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The List: 2013-14

The List (2013-2014)

For the current List,

The English Department invites you to complete the list. What is the list? It is easier to say what it is not than what it is. It is not a list of books that represents the canon. It is not even a list of all our favorite books or all the great works we hope you will someday read. Rather, it is the list of books that emerged when we asked this question of ourselves: what books do we think are essential, what books do we think no one—and in particular, no English major—should leave college without having read? And gave ourselves this limitation: we could each only offer up five books for the list and at least three of those had to come from our area of specialization. So, the list is idiosyncratic in the best sense of the word: we each struggled individually to identify the five books we thought it most essential for you to read while in college; the books that emerged from those individual choices became “The List.”

We hope you will take the challenge to read these books along with us. For those of you who complete all 61 books, you get to make a difficult choice yourself: you get to choose a book or work of literature to add to the list. For those of you who complete 50 works from the list, we will buy you a copy of your favorite work from the list, inscribe it, and then invite you at the end of the year to join us at a literary salon where we discuss these wonderful works.

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Sign up in the English Department office (Hollenbeck 102) if you want to take the challenge. You have your college years to complete the list. If you want to print an alphabetized List to check off as you go,, or if you want one divided by professor as below, — you can also pick either one up in the office when you sign up for the challenge.
  • When you finish reading a work of literature from the list, pick up a slip from the English Department office to fill out with your name and the title of the book.
  • Take that slip with you and talk with the professor(s) who recommended the book about what you found most interesting about the work, and get his/her signature on your completion slip. Return the slip to the English Department office.
  • When you complete 50 works, there is cause for celebration: a gift of a book and the promised party are forthcoming. If you complete all 61, you have earned the right to name your own essential book and alumni will be contacting you in the future and letting you know what they found interesting about your selection.
  • To find the book in the Thomas Library or through OhioLink click the book title. To find the book on, click the icon to the left of the title.

The List (2013-2014)

Dr. Lori Askeland

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs

Who Would Have Thought It?, Maria Ruiz de Burton

Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

American Indian Stories, Zitkala-Sa


Dr. Ty Buckman

The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser

King Lear, William Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare

Selected Works of John Donne, John Donne

Paradise Lost, John Milton


Dr. Robert Davis

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Frederick Douglass

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

Ulysses, James Joyce

Howl and Other Poems, Alan Ginsberg

The Complete Stories, Flannery O'Connor

White Noise, Don DeLillo


Professor D'Arcy Fallon

Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion

Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard

The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien

The Boys of My Youth, Jo Ann Beard

The Undertaking, Thomas Lynch


Dr. Scot Hinson

Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera

Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich

The Moor's Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie


Dr. Robin Inboden

Selected Poetry of the Brownings

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

In Memoriam, Alfred Tennyson

Middlemarch, George Eliot

Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy


Dr. Rick Incorvati

Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

"Lamia," "Isabella," "The Eve of St. Agnes," and other Poems, John Keats

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde


Dr. Michael Mattison

Lost in the Funhouse, John Barth

Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins

Rhetorical Grammar, Martha Kolin and Loretta Gray, 7th edition

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace

Geek Love, Katherine Dunn


Dr. Michael McClelland

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Huck Finn, Mark Twain

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

White Noise, Don DeLillo


Professor Jody Rambo

The Collected Poems, Wallace Stevens

The Complete Poems, Emily Dickinson

The Complete Poems, Elizabeth Bishop

The Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath

The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, Pablo Neruda


Dr. Cynthia Richards

Clarissa, Samuel Richardson (Broadview abridged)

Tom Jones, Henry Fielding

Tristam Shandy, Laurence Sterne

Evelina, Frances Burney

The Letters of John Keats


Dr. Carmiele Wilkerson

Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois

Plum Bun, Jessie Fauset

Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, Aime Cesaire

Omeros, Derek Walcott

Prospero's Daughter, Elizabeth Nunez


Jordan Hildebrandt

Flatland, Edwin A. Abbott (Mr. Hildebrandt is the first student to complete The List - including an additional 15 selections from Emeriti professors Kent and Mimi Dixon, and from former professor J. Fitz Smith, May 2012)

To read about Jordan's experience completing The List,

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