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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Classic Books: Welcome

A suggested reading guide to immerse oneself in the classics

How to Use this Guide

Classic books are books that hold meaning to society as a whole. The reputations of these books develop over time. This guide contains lists of common classic books that are available in the MSU Memorial Library. The books are arranged under four tabs: Classic Fiction, Classic Nonfiction, Classic Plays and Poetry, and Cult Classics.

  • The Classic Fiction page is separated into two sub-pages: Classic Fiction (to 1899) and Modern Classic Fiction (from 1900). These are not formal categories, but they are used to create distinction between twentieth century works and their predecessors.
  • Classic Nonfiction has its own category. It has subjects including Philosophy, History, Psychology, and more.
  • Classic Plays and Poetry has two sub-pages: one for Classic Plays and the other for Poetry.
  • There is a fourth tab entitled Cult Classics, which includes titles that may not be recognized as classics in scholarly literary circles, but that silently climb in popularity with avid readers. Cult Classics contains both fiction and nonfiction titles.
  • A fifth tab entitled Children's Classics contains books that have been cherished through time. Some titles have been repeated from other tabs. Children's Classics has two sub-pages: Young Adult Classics and Picture Book Classics.

Each book is listed with its title, author, call number, and date of original publication. The title and author are linked to the MSU Memorial Library catalog. From there, it is possible to see if the book is available or if it is currently checked out. "See reviews | Goodreads.com" will open reviews of the title in a new window. 

Goodreads.com is a personal content management system to help people track what they've read and what they want to read next. It also provides descriptions along with user ratings and user-generated book reviews.

This guide is meant to give readers a starting point to find classics within the MSU Memorial Library collections. Identifying and categorizing classics can be subjective. Not every classic is mentioned. Some of the books mentioned may not be considered classics by everyone. It is strongly suggested that readers compile personal lists of books to read based on some of the sources listed below.

Recommended Sources for Reading the Classics

Web Resources for Navigating the Classics

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.