Life-Long Reading List

I’ve pulled together this list of books that I think a well-read person should experience in his or her lifetime. It’s been curated from more than a dozen different sources, some of which agree and some of which don’t. I’ve exercised some judgment of my own.
The list is sortable. Besides author and title, I’ve included the century of the work (negative numbers indicate BC dates), the linguistic origin of the author or the work, and a high-level list of categories of my own devising—autobiography, biography, Catholicism, dialogue, epic, essay (i.e., non-fiction), fables & tales, fiction, math & science, other, play, poetry, religious text.
This list, for me, is aspirational. It’s got a “great books” aura; as such, it’s under-representative of non-Western work and doesn’t include a ton of very recent releases. Very good contemporary works unlikely to be canon-eligible don’t appear (but I still read them). If you’re interested in the books I own or have read from my own library, see the Library page on this site.
Recommendations welcome, in the comment section below the table.
Originally published 12/26/2017.

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