This is a chronological ordered list of classic literatures extracted from World Cloud Classics , The Literature Book  and The Shakespeare Book  and many must-read lists.

Here are some reading tips:

33 books read

BCE — Heroes





1300 — Renaissance

Dante Alighieri

Geoffrey Chaucer

William Shakespeare 

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

John Milton

Daniel Defoe

1800 — Romanticism

Jane Austen

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Washington Irving

Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

  • The Brothers Grimm: 101 Fairy Tales, Volume I (1812)
  • The Brothers Grimm: 101 Fairy Tales, Volume II (1819)

Hans Christian Andersen

Charles Dickens

Alexandre Dumas

Charlotte Brontë

Emily Brontë

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Herman Melville

Thomas Bulfinch

1855 — Realism

Walt Whitman

Gustave Flaubert

Victor Hugo

Lewis Carroll

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Louisa May Alcott

Jules Verne

George Eliot

Mark Twain

Anna Sewell

Leo Tolstoy

Robert Louis Stevenson

Howard Pyle

Émile Zola

Emily Dickinson

  • The Poetry of Emily Dickinson, Series One, Two (1890)

Oscar Wilde

1890 — Modernism

Arthur Conan Doyle

Rudyard Kipling

Stephen Crane

Bram Stoker

Kate Chopin

L. Frank Baum

Jack London

Kenneth Grahame

L.M. Montgomery

Gaston Leroux

Frances Hodgson Burnett

J.M. Barrie

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Franz Kafka

James Joyce

Willa Cather

Edith Wharton


F. Scott Fitzgerald

D.H. Lawrence

Thomas Mann

Aldous Huxley

  • Brave New World (1932) Individuality (or lack of)

Raymond Chandler

  • The Big Sleep (1939)

John Steinbeck

  • The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

H.P. Lovecraft

  • Cthulhu Mythos Tales (1940)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • The Little Prince (1943)

1945 — Postwar

Ayn Rand

George Orwell

Ralph Ellison

  • Invisible Man (1952)

Ernest Hemingway

  • The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

Ray Bradbury

  • Fahrenheit 451 (1953) Censorship

William Golding

  • Lord of the Flies (1954) Civilization vs. Savagery

J. R. R. Tolkien

  • The Hobbit (1937)
  • The Lord of the Rings (1952)

Vladimir Nabokov

  • Lolita (1955)

Edgar Allan Poe

Chinua Achebe

  • Things Fall Apart (1958)

Günter Grass

  • The Tin Drum (1959)

Harper Lee

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) Social inequality

Joseph Heller

  • Catch-22 (1961) Absurdity of war

Ken Kesey

  • One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)

Anthony Burgess

  • A Clockwork Orange (1962)

Truman Capote

  • In Cold Blood (1966) New Journalism

Gabriel García Márquez

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

1970 — Contemporary

Thomas Pynchon

  • Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)

Italo Calvino

  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (1979)

Salma Rushdie

  • Midnight’s Children (1981)

Toni Morrison

  • Beloved (1987)

Bret Easton Ellis

  • American Psycho (1991)

Vikram Seth

  • A Suitable Boy (1993)

José Saramago

  • Blindness (1995)

Zadie Smith

  • White Teeth (2000)

Margaret Atwood

Yann Martel

  • Life of Pi (2001)

Zane Grey

  • Classic Westerns: Zane Grey (2009)


Charles Dickens




Dante Alighieri

Geoffrey Chaucer

William Shakespeare

  • Sonnets and Other Poems

John Milton

Emily Dickinson

  • The Poetry of Emily Dickinson, Series One, Two (1890)




  • The Hunger Games (2008)
  • 1Q84 (2009)
  • Ready Player One (2011)
  • The Testament  (2019)

Unreliable Narrators


Mentally Unstable/Mad


Concealed Facts