Thanks to Open Culture for sharing this fascinating list. F. Scott Fitzgerald reportedly wrote this list and shared it with Dorothy Richardson, his nurse at the time, who was helping him convalesce from a shoulder injury. Written in 1936, it’s interesting to consider how many of these texts are still widely read and vitally important to us today. Few have fallen from the critical landscape, and many, like Proust’s work or Faulkner or Tolstoy seem more canonical today than they perhaps did to F. Scott at the time. Of course, it’s interesting to see not a single work of Hemingway’s on the list!


Here are all the links if you’re interested in doing a little literary homework of your own:

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

The Life of Jesus by Ernest Renan

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennet.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

The Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant

Outline of Abnormal Psychology, edited by J. Gardner Murphy

The Best American Humorous Short Stories, edited by Alexander Jessup

Victory by Joseph Conrad

The Revolt of the Angels by Anatole France

The plays of Oscar Wilde

Sanctuary by William Faulkner

Within a Budding Grove by Marcel Proust

The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

South Wind by Norman Douglas. [FYI this one has a free Kindle download!]

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield.

War and Peace, Tolstoy.

John Keats and Percy Shelley.