Sort these books by difficulty?

Can someone help me sort here: by difficulty, easiest to hardest? I know there is a lot of books, so chunks are good too, like this chunk is easy 9th grade, normal 9th grade, advanced 9th grade, easy 10th grade.... or whatever. I'm going into high school and I want to read some classics and stuff beforehand.


I just want to read the easier to understand books first before tackling the old english books.

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a fantastic goal! I hope you have fun reading. I'm sorting them just into grades based on my reading during highschool -- they don't need sorting into "easy" and "advanced". Since this is a huge list, I've put asterisks by the ones I think are particularly important for a well-rounded literary education so that you know where to start. Also, the difference in difficulty between 10th, 11th, and 12th is not very big at all, so don't be intimidated! (I've put the ones that I consider the easiest and even pre-highschool reading in 9th.)

    9th Grade:

    *– –: Beowulf

    Chaucer, Geoffrey: The Canterbury Tales

    Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness

    Cooper, James Fenimore: The Last of the Mohicans

    Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe

    *Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice

    *Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers

    Eliot, George: The Mill on the Floss

    London, Jack: The Call of the Wild

    *Orwell, George: Animal Farm

    *Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath

    *Stevenson, Robert Louis: Treasure Island

    Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver's Travels

    *Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    *Remarque, Erich Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front


    *Sophocles: Oedipus Rex

    *Sophocles: Antigone (Make sure you read the Sophocles plays in order: Oedipus Rex [meaning "King Oedipus" in Latin] comes before Antigone, which is its sequel.)

    *Homer: The Iliad

    *Homer: The Odyssey (If you're going to read these, I would read the Aeneid by Vergil (commonly spelled Virgil) as well. In my opinion it's the most interesting.)

    (A note about Homer: He's LONG. If you get bogged down, just skim a little bit.)

    *Brontë, Charlotte: Jane Eyre (This is my favorite book in the world. Don't let the first 1/3-ish get you down -- it gets more interesting!)

    *Crane, Stephen: The Red Badge of Courage

    Dante: Inferno (If you feel particularly ambitious, you could finish up Dante's "Divine Comedy" by reading "Purgatorio" and "Paradisio", but it's not necessary. It just gives you a well-rounded idea of Dante.)

    *Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby

    Emerson, Ralph Waldo: Selected Essays

    *Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter

    Heller, Joseph: Catch-22

    Ibsen, Henrik: A Doll's House

    *Shakespeare, William: Hamlet

    *Shakespeare, William: Macbeth

    *Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night's Dream

    *Shakespeare, William: Romeo and Juliet

    *Shaw, George Bernard: Pygmalion

    *Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein

    Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird

    Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye (This is not an especially good book, so you could probably skip it.)


    Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart

    *Brontë, Emily: Wuthering Heights

    *Camus, Albert: The Stranger

    Cather, Willa: Death Comes for the Archbishop

    de Cervantes, Miguel: Don Quixote (I would say you can skip this one too... I really don't know why it's recommended.)

    *Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities (This is a wonderful book! Get to the end if you can, it really pays off.)

    *Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment

    Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    *Melville, Herman: Moby Dick

    Melville, Herman: Bartleby the Scrivener (You can probably read just one book by Melville -- he's a bit chewy.)

    *Miller, Arthur: The Crucible

    *Williams, Tennessee: The Glass Menagerie

    Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World

    Pasternak, Boris: Doctor Zhivago

    *Poe, Edgar Allan: Selected Tales

    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von: Faust

    Voltaire: Candide

    Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth

    Welty, Eudora: Collected Stories

    Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass

    Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse

    Wright, Richard: Native Son


    Chekhov, Anton: The Cherry Orchard

    *Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury

    Golding, William: Lord of the Flies

    Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary

    *Hemingway, Ernest: A Farewell to Arms (Actually, instead of this one, I would read The Sun Also Rises -- it is MUCH less depressing and I think also gives you a better idea of Hemingway in general.)

    *Hugo, Victor: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (You could also/instead read Les Miserables: both of them are going to be kind of challenging, but I love the story of Les Miserables.)

    James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady

    James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw

    Joyce, James: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    *Kafka, Franz: The Metamorphosis

    *O'Connor, Flannery: A Good Man Is Hard to Find

    *Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace

    Turgenev, Ivan: Fathers and Sons

    *Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray

    *Rostand, Edmond: Cyrano de Bergerac

    *Solzhenitsyn, Alexander: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    (Books that I am not familiar with I have left out -- my answer was too long for Yahoo.)

  • 1Up
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    That is quite a list!

    you have some really good books in there.

    Good ones to begin with are:

    Gulliver's travels

    Treasure Island

    The Great Gatsby

    Don Quixote

    Moby Dick

    And the Dickens... I haven't actually read Tale of 2 cities, but I have read most of his other works, I have always found them easy to read.

    I really enjoyed the Picture of Dorian Grey, but not everyone agrees with me. :-P

    Robinson Crusoe is a very long work, with long odes to the rain... but I did enjoy another book by Defoe, "Moll Flanders".

    The Colour Purple is a very good book, but also very intense emotionally.

    As has already been said, people enjoy reading different things. Each person is different.


    Edit: The answerer before me gave a much better answer.

    Kudos to Mpher.

  • 10 years ago

    The glass menagerie, the color purple, and to kill a mockingbird are very easy, I read them all at the beginning of last year, and I'm going into eighth grade.

    -I agree with Five Years Time

  • 10 years ago

    By difficulty? They're not video games, they're books. Some are more boring, some less, but it really depends on what you like reading.

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