World’s Best Reading Series by Reader’s Digest

Beginning in 1982, Reader’s Digest began publishing annual volumes of the “best reading” series. Selecting from fiction classics heavily from the 19th and 20th centuries, Reader’s Digest has produced decorative volumes including custom artwork and author biographies with increasing frequency moving to bi-monthly editions in 1984. Since 1995, new editions have appeared intermittently, with none released in the years 1996, 2000, or 2001. Other years have averaged about 5 new volumes. In particular, this series is a difficult one to keep up with, given the method of its release. That said, below is a nearly comprehensive list of the volumes in the series.

  1. The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  2. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  3. The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
  4. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  5. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  6. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  7. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Mark Twain
  8. The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  9. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
  10. The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  11. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  12. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  13. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  14. The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London
  15. Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson
  16. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  17. Tales of Suspense, Edgar Allan Poe
  18. Study in Scarlet and The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  19. Silas Marner, George Eliot
  20. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  21. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales, Washington Irving
  22. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  23. For the Term of His Natural Life, Marcus Clarke
  24. The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories, O. Henry
  25. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  26. Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain
  27. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
  28. The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens
  29. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  30. Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne
  31. A Christmas Carol and Other Stories, Charles Dickens
  32. The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain
  33. The Virginian, Owen Wister
  34. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
  35. The Sea-Wolf, Jack London
  36. The Song of Hiawatha and Other Poems, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  37. Twice-Told Tales, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  38. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  39. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  40. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
  41. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
  42. On Our Selection and Our New Selection, Steele Rudd
  43. Lost Horizon, James Hilton
  44. The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain
  45. O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
  46. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Leonidovich Pasternak
  47. Tales from the Arabian Nights
  48. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  49. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  50. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  51. The Return of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  52. The Adventures of Robin Hood, Paul Creswick
  53. A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne
  54. The Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories, Mark Twain
  55. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Lew Wallace
  56. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck
  57. The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk
  58. Anne of the Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
  59. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  60. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  61. Dusty and Man Shy, Frank Dalby Davison
  62. Life with Father, Clarence Day
  63. The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  64. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  65. The Robe, Lloyd Cassell Douglas
  66. The Heart of the West, O. Henry
  67. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  68. The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle, John Buchan
  69. Emma, Jane Austen
  70. To Build a Fire and Other Stories, Jack London
  71. King Solomon’s Mines, H. Rider Haggard
  72. Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling
  73. Roughing It, Mark Twain
  74. Lorna Doone, R.D. Blackmore
  75. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
  76. Tales of the South Pacific, James Michener
  77. Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
  78. Beau Geste, Percival Christopher Wren
  79. The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter’s Tale, Robert Louis Stevenson
  80. Goodbye Mr. Chips and Other Stories, James Hilton (1995)
  81. Lost Horizon, Good-bye Mr. Chips and Other Stories, James Hilton (1997)
  82. The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling
  83. How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn
  84. Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel, Jerome K. Jerome
  85. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
  86. The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
  87. Far From the Maddening Crowd, Thomas Hardy
  88. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  89. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  90. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  91. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  92. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
  93. (10 book set of previous editions)
  94. (3 book set of previous editions)
  95. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
  96. My Antonia, Willa Cather
  97. The Invisible Man and The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells
  98. Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
  99. The Moon and Sixpence, W.S. Maugham
  100. Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
  101. Daisy Miller and The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
  102. The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling
  103. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  104. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  105. The Magnificent Ambersons, Booth Tarkington
  106. (3 book set of previous editions)
  107. The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
  108. Little Men, Louisa May Alcott
  109. The Man of Property, John Galsworthy
  110. Hard Times, Charles Dickens
  111. Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope
  112. Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
  113. The American, Henry James
  114. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
  115. Persuasions, Jane Austen
  116. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
  117. The Black Arrow, Robert Louis Stevenson
  118. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  119. Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence
  120. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  121. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
  122. The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau, Anthony Hope
  123. The Ambassadors, Henry James
  124. Heart of Darkness and End of the Tether, Joseph Conrad
  125. Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte
  126. Howards End, E.M. Forster
  127. The Confidence-Man, Herman Melville
  128. Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy
  129. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  130. Ethan Frome and Summer, Edith Wharton
  131. Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
  132. Where Angels Fear to Tread and A Room with a View, E.M. Forster
  133. Adam Bede, George Eliot
  134. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  135. Jo’s Boys, Louisa May Alcott
  136. The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler
  137. Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson
  138. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  139. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  140. Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis
  141. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  142. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  143. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  144. The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford
  145. The Jungle, Upon Sinclair
  146. The Study in Scarlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (repeat)
  147. Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
  148. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
  149. The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
  150. Jo’s Boys, Louisa May Alcott
  151. Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
  152. The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
  153. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
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