how many have you read?

rollover books for details

  • Dante | Inferno
  • Thoreau | Walden
  • Sophocles | Oedipus Rex
  • Kafka | Metamorphosis
  • Melville | Moby-Dick
  • Shakespeare | Hamlet
  • Homer | The Odyssey
  • Austen | Pride and Prejudice
  • Bronte | Jane Eyre
  • Steinbeck | Of Mice and Men

Penguin Classics has compiled a list of the top ten essential Penguin Classics every person should read. Each of these ten great works—ranging from poetry to plays to novels and non-fiction—has lasted and enlightened audiences throughout the ages, and they all still have something relevant to say to readers. Look over the list, and explore this website to learn more about each of the ten books.

Watch The Ten Essential Penguin Classics, a twenty-minute video program highlighting each of the ten books listed above.

the trailer

Why read classic works of literature? There are a myriad of reasons, just one of which is to catch the numerous references that appear in movies, television, politics, and throughout pop culture. In the above video, you can see a trailer for a short film we produced showing what happens to a hapless young suitor who hasn't read our Essential Classics.

You can watch the entire video here.

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