A great book is a masterwork whose depth and significance direct us toward fundamental realities of the world and the human condition. Such books speak to us everywhere and always, challenging us from their various perspectives to reflect intelligently on our own situation. The following list is by no means a complete list of great books, much less a list of every book worth reading. Neither is it the complete reading list for all Honors Program courses. It is a list of books that have been included in the Honors Program; some we read completely, others in part.

The Bible

Buddhist Dhammapada (Path to Virtue)

The Koran

Epic of Gilgamesh

Achebe: Things Fall Apart

Aeschylus: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides

Al-Ghazali: Deliverance from Error

Aquinas: Summa Theologica

Aristophanes: Clouds

Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, Physics, Poetics, Rhetoric

Augustine: Confessions

Austen: Pride and Prejudice

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

Baldwin: selected stories Blues for Mr. Charley

Chaucer: Canterbury Tales

Chuang Tzu: Inner Chapters

Confucius: Analects

Dante: Divine Comedy

Darwin, On the Origin of Species

Descartes: Discourse on Method, Meditations

Dostoyevsky: The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground

Douglass: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

DuBois: Souls of Black Folk

Einstein, The Special and General Theory of Relativity

Eliot: Four Quartets

Ellison: Invisible Man

Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano

Euclid: Elements

Euripides: Medea, The Bacchae

Hamilton, Madison, Jay: The Federalist Papers

Freud: Leonardo Da Vinci, Future of an Illusion

Galileo: Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, Two New Sciences

Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology

Herodotus: History

Hobbes: Leviathan

Homer: Iliad, Odyssey

  1. Hughes: selected poems

Hume: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Joyce: Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Kant: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Kierkegaard: Philosophical Fragments

King: Letter from Birmingham Jail

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching

Leopold: Sand County Almanac

Locke: Second Treatise of Government

Lucretius: De Rerum Natura

Luther: On Christian Liberty

Machiavelli: The Prince

Malcolm X: Autobiography of Malcolm X

Marx & Engels: Communist Manifesto

Milton: Paradise Lost

Melville: Billy Budd

Morrison: Beloved

Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil

Newton, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Pascal: Pensees

Plato: Meno, Euthyphro, Symposium, Republic, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Ion, Sophist, Gorgias

Polybius: Histories

Plutarch: Parallel Lives

Rousseau: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Rumi: selected poems

Shakespeare: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2, Henry V, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Tempest, Merchant of Venice

Shelley: Frankenstein

Smith: Wealth of Nations, Theory of Moral Sentiments

Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus

Thoreau: Walden

Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War

Tolstoy: Death of Ivan Ilych, War and Peace

Tocqueville: The Old Regime and the French Revolution, Democracy in America

Twain: Huckleberry Finn

Vasari: Lives of the Artists

Virgil: Aeneid

Voltaire: Candide

Vyasa: Bhagavad-Gita

Whitehead: Science and the Modern World

Woolf: A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse