Most important books in history!

I want to know, in your opinion, what´s the best book in this languages? (Or which one did you liked a lot)


for me :
English : Sherlock Holmes
Spanish : El Qijote de la Mancha
Portuguese : ?
Italian : La Divina Comedia
French: Le petit prince
Russian: Crime and Punishment
German: ?

All of you are learning any language, so I’m strongly convinced that you know about it. :slight_smile:

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Ten Novels and Their Authors

No one can decide on which “books” are the most important in history.

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Leaving questions of taste and belief aside, surely the most important book in history must be the Bible. :slight_smile:

Any other books with huge social influence would then have to fight for the lower ranks. Lucky for us if our personal tastes coincide with the ‘definite’ list of greatest books in history. Quite difficult to come up with a list like this, I should think. As for entirely subjective choices, that’s another story . . . I can think of a few books which have had a profound effect on me, but which might mean nothing to you or anyone else.

P.S. I very much like Le Petit Prince.


In terms of the most influential books, what about Newton’s Principia? This was the foundation of modern mathematical physics which has then led to almost every improvement in science and technology that there has been.

…of course I would say that

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“The Magic Faraway Tree” and “Run, Dick, Run!” :)~

If I would speak of “most influential books in history”, I would point;

The Bible
On the Origin of Species, Darwin
The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud.

I think the list of “books to read before die”, is too long, but even so we must know about all of them; or ar least, a little part of the big picture. What do you think?

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Go ahead and list some of your favourite books, please. :slight_smile:

These are ones I like, not necessarily important, although some are indeed essencial. Literature only.

Portuguese - you can’t go wrong with Fernando Pessoa (anything), Graciliano Ramos (Angústia), Machado de Assis (Dom Casmurro), Saramago (Lições de pintura e caligrafia), Moacyr Scliar (Exército de um homem só), Inácio de Loyola Brandão (Não verás país nenhum), Lya Luft (A asa esquerda do anjo), Raduan Nassar (Um copo de cólera).

French - Madame Bovary, Eugenie Grandet, Le Père Goriot, L’Étranger, Candide, Le rouge et le noire, Notre-Dame de Paris, Le Comte de Monte Cristo, À la recherche du temps perdu and so many others.

Russian - Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, Notes from the Underground, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Master and Margarita, We, Heart of a Dog, Fathers and Sons, Dead Souls.

German - The Metamorphose, The Magic Mountain, Demian, Faust, Werther, Kassandra, Buddenbrooks, Death in Venice, Siddhartha, The Glass Bead Game.

English - Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Winesburg Ohio, Waiting for Godot, The Playboy of the Western World, 1984, Brave New World, Ubik, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Dr. Faustus, Volpone, The Sound and the Fury, Moby Dick, LIght in August, Watership Down, Farenheit 451, Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Mrs. Dalloway, Wide Sargasso Sea.

I’m going to stop short of delving into my Sci Fi and Fantasy obsession too much.


I’m placing my personal opinion, not what I think is the best well-known or something like this, although in some cases my favorite and the canon fits :slight_smile:

English: Disgrace, by J. M. coetzee
Spanish: any book by Jorge Luis Borges
Portuguese: Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas (The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas), by Machado de Assis
Italian: ? don’t know much about
French: À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), by Marcel Proust
Russian: ? don’t know much about
German: Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis), by Franz Kafka

Hey, Lucas. Wassup? I liked you post very much. I study literature in the University, and we often deal with those questions, like which is the most important book?, what makes a book a canon? what should we read as literature scholars? and so forth. And the problem is that we had had so many important books in Human History that it is very difficult, in fact impossible, to read all of them or even just the most important ones.
But it’s somehow important to make sure you know a little bit about them and you have read some of them.

What university do you go to and what is your major, if I may ask?

The Tale of Genji (源氏物語)
" It’s sometimes called the world’s first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be considered a classic. "


I study at UFRGS University, at Rio Grande do Sul State. My major is in Japanese Language and Literature, minor in Portuguese and General Literature :wink:
How about you?

I totally agree! For me Genji is the first complex psychological novel ever written and most of my professors agree with it. Moreover, it is an amazing novel, completely good to read, although I can only do it in English or Portuguese, because Classical Japanese is to hard for me and even the modern japanese versions of Genji are difficult at my level. I think reading Genji in japanese must be an even more amazing experience!


Ah, nice. I majored in English Language and Literature at UnB in Brasília a hundred years ago. Nice to hear there’s a Japanese institute in RS. Enjoy your college experience and make every semester count so you don’t have any regrets later. :wink:

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Hey, thanks! Must be nice to study literature! I study human resources, but I´m also interested in literature. With this post I wanted to make a list of books to read when I learn X language, but it seems complicated to make :stuck_out_tongue:

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What language are you interesting in reading in right now?

Oh, amazing! I have lots of friends in UnB, the japanese headquarter (headquarter is a hard word for this, but we use it sometimes as a kidding hehe) there is kind of strong. Here in RS we don’t have many professors, but the ones we have work really hard and we try to make our 4 years and a half of study an amazing experience :slight_smile:

I have a similar feel. I want to read different books in the languages I’m learning. Next year I’m planning to learn French and it will be awesome, 'cause there are so many different and classical literature books written in French xD
But for you who is learning Portuguese I can say: we have loooooots of good books, you’ll probably take great adventure reading them :smiley:

I must say I don’t really know anyone there anymore. I graduated nearly twenty years ago, and never went back for a visit. There was no Japanese department back then, but I did take two semesters of Japanese with a couple of lovely teachers whose names I forget, but might have been Megumi and Alice, if memory doesn’t fail me. I have forgotten nearly all of it already, but I plan to take my Nihongo studies up again in the future.

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