1. King Lear
1. 李尔王

It’s Shakespeare! And it was so ahead of its time that it’s amazing.

2. Hamlet
2. 哈姆雷特

Also by Shakespeare. Some of Shakespeare's most amazing writing is in this play.

3. The Great Gatsby
3. 了不起的盖茨比

By F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just an absolutely poetic writer. There's a lot of power and beauty in this short book.

4. Tender Is the Night
4. 夜色温柔

By F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby is better known, but Tender is written so beautifully that you have to read it if you haven’t. It’s poetry in prose.

5. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man
5. 青年艺术家的画像

By James Joyce. A great introduction to this unmatched of modern writers, Portrait is notable for the development of its language as the narrator’s skill with language improves.

6. Ulysses
6. 尤利西斯

By James Joyce. An absolute masterpiece. Joyce puts the entire scale of human drama and English literature within the span of 24 hours, plotted within one square mile, told through the lives of ordinary people. Also see Joyce’s outstanding book of short stories, Dubliners.

7. Cat’s Cradle
7. 猫的摇篮

By Kurt Vonnegut. I just can't get enough of Vonnegut, and I was devastated that he died several years ago. Until then, he held the title of my absolute favorite living writer. And Cat’s Cradle is my favorite of all his books. I think Vonnegut is in my granfalloon.

8. Slaughterhouse-Five
8. 第五号屠宰场

By Kurt Vonnegut. Anything by Vonnegut is excellent reading, but this is one of his best, and is considered a classic. A more humorous and raging commentary against war has rarely been written. Also see Bluebeard, Slapstick, Welcome to the Monkey House, Breakfast of Champions, among others, if you like the two listed here.

9. Neuromancer
9. 神经漫游者

By William Gibson. Perhaps my favorite sci-fi writer of all time, Gibson is gritty, dreamy, and ultra-cool all at the same time. Neuromancer was his first, and is the start of the Span trilogy.

10. All Tomorrow’s Parties
10. 明日聚会

By William Gibson. This tale of the near future features a Zen-like assassin, among other cool characters. ATP is the third in the Bridge trilogy.