Great Books Project Post Index

Several people have asked for the complete seven-year schedule of readings for the Great Book Project. Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide it because I’m still creating it from week to week. If I had to go back and start from the beginning, I would probably change a few things here and there, and perhaps one day I’ll create a comprehensive schedule.

For the time being, though, here is an index of the posts I’ve made thus far. (The list is in progress; I’ll add more gradually until I get caught up.)

Please note that the authors and works mentioned in parentheses are those announced as part of the reading for that week. For the comments on those works, you’ll need to click on the post for the following week.


Week 1 (Introductory essay to the Gateway to the Great Books series)
Week 2 (Erskine, Woolf, Hume, Scott, Tolstoy, Hogben)
Week 3 (Bacon, Twain, Lamb, Xenophon, Fabre, English Bill of Rights)
Week 4 (Hemingway, Lincoln, Crevecouer, Hazlitt, Tyndall, Epictetus)
Week 5 (Poe, Stevenson, Plato, Kasner & Newman, Prescott, Emerson)
Week 6 (Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Curie, Tacitus, Cicero, Dec. of the Rights of Man)
Week 7 (Kipling, Twain, Haldane, Plutarch, Dantzig, Plato)
Week 8 (Homer, Lincoln, Bacon, Kasner & Newman, Pliny, Cicero)
Week 9 (Homer, Paine, Boeke, Montaigne, Emerson, VA Dec. of Rights)
Week 10 (Homer, Plato, Faraday, Dantzig, Bacon, Pater)
Week 11 (Homer, Jefferson, Plato, Euclid, Lincoln, Declaration of Independence)
Week 12 (Homer, Bacon, Washington, Euclid, Mill, Articles of Confederation)
Week 13 (Homer, Lincoln, Whitman, James, Euclid, Montaigne)
Week 14 (Bacon, Moliére, Euclid, Descartes, U.S. Constitution, Federalist Papers)
Week 15 (Crane, Hazlitt, Montaigne, Euclid, Augustine, Federalist Papers)
Week 16 (Flaubert, Plutarch, Bacon, Euclid, Augustine, Federalist Papers)
Week 17 (Tolstoy, Plutarch, Euclid, Augustine, Federalist Papers)
Week 18 (Shakespeare, Lucian, Bacon, Euclid, Augustine, Federalist Papers)
Week 19 (Defoe, Hippocrates, Emerson, Euclid, Augustine Federalist Papers)
Week 20 (Defoe, Herodotus, Lamb, Euclid, Augustine, Federalist Papers)
Week 21 (Defoe, Herodotus, Poe, Euclid, Epicurus, Federalist Papers)
Week 22 (Defoe, Herodotus, de Maupassant, Federalist Papers, Euclid, Browne)
Week 23 (Defoe, Herodotus, de Maupassant, Federalist Papers, Euclid, Browne)
Week 24 (Defoe, Herodotus, Hugo, Federalist Papers, Euclid, Clifford)
Week 25 (Defoe, Herodotus, Bacon, Federalist Papers, Euclid, Plato)
Week 26 (Defoe, Herodotus, Lawrence, Federalist Papers, Eiseley, Santayana)
Week 27 (Defoe, Herodotus, Plato, Federalist Papers, Archimedes, Santayana)
Week 28 (Shakespeare, Herodotus, Plato, Federalist Papers, Bacon, Dewey)
Week 29 (Stevenson, Swift, Plato, Federalist Papers, Carson, Dewey)
Week 30 (Melville, Lincoln, Plato, Federalist Papers, Fabre, Dewey)
Week 31 (Shaw, Swift, Plato, Federalist Papers, Galilei, Dewey)
Week 32 (Orwell, Plutarch, Plato, Federalist Papers, Forsyth, Dewey)
Week 33 (Orwell, Montaigne, Plato, Federalist Papers, Darwin, Dewey)
Week 34 (Homer, Plutarch, Plato, Federalist Papers, Eddington, Dewey)
Week 35 (Homer, Bacon, Plato, Federalist Papers, Poincaré, Dewey)
Week 36 (Homer, Montaigne, Plato, Federalist Papers, Huxley, Dewey)
Week 37 (Homer, Swift, de La Bruyère, Federalist Papers, Whitehead, James)
Week 38 (Homer, Plutarch, Locke, Federalist Papers, Jeans, Voltaire)
Week 39 (Homer, Schopenhauer, Locke, Federalist Papers, Faraday, Lucretius)
Week 40 (Homer, Clausewitz, Locke, Federalist Papers, Faraday, Lucretius)
Week 41 (Homer, Lincoln, Locke, Federalist Papers, Faraday, Lucretius)
Week 42 (Dostoevsky, Xenophon, Locke, Federalist Papers, Hippocrates, Lucretius)
Week 43 (O’Neill, Thoreau, Epicurus, Federalist Papers, Harvey, Lucretius)
Week 44 (Eliot, Plutarch, Locke, Federalist Papers, Harvey, Lucretius)
Week 45 (Shakespeare, Plutarch, Russell, Federalist Papers, Harvey, Plato)
Week 46 (Melville, Plutarch, James, Federalist Papers, Gilbert, Adams)
Week 47 (Melville, Burke, Hume, Federalist Papers, Gilbert, Aristotle)
Week 48 (Melville, Long, Hume, Federalist Papers, Gilbert, Aristotle)
Week 49 (Melville, Washington, Hume, Federalist Papers, Gilbert, Aristotle)
Week 50 (Melville, Lincoln, Hume, Federalist Papers, Gilbert, Aristotle)
Week 51 (Melville, Jefferson, Lyell, Montaigne, Gilbert, Aristotle)
Week 52 (Melville, Adams, Descartes, Lamb, Gilbert, Aristotle)


Week 1 (Melville, Montaigne, Descartes, Bacon, Laplace, Aristotle)
Week 2 (Melville, James, Descartes, Sophocles, Helmholtz, Aristotle)
Week 3 (Melville, Thucydides, Bacon, Jefferson, Schrödinger, St. Augustine)
Week 4 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Schopenhauer, Schrödinger, St. Augustine)
Week 5 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Hazlitt, Campbell, St. Augustine)
Week 6 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Synge, Campbell, St. Augustine)
Week 7 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Bacon, Galton, St. Augustine)
Week 8 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Voltaire, Hippocrates, St. Augustine)
Week 9 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Arnold, Poincaré, St. Augustine)
Week 10 (Virgil, Thucydides, Dewey, Bacon, Wohler, St. Augustine)
Week 11 (Virgil, Swift, Dewey, Sainte-Beuve, Galilei, St. Augustine)
Week 12 (Virgil, Woolf, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Galilei, St. Augustine)
Week 13 (Virgil, Aristotle, Bacon, Franklin, Galilei, St. Augustine)
Week 14 (Virgil, Aristotle, Montaigne, Carlyle, Galilei, St. Augustine)
Week 15 (Virgil, Aristotle, Marx and Engels, Pushkin, Campanella, St. Augustine)
Week 16 (Euripides, Aristotle, Charter of the United Nations, Quincey, Euler, St. Augustine)
Week 17 (Anonymous, Aristotle, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Chekhov, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 18 (Whitman, Aristotle, Mill, Bacon, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 19 (Galsworthy, Aristotle, Franklin, Peirce, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 20 (Twain, Aristotle, Bacon, Apuleius, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 21 (Twain, Aristotle, Plutarch, DeQuincey, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 22 (Twain, Aristotle, Plutarch, Bacon, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 23 (Twain, Montaigne, Epictetus, Guizot, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 24 (Twain, Rousseau, Epictetus, Bacon, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 25 (Twain, Rousseau, Epictetus, Shakespeare, Darwin, St. Augustine)
Week 26 (Chekhov, Rousseau, Epictetus, Bacon, Darwin, Bergson)
Week 27 (Arnold, Rousseau, Epictetus, Plutarch, Darwin, Einstein and Infeld)
Week 28 (Aristophanes, Of Refinement in the Arts, Epictetus, Plutarch, Darwin, Einstein and Infeld)
Week 29 (Hawthorne, Machiavelli, Epictetus, Plutarch, Darwin, Aristotle)
Week 30 (Butler, Macaulay, Epictetus, Aquinas, Darwin, Aristotle)
Week 31 (Conrad, Plutarch, Epictetus, Montaigne, Darwin, Bacon)
Week 32 (Milton, Plutarch, Epictetus, Montaigne, Huxley, Aquinas)
Week 33 (Milton, Plutarch, James, Ibsen, Hippocrates, Bacon)
Week 34 (Milton, Plutarch, Montaigne, Ibsen, Russell, Bacon)
Week 35 (Milton, Plutarch, Epictetus, Ibsen, Clifford, Aquinas)
Week 36 (Milton, Plutarch, Bury, Ibsen, Galen, Aquinas)
Week 37 (Milton, Thoreau, Descartes, Ibsen, Galen, Aquinas)
Week 38 (Milton, Montaigne, Descartes, Malthus, Galen, Epictetus)
Week 39 (Milton, Rousseau, Descartes, Sheridan, Mendeleev, Plato)
Week 40 (Milton, Aristotle, Ruskin, Sheridan, Hippocrates, Kant)
Week 41 (Milton, Aristotle, Voltaire, Sheridan, Russell, Kant)
Week 42 (Milton, Aristotle, Calhoun, Sheridan, Pavlov, Kant)
Week 43 (Milton, Aristotle, Hume, Sheridan, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 44 (Gogol, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Hume, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 45 (Balzac, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Montaigne, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 46 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Sophocles, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 47 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Montaigne, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 48 (Dickens, Epictetus, Tocqueville, Euripides, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 49 (Dickens, Epictetus, Tocqueville, Schopenhauer, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 50 (Dickens, Epictetus, Tocqueville, Hume, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 51 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Montaigne, Ptolemy, Kant)
Week 52 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Plato, Ptolemy, Bacon)


Week 1 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Shelley, Ptolemy, Bacon)
Week 2 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Fitzgerald, Ptolemy, Bacon)
Week 3 (Dickens, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Mann, Ptolemy, Bacon)
Week 4 (Swift, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Hazlitt, Ptolemy, Bacon)
Week 5 (Swift, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Montaigne, Ptolemy, Epictetus)
Week 6 (Swift, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Plato, Ptolemy, Epictetus)
Week 7 (Swift, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Aquinas, Ptolemy, Epictetus)
Week 8 (Shakespeare, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Berkeley, Ptolemy, Epictetus)

26 Responses to Great Books Project Post Index

  1. Brad says:

    Is there any list where I can find what order I should read all of the books in? I can’t seem to find it on this site. I want to start reading the 2nd edition of the G.B.W.W. but I do not know what order to read the works in. I would like if possible to read an entire volume at a time, rather than bouncing back and forth, dipping in and out of volumes.

    • Dr. J says:

      Brad, if you have ready access to all the volumes, there is no significant advantage to reading an entire volume at once (unless the volume consists of one work and you want to focus). However, if you are borrowing volumes from a library or friend, one volume at a time makes sense.

      There are two easy solutions:
      1. Read them in order, starting with Volume 3.
      2. Start with Volume 3 and alternate “colors” of volumes to mix up the genres and avoid burnout on any one. So you’d read 3, 5, 6, and 9; then 4, 7, 10, and 12, etc.

      I hope this helps. Beware trying to read an entire volume of Aristotle or St. Thomas without breaking it up with something else. Your brain may explode.

      • Brad says:

        Thanks for the great information. I just bought, and received, the entire 60 volume set, minus The Great Conversation. I read, I believe on one of your blog posts, that the reading plan will not cover every work. I want to make sure that I cover every work and in the order that makes it easiest to learn from.

        I would probably start with volume 3, alternating colors as I go, but I’m worried that the science and mathematics texts will not be in the appropriate (or best) order that way.

        If I could find a list that includes every work, even if it bounced around between the volumes, I would do that. The technical books are the ones I’m worried about because I’ve been out of college for nine years now and have forgotten my mathematics and physics.

        I thought that there would be a complete reading plan on your blog, but I can’t find one. I also plan on buying The Gateway to the Great Books series.

        If I could trouble you for one more response I would be incredibly grateful, as I am for your previous answer.

        Thanks so much for taking time to respond to me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to catch up with you though.

        • Dr. J says:

          Brad, I think you may have misread my post. I said that the “10-year plan” that was published by Britannica to accompany the original 1952 series does not cover everything. My reading schedule, by contrast, does.

          If you look at the beginning of the post you have commented on, I explain why the entire seven-year schedule is not yet available: I am still creating it from week to week. But rest assured that we will get through everything in time. I suspect that if you start with my early posts and work your way forward, then by the time you catch up with me the schedule will be nearly complete!

  2. bdubbb says:

    I’m very sorry. I didn’t notice that I had skipped the top of the post. I must have been too focused on the list. Once again, I’m very sorry.

    Thanks a lot for letting me know this information. I was hoping to find a complete list so that I could condense it into 2-4 years of reading. I wouldn’t start the plan for a year or two, while I study some textbooks that I bought to help me relearn my mathematics and physics. That would be 8-9 years to finish those and the textbooks. Then, I have a whole stack of modern philosophy and theology books that I just bought also. My autodidactic future is looking grim.

    Since I cannot find a list I will try to finish my textbooks quickly (after I finish the 30 day bible reading plan I’m currently on) so that I can begin on catching up with you. It doesn’t usually take me very long to finish a textbook. Hopefully, I’ll catch up and be able to dialogue with you and others who are following along.

    Thanks for your time.

  3. Lady Saiga says:

    Hello, I’ve got a few questions. First, in the Gateway series, there were a number of novels listed in the back. Are you working these into your overall reading plan? Second, for the GBWW series, I assume you’re using the 2nd edition? Finally, do you have a listing, or can you point me to one, that shows the page numbers for the contents of each volume of GBWW? I have a copy of the Syntopicon and it lists page numbers but not the titles of individual works referred to, and so I have difficulty using the Syntopicon for research. I own many of the works in other published editions than the GBWW.


    • Dr. J says:

      Good questions. The extra novels and volumes of poetry listed in the back of Volume 1 of the Gateway series are not part of my seven-year plan. I am considering reading and posting on those, along with some other works that did not make it into either series but that I consider essential reading, in years 8+.

      Yes, I’m using the 2nd edition of Great Books of the Western World. Unfortunately, I do not know of any ToC with page numbers for those volumes online. Trying to use the Syntopicon without the printed volumes at hand is very difficult. I am trying to do exactly that with a doctoral class I’m teaching right now, and it involves some significant logistical work.

  4. Pingback: Great Books Project Post Index Up to Date! | The Western Tradition

  5. Barbara says:

    I found this Great Books project from your bio at Liberty Classroom. I just started the History to 1500 class. I plan to join in and read through these books with you. I have tried to do this in the past but never got very far. Thank you for posting about this project.

    • Dr. J says:

      Thanks, Barbara. It is good to have you on board. And thanks for subscribing to Liberty Classroom as well.

      • B_Dubb_B says:

        I couldn’t find the other post but I had an idea about the conversation we were having about choosing beliefs (I don’t remember the author or work either). I hope you remember what I’m talking about.

        It seems to me, now that I have studied some epistemology, that this is almost a refutation of some sort of direct doxastic voluntarism. This topic is very interesting. Just thought that I’d let you know.

  6. B_Dubb_B says:

    I guess that we were discussing Epictetus here:

    The idea that I had is that belief (called “thinking” in the translation of Epictetus) has a goal of truth. You cannot believe that it is day when it is night, because the proposition “it is day” does not correspond with reality. [This obviously hinges on a correspondence theory of truth.]

    If, however, direct doxastic voluntarism were true, or at least a certain model thereof, then you could choose to believe “it is day” when, in reality, it is night. I do subscribe to a weaker sort of direct doxastic voluntarism that doesn’t include choice, concerning matters of belief, in situations when reality is clearly contradictory.

    In Epictetus, I think, the word “suppose” is synonymous with “imagine”. Similarly, the word “think” is synonymous with “believe”. While you can imagine that something which does not correspond with reality is true, you cannot believe that something which does not correspond with reality is true.

    Anyways, this is just an idea that I find interesting. I don’t know if it is really what he was driving at, because I have not read the whole work (just the small portion of chapter 25 and 26. If you want to read a good article on the subject, then check out the short article Clearing Space for Doxastic Voluntarism by Nishi Shah.

  7. ihavegills says:

    I really hope this is ongoing….I found some other site that has your plan written out, the first year, then nothing after that. I have both sets and thought I’d wade into the first 52 weeks as a New Year’s goal. So that would leave me behind you, which will suit me just fine. But I can’t seem to find your reading plan here on this blog. I will be taking “The Bible as Literature” this semester here in New York (individual study) and then Homer with a teacher next semester–maybe I’ll have to figure out my own plan. If I were going to do that, just about how many pages would you say that included every week? Maybe I should add and divide, cross off things I do elsewhere for school, maybe 20 pages a day? Just turn off the TV and it’s as good a goal as any.

    • Dr. J says:

      If you are asking for the entire plan in some sort of convenient document, such a thing does not exist. In fact, the plan continues to take shape from week to week as I make choices about what to read next. Once I’m finished with the whole thing, I will probably publish some sort of comprehensive plan.

  8. ihavegills says:

    Unless of course I beat you to it.

  9. Heather says:

    Do you have the rest of the list available somewhere? I know you choose what to read on a weekly basis, but do you have up until now available?
    Thank you

  10. KC says:

    I notice that the Great Books Project Index Post only goes to week 8 in 2013. What happened to the rest of the weekly posts?

  11. Mike says:

    I just completed the first 52 weeks of reading in this project, which I started in late January, so took a little over eight months. Thanks for posting your reading plan, the “weekly” readings provide a nice diversity in subject matter, length and type of work, style, and era, and I’ve enjoyed your commentary. Most of your original hyperlinks still work; a few that don’t where I was able to find current ones are listed below.

    Hope you will continue to make progress on your goal, it’s apparent that “real life” has been slowing you down of late.

    GBWW 2011 Week 2’s link to Erskine, Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent doesn’t work, this one does:

    GBWW Week 4
    “The Killers” by Ernest Hemingway (Vol. 2, pp. 169-177):

    “The Making of Americans” de Crèvecouer (Vol. 6, pp. 546-559; excerpted from Letters From an American Farmer; stop reading at the paragraph which ends, “Thus Europeans become Americans.”):

    GBWW Week 6
    “The Discovery of Radium(1938)” by Eve Curie (1904-2007)(GGB Vol. 8, pp. 32-42; Chapter XII of Madame Curie):

    GBWW week 11
    “Biographical Sketches” by Thomas Jefferson (GGB Vol. 6, pp. 522-526; note there are two links here to different letters by Jefferson in which he gives his reminiscences about Washington and Franklin second link should probably be:;

  12. Anon. says:

    Hello Dr. J,

    I love your website, and I’ve already started the first week of readings. However, I don’t have the physical books with me, and I don’t plan on purchasing them since I travel often and can only afford to carry my laptop, kindle, and two physical books I keep with me wherever I go. I actually don’t own any other books since sending my whole library to a company to scan every book I owned for me–a move I don’t regret.

    That being said, I couldn’t sustain reading the first week on my laptop as the screen started to irritate my eyes, so I’ve decided to organize each week’s readings into one docx file following the order you’ve written. That way, the file can easily be converted to any format that suits me (or others) such as pdf, azw 3, epub, etc.

    I was wondering, since I’m doing this anyway for personal use, if you would like to host these files on this blog, perhaps on this page. They shouldn’t be very big files at all, and doing so would make getting through the weekly readings much easier for others such as myself. A simple download of one file, perhaps with a conversion, and then they can be carried around with any reading device. If you can see my email, please send me a message, and I can email you the files once I finish preparing them. If not, let me know how I can get in touch with you. I didn’t want to publicly post my private email address here.

    Best Regards,

  13. Zach says:

    Does the reading plan you’ve created cover every page in the set or does it focus on highlights?

    • Dr. J says:

      Every page, Zach.

      • Zach Atchley says:

        Wow. I bet that took considerable time and effort to put together. I just bought a set of the Gateway to the Great Books, the Great Books, and the Great Ideas Program from craigslist (after about of year of keeping an eye out). I’m about halfway through one book. Do you think there is an advantage over your reading program versus simply starting at volume 1 page 1 and going from there?


      • Zach says:

        Is there a benefit, in your opinion, to reading through the set in this manner as opposed to simply starting at volume 1, page 1 and going from there? I’m trying to decide on the best approach for my own reading.

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