by Dante
  68. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  69. Hamlet by Shakespeare*
  70. Paradise Lost by John Milton
  71. The Misanthrope by Moliere
  72. Faust by Goethe
  73. Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht
  74. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking*
  75. Illuminations by Walter Benjamin
  76. Aristotle’s Poetics
  77. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  78. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
  79. A Thousand and One Nights
  80. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe*
  81. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  82. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
  83. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  84. The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki
  85. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
  86. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  87. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  88. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  89. Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
  90. The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  91. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  92. Germinal by Emile Zola
  93. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  94. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
  95. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  96. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  97. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
  98. Waiting for the Mahatma by R. K. Narayan
  99. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  100. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  101. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  102. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
  103. Crash by J. G. Ballard
  104. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naupaul
  105. The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz
  106. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  107. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  108. London Fields by Martin Amis
  109. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
  110. The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
  111. The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
  112. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
  113. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  114. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  115. Underworld by Don DeLillo
  116. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  117. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  118. The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet
  119. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
  120. Rabbit Series by John Updike
  121. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  122. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  123. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  124. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  125. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  126. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  127. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
  128. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
  129. Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky
  130. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  131. Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec
  132. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  133. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  134. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins*
  135. Ulysses by James Joyce
  136. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
  137. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
  138. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
  139. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
  140. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  141. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  142. The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
  143. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  144. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  145. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  146. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  147. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
  148. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  149. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  150. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  151. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  152. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  153. Middlemarch by George Eliot*
  154. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles*
  155. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*
  156. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll*
  157. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  158. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  159. A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  160. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë*
  161. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  162. Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien*
  163. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  164. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  165. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  166. 1984 by George Orwell

Conservative Reading List (Whenever)

  1. The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater
  2. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  4. The Federalist Papers
  5. Witness by Whittaker Chambers
  6. The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek
  7. Mugged by Ann Coulter
  8. The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk
  9. Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver
  10. Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman
  11. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
  12. God and Man at Yale by William F. Buckley Jr.
  13. Righteous Indignation by Andrew Breitbart
  14. The Tempting of America by Robert Bork
  15. The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom
  16. Right from the Beginning by Patrick Buchanan
  17. Men and Marriage by George Gilder
  18. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
  19. Political Pilgrims by Paul Hollander
  20. The Crisis of the Houses Divided by Harry Jaffa
  21. Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea by Irving Kristol
  22. The World We Have Lost by Peter Laslett
  23. Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
  24. Male and Female by Margaret Mead
  25. Losing Ground by Charles Murray
  26. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 by George Nash
  27. What I Saw at the Revolution by Peggy Noonan
  28. Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays by Michael Oakeshott
  29. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  30. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  31. Ethnic America by Thomas Sowell
  32. The Content of Our Character by Shelby Steele
  33. Natural Right and History by Leo Strauss
  34. The New Science of Politics by Eric Voegelin
  35. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh*
  36. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

German Reading List
1. “Merseburger Zaubersprüche”
2. “Das Hildebrandslied”
3. “Ich saz uf eime steine” and “Under der linden” by Walther von der Vogelweide
4. “Das Nibelungenlied”
5. “Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen” and “Ein feste Burg” by Martin Luther
6. Luther’s translations of Genesis and John, chapter 1
7. “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”
9. “Wie schön blüht uns der Maien”
“Ich hört ein Sichlein rauschen”
“An sich” by Paul Fleming
10. “Es ist alles eitel,” “Tränen des Vaterlandes” and “Abend” by Andreas Gryphius
11. “Die frühen Gräber” by Friedrich Klopstock
12. “Abendlied” by Matthias Claudius
13. “Willkommen und Abschied,” “Heidenröslein,” “Mailied,” “Wanderers Nachtlied,” “Erlkönig,” and “Gefunden” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
14. “An die Freude,” “Die Wörte des Glaubens,” “Die Wörte des Wahns,” and “Die Teilung der Erde” by Friedrich Schiller
15.”An die Parzen” and “Hälfte des Lebens” by Friedrich Hölderlin
“Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” and “Faust I” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
16. “Michael Kohlhaas” by Heinrich von Kleist
“Emilia Galotti” and “Nathan der Weise” by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
17. “Kabale und Liebe” by Friedrich Schiller
18. “Götz von Berlichingen” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
19. “Hymne an die Nacht II” by Novalis
20. “Kriegslied für die freiwilligen Jäger” by Friedrich Baron de la Motte-Fouque
21. “Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden” by Ludwig Uhland
22. “Wiegenlied” and “Abendstänchen” by Clemens Brentano
23. “Die eine Klage” by Karoline von Günderode
24. “Denk’ es, o Seele!” and “Das verlassene Mägdlein” by Eduard Mörike
25. “Das Lied der Deutschen” by Hoffmann von Fallersleben
26. “Die Lore Lay” by Heinrich Heine
27. “Im Grase” by Annette von Droste Hülshoff
28. “Über die Heide” und “Oktoberlied” by Theodor Storm
29. “Der römische Brunnen” by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer
30. “Vereinsamt” by Friedrich Nietzsche
31. “Kleider machen Leute” by Gottfried Keller
32. “Der Schimmelreiter” by Theodor Storm
33. “Bahnwärter Thiel” by Gerhart Hauptmann
34. “Der Landarzt” by Franz Kafka
35. “Woyzeck” by Georg Büchner
36. “Maria Magdalena” by Friedrich Hebbel
37. “Du” by Ricarda Huch
38. “Komm in den totgesagten park und schau” by Stefan George
39. “Die Beiden” by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
40. “Patrouille” by August Stramm
41. “Herbsttag,” “Römische Fontäne,” “Das Karussel” and “Der Panther” by Rainer Maria Rilke
42. “Die Krebsbaracke” by Gottfried Benn
43. “Inventur” by Günter Eich
44. “Grodek (Militärspital)” by Georg Trakl
45. “Todesfuge” by Paul Celan
46. “Reklame” and “Die gestundete Zeit” by Ingeborg Bachmann
47. “Der Tod in Venedig” and “Tonio Kröger” by Thomas Mann
48. “Mutter Courage” by Bertholt Brecht
49. “Der Hauptmann von Köpenick” and “Des Teufels General” by Carl Zuckmayer
50. “Katz und Maus” by Günter Grass
51. “Katharina Blum” by Heinrich Böll
52. “Draussen vor der Tür” by Wolfgang Borchert
53.”Die Physiker” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Browning’s German Poetry, a Critical Anthology
The Harrap Anthology of German Poetry
56. Deutsche Gedichte von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart

57. Foltin & Heinen’s Paths to German Poetry*
58. Wesen und Werden der deutschen Dichtung von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart*
59. Geschichte der deutschen Literatur
60. Germany, 2000 Years
61. Deutsche Kulturgeschichte
62. Deutsche Kulturgeschichte im Grundriss


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