Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan

Clifton Fadiman, who died in 1999 at the age of 95, was an editor, essayist, anthologist and broadcast personality. He was an editor and judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club for over 50 years. He wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica as well as numerous magazines and compiled over two dozen anthologies on subjects ranging from mathematics to poetry to the pun. He became very well known appearing on the radio quiz show Information, Please! The Lifetime Reading Plan was first published in 1960; the second and third editions, with revisions and amplifications, appeared in 1978 and 1986. Finally, with the assistance of John S. Major, Clifton Fadiman prepared The New Lifetime Reading Plan (4th edition, 1998). The book is divided into 133 sections with each section devoted to an author and one or more of that author's books. The books are presented in chronological order and discussed in two or three pages each. This 4th edition addresses works of greater diversity than any of the earlier editions. The authors' write in the preface - "Because our country is more profoundly multicultural than ever, and also because it is to everyone's personal advantage to cast as wide a net as possible in harvesting the world's cultural riches, the works suggested...(here)... now include Lady Murasaki along with Jane Austen, Tanizaki cheek-by-jowl with Faulkner, Ssu-ma Ch'ien as well as Thucydides. We think these additions to the Plan will enhance both your pleasure and your sense of achievement as a reader."
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182 books · 106 voters · list created September 19th, 2008 by Frightful_elk (votes) .
152 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Frightful_elk 297 books
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Steven 2436 books
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Greyweather 2660 books
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Juliane 1062 books
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Ananth 195 books
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Nate 1222 books
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More voters…


Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls The list isn't complete yet; here's a link to the complete 4th edition list:

http://www.interleaves.org/~rteeter/g...


message 2: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Jan 21, 2011 01:56PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) ... but folks, PLEASE stick to the books actually contained in the original list! The whole point of this particular exercise is to vote on the books actually listed by Mr. Fadiman himself -- not to add books which, however great we think their literary value or how deserving they would have been, were not actually included by Mr. Fadiman as well.


message 3: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I just deleted a ton of books that are not on the list linked to above:

wizard of oz
murder on the orient express
the pearl steinbeck
study in scarlet
jude the obscure
clockwork orange
chronicles of narnia
lord of the rings
harry potter boxset
complete fairy tales of oscar wilde
overcoat, gogol
the little vampire
fables, de la fontaine
complete hans christian andersen
dr. faustus, marlowe
collected poems, larkin
heidi, spyri
Ben liebt Anna
my sweet orange tree
aesop's fables
collected poems, dylan thomas
the temple, george herbert
history of rasselas, samuel johnson
where love is, tolstoy
kreutzer sonata, tolstoy
crocodile, dostoyevsky
six poets of the great war
north and south, gaskell


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Yes, that kind of exercise was the reason for my above plea as well ... ;(


message 5: by Ben (last edited Oct 28, 2011 04:25PM) (new)

Ben I need another set of eyes to verify that the following should not be on this list:

Metamorphoses (Ovid)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wilde)
The Death of Ivan Ilych (Tolstoy)


message 6: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Sep 23, 2012 03:30PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Deleted, as not being on the original list:
Metamorphoses
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Death of Ivan Ilych
A Room of One's Own
A Christmas Carol
The Metamorphosis
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
Utopia
The Little Prince
The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales
The Purloined Letter
The Complete Poems
The Waste Land
Purgatory: Manuscript Materials Including the Author's Final Text
(the last four, for reasons similar to those stated below, as comprehensive editions of Poe's, Yeats' and Eliot's collected poems and stories are already on the list, too).

Also deleted:
Othello
Hamlet
Romeo and Juliet
The Merchant of Venice
The Tempest
King Lear
Richard III
Henry V
King Henry IV, Part 1
Henry IV, Part 2
The Winter's Tale
Macbeth
Shakespeare's Sonnets:

Mr. Fadiman's list specifically mentions Shakespeare's Complete Works, not any individual plays or poems -- for purposes of this present exercise we should stick exactly to the original list in this regard, as (unlike in the case of a number of other authors) Fadiman quite obviously chose not to highlight any individual works, but wanted to draw his readers' attention to Shakespeare's entire body of work.


message 7: by Abby (new)

Abby Lewellen I am working from the 4th ed 1997. Will try to be helpful when I can.


message 8: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Deleted again:

Jude the Obscure
The Metamorphosis by Kafka
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Ack. Hard to keep this list clean. I fear I may have voted for some that are not supposed to be on the list...


message 9: by Akemi (last edited Oct 01, 2016 06:15PM) (new)

Akemi G. Interesting list. I appreciate Fadiman's effort to include books that are not in the traditional "western canon." At the same time, I'm surprised of some of the choices; for instance, Beauty and Sadness to represent Kawabata? Not including Anna Karenina (not that I'm a big fan, but ...) Including Tao Te Ching would be nice, too, because Taoism has been huge in Asia. etc.


message 10: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl DELETED for improperly being on the list:

(these works are well known enough that I won't bother to link)
The Glass Menagerie
Slaughterhouse-Five
Cyrano de Bergerac
Lord of the Flies
Heart of Darkness, Conrad
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Of Mice and Men
The Master and Margarita
Saint Joan, Bernard Shaw
Sister Carrie
Frankenstein
One Day in the Life of Ivan Ilych
Invisible Man, Ellison
Oliver Twist
A Clockwork Orange
A Streetcar Named Desire
Persuasion, Austen
Bleak House
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Sketches from a Hunter's Album, Turgenev
The Grapes of Wrath
Night, Elie Wiesel
Portrait of a Lady, James
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Crucicle
Cousin Bette
Eugene Onegin, Pushkin
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce
Pierre et Jean, Maupassant
Heartbreak House, G.B. Shaw
Malade Imaginaire, Moliere
Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

And then there was this one.......
A Gypsy on Tenth Avenue


message 11: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Removed:

Charterhouse of Parma, Stendhal


message 12: by Mystery (new)

Mystery Theater Beautifully edited, lobstergirl. Thank you!


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