did your picks make the list?

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  • Austen | Pride and Prejudice
  • Shakespeare | Hamlet
  • Mark Twain | Huckleberry Finn
  • Homer | The Odyssey
  • Charlotte Bronte | Jane Eyre
  • Shakespeare | Romeo and Juliet
  • Charles Dickens | Great Expectations
  • Louisa May Alcott | Little Women
  • Emily Bronte | Wuthering Heights
  • Geoffrey Chaucer | Canterbury Tales

Your votes have been tallied! We're pleased to announce the new list of the ten essential Penguin Classics, as voted on by you.

You may remember that last year, we compiled a list of our top ten essential Penguin Classics we thought every person should read.

From Hamlet to Of Mice and Men to Walden, we thought our list was complete.

Obviously, we were wrong.

You wrote in about the books we left off our list. Where was The Canterbury Tales? Wuthering Heights? Little Women?

So we created a new list edited by you.

What do you think about the new list? What's still missing? Discuss, argue, and persuade others here.

Everyone has an opinion; sadly, even our former Ten Essential Penguin Classics video stars Laura and Dave (a.k.a. "D-Money"). Listen to their hilarious conversation below.

The Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Karen Sagun and Jane Greensmith for most closely predicting what the top 10 list would be! They've both won a set of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions, 24 of the most beloved, most beautifully designed books ever published. Like Moby-Dick. And The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And Jane Eyre. And many more.

the sweepstakes

Both winners happen to write terrific book blogs. Visit Karen at Books & Chocolate and Jane at Reading, Writing, Working, Playing.

The Results are…

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice
| $16.00 | ISBN 9780143105428

Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet. Her early determination to dislike Mr. Darcy is a prejudice only matched by the folly of his arrogant pride. Their first impressions give way to true feelings in a comedy profoundly concerned with happiness and how it might be achieved.


William Shakespeare
| $6.00 | ISBN 9780140714548

Arguably William Shakespeare's most influential play, Hamlet is the tragic story of how Hamlet revenge for the murder of his father, the late king of Denmark, as his uncle Claudius takes the throne and Hamlet's mother Gertrude as his wife.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
| $16.00 | ISBN 9780143105947

Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic world of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is firmly grounded in early reality. From the abusive drunkard who serves as Huckleberry's father, to Huck's first tentative grappling with issues of personal liberty and the unknown, Huckleberry Finn endeavors to delve quite a bit deeper into the complexities-both joyful and tragic of life.

The Odysssey

The Odysssey
| $17.00 | ISBN 9780140268867

The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats—shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon—Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.



Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre
| $16.00 | ISBN 9780143106159

A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman's quest for freedom. With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Brontë's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
| $6.00 | ISBN 9780140714845

The tender story of the young star-crossed lovers from warring families, Romeo and Juliet has moved audiences to tears for four hundred years.

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens
Great Expectations
| $15.00 | ISBN 9780143106272

A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor-these form a series of events that change the orphan Pip's life forever, as he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his great expectations. Published nine years before Dickens's death, it remains one of his most celebrated works.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott
Little Women
| $14.00 | ISBN 9780143105015

Timeless in its evocation of idealized family life and robustly enduring, Little Women is recognized as one of the best-loved classic children's stories of all time. Originally written as a "girls" story, its appeal transcends the boundaries of time and age, making it as popular with adults as it is with young readers. For this is a beguiling story of happiness and hope, of the joys of companionship, domestic harmony and infinite mother love, all seen through the life of the March family. Little Women was an instant success when first published in 1868, and followed only a year later by the sequel, Little Wives.


Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights
| $16.00 | ISBN 9780143105435

Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë's only novel is set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors. Depicting the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology.

The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
| $18.00 | ISBN 9780143106173

One of the greatest and most ambitious works in English literature, The Canterbury Tales depicts a storytelling competition between pilgrims drawn from all ranks of society. The tales are as various as the pilgrims themselves, encompassing comedy, pathos, tragedy, and cynicism. In these twenty-four tales, Chaucer displays a dazzling range of literary styles and conjures up a wonderfully vivid picture of medieval life.

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