5 May

John Mark Reynolds, editor of The Great Books Reader: Excerpts and Essays on the Most Influential Books in Western Civilization [2011], thankfully takes a fresh approach to the canon-forming/ reading-course literature that has come to be excessively voluminous in the prior two decades, and—given Reynolds's Christian perspective, however misguided it may have caused him to be on other issuesthe list drawn from the book is also not excessively present-minded. Instead of focusing the authors' interpretation of the works, or explanation of its significance, the book's primary purpose is to offer excerpts.

Homer - The Odyssey

Plato - The Republic

Aristotle - Nicomachean Ethics

Virgil - The Aeneid

Augustine - Confessions[ in Thirteen Books]

Boethius - Consolation of Philosophy

Thomas Aquinas -  Summa Theologica

Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy

Geoffrey Chaucer - The Canterbury Tales

Desiderius Erasmus - In Praise of Folly

John Calvin - The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Edmund Spencer - The Faerie Queen

Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote

William Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing

Rene Descartes - Meditations

John Milton - Paradise Lost

Blaise Pascal - Pensées
 
John Locke - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

John Locke - Two Treatises on Government: Second Treatise

Isaac Newton -
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

John Wesley - Sermons

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
 
Alexis de Tocqueville - Democracy in America

Karl Marx (and Friedrich Engels) - Communist Manifesto

Charles Darwin - On the Origin of Species


Leo Tolsoy - Anna Karenina


Fyodor Dostoevsky - 
The Brothers Karamazov
 
Friedrich Nietzsche - Genealogy of Morals

G K Chesterton - Orthodoxy