What To Read Next: 100 Timeless Books, Poems, And Essays

what-to-read-next-fiWhat To Read Next: 100 Timeless Books, Poems, And Essays

by Terry Heick

This collection was put together by a good friend of mine, Nicholas Rudolph, who I pushed and pushed to give me a reading list for months until this showed up in my inbox.

He’s the “best reader” I know. Seamless comprehension. Perfect taste. Reads with pace and urgency and love. Talks about what he’s read, but it’s never about him or the book, but the logic and affection and importance of the text. I’ve never suggested a book he hadn’t already read. He actually inspires me as a reader, and I am–by previous craft–an English teacher of literature and writing.

So below is a reading playlist of sorts–a mostly universal collection of “the best” books, poems, and essays. I’m not going to qualify it any further than that because I didn’t ask him to when he made the list–just asked for a reading list of “good stuff,” and this is what I got.

I’m collecting more of this sort of stuff, and will try to publish it in a way you can use. I’ll try to add links to these, for example. Until then, here you are–100 things to read.

What To Read Next: 100 Timeless Books, Poems, And Essays

Prose, Fiction

  1. J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  2. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
  3. George Orwell, 1984
  4. George Orwell, Animal Farm
  5. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  6. Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  7. Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano
  8. Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five
  9. Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick
  10. Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  11. J. R. R. Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham
  12. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  13. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
  14. C.S. Lewis, A Horse and His Boy
  15. Brian Jacques, Redwall
  16. Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
  17. Richard Adams, Watership Down
  18. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  19. Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
  20. Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Shadow
  21. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
  22. Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony
  23. Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life
  24. Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
  25. Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  26. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  27. Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
  28. David Foster Wallace, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
  29. Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
  30. Lois Lowry, The Giver
  31. Ayn Rand, Anthem
  32. Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow
  33. Jack Kerouac, On the Road, the Original Scroll
  34. Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
  35. Hunter S. Thomspon, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
  36. Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America
  37. Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
  38. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
  39. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  40. Albert Camus, The Stranger
  41. J.M. Coetzee, The Life & Times of Michael K.
  42. Herman Melville, Moby Dick
  43. James Joyce, Araby from Dubliners
  44. John Okada, No-No Boy
  45. Karen Tei Yamashita, I-Hotel
  46. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone
  47. Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  48. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  49. Jhumpa Lahiri, Sexy
  50. Ursula Le Guin, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Verse, Fiction

  1. Allen Ginsberg, Howl & Other Poems
  2. Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish & Other Poems
  3. Gary Snyder, Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems
  4. Gary Snyder, Danger on Peaks
  5. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, A Coney Island of the Mind
  6. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pictures of the Gone World
  7. Diane Di Prima, Revolutionary Letters
  8. William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
  9. William Blake, Songs of Innocence & Experience
  10. Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poems & Prose
  11. Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”
  12. William Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely as a…”
  13. S.T. Coleridge, “Kubla Khan”
  14. S.T. Coleridge, “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison”
  15. Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias”
  16. Rainer Marie Rilke, Duino Elegies
  17. Rainer Marie Rilke, The Book of Hours
  18. Khalil Gibran, The Voice of the Master
  19. Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
  20. Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
  21. T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland & Other Poems
  22. Linh Dinh, “Eating Fried Chicken”
  23. Li-Young Lee, “Persimmons”
  24. e.e. cummings, Selected Poems
  25. Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell

Prose, Non-Fiction

  1. Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace
  2. Wendell Berry, Citizenship Papers
  3. Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land
  4. Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  5. Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
  6. Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  7. Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
  8. Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
  9. Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness
  10. Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
  11. Diane Ackerman, Deep Play
  12. Rainer Marie Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
  13. Leo Tolstoy, A Confession
  14. Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island
  15. Jeremy Rifkin, The Empathic Civilization
  16. Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization
  17. Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
  18. Anne LaMott, Bird by Bird
  19. Theodor Adorno & Max Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment
  20. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
  21. Siegfried Zielinski, Deep Time of the Media
  22. Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
  23. Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”
  24. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
  25. Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What To Read Next: 100 Timeless Books, Poems, And Essays

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