This blog is dedicated to producing a list of texts – from theology to novels, chemistry to philosophy – that have profoundly shaped the english-speaking western world over hundreds, and in some cases thousands of years. This list is not intended to include neccesarily the best writings, nor the most popular, but texts which have most shaped English-language western culture generally (though some weren’t written in English) and are regularly referenced in other media. That is, if you have read all these, you have a pretty damn good handle on the ideas and influences that have shaped literary and intellectual culture in this society. For a full introduction, please see the “About” page, at top.

Obviously, a list such as this is a work in progress, and is by necessity interactive. We welcome submissions of new texts to include. Please send a comment with the title, author, year of first publication if possible, and a brief note on why the text should be included.

To view the complete list, see “The Grand List, to date”, at the top of this page.

Happy reading!