The Western Canon

One of my goals is to read the Western Canon in order to better understand our world and to be less ignorant.

There are lists available here and there, all hotly disputed.   I have selected from these and added to it several eastern works which have had a significant impact upon our history and culture.

So, here is what I’ve got. I have probably omitted by mistake some books that I read long ago and have therefore forgotten about.

Green = finished, orange = partly finished (some I chose not to continue) and red = haven’t started yet.

Religious texts

The Book of the Dead by E.A. Wallace Bodge

The Teachings of Zoroaster by Shapurji Aspaniarji Kapadia

The Bible

The Koran

The Nirvana Sutra, translated by Kosho Yamamoto


Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Assorted Greek tragedies by Sophocles, Euripedes and Aechylus. Also the Aenid by Virgil.


Collected works of Plato and Aristotle

Enchiridion by Epictetus

Principal Doctrines by Epicurus

On Duties by Cicero

Letters From A Stoic by Seneca

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Analects of Confucius

Areopagitica by John Milton

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Monadology by Leibniz

Moliere Collected Works

The Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen

Ethics by Spinoza

Candide by Voltaire

Essays of Montaigne

21 Works by David Hume

Works by Francois Rabelais

The Collected Works of Arthur Schopenhauer

The Complete Works of Frederick Willhelm Nietzsche


The Henri Bergson Megapack 

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein


Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Complete Works of Gogol

The Collected Works of Alexander Pushkin

The Complete Works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Faust by Goethe

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The Works of Rudyard Kipling

Middlemarch by George Elliot

The Georg Berkeley Collection

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

The Witch and Other Stories by Anton Chekov

Tales by H.P. Lovecraft

Ulysses by James Joyce

The Trial by Franz Kafka

If This Is A Man by Primo Levi

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell

Stoner by John Williams

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Eastern Literature

The Art of War by Lao Tsu

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xu


Aesop’s Fables

The Story of Burnt Njal (Islandic saga)

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

The Prince by Machiavelli

The Collected Works of Honore de Balzac

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Complete Works of William Wordsworth

The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman

The G.K. Chesterton Collection

The Major Works of Samuel Johnson

Collected Works of H.L. Menken

World’s Greatest Poems (Delphi Classics)

Various histories

What have I missed?

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