Compiled by Katherine Padilla
This document was first published by Novaun Novels in 2002 as “List of Notable Fiction.”
This list contains titles of both literary and popular classics. It is nowhere near being complete, but it will provide those interested in reading classic fiction a place to start. In compiling this list, I have consulted many sources and have included authors and titles that are available and recognizable. I haven’t made any judgments as to the wholesomeness of the work. For the books I have read and can recommend, see My Favorite Clean Fiction.
AMERICAN LITERATURE (pre-1900)
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. An Old-Fashioned Girl. Eight Cousins. Jack and Jill.
Alger, Horatio. (Novels for boys.) The World Before Him. Adrift in New York.
Bellamy, Edward. Looking Backward 2000–1887. The Duke of Stockbridge.
Bierce, Ambrose. In the Midst of Life.
Brown, Charles B. Wieland. Ormond. Arthur Mervyn. Edgar Huntly.
Burnett, Francis H. Little Lord Fauntleroy. The Secret Garden.
(Adult novels too.) A Woman’s Will. That Lass o’ Lawries.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening.
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Spy. The Pioneers. The Last of the Mohicans. The Prairie. The Pathfinder. The Deerslayer.
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage. Maggie, A Girl of the Streets.
Harte, Bret. (Best work in stories.)
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. The House of the Seven Gables. The Blithedale Romance. The Marble Faun.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. Elsie Venner. The Guardian Angel. A Mortal Antipathy.
Howells, William Dean. The Rise of Silas Lapham. A Traveler from Altruria. A Modern Instance. A Hazard of New Fortunes.
Irving, Washington. “The Knickerbocker History.” The Sketch Book (includes “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”). The Alhambra. Astoria.
James, Henry. The American. Daisy Miller (novella). The Portrait of a Lady. What Maisie Knew. The Turn of the Screw (novella). The Ambassadors.
Jewett, Sarah Orne. The Country of the Pointed Fir (stories). The Country Doctor. A Marsh Island.
Melville, Herman. Piazza Tales. Moby Dick. The Confidence-Man. Billy Budd.
Norris, Frank. McTeague. The Octopus. The Pitt.
Poe, Edgar Allen. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The Literati.
Pyle, Howard. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Twain, Mark (pen name for Samuel Clemens). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The Prince and the Pauper.
Wallace, Lew. Ben-Hur.
AMERICAN LITERATURE (Twentieth Century)
Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio (stories). The Triumph of the Egg (stories). Windy McPherson’s Son.
Baldwin, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Bellow, Saul. The Adventures of Augie March. Seize the Day (novella). Mr. Sammler’s Planet.
Buck, Pearl. The Good Earth. Sons. A House Divided. The Exile. Dragon Seed. The Promise.
Capote, Truman. Other Voices, Other Rooms. The Grass Harp. In Cold Blood.
Cather, Willa. The Professor’s House. O Pioneers! The Song of the Lark. My Antonia. One of Ours.
Dos Passos, John. Three Soldiers. Manhattan Transfer. U.S.A. Trilogy.
Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie. An American Tragedy.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. As I Lay Dying. Absalom, Absalom! The Fable. The Town. The Mansion.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. This Side of Paradise. The Beautiful and Damned. The Great Gatsby. Tender is the Night. Flappers and Philosophers (stories). Tales of the Jazz Age (stories).
Gaines, Ernest. Of Love and Dust. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman. Bloodline (stories).
Glasgow, Ellen. Virginia. Life and Gabriella. Barren Ground. Vein of Iron. The Descendant. In This Our Life.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. A Farewell to Arms. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Across the River and Into the Trees. The Old Man and the Sea (novella).
Hersey, John. A Bell for Adano. Hiroshima.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Sometimes a Great Notion.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Lewis, Sinclair. Main Street. Babbitt. Arrowsmith. Dodsworth. It Can’t Happen Here.
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild. The Sea Wolf. The Game. White Fang. Smoke Bellow. The Iron Heel.
Mailer, Norman. The Naked and the Dead. Barbary Shore. The Deer Park.
Malamund, Bernard. The Assistant. The Natural (baseball fantasy). The Fixer.
McCullers, Carson. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. The Member of the Wedding.
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind.
Michener, James A. Tales of the South Pacific.
Montgomery, L.M. (Canadian). Anne of Green Gables series.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. Bluest Eye. Song of Solomon. Sula.
O’Conner, Flannery. Wise Blood. The Violent Bear It Away. (Many stories.)
Porter, Gene Stratton. Freckles. A Girl of the Limberlost.
Porter, Katherine Anne. Flowering Judas (stories). Leaning Tower (stories). Ship of Fools. Pale Horse, Pale Rider (stories).
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan. The Yearling.
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye.
Saroyan, William. The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze. My Name is Aram (related stories). The Human Comedy.
Shaara, Michael. The Killer Angels.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. King Coal. Oil! Boston. Lanny Budd series (pop).
Stein, Gertrude. Three Lives (novellas). Tender Buttons (stories).
Steinbeck, John. Tortilla Flat. Of Mice and Men. The Red Pony (novella). The Grapes of Wrath. Cannery Row. East of Eden.
Styron, William. Lie Down in Darkness. The Confessions of Nat Turner. Sophie’s Choice.
Tarkington, Booth. The Turmoil. The Magnificent Ambersons. The Midlander. Alice Adams.
Tyler, Anne. The Accidental Tourist. Breathing Lessons. Celestial Navigations. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Morgan’s Passing. Searching for Caleb.
Updike, John. Couples. Rabbit is Rich. Rabbit Redux. Rabbit, Run. Witches of Eastwick.
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple.
Warren, Robert Penn. Night Rider. All the King’s Men. World Enough and Time.
Welty, Eudora. The Optimist’s Daughter.
West, Nathanael. Miss Lonelyhearts. The Day of the Locust.
Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. Ethan Frome. The Custom of the Country. The Age of Innocence.
Wilder, Laura Ingles. Little House books.
Wilder, Thornton. The Cabala. The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Our Town (play). The Ides of March. The Matchmaker (Hello, Dolly!).
Wolfe, Thomas. Look Homeward, Angel. Of Time and the River. The Web and the Rock. You Can’t Go Home Again.
Wouk, Herman. The Caine Mutiny. The City Boy. Marjorie Morningstar. War and Remembrance. Winds of War. Youngblood Hawke.
Austen, Jane. Emma. Mansfield Park. Northanger Abbey. Persuasion. Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility.
Barrie, J.M. Peter Pan.
Blackmore, R.D. Lorna Doone.
Bligh, William. Mutiny on the Bounty.
Bronte, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Shirley. Villette. The Professor, A Tale.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Butler, Samuel. The Way of All Flesh.
Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Through the Looking Glass.
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales.
Cleland, John. Memoirs of Fanny Hill.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. The Woman in White.
Conrad, Joseph. Chance. Heart of Darkness and the Secret Sharer (Batam Classics). Lord Jim. The Secret Agent.
Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Robinson Crusoe. Roxana.
Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield. Great Expectations. Hard Times. Oliver Twist. A Tale of Two Cities. Nicholas Nickleby. Bleak House. The Pickwick Papers. “A Christmas Carol.”
Doyle, Sir A. Conan. Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
Eliot, George (pen name of Mary Ann Evans). Adam Bede. Daniel Deronda. Middlemarch. The Mill on the Floss. Silas Marner.
Fielding, Henry. Jonathan Wild. Joseph Andrews. Tom Jones.
Galsworthy, John. The Forsyte Saga (trilogy).
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Wives and Daughters.
Goldsmith, Oliver. The Vicar of Wakefield. She Stoops to Conquer.
Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows.
Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd. Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Jude the Obscure. The Mayor of Casterbridge. The Return of the Native.
Hudson, W.H. Green Mansions.
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World.
Kipling, Rudyard. Captains Courageous. Kim. Just So Stories.
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Sons and Lovers.
Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia.
Joyce, James (Irish). Finnegan’s Wake. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Ulysses.
Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte D’Arthur.
Maugham, Somerset. The Moon and Sixpence. Of Human Bondage.
Meredith, George. The Ordeal of Richard Feverel.
Baroness Orczy. The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Orwell, George. 1984. Animal Farm.
Richardson, Samuel. Pamela.
Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe.
Sewell, Anna. Black Beauty.
Shaw, George B. (Irish). Arms and the Man.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein.
Smollett, Tobias. Humphrey Clinker.
Stern, Laurence. Tristram Shandy.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Black Arrow. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Treasure Island. Kidnapped. A Child’s Garden of Verses (poetry).
Stoker, Bram (Irish). Dracula.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels.
Thackeray, William. Henry Esmond. Vanity Fair.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Trollope, Anthony. Barchester Towers. The Warden.
Wells, H.G. The Time Machine. The Invisible Man. War of the Worlds.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray and other Writings (Batam Classics).
Balzac, Honore De (French). Pere Goriot.
Boccaccio, Giovanni (Italian). Decameron.
Cervantes, Miguel (Spanish). Don Quixote of La Mancha.
Chekhov, Anton (Russian). A Doctor’s Visit (stories). The Cherry Orchard.
Dostoevsky, Fydor (Russian). Crime and Punishment. The Idiot. The Brothers Karamazov. Notes From Underground.
Dumas, Alexandre (French). The Count of Monte Cristo. The Three Musketeers. The Man in the Iron Mask.
Flaubert, Gustave (French). Madame Bovary.
Goethe, Johann W. (German). The Sorrows of Young Werther.
Grass, Gunter (German). Cat and Mouse.
Hasek, Jaroslav (Czech). The Good Soldier Schweik.
Hugo, Victor (French). The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Les Miserables.
Kafka, Franz (Austrian). The Metamorphosis.
Leroux, Gaston (French). The Phantom of the Opera.
Moliere (French). The Misanthrope (play). Don Juan (play).
Narayan, R.K. (from India—writes in English). Gods, Demons, and Others.
Rostand, Edmond (French). Cyrano de Bergerac (play).
Silone, Ignazio (Italian). Bread and Wine. Fontamara.
Stendhal (French). The Red and the Black. The Charterhouse of Parma.
Tolstoy, Leo (Russian). Anna Karenina. War and Peace. The Death of Ivan Ilyich.
Turgenev, Ivan (Russian). Fathers and Sons.
Verne, Jules (French). Journey to the Center of the Earth. Around the World in Eighty Days. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Mysterious Island.
Voltaire (French). Candide.
Wyss, Johann (Swiss). Swiss Family Robinson.
Zola, Emile (French). Germinal.
Abel, Darrel. Colonial and Early National Writing, American Literature Volume 1 (to 1850).
American Literature to 1900, Great Writers Student Library. Ed. James Vinson. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980.
Carlsen, G. Robert. Books and the Teenage Reader. 2nd rev. ed. Batam, 1979.
Heiney, Donald and Lenthiel H. Downs. Recent American Literature (to 1930). Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1973.
Heiney, Donald and Lenthiel H. Downs. Recent American Literature (from 1930). Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1974.
List of books awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, obtained from Carroll County Public Library reference desk, 1992.
Pisano, C. “List of Notable Fiction.” Carroll County Public Library, 1990.
Reading list for King City High School Ninth Grade. King City, California, 1987.
This work by Katherine Padilla is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.