100 books everyone must have read

The propensity of human beings to attempt to classify everything is quite prevalent. For those not so dedicated, the urge to compile lists on a variety of topics is well known… So with that somewhat tenuous justification, I will embark on this post which will well display my immense erudition (as well justify the sobriquet of “IS” given to me by the Ustaad … which I think I have never got around to explaining.).

I will here give a list of 100 books everyone must have read if they have any desire to be thought cultured and well-read even if they are not lucky enough to own them… needless to say I have read all and own nearly all. So lets start… I propose to do it in this manner – I will start with just listing the books and their authors and afterwards, provide additional information.

It is needless to say that these are my personal choices, based on the validity of their content as well as the way some of them are written.

I must also point out that these are not arranged in any particular order, but as they kept on coming to into my mind…. and please remember they are the outcome of three and a half decades of intensive reading. So here goes….

1 The Consolation of Philosophy           – Boethius
Meditations                                                – Marcus Aurelius
3 The Divine Comedy                                  – Dante Aligheri
4 The Book of the Courtier                        – Baldassare Castiglione
5 Anabasis, or the Persian Expedition – Xenophon
6 The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam         – Fitzgerald, et al (trans.)
7 In Praise of Folly                                        – Erasmus
8 The Conquest of Gaul                                – Julius Caesar
9 The Master and Margarita                     – Mikhail Bulgakov
10 The Consolations of Philosophy        – Alain de Botton  
11 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland   – Lewis Caroll
12 Through the Looking-Glass                 – Lewis Caroll
13 A Hero of Our Time                                  – Mikhail Lermontov   
14 Fasana-e-Azaad                                       – Ratan Nath Sarshar
15 Zadig, or The Book of Fate                   – Voltaire
16 Guzashta-e-Lakhnau                              – Abdul Halim Sharar
17 Diwan-e-Hafez                                          – Hafez Shirazi
18 The Anatomy of Melancholy              – Robert Burton
19 Don Quixote                                                – Miguel de Cervantes
20 The Odyssey                                              – Homer
21 Bugles and a Tiger                                    – John Masters   
22 The Man Without Qualities                 – Robert Musil
23 The Masnavi                                              – Jalaaluddin Rumi
24 The Unconsoled                                       – Kazuo Ishiguro
25 Diwan-e-Momin                                       – Hakim Momin Khan Momin
26 The Good Soldier Svejk                         – Jaroslav Hašek
27 The General Danced at Dawn           – George McDonald Fraser
28 Chahar Maqala                                        – Nizami Samarkandi
29 Kulliyat-e-Majaz                                     – Asrar ul-Haq Majaz Lakhnavi
30 Diwan-i-Ghalib                                        – Asadullah Khan Ghalib
31 The Power and the Glory                      – Graham Greene
32 The Great Gatsby                                     – F.Scott Fitzgerald
33 Tales of the Alhambra                       – Washington Irving
34 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
35 As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams  – Lady Sarashina
36 The Sorrows of Young Werther        – Johann Wolfang Von Goethe
37 On Love and Barley: Haiku                 – Matsuo Bashō
38 Arabian Nights and Days                    – Naguib Mahfouz
39 And Quiet Flows the Don                    – Mikhail Sholokhov
40 Cosi Fan Tutti                                          – Michael Dibdin
41 Across the River and Into the Trees – Ernest Hemingway
42 Tales from the Torrid Zone                  – Alexander Frater
43 Eastward to Tartary                                – Robert D Kaplan
44 Mirrors of the Unseen                            – Jason Elliot
45 A Tale of a Tub                                          – Jonathan Swift
46 Vathek, An Arabian Tale                      – William Beckford
48 De re publica                                              – Cicero
49 The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen -Rudolf Raspe
50 Melmoth the Wanderer                        – Charles Robert Maturin

Well, as you see these are just half of the 100 I promised. But all in good time…. it was my justified fear that giving all 100 at the same time could be overwhelming for a large number of people. The rest will also be revealed soon. It would be interesting to know how many can reach double figures at least.

To be soon continued…..


One response to this post.

  1. […] I do admit there were some worthy tomes I missed…. You can read the first installment here : https://vahshatedil.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/100-books-everyone-must-have-read/ and go forward till you hit the next part, or search for […]


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