My Lifetime Master List

After two and a half years of reading and reviewing classics, I’ve decided to submit the completed list to the Classics Club lovely people.

I asked for your help to be sure to add more classics and specially to have your votes for some of the titles I wasn’t very sure about. I value your input a lot. I wanted my list to reflect levels of priority. It has that.

Initially, my plan was to make a new and shinny list for two and a half more years. However, as I looked at titles, some authors stood up, as well as categories. I then decided that what I wanted was an ambitious list to guide me. A list that I can edit and that can evolve with me as years pass by.

Those books that have priority are listed in bold UPPERCASE letters. Books by women are in italics.


  • The Dialogues of Plato, c. 350 BC
  • The Aeneid, Virgil, 29-19 BC
  • The Frogs, Aristophanes, 405 BC
  • Meditaciones, Marco Aurelio, 161-180 AD (re-read)
  • Beowulf, Heaney’s translation, between 975 and 1025
  • Utopia, Thomas More, 1516


* Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, 1599
* Henry V, Shakespeare, 1600
* Otelo, Shakespeare, 1603


  • Pascal Pensees and Other Writtings, 1670
  • Gargantúa y Pantagruel, François Rabelais, c. 1694

MAUPASSANT (have read some, want to read more)

BALZAC (0 books read by him)

ZOLA (0 books read by him)

PROUST: (0 books read by him)
* Por el camino de Swan, 1913

  • Le Grand Meaulnes, Alain-Fournier, 1913

Georges Simenon: (have read Yellow Dog, want to read more)


DICKENS (have read some, want to read more)

JANE AUSTEN (want to keep re-reading)

GEORGE ELIOT (have listened to Middlemarch but want to read more)

ANTHONY TROLLOPE (have read some, want to read more)

  • Eothen, Alexander William Kinglake, 1844

* Villette, Charlotte Bronte, 1853

GASKELL: (have read some, want to read more)
* North and South, 1855

  • Glaucus, or The Wonders of the Shore, Charles Kingsley, 1859

* Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy, 1874

  • The Scarlett Pimpernel, by Emmuska Orczy, 1905
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), Thorton Wilder—won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel
  • Cheerfulness Breaks In, by Angela Thirkell, 1940

GRAHAM GREENE: (0 books read by him)
*The Power and the Glory, 1940
*The End of the Affair, 1951

DOROTHY SAYERS: (have read some, want to read more)

BARBARA PYM (0 books read by her)

P D James. (have read some, want to read more)

DOROTHY WHIPPLE (0 books read by her)

  • The Brendan Voyage, by Tim Severin, 1978
  • Moon Tiger, 1987, by Penelope Lively
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, 2009, Winner of the Booker Prize


MURIEL SPARK (have read some, want to read more)

“The Empire Trilogy”:
1. (Troubles, 1970,
2. The Siege of Krishnapur, 1973,
3. and The Singapore Grip, 1978), J.G. Farrell.

Nancy Brysson Morrison
* The Gowk Storm


* Moby Dick

  • The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne *re-read, 1850

WILLA CATHER (have read some, want to read more)
*Oh, Pioneers

*Death Comes for the Archbishop

  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, written by herself is an autobiography by Harriet Ann Jacobs, a young mother and fugitive slave, published in 1861
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass is Frederick Douglass’ third autobiography, published in 1881
  • Up from Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of American educator Booker T. Washington

* Washington Square, 1880
* The Portrait of a Lady, 1881

FLANNERY O’CONNOR (have read some, want to read more)

SHIRLEY JACKSON (have read some, want to read more)

* A Movable Feast, 1964

EDITH WHARTON: (have read some, want to read more)
* The Age of Innocence, 1920

  • The Glorious Adventure, Halliburton, 1927
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), Thorton Wilder—won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD: have read some, want to read more)
*Tender is the Night, 1934

Ursula K. Le Guin (0 books read by her)

  • Adventures with a Texas Naturalist, Roy Bedichek, 1947
  • The Crime of Galileo by Giorgio De Santillana, 1955

Cormac McCarthy (have read The Road, want to read more)

VONNEGUT: (have read some, want to read more)
* Mother Night, 1961

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard, 1966

TONI MORRISON: Just before publishing this list, I read at Janakay’s blog that this author died at 88 years of age. I read many different articles, –in this one she’s compared to Nabokov-, and I’m convinced and convicted that I must read her books, and that I’d appreciate them very much.
*BELOVED, 1987


ALICE MUNRO (0 books read by her)

  • Shogun, Clavell, 1975

MARGARET ATWOOD: (0 books read by her. Actually, a hurried read of The Handsmaid’s Tale)
*The Blind Assassin, 2000


  • Rashomon and Other Stories, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, 1915
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami, 1994

KAZUO ISHIGURO (have read and re-read all but one of his titles, which I choose not to read. Waiting for him to publish something new)


DOSTOEVSKY (have read some, want to re-read)

TOLSTOY (have read some, considering War and Peace)

  • Fathers and Sons, Turgenev, 1862
  • Narraciones, Anton Chejov, cc 1892
  • The Master and Margarita, 1928 – 1940, Mikhail Bulgakov

VLADIMIR NABOKOV: (have read some, want to read more)
*Speak Memory, 1951 READ

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: (have read Cancer Ward)
* One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, 1962

SVETLANA ALEKSIÉVICH (1948), Ukraine. (I have read 0 books by her)

MARIAM PETROSYAN: (have read The Gray House, waiting for her to publish something new. She’s writing.)


  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein, 1921

* Los Buddenbrooks, 1901
* La montaña mágica, *re-read, 1924


ITALO CALVINO (have read some, want to read more)

UMBERTO ECO (have read The Name of the Rose, want to read more)

*My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante


  • Hambre, Knut Hamsun 1890 (Norwegian)
  • Giants in the Earth, by Norwegian-American author Ole Edvart Rølvaag, 1924-1925
  • Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, 1948 (Norwegian)


ORHAN PAMUK: (have read My Name is Red, 1998)
*The Black Book, 1990


  • La Celestina, Fernando de Rojas, 1499 (Spanish)

ANA MARIA MATUTE: (have read some, want to read more)
* Olvidado Rey Gudú, 1996

* La familia de León Roch, 1878
* The Spendthrifts, 1884
* Miau, 1888


GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ (have read many, want to re-read)

CORTAZAR (have read Hopscotch, want to read more)

  • Los recuerdos del porvenir, Elena Garro, 1963 (Mexican)
  • Tres Tristes Tigres, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, 1965 (Cuban)
  • The House on Mango Street is a 1984 coming-of-age/bildungsroman novel by Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros.
  • La ciudad y las bestias, Isabel Allende, 2002 (Chilean)


  • A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry, 1975

RUSHDIE: (have read Midnight’s Children)
* Quichotte, 2019



*The Song of Roland, 12th-14th centuries
*Orlando Furioso, 1516 (John Harrington’s translation on Librivox)
*The Faerie Queene, Spencer, 1590


Owen Barfield
*Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning
*Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry
*History in English Words, (re-read)

I welcome any and all suggestions, (as you can see some categories are empty or almost empty.) I’d also like suggestions for NON FICTION that are classics. Thanks.

And also, please, let me know if you spot any mistake, misspellings, or anything in the wrong place. Thanks a lot.

16 thoughts on “My Lifetime Master List

  1. Correction: Graham Greene and Dorothy Sayers are both English.

    Really, you have to read The Faerie Queene. 😉 Also, I’d recommend The Song of Roland (I love Sayers’ translation), and Orlando Furioso (I’m listening to John Harrington’s translation on Librivox — need a new project to keep my hands busy, so I can sit and listen again).

    Have you read anything by Russell Kirk? His Roots of the American Order is great.
    You’re so interested in language that you ought to read Owen Barfield. I’ve read Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning, and I want to read his Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry (which is also about words and HOW they mean).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelly, thank you SO MUCH.
      I will make the corrections and add your suggestions.
      I have read and loved one Owen Barfield, History in English Words, and the other titles you mention sound very exciting.
      I am going to start building that poetry section. I am also glad to hear that Orlando is available at Librivox.
      Do you think I can do The Faerie Queene? I have the Heritage edition, but despite your talk, I am still intimidated.😂


  2. Wonderfully international list, and I’m delighted to see that The Gowk Storm made it! I gave Beloved the coveted title of The Great American Novel – a fabulous book that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Lots of other goodies too – any list with Dickens and Austen on it is bound to please… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you divided up this list, Silvia. Beautiful books too! I need to look through my lists and see how they line up globally. I’m sure I could branch out a bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Silvia,
    I’m still having trouble trying to comment…so I’m trying a different server. : (
    I wanted to tell you that if you do reread One Hundred Years of Solitude, and you’d like some reading company, let me know. I’d like to reread it, too. And I may even watch the Netflix series when it is released.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry about the trouble! (I don’t know what I can do to help with that, but I am glad whatever you did worked).
      I can’t refuse such a generous offer.
      Let’s do 100 years and prepare for that series.
      Let me know if you want me to draft a simple reading schedule, nothing we have to meet by the letter. And then we can blog about it as we wish. Thanks for the offer, company for this type of classics is very appreciated.


  5. Yeah, looks like if I want to comment on your blog, I just have to remember to use Safari, which is no problem. It’s WordPress that is giving me a hard time, and it is out of your control. So no problem…it is solved.

    I’ll take a look at 100 Years and see about putting a reading schedule together. That will be fun. I tried to research when the Netflix series was set to come out, but it looks like a new project. I imagine it may be awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do appreciate your offer to work a schedule. Yay, that’s going to be fun! Enjoy doing it, no rush.
      And we may have to wait for that series, yeap.


  6. Pingback: a slow start | news from the reading room – |reading backwards|

  7. Hi, Silvia,
    Here is some rough thinking for reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez. We could plan for 2020.
    My copy is 417 pages. If we start on March 6, which is Marquez’s birthdate, and end on April 17, Marquez’s death, that is exactly 6 weeks. There are 20 unnumbered chapters or breaks, making it approximately 3 1/3 chapters a week, which is a slower-paced read. Also, we could make it a read-along, and see if anyone else wants to join us.

    How does that work for you? Any other ideas?

    P.S. I don’t know if this comment will reach you, but if it does, can we communicate via email? My email is

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got your comment. The plan is beautiful. I love how you thought about making it jive with his birthday and death date. I also like that it’s slow. (Right now I am bringing on Moby Dick, hahaha). I want to see if reading slower and together, -so yes to the read along idea-, yields more thoughts and a richer experience. And if not, it is what it is. I surely want to see how the book has aged.
      Thanks for doing this.


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