101 Books

From time to time, I see these lists of 100 books that everyone should read. These aren’t necessarily ones that everyone should read, but as a long-time reader with eclectic taste and a particular fondness for counterculture and other non mainstreams works, this list would constitute my 100, with one extra for good measure:

  1. The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Holy Bible
  2. The Acts of the Apostles in the Holy Bible
  3. The Book of Ecclesiastes in the King James version of the Holy Bible
  4. the most expansive major history of the state where you live
  5. slave narratives from Library of Congress’s American Memory
  6. Cultural Democracy by James Bau Graves
  7. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  8. “Culture and Anarchy” by Matthew Arnold (essay)
  9. Still Life with Oysters and Lemon by Mark Doty
  10. For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
  11. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  12. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  13. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  14. Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks
  15. The Elements of Style by Will Strunk and EB White
  16. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  17. Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner
  18. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  19. Light in August by William Faulkner
  20. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  21. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  22. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  23. The Mind of the South by WJ Cash
  24. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  25. “Sucker” by Carson McCullers (short story)
  26. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  27. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  28. “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” by Langston Hughes (essay)
  29. One Big Self: An Investigation by CD Wright
  30. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  31. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  32. The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  33. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  34. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  35. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
  36. A History of the African American People (Proposed) by Strom Thurmond by Percival Everett and James Kincaid
  37. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
  38. Tripmaster Monkey by Maxine Hong Kingston
  39. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
  40. The Politics of Psychopharmacology by Timothy Leary
  41. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  42. Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac
  43. Book of the Unknown by Jonathon Keats
  44. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  45. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre (one-act play)
  46. Right You Are, If You Think You Are by Luigi Pirandello
  47. A Walk with Love and Death by Hans Koning
  48. Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray
  49. The Long Haul by Myles Horton
  50. “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold (poem)
  51.  “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg (poem)
  52. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  53. Forty Acres and a Goat by Will D. Campbell
  54. Blindness by Jose Saramago
  55. “Earthquake in Chile” by Heinrich von Kleist (short story)
  56. The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon
  57. Miguel Street by VS Naipaul
  58. For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange
  59. Revolt of the Cockroach People by Oscar Zeta Acosta
  60. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  61. The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo
  62. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
  63. The Buddha of Suburbia by Haneif Kureishi
  64. Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon
  65. John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead
  66. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  67. . . . And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera
  68. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  69. Working by Studs Terkel (interviews)
  70. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  71. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson
  72. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  73. “To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick (poem)
  74. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  75. “Poem for the Young White Man who asked me how I, an intelligent well-read person, could believe in the War Between Races” by Lorna Dee Cervantes (poem)
  76. Dispatches by Michael Herr
  77. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
  78. “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” by Audre Lorde (essay)
  79. “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  80. The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
  81. Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson
  82. Fences by August Wilson
  83. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  84. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
  85. A Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill
  86. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  87. Suddenly, Last Summer by Tennessee Williams
  88. The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry edited by Stephen Mitchell
  89. Killers of the Dream by Lillian Smith
  90. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  91. Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen
  92. Road Scholar by Andrei Codrescu
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  94. The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
  95. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky 
  96. Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf, poems by Ryokan
  97. “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay (poem)
  98. The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry (essays)
  99. Sundog by Jim Harrison
  100. The Lives of a Poem by Richard Hague
  101. “Where are you going? Where have you been?” by Joyce Carol Oates (short story)