The Most Noteworthy Books of All Time

Books Every Lifelong Learner Needs To Be Acquainted With

2020-01-15

Category: Lifelong Learning

This is the list compiled for Flow Of Learning.

To reduce the likelihood of anyone’s biases, objectives, or blind spots affecting this list too much, only books that appeared in at least two of the following lists were included in Flow Of Learning’s compilation:


  1. Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books

  2. Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”

  3. Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time

  4. Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

  5. TJEd.org’s Classics

  6. Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

  7. Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development and Literature / Philosophy Books List

Six Book List Appearances



1984, George Orwell (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1949

“Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching… A startling and haunting novel, 1984 creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, The School of Life

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development and Literature / Philosophy Books List




Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes (Audible)


Spain, 1605

Don Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray—he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants—Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years. With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read



Five Book List Appearances



The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri (Audible)


Italy, 1472

The Divine Comedy describes Dante’s descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Audible)


Colombia, 1967

“One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buenda family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women – brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul – this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (Audible)


Russia, 1869

“In Russia’s struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, ‘a complete picture’, as a contemporary reviewer put it, ‘of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their grief and humiliation’.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, TED-Ed

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List



Four Book List Appearances




The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (Audible)


United States, 1884

“The novel’s preeminence derives from its wonderfully imaginative re-creation of boyhood adventures along the Mississippi River, its inspired characterization, the author’s remarkable ear for dialogue, and the book’s understated development of serious underlying themes: “natural” man versus “civilized” society, the evils of slavery, the innate value and dignity of human beings, and other topics. Most of all, Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful story, filled with high adventure and unforgettable characters.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read





Hamlet, William Shakespeare (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1603

“‘Hamlet’ is the story of its titular character, the Prince of Denmark who discovers that his uncle, Claudius, is responsible for the murder of his father. Claudius has murdered Hamlet’s father, his own brother, in order to usurp the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet’s widowed mother. Sunk into a state of despair, Hamlet is torn between his grief over his father’s death and his desire for revenge. ‘Hamlet’ is a work of great complexity and as such has drawn many different critical interpretations. Hamlet has been seen as a victim of circumstance, as an impractical idealist, as an opportunist, as the sufferer of a great melancholy, and as a man blinded by his own desire for revenge. Through the great deliberation with which Hamlet ponders his revenge, Shakespeare brilliantly dramatizes the complex philosophical and ethical issues that are at stake with such a violent action. The depth of characterization and literary craft that is exhibited in the work has elevated ‘Hamlet,’ to a legendary status, one of the most influential works in all of English literature.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




The Iliad, Homer (Audible)


Greece, 762 B.C.

“Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien


Audible: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King

United Kingdom, 1954

“In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion. When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom. The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Wikipedia, SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




Moby Dick

, Herman Melville (Audible)
United States, 1851

“A masterpiece of storytelling, this epic saga pits Ahab, a brooding and fantastical sea captain, against the great white whale that crippled him. In telling the tale of Ahab’s passion for revenge and the fateful voyage that ensued, Melville produced far more than the narrative of a hair-raising journey; Moby-Dick is a tale for the ages that sounds the deepest depths of the human soul. Interspersed with graphic sketches of life aboard a whaling vessel, and a wealth of information on whales and 19th-century whaling, Melville’s greatest work presents an imaginative and thrilling picture of life at sea, as well as a portrait of heroic determination. The author’s keen powers of observation and firsthand knowledge of shipboard life (he served aboard a whaler himself) were key ingredients in crafting a maritime story that dramatically examines the conflict between man and nature.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The Bookchemist, SparkNotes

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




The Odyssey, Homer (Audible)


Greece, 8th Century B.C.

“If the Iliad is the world’s greatest war epic, then the Odyssey is literature’s grandest evocation of everyman’s journey though life. Odysseus’ reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, TED-Ed

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1813

“Set in a small English village during 1812… A poor country squire is trying to find husbands for his five daughters. When one of them, Elizabeth, meets rich Mr. Darcy at a dance, they don’t find much in common. But during the next few months, they overcome their differences and fall in love.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Crash Course p1 and p2

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read




To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (Audible)


United States, 1960

“A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Crash Course p1 and p2

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List





Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (Free Audio Book)


Nigeria, 1958

“[Things Fall Apart] is a classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man’s futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Crash Course p1 and p2, SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time



Three Book List Appearances

Animal Farm, George Orwell (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1945

“A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (Audible)


Russia, 1877

“Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density. Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels,- of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life’s many ephemeral pleasures, and a profusion of comic relief.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, SparkNotes

Appearing in Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Audible)


Middle East, 1705

“Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and TJEd.org’s Classics

Beloved, Toni Morrison (Audible)


United States, 1987

“Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Crash Course, SparkNotes

Appearing in Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1932

Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls… Brave New World… has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development and Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky (Audible)


Russia, 1880

“Filled with human passions ― lust, greed, love, jealousy, sorrow, and humor ― the book is also infused with moral issues and the issue of collective guilt. As in many of Dostoevsky’s novels, the plot centers on a murder. Three brothers, different in character but bound by their ancestry, are drawn into the crime’s vortex: Dmitri, a young officer utterly unrestrained in love, hatred, jealousy, and generosity; Ivan, an intellectual capable of delivering impromptu disquisitions about good and evil, God, and the devil; and Alyosha, the youngest brother, preternaturally patient, kind, and loving.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, SparkNotes

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky (Audible)


Russia, 1866

“Drawing upon experiences from his own prison days, the author recounts in feverish, compelling tones the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student tormented by his own nihilism, and the struggle between good and evil. Believing that he is above the law, and convinced that humanitarian ends justify vile means, he brutally murders an old woman — a pawnbroker whom he regards as “stupid, ailing, greedy…good for nothing.” Overwhelmed afterwards by feelings of guilt and terror, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime and goes to prison. There he realizes that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering. Infused with forceful religious, social, and philosophical elements, the novel was an immediate success.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, The School of Life

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development and Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (Audible)


Netherlands, 1947

“In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, and TJEd.org’s Classics

Faust, First Part, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Audible)


Germany, 1790

“Hailed as Germany’s greatest contribution to world literature, Faust drew upon the legends surrounding a sixteenth-century sorcerer as well as Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus. But Goethe’s epic interpretation further explores the tension between learning and experience, and in this version Faust sells his soul not simply for magic powers but also for a heightened sense of existence. Part One of the dramatic poem concerns the magician’s devilish pact with Mephistopheles and his seduction of Gretchen, an innocent girl.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (Audible)


United States, 1939

“Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Audible)


United States, 1925

“The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1937

“Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Holy Bible (Audible)


Israel and the Mediterranean Region

“The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians. The Bible appears in the form of an anthology, compiling texts of a variety of forms that are all linked by the belief that they collectively contain the word of God. These texts include theologically-embellished historical accounts, hymns, allegorical erotica, parables, and didactic letters.” - Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1776

The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. First published in 1776, the book offers one of the world’s first collected descriptions of what builds nations’ wealth, and is today a fundamental work in classical economics. By reflecting upon the economics at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the book touches upon such broad topics as the division of labour, productivity, and free markets.” - Wikipedia
Synopses: Amazon and GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (Audible)


United States, 1952

“A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood”, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Crash Course

Appearing in Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written”, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl (Audible)


Austria, 1946

“Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov (Audible)


Soviet Union, 1967

“One spring afternoon, the Devil, trailing fire and chaos in his wake, weaves himself out of the shadows and into Moscow. Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantastical, funny, and devastating satire of Soviet life combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with historical, imaginary, frightful, and wonderful characters. Written during the darkest days of Stalin’s reign, and finally published in 1966 and 1967, The Master and Margarita became a literary phenomenon, signaling artistic and spiritual freedom for Russians everywhere.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, LitCharts

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway (Audible)


United States, 1952

“Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal – a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

On The Duty of Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau (Audible)


United States, 1949

“In 1845, Henry David Thoreau left Concord Massachusetts and moved to a cabin that he built by himself near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Walden, is an account of his stay in the woods and his experience. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of humanity, he pursued truth in the quiet of nature. Thoreau believes that such an experience enables one to gain true enlightenment. Even as Thoreau disentangled himself from worldly matters, his musings were often disturbed by his social conscience. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, also included in this book, expresses his antislavery and antiwar sentiments, as well as his protest against the government’s interference with civil liberty. His writings have inspired many to embrace his philosophy of individualism, and has influenced non-violent resistance movements worldwide.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli (Audible)


Italy, 1532

“The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli… The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning how to consider politics and ethics. Although it is relatively short, the treatise is the most remembered of Machiavelli’s works and the one most responsible for bringing the word “Machiavellian” into usage as a pejorative.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey (Audible)


United States, 1989

“[This book] has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, educators and parents—in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations across the world.” - Amazon
Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Stranger, Albert Camus (Audible)


France, 1942

“Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1859

“It was the time of the French Revolution — a time of great change and great danger. It was a time when injustice was met by a lust for vengeance, and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. Against this tumultuous historical backdrop, Dickens’ great story of unsurpassed adventure and courage unfolds.
Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it though, the pair are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman — Charles Darnay — falsely accused of treason. Strangely enough, Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to another man in the courtroom, the dissolute lawyer’s clerk Sydney Carton. It is a coincidence that saves Darnay from certain doom more than once. Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Video SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1847

“Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before. What unfolds is the tale of the intense love between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time, TJEd.org’s Classics, and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Two Book List Appearances

The Adventures of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi (Audible)


Italy, 1883

Pinocchio, in Carlo Collodi’s original version, is an adventure-filled, menacing fairy tale with a moral. Made by the woodcarver Geppetto, the puppet Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real child. But his unrestrained curiosity, dishonesty, and selfishness put him in constant peril. As he journeys from the deceptive “Field of Miracles,” where he plants gold coins to make them grow, to the land where lazy boys turn into donkeys, Pinocchio’s path is paved with mistakes, willfulness, and danger.And all the while his nose keeps growing bigger and bigger and bigger every time he tells a fib, so all the world can see what a liar he is…” - Amazon
Other synopses: Better Than Food, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque (Audible)


Germany, 1929

All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I. I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow…This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Analects, Confucius (Audible)


China, 475–221 BC

The Analects are a collection of Confucius’s sayings brought together by his pupils shortly after his death in 497 BC. Together they express a philosophy, or a moral code, by which Confucius, one of the most humane thinkers of all time, believed everyone should live. Upholding the ideals of wisdom, self-knowledge, courage and love of one’s fellow man, he argued that the pursuit of virtue should be every individual’s supreme goal. And, while following the Way, or the truth, might not result in immediate or material gain, Confucius showed that it could nevertheless bring its own powerful and lasting spiritual rewards.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery (Audible)


Canada, 1908

“As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon and SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Art of War, Sun Zi (Audible)


China, 5th Century BC

“Twenty-Five Hundred years ago, Sun Tzu wrote this classic book of military strategy based on Chinese warfare and military thought. Since that time, all levels of military have used the teaching on Sun Tzu to warfare and civilization have adapted these teachings for use in politics, business and everyday life. The Art of War is a book which should be used to gain advantage of opponents in the boardroom and battlefield alike.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Audible)


United States, 1791

“[This book] is the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790. The work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of an autobiography ever written.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lew Wallace (Audible)


United States, 1880

“[This book] is one of the most popular and beloved 19th century American novels. This faithful New Testament tale combines the events of the life of Jesus with grand historical spectacle in the exciting story of Judah of the House of Hur, a man who finds extraordinary redemption for himself and his family. A classic of faith, fortitude, and inspiration.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future, Friedrich Nietzsche (Audible)


Germany, 1886

“[This] is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886. It draws on and expands the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but with a more critical and polemical approach. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man. The work moves into the realm “beyond good and evil” in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favour of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1877

“While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, [this story] also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. Black Beauty became a forerunner to the pony book genre of children’s literature.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1476

“A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight’s account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, SparkNotes

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Catch-22, Joseph Heller (Audible)


United States, 1961

“Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Charlotte’s Web, E. B White (Audible)


United State, 1952

“‘Some Pig. Humble. Radiant.’ These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, Common Sense Media

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Audible)


Germany, 1848

“[The Communist Manifesto] has… been recognized as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. Commissioned by the Communist League, it laid out the League’s purposes and program. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms. The book contains Marx and Engels’ Marxist theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, ‘The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.’ It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then eventually communism.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories, Hans Christian Andersen (Audible)


Denmark, 1835

“The fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen wrote, such as “The Snow Queen,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Red Shoes,” and “The Nightingale,” are remarkable for their sense of fantasy, power of description, and acute sensitivity, and they are like no others written before or since. Unlike the Brothers Grimm, who collected and retold folklore, Andersen adopted the most ancient literary forms of the fairy tale and the folktale and distilled them into a genre that was uniquely his own.” - Amazon
Other synopsis: Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare


United Kingdom, 1589 - 1616

“William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” (or simply “the Bard”). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.” - Wikipedia

Video SparkNotes Synopses: Hamlet, Julius Ceasar, King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Romeo and Juliet

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville


Audible (different translation - not necessarily better - than this physical copy)

France, 1835

“Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like. What struck him most was the country’s equality of conditions, its democracy. The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America. It remains the most often quoted book about the United States, not only because it has something to interest and please everyone, but also because it has something to teach everyone.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Demons, Fyodor Dostoevsky


Russia, 1872

“Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horried Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a “novel-pamphlet” in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny masterpiece of ideology and murder in pre-revolutionary Russia.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (Audible)


United States, 1953

“Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.” - Amazon
Other synopses: TED-Ed, SparkNotes

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay (Audible)


United States, 1788

“…[T]his compilation of eighty-five articles explains and defends the ideals behind the highest form of law in the United States. The essays were written and published anonymously in New York newspapers during the years 1787 and 1788 by three of the Constitution’s framers and ratifiers: Alexander Hamilton, General George Washington’s Chief of Staff and first Secretary of the Treasury; John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States; and James Madison, father of the Constitution, author of the Bill of Rights, and fourth President of the United States. Thomas Jefferson hailed The Federalist Papers as the best commentary ever written about the principles of government. Milestones in political science and enduring classics of political philosophy, these articles are essential reading for students, lawyers, politicians, and those with an interest in the foundation of U.S. government and law.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway (Audible)


United States, 1940

“The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan’s love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo’s last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. ‘If the function of a writer is to reveal reality,” Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, “no one ever so completely performed it.’” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1818

“With Frankenstein, [Mary Shelley] succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, ‘would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror – one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.’” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, TED-Ed

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Godfather, Mario Puzo (Audible)


United States, 1969

“With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1861

“Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations charts the course of orphan Pip Pirrip’s life as it is transformed by a vast, mysterious inheritance. A terrifying encounter with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decrepit Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella at Satis House; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip’s life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble station as an apprentice to blacksmith Joe Gargery, beginning a new life as a gentleman. Charles Dickens’s haunting late novel depicts Pip’s education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his identity, and his ‘great expectations’. This definitive version uses the text from the first published edition of 1861. It includes a map of Kent in the early nineteenth century, and appendices on Dickens’s original ending and his working notes, giving readers an illuminating glimpse into the mind of a great novelist at work. “ - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, SparkNotes

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (Audible)


Germany, 1812

Grimms’ Fairy Tales… is a collection of fairy tales by the Grimm brothers or “Brothers Grimm” - Wikipedia
“When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their “Children’s and Household Tales” in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Cinderella” would become the most celebrated in the world.” - Amazon

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Soviet Union, 1973

Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression—the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully. Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims—men, women, and children—we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the welcome that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation. The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956—a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle—has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn’s move back to Russia. “ - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon, Wikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Jordan Peterson’s Book List for Intellectual Development and Literature / Philosophy Books List

Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift (Audible)


Ireland, 1726

“Regarded as the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) intended this masterpiece, as he once wrote Alexander Pope, to “vex the world rather than divert it.” Savagely ironic, it portrays man as foolish at best, and at worst, not much more than an ape. The direct and unadorned narrative describes four remarkable journies of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, among them, one to the land of Lilliput, where six-inch-high inhabitants bicker over trivialities; and another to Brobdingnag, a land where giants reduce man to insignificance. Written with disarming simplicity and careful attention to detail, this classic is diverse in its appeal: for children, it remains an enchanting fantasy. For adults, it is a witty parody of political life in Swift’s time and a scathing send-up of manners and morals in 18th-century England.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Heidi, Johanna Spyri (Audible)


Switzerland, 1880

“Little orphan Heidi goes to live high in the Alps with her gruff grandfather and brings happiness to all who know her on the mountain. When Heidi goes to Frankfurt to work in a wealthy household, she dreams of returning to the mountains and meadows, her friend Peter, and her beloved grandfather.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie (Audible)


United States, 1936

“Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky


Audible (different translation than this physical copy)

Russia, 1869

“Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from an asylum in Switzerland. As he becomes embroiled in the frantic amatory and financial intrigues which centre around a cast of brilliantly realised characters and which ultimately lead to tragedy, he emerges as a unique combination of the Christian ideal of perfection and Dostoevsky’s own views, afflictions and manners. His serene selflessness is contrasted with the worldly qualities of every other character in the novel. Dostoevsky supplies a harsh indictment of the Russian ruling class of his day who have created a world which cannot accomodate the goodness of this idiot.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, SparkNotes

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust (Audible)


France, 1913

“Swann’s Way tells two related stories, the first of which revolves around Marcel, a younger version of the narrator, and his experiences in, and memories of, the French town Combray. Inspired by the “gusts of memory” that rise up within him as he dips a Madeleine into hot tea, the narrator discusses his fear of going to bed at night. He is a creature of habit and dislikes waking up in the middle of the night not knowing where he is. He claims that people are defined by the objects that surround them and must piece together their identities bit by bit each time they wake up. The young Marcel is so nervous about sleeping alone that he looks forward to his mother’s goodnight kisses, but also dreads them as a sign of an impending sleepless night. One night, when Charles Swann, a friend of his grandparents, is visiting, his mother cannot come kiss him goodnight. He stays up until Swann leaves, and looks so sad and pitiful that even his disciplinarian father encourages “Mamma” to spend the night in Marcel’s room.” - Volume 1 synopsis on GoodReads
Other synopses: The School of Life, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1847

“Widely regarded as a revolutionary novel, Brontë’s masterpiece introduced the world to a radical new type of heroine, one whose defiant virtue and moral courage departed sharply from the more acquiescent and malleable female characters of the day. Passionate, dramatic, and surprisingly modern, Jane Eyre endures as one of the world’s most beloved novels.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Crash Course, SparkNotes

Appearing in Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written” and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper (Audible)


United States, 1826

“Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas become embroiled in the bloody battles of the French and Indian War. The abduction of the beautiful Munro sisters by hostile savages, the treachery of the renegade brave Magua, the ambush of innocent settlers, and the thrilling events that lead to the final tragic confrontation between rival war parties create an unforgettable, spine-tingling picture of life on the frontier. And as the idyllic wilderness gives way to the forces of civilization, the novel presents a moving portrayal of a vanishing race and the end of its way of life in the great American forests.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo (Audible)


France, 1862

“Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Inspector Javert, the desperation of the prostitute Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. Les Misérables gave Victor Hugo a canvas upon which he portrayed his criticism of the French political and judicial systems, but the portrait that resulted is larger than life, epic in scope—an extravagant spectacle that dazzles the senses even as it touches the heart.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1651

“Written during the turmoil of the English Civil War, Leviathan is an ambitious and highly original work of political philosophy. Claiming that man’s essential nature is competitive and selfish, Hobbes formulates the case for a powerful sovereign—or “Leviathan”—to enforce peace and the law, substituting security for the anarchic freedom he believed human beings would otherwise experience. This worldview shocked many of Hobbes’s contemporaries, and his work was publicly burnt for sedition and blasphemy when it was first published. But in his rejection of Aristotle’s view of man as a naturally social being, and in his painstaking analysis of the ways in which society can and should function, Hobbes opened up a whole new world of political science.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, Plutarch (Audible)


Roman Empire, 70 - 120 AD

“Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. The surviving Parallel Lives comprises 23 pairs of biographies, each pair consisting of one Greek and one Roman of similar destiny, such as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, or Demosthenes and Cicero. It is a work of considerable importance, not only as a source of information about the individuals described, but also about the times in which they lived.” - Wikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (Audible)


Soviet Union, 1955

“Awe and exhiliration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler (Audible)


United States, 1953

“Philip Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, whom he divorced and remarried and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Lord of the Flies, William Golding (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1954

“At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Video SparkNotes, Crash Course

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert (Audible)


France, 1856

“Emma Bovary is the original desperate housewife. Beautiful but bored, she spends lavishly on clothes and on her home and embarks on two disappointing affairs in an effort to make her life everything she believes it should be. Soon heartbroken and crippled by debts, she takes drastic action, with tragic consequences for her husband and daughter.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, Better Than Food (Language Alert)

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett (Audible)


United States, 1929

“Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O’Shaughnessy, and when Spade’s partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby’s trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him?” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius (Audible)


Audible (original translation - different than this physical copy)

Roman Empire, 161 - 180 AD

“A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behavior, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus’s insights and advice—on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others—have made the Meditations required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. For anyone who struggles to reconcile the demands of leadership with a concern for personal integrity and spiritual well-being, the Meditations remains as relevant now as it was two thousand years ago.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1925

Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway—a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance—infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life—Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: The School of Life, TED-Ed

Appearing in Encyclopedia Brittanica’s 12 Novels Considered the “Greatest Book Ever Written” and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass (Audible)


United States, 1845, Free Edition

“The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass during his time in Lynn, Massachusetts. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th century in the United States.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

Native Son, Richard Wright (Audible)


United States, 1940

“Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle (Audible)


Greece, 4th Century BC

“Composed of ten books and based upon Aristotle’s own notes from his lectures at the Lyceum, Nicomachean Ethics holds a pre-eminent place amongst the ancient treatises on moral philosophy. As opposed to other pre-Socratic works, Nicomachean Ethics moves beyond the purely theoretical analysis of moral philosophy by examining its practical application. Aristotelian ethics is concerned with how an individual should best live their life and at its core asserts the idea that the most virtuous life will be the happiest one. By living well, in balance with one’s environment, eschewing excess, guiding one’s life by reason, Aristotle argues, is the path towards the most virtuous and thus the happiest life. Aristotle’s ethical philosophy had a profound influence on ancient civilization, an influence that was sustained until the rise of Christianity which contradicted the premise of Aristotelian ethics by asserting that the most virtuous life was to be achieved instead by living an austere life of sacrifice devoted to God.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Oedipus Trilogy, Sophocles (Audible)


Greece, 429 BC

“Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than or contemporary with those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in 30 competitions, won 24, and was never judged lower than second place.” - Wikipedia
Other synopses: Crash Course, GoodReads Synopses: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

On Liberty, John Stuart Mill (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1859

“The British economist, philosopher, and ethical theorist’s argument does not focus on “the so-called Liberty of the Will…but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual.” Mill asks and answers provocative questions relating to the boundaries of social authority and individual sovereignty. In powerful and persuasive prose, he declares that there is “one very simple principle” regarding the use of coercion in society — one may only coerce others either to defend oneself or to defend others from harm.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton (Audible)


United States, 1967

“No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Isaac Newton


United Kingdom, 1687

“The Principia states Newton’s laws of motion, forming the foundation of classical mechanics; Newton’s law of universal gravitation; and a derivation of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion (which Kepler first obtained empirically). The Principia is considered one of the most important works in the history of science. Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, astronomer, theologian, author and physicist who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Red and the Black, Stendhal (Audible)


France, 1830

“Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Rênal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime—and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien—the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions—is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

The Republic, Plato (Audible)


Greece, 375 BC

“Plato’s most famous work and one of the most important books ever written on the subject of philosophy and political theory, “The Republic” is a fictional dialogue between Socrates and other various Athenians and foreigners which examines the meaning of justice. It is primarily from the writings of Plato that Socrates’s ideas are passed down to us. Written around 380 BC, the work is an important contribution to the age old question of how to best structure a society in a just way. The influence of the analysis contained within it on the development of government and law in Western civilization cannot be overstated. “The Republic” also discusses Plato’s “Theory of Forms”, the nature of the philosopher, the conflict between philosophy and poetry, and the immortality of the soul. An essential read for any student of philosophy or political science, “The Republic” is a monumental work of classical antiquity, which forms the foundation for much of our modern public policy.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1719

“This first edition credited the work’s fictional protagonist Robinson Crusoe as its author, leading many readers to believe he was a real person and the book a travelogue of true incidents. It was published under the considerably longer original title The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.The story is widely perceived to have been influenced by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on the Pacific island called “Más a Tierra” (in 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Swiss Family Robinson, Johann Davide Wyss (Audible)


Switzerland, 1812

“Following a wild and raging storm, the Swiss family Robinson are stranded at sea. But the thundering waves have swept them off to a tropical island, where a new life awaits them. Their ship is laden with supplies and the island is packed with treasures, so they soon adapt and discover new dangers and delights every day.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu (Audible)


Japan, 11th Century

“Lady Murasaki Shikibu and her tale’s hero, Prince Genji, have had an unmatched influence on Japanese culture. Prince Genji manifests what was to become an image of the ideal Heian era courtier; gentle and passionate. Genji is also a master poet, dancer, musician and painter. The Tale of Genji follows Prince Genji through his many loves and varied passions. This book has influenced not only generations of courtiers and samurai of the distant past, but artists and painters even in modern times—episodes in the tale have been incorporated into the design of kimonos and handicrafts, and the four-line poems called waka which dance throughout this work have earned it a place as a classic text in the study of poetry.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, LitCharts

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1882

“Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is a tale noted for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality – as seen in Long John Silver – unusual for children’s literature. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is enormous, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an “X”, schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in TJEd.org’s Classics and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Ulysses, James Joyce (Audible)


Ireland, 1922

“Ulysses, tells of the diverse events which befall Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in Dublin on 16 June 1904, during which Blooms voluptuous wife, Molly, commits adultery. Initially deemed obscene in England and the USA, this richly-allusive novel, revolutionary in its Modernistic experimentalism, was hailed as a work of genius by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot and Ernest Hemingway. Scandalously frank, wittily erudite, mercurially eloquent, resourcefully comic and generously humane, Ulysses offers the reader a life-changing experience.” - Amazon
Other synopses: The School of Life, TED-Ed

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe (Audible)


United States, 1852

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the story of the slave Tom. Devout and loyal, he is sold and sent down south, where he endures brutal treatment at the hands of the degenerate plantation owner Simon Legree. By exposing the extreme cruelties of slavery, Stowe explores society’s failures and asks a profound question: “What is it to be a moral human being?” And as the novel that helped to move a nation to battle, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an essential part of the collective experience of the American people.” - Amazon
Other synopses: SparkNotes, Wikipedia

Appearing in Open Education Database’s 50 Most Influential Books of All Time and TJEd.org’s Classics

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (Audible)


United Kingdom, 1908

“Meet little Mole, willful Ratty, Badger the perennial bachelor, and petulant Toad. Over one hundred years since their first appearance in 1908, they’ve become emblematic archetypes of eccentricity, folly, and friendship. And their misadventures-in gypsy caravans, stolen sports cars, and their Wild Wood-continue to capture readers’ imaginations and warm their hearts long after they grow up. Begun as a series of letters from Kenneth Grahame to his son, The Wind in the Willows is a timeless tale of animal cunning and human camaraderie.” - GoodReads
Other synopses: Amazon, Wikipedia

Appearing in Wikipedia’s Best-Selling Books and TJEd.org’s Classics

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig (Audible)


United States, 1974

“A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator’s relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.” - Amazon
Other synopses: LitCharts, GoodReads

Appearing in Art of Manliness’s 100 Books Every Man Should Read and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List

Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis (Audible)


Greece, 1946

Zorba the Greek, is, on one hand, the story of a Greek working man named Zorba, a passionate lover of life, the unnamed narrator who he accompanies to Crete to work in a lignite mine, and the men and women of the town where they settle. On the other hand it is the story of God and man, The Devil and the Saints; the struggle of men to find their souls and purpose in life and it is about love, courage and faith.” - Amazon
Other synopses: Wikipedia, GoodReads

Appearing in Bokklubben World Library’s 100 Best Books of All Time and Jordan Peterson’s Literature / Philosophy Books List


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