Culturally-Significant Books of the English-Speaking Western Canon. The list is constantly-evolving, and suggestions for additions or arguments for deletion are welcome.

Before Common Era

The Torah – Various – Approx. 1500 BCE – 1280 BCE
The Bible – Various – Approx. 1500 BCE to 100 CE
The Odyssey
– Homer – Approx. 800 BCE
The Iliad – Homer – Approx. 800 BCE
Theogony – Hesiod – Approx. 700 BCE
Tao te Ching – Lao Tzu- Approx. 600 BCE
The Art of War – Sun Tzu – Approx. 600 BCE
Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus – Approx. 580 BCE
Dhammapada – Siddartha Gautama (Buddaa) – Approx 500 BCE
Bhagavad Gita – compiled by Vyasa – 500 – 200 BCE
Prometheus Bound – Aeschylus or Anon. – 460 – 415 BCE
The OresteiaAeschylus – 458 BCE
Antigone – Sophocles – 442 BCE
Oedipus Rex
– Sophocles – 429 BCE
The Symposium – Plato – 385-380 BCE
The Republic – Plato – Approx. 380 BCE
Works – Aristotle – Approx. 330 BCE
The Characters – Theophrastus – 319 BCE
Elements – Euclid – Approx. 300 BEC

0 – 1500 CE

Parallel Lives – Plutarch90 – 100
Meditations
– Marcus Aurelius – 161 – 180
The Koran – Various – Approx. 600 – 650
Beowulf – Anonymous – 700 -1000
Arabic Works of Jabir ibn Hayyan – Jabir ibn Hayyan (trans. by R. Russel, 1678) – 785 – 815
The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous/ Various – 800 – 1400
Book of Optics (Kitab al-Manazir) – Ibn al Haytham – 1011 – 1021
Summa Theologie – Thomas Aquinas – 1265-1274
Travels of Marco Polo – Marco Polo – 1298-1299
The Inferno – Dante Alighieri – Approx. 1320
The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer – 1385 – 1400
A Gest of Robyn Hood – Various, Anon. – 1450 – 1475
Everyman – Anonymous – 1480 – 1500

1500 – 1700 CE

Journals of Christopher Columbus – Christopher Columbus – 1492
Sileni Alcibiadis – Desiderius Erasmus – 1515
Utopia – Thomas More – 1516
On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church – Martin Luther – 1520
The Prince – Nicolo Machiavelli – 1532 (Likely written 1510s)
Gargantua and Pantagruel – Françoise Rabelais – 1530s
Institutes of the Christian Religion – John Calvin – 1536
De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium – Nicolaus Copernicus – 1543
Essays – Michel de Montaigne – 1580
“The Faerie Queene” – Edmund Spenser – 1590 – 1596
Richard III
– William Shakespeare – 1591
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
– 1594 – 1596
Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare – 1597
Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare – 1599
“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” – Christopher Marlowe – 1599
Hamlet – William Shakespeare – Approx. 1600
Macbeth – William Shakespeare – 1603 – 1607
Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe – 1604
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes – 1605 – 1615
Sonnets – William Shakespeare – 1609
Novum Organum – Francis Bacon – 1620
“For Whom the Bell Tolls” – John Donne – 1624
The World Encompassed – Sir Francis Drake – 1627
Discourse on the Method – Rene Descartes – 1637
Meditations on First Philosophy – Rene Descartes – 1641
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – Various Anon. – before 1650
Leviathan – Thomas Hobbes – 1651
Skeptical Chymist – Robert Boyle – 1661
Paradise Lost – John Milton – 1667
Ethics – Baruch de Spinoza – 1677
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan – 1678
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy – Isaac Newton – 1687
Two Treatises of Government – John Locke – 1689
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding – John Locke – 1690
Puss in Boots – Charles Perrault – 1697

1700s

Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe – 1719
Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe – 1722
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift – 1726 – 1735
“A Modest Proposal” – Jonathan Swift – 1729
Systema Naturae – Carolus Linnaeus – 1735
A Treatise of Human Nature – David Hume – 1739
Fanny Hill – John Cleland – 1748
Tom Jones – Henry Fielding – 1749
Discourse on Inequality – Jean-Jacques Roussau – 1754
Candide – Voltaire – Approx. 1759
On the Social Contract – Jean-Jacques Rousseau – 1762
Common Sense – Thomas Paine – 1776
The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith – 1776
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon – 1776-1789
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion – David Hume – 1779
Critique of Pure Reason – Immanuel Kant – 1781 (revised 1787)
The 120 Days of Sodom – Marquis de Sade – 1785
Justine – Marquis de Sade – 1787
Elements of Chemistry – Antoine Lavoisier – 1787
Songs of Innocence and Experience – William Blake – 1789 – 1794
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
– William Blake – 1790 – 1793
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman – Mary Wollstonecraft – 1792
An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice – William Godwin – 1793
“My Love’s Like a Red Red Rose” – Robert Burns – 1794
Hyperion – Friedrich Hölderlin – 1797 – 1799
“Rime of the Ancient Mariner” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge – 1798
An Essay on the Principle of Population – Thomas Malthus – 1798, revised 1803

1800s

Atomic Theory – John Dalton – 1803
“Jerusalem” (from “Milton”) – William Blake – 1804
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” – William Wordsworth – 1807
Phenomenology of Spirit – Goerge Hegel – 1807
“The Lady of the Lake” – Sir Walter Scott – 1810
Fairytales – The Grimm Brothers – 1812
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 1813
“She Walks in Beauty Like the Night” – Lord Byron – 1814
“Kubla Kahn” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge – 1816
Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott – 1817
“Ozymandias” – Percy Bysshe Shelley – 1818
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley – 1818“
Ode on a Grecian Urn” – John Keats – 1819
The World As Will and Idea – Arthur Schopenhauer – 1818
Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott – 1819
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” – Washington Irving – 1820
Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper – 1826
The Course in Positive Philosophy – August Comte – 1830 – 1842
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo – 1831
“The Lady of Shallot” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson – 1833, revised 1842
Democracy in America – Alexis de Tocqueville – 1835 – 1840
Fairy Tales – Hans Christian-Anderson – 1835 – 1873
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – 1838
“The Fall of the House of Usher” – Edgar Allan Poe – 1839
“My Last Duchess” – Robert Browning – 1842
“The Pit and the Pendulum” – Edgar Allan Poe – 1842
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – 1843
“The Tell-Tale Heart” – Edgar Allan Poe – 1843
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas – 1844
Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 – Karl Marx – 1844
Philosophical Fragments – Sören Kierkegaard (Johannes Climacus) – 1844
“The Raven” – Edgar Allan Poe – 1845
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass – 1845
The German Ideology – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – 1846
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – 1847
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – 1847
The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels – 1848
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray – 1848
Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau – 1849
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne – 1850
“How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways” – Elizabeth Barret Browning – 1850
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne – 1851
Moby Dick – Herman Melville – 1851
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe – 1852
Hard Times – Charles Dickens – 1854
“Charge of the Light Brigade” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson – 1854
Walden – Henry David Thoreau – 1854
Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman – 1855
“The Song of Hiawatha” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1855
North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell – 1855
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert – 1856
The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin – 1859
On Liberty – John Stuart Mill – 1859
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – 1859
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – 1860-1861
Silas Marner – George Eliot – 1861
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – 1862
First Principles – Herbert Spencer – 1862
Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne – 1864
Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky – 1864
“Oh Captain, My Captain” – Walt Whitman – 1865
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – 1865
Experiments on Plant Hybridization – Gregor Mendel – 1866
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky – 1866
Capital, vol. 1 – Karl marx – 1867
“Dover Beach” – Mathew Arnold – 1867
The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky – 1868 – 1869
Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott – 1868 – 1869
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – 1869
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne – 1869
“The Owl and the Pussycat” – Edward Lear – 1871
Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll – 1871
Middlemarch – George Eliot – 1871 – 1872
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne – 1873
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – 1873 – 1877
Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain – 1876
Black Beauty – Anna Sewell – 1877
“Germ Theory and its Application to Medicine and Surgery” – Louis Pasteur – 1878
A Doll’s House – Henrik Ibsen – 1879
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky – 1880
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James – 1880 – 1881
The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain – 1881
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson – 1881 – 1882
God and the State
– Mikhail Bakunin – 1882
The Adventures of Pinocchio – Carlo Collodi – 1883
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood – Howard Pyle – 1883
Thus Spoke Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche – 1883–1885
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain – 1884
King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard – 1885
Germinal – Emile Zola – 1885
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” – Emily Dickinson – 1886
Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzche – 1886
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson – 1886
Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson – 1886
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde – 1890
The Golden Bough – Sir James Frazer – 1890
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy – 1891
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 1891-1892
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman – 1892
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling – 1894
The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde – 1895
Dracula – Bram Stoker – 1897
The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells – 1897
The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells – 1898
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad – 1899
The Theory of the Leisure Class – Thorstein Veblen – 1899
The Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud – 1899
Little Black Sambo – Helen Bannerman – 1899

1900s

The Wizard of Oz – Frank L. Baum – 1900
The Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud – 1900
Kim – Rudyard Kipling – 1900 – 1901
Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington – 1901
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – 1901 – 1902
The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James – 1902
What Is to Be Done – V.I Lenin – 1902
Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter – 1902
The Call of the Wild – Jack London – 1903
The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Du Bois – 1903
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Douglas Wiggin – 1903
Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie – 1904
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism – Max Weber – 1904 – 1905
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality – Sigmund Freud – 1905
White Fang – Jack London – 1906
The Jungle
– Upton Sinclair – 1906
The Iron Heel – Jack London – 1907
Pragmatism – William James – 1908
Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery – 1908
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame – 1908
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett – 1911
Principles of Scientific Management – Frederick Winslow Taylor – 1911
Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw – 1912
Psychology of the Unconscious – Karl Jung – 1912
Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs – 1912
Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence – 1913
“Sacred Emily” – Getrude Stein – 1913
Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust – 1913 – 1927
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce – 1914 – 1915
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka – 1915
Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham – 1915
“Relativity” – Albert Einstein – 1916
State and Revolution – V.I. Lenin – 1917
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” – T.S. Elliot – 1917
“Arms and the Boy” – Wilfred Owen – 1918
Raggedy Ann Stories – Johnny Gruelle – 1918
Ulysses – James Joyce – 1918 – 1920
“The Second Coming” – W.B. Yeats – 1919
Ten Days That Shook the World
– John Reed – 1919
“The Road Not Taken” – Robert Frost – 1920
Dr. Dolittle – Hugh Lofting – 1920
Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence – 1920
“Beyond the Pleasure Principle” – Sigmund Freud – 1920
Psychological Types – Carl Jung – 1921
“The Waste Land” – T.S. Eliot – 1922
The Meaning of Relativity – Albert Einstein – 1922
The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams – 1922
Economy and Society – Max Weber – 1922
“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” – Robert Frost – 1923
The Prophet
– Khalil Gibran – 1923
The Magic Mountain
– Thomas Mann – 1924
A Passage to India – E.M. Forster – 1924
“The Hollow Men” – TS Elliot – 1925
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – 1925
The Trial – Franz Kafka – 1925
Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler – 1925-26
The Story of My Experiments with Truth – Mohandas K Gandhi – 1925 – 1928
The Sun Also Rises – Earnest Hemingway – 1926
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne – 1926
Being and Time – Martin Heidegger – 1927
“The Call of Ctulhu” – H.P. Lovecraft – 1927
The Hardy Boys (series) – Franklin W. Dixon (Leslie McFarlane and others) – starting 1927
Steppenwolf – Herman Hesse – 1927
To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf – 1927
“The Tower”  – William Butler Yeats – 1928
Gypsy Ballads – Federico Garcia Lorca – 1928
Coming of Age in Samoa – Margaret Mead – 1928
Threepenny Opera –  Bertolt Brecht – 1928
Orlando – Virginia Woolf – 1928
Essays in Zen Buddhism (three volumes) – DT Suzuki – 1920s, 30s
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence – 1928
A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf – 1929
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway – 1929
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque – 1929
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett – 1930
Nancy Drew (series) – Carolyn Keene – starting 1930
Civilization and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud – 1930
The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck – 1931
“On Formally Undecideable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems” – Kurt Godel – 1931
History of the Russian Revolution – Leon Trotsky – 1932
“The Phoenix on the Sword” (Conan the Barbarian) – Robert E. Howard – 1932
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – 1932
Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder – 1932
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein – 1933
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller – 1934
The Logic of Scientific Discovery – Karl Popper – 1934
“This Is Just to Say” – William Carlos Williams – 1934
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – 1936
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money – John Maynard Keynes – 1936
The Revolution Betrayed – Leon Trotsky – 1937
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck – 1937
The Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkien – 1937
The Sword in the Stone – T.H. White – 1938
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – 1938
“Let America Be America Again” – Langston Hughes – 1938
Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller – 1938
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler – 1939
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – 1939
And Then There Were None (10 Little Indians) – Agatha Christie – 1939
Mother Courage and her Children – Bertholt Brecht – 1939
Native Son – Richard Wright –  1940
For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway – 1940
“anyone lived in a pretty how town” – e.e. cummings  – 1940
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin – 1940s
Curious George – H.A. Rey and Margret Rey – 1941
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery – 1943
Being and Nothingness – Jean-Paul Sartre – 1943
The Glass Menagerie – Tennesee Williams – 1944
The Road to Serfdom – Friedrich von Hayek – 1944
Brideshead Revisted – Evelyn Waugh – 1945
Animal Farm
– George Orwell – 1945
Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren – 1945
Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl – 1946
Baby and Child Care
– Benjamin Spock – 1946
Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank – 1947
Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams – 1947
Under the Volcano – Malcolm Lowry – 1947
The Plague – Albert Camus – 1947
Doctor Faustus – Thomas Mann – 1947
Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett – 1948
“The Lottery” – Shirley Jackson – 1948
The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir – 1948
Cybernetics – Norbert Wiener – 1948, revised 1961
Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell – 1949
The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell – 1949
Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller – 1949
The Chronicles of Narnia (series) – CS Lewis – 1949 – 1954
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien – 1950
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury – 1950
The Foundation Trilogy – Isaac Asimov – 1951-1953
The Labyrinth of Solitude – Octavio Paz – 1950 (revised 1975)
The Rebel – Albert Camus – 1951
Siddhartha – Herman Hesse – 1951
Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger – 1951
The Origins of Totalitarianism – Hannah Arendt – 1951
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White – 1952
“Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” – Dylan Thomas – 1952
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway – 1952
Go Tell It On the Mountain
– James Baldwin – 1953
The Crucible – Arthur Miller – 1953
Casino Royale – Ian Fleming – 1953
Philosophical Investigations – Ludwig Wittgenstein – 1953
Lord of the Flies – William Golding – 1954
The Story of O – Pauline Réage – 1954
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – 1955
Testament of Hope – Martin Luther King, Jr. – 1986 (1956-1968)
“America” – Allen Ginsberg – 1956
“Howl” – Alan Ginsberg – 1956
Old Yeller – Fred Gipson – 1956
Long Day’s Journey into Night – Eugene O’Neill – 1956
Look Back in Anger – John Osborne – 1956
On The Road – Jack Kerouak 1957
Syntactic Structures
– Noam Chomsky – 1957
Atlas Shrugged
– Ayn Rand – 1957
The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss – 1957
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak – 1957
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – 1957
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote – 1958
A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond – 1958
The Affluent Society – John Kenneth Galbraith – 1958
The Once and Future King – T.H. White – 1958
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe – 1958
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs – 1959
The Tin Drum – Günter Grass – 1959
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – 1960
Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss – 1960
Rabbit, Run – John Updike – 1960
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller – 1961
Guerrilla Warfare – Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara – 1961
The Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon – 1961
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein – 1961
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Edward Albee – 1962
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle – 1962
The Golden Notebook
– Doris Lessing – 1962
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson – 1962
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – 1962
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey – 1962
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré – 1963
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – 1963
The Monetary History of the United States –  Milton Friedman – 1963
Eichmann in Jerusalem – Hannah Arendt – 1963
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut – 1963
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak – 1963
The Feminine Mystique
– Betty Friedan – 1963
Quotations from Chairman Mao – Mao Tse Tung – 1964
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl – 1964
The Odd Couple – Neil Simon – 1965
Unveiling Man’s Origins – Louis Leaky and Vanne Morris Goodall – 1965
Dune – Frank Herbert – 1965
The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X – 1965
Of Grammatology – Jacques Derrida – 1967
The Joke – Milan Kundera – 1967
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 1967
The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton – 1967
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke – 1968
The Population Bomb – Paul R. Ehrlich – 1968
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick – 1968
The Raw and the Cooked – Claude Levi-Strauss – 1969
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou – 1969
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula LeGuin – 1969
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – 1969
The Godfather – Mario Puzo – 1969
The Female Eunuch – Germaine Greer – 1970
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume – 1970
Pedagogy of the Oppressed – Paolo Freire – 1970
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Dee Brown – 1970
Steal This Book – Abbie Hoffman – 1971
The Stepford Wives – Ira Levin – 1972
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson – 1972
The Joy of Sex
– Alex Comfort – 1972
Watership Down – Richard Adams – 1972
Fear of Flying – Erica Jong – 1973
The Coming of Post-Industrial Society – Daniel Bell – 1973
Our Bodies, Our Selves – Boston Women’s Health Book Collective – 1973
Small is Beautiful – E.F. Schumacher – 1973
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John Le Carre – 1974
Zen and the Art of Motocycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig – 1974
The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksander Solzhenitsyn – 1974-78
The Crisis of Democracy – Michel Crozier, Samuel Huntington and Joji Watanuki – 1975
A Theory of Semiotics – Umberto Eco – 1976
History of Sexuality, vol. 1 Michel Foucault – 1976
Roots – Alex Haley – 1976
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice – 1976
Even Cowgirls get the Blues – Tom Robbins – 1976
The Shining
– Stephen King – 1977
A Scanner Darkly – Philip K. Dick – 1977
Discipline and Punish –
Michel Foucault – 1977
Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson – 1977
The World According to Garp – John Irving – 1978
The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck – 1978
Orientalism – Edward Said – 1978
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – 1979
The Theory of Communicative Action – Jurgen Habermas – 1981
Simulacra and Simulation – Jean Boudrillard – 1981
Midnight’s Children
– Salman Rushdie – 1981
The Color Purple – Alice Walker – 1982
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera – 1984
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 1985
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – 1985
Contact – Carl Sagan – 1985
Hegemony and Socialist Strategy
– Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe – 1985
Beloved
– Toni Morrison – 1987
Perestroika – Mikhail Gorbachev – 1988
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking – 1988
The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell – 1988
Manufacturing Consent
– Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman – 1988
The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie – 1988
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel – 1989
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving – 1989
Iron John – Robert Bly – 1990
Gender Trouble – Judith Butler 1990
Generation X – Douglas Coupland – 1991
The End of History and the Last Man – Francis Fukuyama – 1992
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – John Gray – 1992
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh – 1993
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success Deepak Chopra – 1994
Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela – 1995
Harry Potter (series of seven books) – J.K. Rowling – 1997-2007

2000s

See Recent Contenders page for contemporary texts to watch.

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