Kirby's Reading Lists (so far!)

American Authors and Works

Colonial Period- Nonfiction

John Smith- The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles

William Bradford- Of PlymouthPlantation

Thomas Morton- The New English Canaan

William Byrd- Histories of the Dividing Line Betwixt Virginia: and North Carolina

Ben Franklin- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Paine- The Crisis (all 16), The Rights of Man, The Age of Reason

Cotton Mather- Magnalia Christi Americana

J. Hector St. John De Crevecoeur- Letters From an American Farmer

Mary Rowlandson-The History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary Rowlandson

OlaudahEquiano- The Interesting Narrative of the Life of OlaudahEquiano, or Gustavus

Vassa, the African

Romantic Period-Fiction

Washington Irving- DiedrichKnickerbocker's History of New York from the Beginning of

the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, The Sketch Book ( a

collection of short stories, including “Rip Van Winkle” and “The

Legend of Sleepy Hollow”)

James Fenimore Cooper- Any novel from the Leatherstocking Tales (Last of the

Mohicans, The Deerslayer, etc.)

Edgar Allan Poe- The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Harriet Beecher Stowe- Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Louisa May Alcott- Little Women or Little Men

Herman Melville- Moby-Dick, Billy Budd( Iwould suggest the Penguin Classic edition of Billy Buddwith

an introduction byFredrick Busch),Red Jacket, Typee,Omoo, The Confidence-Man,

Mardi, Pierre

Hugh Henry Brackenridge- Modern ChivalryContaining the Adventures of Captain John Farrago and

Teague O'Reagan, His Servant

William Hill Brown- The Power of Sympathy (considered the first American novel by many)

Charles Brockden Brown- Wieland; or The Transformation; Edgar Huntly, Arthur


William Wells Brown- Clotel; or the President’s Daughter

Richard Henry Dana- Two Years Before the Mast

Nathaniel Hawthorne- The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Bithedale

Romance, The Marble Faun

Romantic Period-Nonfiction

The Federalist Papers

Thomas Paine- The Rights of Man or The Age of Reason

Alexis (Charles Henri Maurice Clerel) de Tocqueville- Democracy in America

Ralph Waldo Emerson- His essays- must include these: “Self-Reliance,” “Nature,

“The American Scholar,” “The DivinitySchool Address,”

“The Over-Soul,” and “The Transcendentalist” (I would

recommend Penguin Classics Nature and Selected Essays by

Ralph Waldo Emerson with an introduction by Larzer Ziff)

Henry David Thoreau- Walden; or Life in the Woods

Margaret Fuller- Woman in the Nineteenth Century

James Russell Lowell- The Writings of James Russell Lowell

Fredrick Douglass- Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass

Sojourner Truth- The Narrative of Sojourner Truth

Oliver Wendell Holmes- The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism Period-Fiction

George Washington Cable- The Grandissimes, Old Creole Days: A Story of Creole Life (a collection of

short stories)

Bret Harte- any collection of his short stories

William Dean Howells- The Rise of Silas Lapham

Theodore Dreiser- An American Tragedy

Henry James-The American, Daisy Miller, The Europeans, Washington Square, The

Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, The Turn of the Screw, The Wings

of the Dove, The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowl

Stephen Crane- The Red Badge of Courage or any collection of short stories

Sarah Orne Jewett- The Country of the Pointed Firs (actually a collection of connected short stories)

Mark Twain- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in

King Arthur’s Court, The Prince and the Pauper, The Gilded Age,The Tragedy of


Jack London- The Call of the Wild, The Sea-Wolf, White Fang, Martin Eden, The Iron Heel

Frank Norris- McTeague, The Octopus, The Pit

Charlotte Perkins Gilman- Herland

Kate Chopin- At Fault, The Awakening

Hamlin Garland- Main-Traveled Roads (a collection of short stories)

Edith Wharton- The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth

Ambrose Bierce- any collection of short stories by Bierce

Sherwood Anderson- Winesburg, Ohio

Upton Sinclair- The Jungle

Willa Cather- My Antoniaor O Pioneers!

Realism/Naturalism/Regionalism Period-Nonfiction

Mark Twain- Life on the Mississippi,The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad

Black Elk- Black Elk Speaks

W.E.B. Du Bois- The Souls of Black Folk

Ida Tarbell- The History of the Standard Oil Company

Booker T. Washington- Up From Slavery, An Autobiography

Marcus Garvey- any work by Garvey

Charlotte Perkins Gilman- Women and Economics

Modernism Period-Fiction

Ernest Hemingway- The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to

Arms, Across the River and into the Trees, In Our Time

F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby, Beautiful and Damned, Tender is the Night, This Side of Paradise

William Faulkner- Light in August, Intruder in the Dust, As I Lay Dying, The Unvanquished, Sanctuary,

The Wild Palms, The Sound and The Fury, The Reivers, Flags in the Dust, The Mansion,

Soldier’s Pay, Mosquitoes; Absalom, Absalom; Go Down, Moses

Eudora Welty- The Robber Bridegroom, Delta Wedding, The Ponder Heart, Losing Battles, The Optimist’s

Daughter,A Curtain of Green and Other Stories,The Collected Short Stories of Eudora Welty

John Steinbeck- Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Red Pony, Cannery Row, The Moon is Down,

East of Eden, The Pearl, The Short Reign of Pippin IV, In Dubious Battle, Tortilla Flat,

The Winter of Our Discontent

Zora Neal Hurston- Their Eyes Were Watching God

John Dos Passos- Three Soldiers, Manhattan Transfer

Sinclair Lewis- MainStreet, It Can’t Happen Here, Arrowsmith, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth

Sherwood Anderson- Winesburg, Ohio (A Collection of short stories but with a common thread running

through it--- in your journals relate to it as if it were a novel)

Pearl S. Buck- The Good Earth, Dragon Seed, Peony

Willa Cather- My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, O Pioneers!

Edgar Rice Burroughs- Tarzan of the Apes, Pellucidar, A Princess of Mars, The Land That Time Forgot

William Saroyan- The Human Comedy

Nathanael West- Miss Lonelyhearts, The Day of the Locust

Thomas Wolfe- Look Homeward, Angel; Of Time and the River, You Can’t Go Home Again

Richard Wright- Native Son, The Outsider

H. P. Lovecraft- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, At the Mountains of Madness

Ring Lardner- You Know Me, Al

James T. Farrell- Studs Lonigan(a series, and perhaps too long for a summer read; I would read Young

Loniganif nothing else)

Ellen Glasgow- The Romantic Comedian, They Stooped to Folly, The Sheltered Life, The Deliverance,

Virginia, Life and Gabriella, Barren Ground

Erskine Caldwell- Tobacco Road, God’s Little Acre

Katherine Ann Porter- Noon Wine, Old Mortality; Pale Horse, Pale Rider; Ship of Fools,The Collected

Stories of Katherine Anne Porter

Robert Penn Warren- All the King’s Men

AnziaYezierska- Bread Givers

Oliver LaFarge- Laughing Boy

MacKinlay Kantor- Andersonville

Post-Modernism Period-Fiction

James Agee- A Death in the Family

ShermanAlexie- Reservation Blues, Indian Killer

James Baldwin- Go Tell It on the Mountain

John Barth- The Sot-Weed Factor, Giles Goat-Boy

Donald Barthelme- Snow White, The Dead Father, The King, City Life

Saul Bellow- Henderson the Rain King, The Adventures of Augie March, Seize the Day, Humboldt’s Gift,

Herzog, Mr. Sammler’s Planet

Paul Bowles- The Sheltering Sky

Ray Bradbury- Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way


Richard Brautigan- Trout Fishing in America, A Confederate General from Big Sur

Raymond Carver- Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Chandler- The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely

John Cheever- The Wapshot Chronicles, Falconer

Sandra Cisneros- The House on Mango Street, Caramelo

Don Delillo- White Noise, Libra, End Zone, Underworld, Mao II: a Novel, The Names, The Body Artist

James Dickey- Alnilam, To the White Sea

Joan Didion- Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer

E. L. Doctorow- Ragtime, LoonLake, The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate

Ralph Ellison- Invisible Man

Louise Erdrich- Love Medicine, The BingoPalace, The Beet Queen, The Master Butcher’s Singing Club,

The Plague of Doves

Joseph Heller- Catch 22, God Knows

John Hersey- A Bell for Adano

Gish Jen- Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife

Jack Kerouac- On the Road

Ken Kesey- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion

Barbara Kingsolver- The Bean Trees, The Poisonwood Bible, Pigs in Heaven, Flight Behavior

Maxine Hong Kingston- Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book

Harper Lee- To Kill a Mockingbird

Ursula K. Le Guin- any of her novels

Norman Mailer- The Naked and the Dead, Harlot’s Ghost

Bernard Malamud- The Natural, The Assistant, The Fixer, The Magic Barrel

Cormac McCarthy- All the Pretty Horses, The Road, No Country for Old Men, Child of God,

The Crossing, Cities of the Plain, Blood Meridian, Suttree, The Outer Dark

Carson McCullers- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, The Ballad of the Sad Café

and Other Stories

N. Scott Momaday- House Made of Dawn

Toni Morrison- The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Beloved, Song of Solomon

Tim O’Brien- Going After Cacciato, In the Lake of the Wood, The Things They Carried (actually a


Flannery O’Connor- Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Complete

Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor

John Gardner- Grendel, Mickelsson’s Ghost, NickelMountains

John O’Hara- Appointment in Samarra, Butterfield 8

Cynthia Ozick- The Puttermesser Papers

Ann Petry- The Street, The Narrows

Thomas Pynchon- Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland

Ayn Rand- Anthem, Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, We, the Living

J. D. Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye

Leslie Marmon Silko- Ceremony, Almanac of the Dead

Wallace Stegner- Angel of Repose, The Spectator Bird

William Styron- The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s Choice, The Long March

Amy Tan- The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, Saving Fish from Drowning

Walker Percy- The Moviegoer, The Last Gentleman, The Second Coming, Love in the Ruins, The Thanatos Syndrome,


John Kennedy Toole-A Confederacy of Dunces

John Updike- any of his novels

Gore Vidal- Burr

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.- Slaughterhouse Five, Player Piano, Cat’s Cradle, Deadeye Dick, Mother Night,

Jailbird, Slapstick, Welcome to the Monkey House

Alice Walker- The Color Purple, The Temple of My Familiar

Margaret Walker- Jubilee

Tom Wolfe-Bonfire of the Vanities

David Foster Wallace-Infinite Jest

Richard Yates- Revolutionary Road

James Jones- From Here to Eternity

Isaac Bashevis Singer-Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories

Tillie Olsen- Tell Me A Riddle

Jean Stafford- Collected Stories of Jean Stafford

Richard Ford-The Sportswriter, Independence Day, Rock Springs (a collection of short stories)

John Pipkin- Woodsburner

David Benioff- City of Thieves

Marilynne Robinson- Housekeeping, Gilead, Home

Jonathan Franzen- Freedom: a Novel, The Corrections

John Irving- A Prayer for Owen Meany, Cider House Rules, The Hotel New Hampshire, The World According to Garp

Annie Proulx- The Shipping News

Paul Theroux- The Lower River, The Mosquito Coast, The Elephanta Suite, My Other Life, My Secret History, O-Zone,

Millroy the Magician

Modernism/Post-Modernism Period-Nonfiction

William Alexander Percy- Lanterns on the Levee

Ernest Hemingway- A Moveable Feast

Black Elk- Black Elk Speaks

Studs Terkel- Working

Gertrude Stein- The Autobiography of Alices B. Toklas

John Steinbeck- Travels With Charley in Search of America

Richard Wright- Black Boy

Maya Angelou- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

John Agee- Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Truman Capote- In Cold Blood

John Hersey- Hiroshima

Jack Kerouac- The Dharma Bums

N. Scott Momaday- The Way to Rainy Mountain

John Gardner- On Moral Fiction, On Becoming a Novelist

Richard Rodriguez- Hunger of Memory

Rachel Carson- Silent Spring

Mike Rose- Lives on the Boundary, Possible Lives, WhySchool

Tom Wolfe- Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Right Stuff, The Pumphouse Gang, The Rubber Ba

Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)- The Autobiography of Malcolm X

H. L. Mencken-The American Language

William Carlos Williams- In the American Grain

Joseph Campbell- The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Annie Dillard- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Michael Herr- Dispatches

M. F. K. Fisher- The Art of Eating

Vine Deloria, Jr.- Custer Died for Your Sins

bell hooks- Aint’ I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

Joan Didion- Slouching Toward Bethelem

Maxine Hong Kingston- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

Li-Young Lee- The Winged Seed: A Remembrance

Gore Vidal- The United States: Essays 1952-1992

Ruth Reichl- Tender at the Bone

Marilynne Robinson- Mother Country, The Death of Adam

Dan Koeppel- Banana, To See Every Bird on Earth

Paul Theroux- The Great Railway Bazaar, The Tao of Travel, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, The Old Patagonian Express, Sunrise with Seamonsters

Walker Percy- Lost in the Cosmos, The Message in the Bottle, Signposts in a Strange Land

American Poets from the Various Literary Periods

Anne Bradstreet- The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America or any collection of her


Phillis Wheatley- Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral or any complete

collection of her poems

Walt Whitman- Leaves of Grass or any collection

John Greenleaf Whittier- any collection

Emily Dickinson- The Poems of Emily Dickinson or any collection

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- any collection of his poems

Sidney Lanier- any collection

Paul Lawrence Dunbar- The Complete Poems or any collection

Hart Crane- Collected Poems or WhiteBuildings or The Bridge

Edgar Allan Poe- any collection of his poetry

William Cullen Bryant- any collection of his poetry (but must contain “Thanatopsis” and

“To a Waterfowl”)

Langston Hughes Amy Lowell Robert Frost Carl Sandburg

Sylvia PlathWallace Stevens William Carlos Williams

Countee CullenEzra Pound H.D. Robinson Jeffers

Robert FrostMarianne Moore Elizabeth Bishop Jean Toomer

T. S. Eliot Edna St. Vincent MillayLouise Bogan Hart Crane

Allen TateJohn Berryman Randall JarrellGwendolyn Brooks

Robert Lowell James Dickey Richard Wilbur Denise Levertov A. R. Ammons

Allen Ginsberg W. S. Merwin James Wright Anne Sexton Adrienne Rich

Amiri Baraka Wendy Rose Joy Harjo Rita Dove Cathy Song Billy Collins

Ishmael Reed Simon Ortiz Maya Angelou e.e. cummings Gary Snyder

GalwayKinnell Robert Bly Archibald MacLeish Dana Gioia Alan Dugan

Stephen Vincent Benet Nikki Giovanni Charles Bukowski Robert Creeley

William Stafford Theodore Roethke LawrenceFerlinghetti Naomi Shihab Nye

Authors and Works- Non-American


Dante- The Divine Comedy

James Joyce- Ulysses, Dubliners, Finnegan's Wake, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Aldous Huxley- Brave New World, Eyeless in Gaza

Samuel Butler- The Way of All Flesh

Beowulf- Anonymous (the Rebsamen edition is the highly recommended one!)

Chinua Achebe- Things Fall Apart

Honore De Balzac- Cousin Bette, Eugenie Grandet, Le PereGoriot, Lost Illusions

Charlotte - Jane Eyre, Villette

Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights

Geoffrey Chaucer- The Canterbury Tales

Miguel de Cervantes- Don Quixote

Arthur Koestler- Darkness at Noon

ItaloCalvini- The Baron in the Trees, The Path to the Nest of Spiders, The Nonexistent Knight, Invisible

Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, The Cloven Viscount

Anton Chekhov- The Cherry Orchard, The Sea-Gull, Uncle Vanya, The Lady with the Dog and Other


Wilkie Collins- The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, No Name

Bram Stoker- Dracula

Mary Shelley- Frankenstein

George Eliot- Middlemarch, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda

Ford Madox Ford- The Good Soldier

E. M. Forster- A Passage to India, Howards End, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread

Joseph Conrad- Lord Jim, The Secret Agent, Heart of Darkness, Almayer's Folly, Nostromo,UnderWestern


Albert Camus- The Stranger, The Plague, The Fall

Daniel Defoe- Robinson Crusoe, A Journal of the Plague Year