Looking for a Summer (Long) Reading List?

It seems that everyone from Oprah to the New York Times to the UST Libraries offers summer reading lists, but you can make book that no one has a reading list like St. Thomas' Great Books Reading Group.

Organized in late 1991 by Dr. Tom Tommet, who taught in the Physics Department from 1979 to 2007,  and Father Robert Wellisch, the group has met every month (with a few exceptions) for 20 years. Its reading list is as impressive as it is varied. In the grand tradition of summer reading lists, Bulletin Today presents this Great Books Reading Group list for your summer reading pleasure – or the next several summers!

The reading group will meet for the last time from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, in Room 154, Murray-Herrick Campus Center. The group will discuss The American Catholic Revolution, by Father Mark S. Massa, S.J.

Great Books Reading List, 1991-2011


  • November, Emile, Jean Jacques Rousseau


  • January, Intellectuals, Paul Johnson
  • February, The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
  • March, The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
  • April, "Murder in the Cathedral," T.S. Eliot
  • May, Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbroner
  • June, "Antigone," Sophocles, and "Antigone," Jean Anouilh
  • July, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
  • August, Everything That Rises Must Converge, Flannery O’Connor
  • September, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • October, “Genesis,” Bible
  • November, “St. Joan,” George Bernard Shaw
  • December, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche


  • January, “Paradise Lost,” John Milton
  • February, Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
  • March, Observation and Experiment, Claude Bernard
  • April, Faust Part 1, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • May, "The Starry Messenger" and "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina," Galileo
  • June, “How an Aristocracy May Be Created by Industry,” and “Why Americans Are Often So Restless,” from Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
  • July, The Canterbury Tales – selections, Geoffrey Chaucer
  • August, The Immense Journey, Loren Eisley
  • September, Confessions, St. Augustine
  • October, “Othello,” Shakespeare
  • November, Poetics, Aristotle
  • December, poems – reader’s choice, Robert Frost


  • February, “Treatise on Happiness,” Thomas Aquinas
  • March, Howard’s End, E.M. Forster
  • April, “Book of Job,” Bible
  • May, Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
  • June, The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
  • July, Middlemarch, George Eliot
  • August, The Beast in the Jungle, Henry James
  • September, The Wives of Henry the VIII, Antonia Fraser
  • October, “As You Like It,” Shakespeare
  • November, “The Inferno,” Dante
  • December, Ethics, Aristotle


  • January, “Macbeth,” Shakespeare
  • February, Poetry and Criticism, Matthew Arnold
  • March, poems, Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • April, A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold
  • May, The Idea of the University, Cardinal John Henry Newman
  • June, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris
  • July, Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  • August, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A JourneyThrough Yugoslavia, Rebecca West
  • September, The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil
  • October, “King Lear,” Shakespeare
  • November, Wonderful Life, Stephen Jay Gould
  • December, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner


  • January, A Simple Heart, Gustave Flaubert
  • February, Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
  • March, “Don Giovanni,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • April, Hymn of the Universe, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  • May, “The Misanthrope,” Moliere
  • June, “Of Personal Identity,” David Hume
  • July, "An Enemy of the People," Henrik Ibsen
  • August, On the Soul (De Anima), Aristotle
  • September, "Man and Superman," George Bernard Shaw
  • October, Plagues and People, William H. McNeill
  • November, Religion in the Age of Science, Ian Barbour
  • December, Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh 


  • January, Utopia, Thomas More
  • February, The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • March, Works of Love, Søren Kierkegaard
  • April, Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot
  • May, The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  • June, “The Price,” Arthur Miller
  • July, Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose
  • August, Democracy: An American Novel, Henry Adams
  • September, Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said
  • October, “Caesar and Cleopatra,” Bernard Shaw
  • November, “Anthony and Cleopatra” Shakespeare
  • December, Lives (a selection), Plutarch


  • January, “Hippolytus,” Euripides, “Phaedra,” Jean Baptiste Racine
  • February, Physics and Philosophy, Werner Heisenberg
  • March, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  • April, Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings, Amy Kelly
  • May, Brecht on Theatre, John Willet, editor
  • June, The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
  • July, Becket, Jean Anouilh
  • August, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  • September, Walden or Life in the Woods, Henry David Thoreau
  • October, meeting canceled
  • November, Seize the Day, Saul Bellow
  • December, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


  • January, "Candide," Voltaire
  • February, The Prince, Machiavelli
  • March, "Mother Courage," Bertholt Brecht
  • April, The Praise of Folly, Desiderius Erasmus
  • May, Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
  • June, Oration on the Dignity of Man, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
  • July, Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
  • August, The Writing of Fiction, Edith Wharton
  • September, Dubliners, James Joyce
  • October, What’s Wrong with the World, G.K. Chesterton
  • November, “The Skin of Our Teeth,” Thornton Wilder
  • December, Reluctant Dissenter, James Patrick Shannon


  • January, All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
  • February (snowed out), A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • March, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Shakespeare
  • April, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft
  • May, The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty Roberts
  • June, The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  • July, Catholic Social Teaching and Movements, Marvin L. Krier Mich
  • August, Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  • September, Jesus Through the Centuries, Jaroslav Pelikan
  • October, “School for Wives,” Moliere
  • November, The First World War, John Keegan
  • December, Civil War Short Stories, Ambrose Bierce


  • January, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
  • February, Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  • March, Galileo’s Daughter, Dava Sobel
  • April, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • May, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, James McPherson
  • June, "Copenhagen," Michael Frayn
  • July, Science and Human Values, Jacob Bronowski
  • August, "Beowulf," Seamus Heaney, translator
  • September, Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond
  • October, Behind a Mask, Louisa May Alcott
  • November, A Critical Study of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies, Hector Berlioz
  • December, Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust


  • January, The Roots of Romanticism, Isaiah Berlin
  • February, “Iliad,” Homer
  • March, "Book of Hours," Rainer Maria Rilke
  • April, “Prometheus Bound,” Aeschylus
  • May, Serendipities, Umberto Eco
  • June, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
  • July, John Adams, David McCullough
  • August, The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, David Sterritt
  • September, A Catholic University, Monsignor Terrence J. Murphy
  • October, The 42nd Parallel, John Dos Passos
  • November, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, by himself
  • December, E=mc2: A Biography of the Equation, David Bodanis


  • January, The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • February, When Corporations Rule the World, David C. Korten
  • March, Nobel Prize Women in Science, Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
  • April, The Stranger, Albert Camus
  • May, The Middle East: A Brief History, Bernard Lewis
  • June, “The Physicists: A Play,” Friedrich Durrenmatt
  • July, The Dissent of the Governed, Stephen L. Carter
  • August, 1984, and the essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell
  • September, The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • October, "A Man for All Seasons," Thomas Bolt
  • November, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • December, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison


  • January, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis
  • February, I Have a Dream, Martin Luther King Jr.
  • March, The Only Woman in the Room, Beate Sirota Gordon
  • April, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Johann Goethe
  • May, Authentic Leadership, Bill George
  • June, Our Cosmic Habitat, Martin Rees
  • July, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr.
  • August, Longitude, Dava Sobel
  • September, Aristotle’s Children, Richard E. Rubenstein
  • October, Heading South, Looking North, Ariel Dorfman
  • November, “Richard III,” Shakespeare
  • December, Provocations, Søren Kierkegaard


  • January, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung
  • February, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman
  • March, The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong
  • April, Hard Times, Charles Dickens
  • May, Reading Lolita in Iran, Azar Nafisi
  • June, God and the Gun, Martin Dillon
  • July, The Passion of Artemisia, Susan Vreeland
  • August, Barefoot Gen, Keiji Nakazawa
  • September, Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
  • October, Billy Budd, Sailor, Hermann Melville
  • November, Ethan Fromm, Edith Wharton
  • December, The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Sota


  • January, “Rashomon,” Fay and Michael Kanin
  • February, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, Thomas E. Woods
  • March, Rothschild’s Fiddle, Anton Chekhov
  • April, Into Africa, Martin Dugard
  • May, Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
  • June, The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece, Jonathan Harr
  • July, The Red and the Black, Stendhal
  • August, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day
  • September, The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
  • October, The Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • November, Collapse, Jared Diamond
  • December, Gilead, Marilynne Robinson


  • January, The Promise of Nature, John F. Haught
  • February, “You Never Can Tell,” George Bernard Shaw
  • March, What Jesus Meant, Garry Wills
  • April, The Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
  • May, The Aims of Education and Other Essays, Alfred Whitehead
  • June, Sor Juana, Octavio Paz
  • July, Marriage, a History, Stephanie Coontz
  • August, The King’s Game, John Nemo
  • September, The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • October, The World As I See It, Albert Einstein
  • November, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  • December, Night Flying Woman, Ignatia Broker


  • January, All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
  • February, My Father, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lloyd Wright
  • March, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • April, “What’s the University For?” The Hedgehog Review, Vol. 2, No. 3 (fall 2000)
  • May, The Tin Drum, Günter Grass
  • June, Jesus Before Christianity, Albert Nolan, O.P.
  • July, “Arms and the Man,” George Bernard Shaw
  • August, Nuclear Weapons: What You Need to Know, Jeremy Bernstein
  • September, A Room With a View, E.M. Forster
  • October, Upside Down: A Primer for the Looking-Glass World, Eduardo Galeano
  • November, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  • December, The Last Days of Socrates, Plato


  • January, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • February, The Double Helix, James Watson
  • March, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  • April, Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton
  • May, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
  • June, Farm: A Year in the Life of an American Farmer, Richard Rhodes
  • July, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, Stephen Greenblatt
  • August, The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  • September, Another Sort of Learning, Father James Schall, S.J.
  • October, "A Shropshire Lad," A.E. Housman
  • November, When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity During the Last Days of Rome, Richard Rubenstein
  • December, Ishmael, Daniel Quinn


  • January, Is Nature Enough? John F. Haught
  • February, Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  • March, The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan
  • April, Faust Part 1, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • May, The Woman Behind the New Deal, Kristin Downey
  • June, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  • July, The Universe in a Nutshell, Stephen Hawking
  • August, poems of T.S. Eliot
  • September, The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
  • October, The Shack, William P. Young
  • November, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
  • December, The Jungle, Upton Sinclair


  • January, The Concept of Sin, Josef Pieper
  • February, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  • March, Edith Stein: A Biography, Waltruad Herbstrith
  • April, Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  • May, The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel
  • June, Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Arthur Conan Doyle
  • July, The American Catholic Revolution, Father Mark S. Massa, S.J.

 The end.