In a previous post, I mentioned Joseph Pearce's Literature: What Every Catholic Should Know.
Specifically, I noted what books by Chesterton and his friends made Pearce's list of 100 works of literature every Catholic should aspire to read.
It's a pretty comprehensive list. I've read in whole 55 of them. I've read most of The Canterbury Tales, but not all of them, so I did not count that. I've read some of the poems of many of the poets listed, but not all of their poems, so I don't count them. With the Tales and the poets I can say I've read in part six more works he listed.
I have encountered other lists of great works of literature or Catholic works of literature that Catholics should read. Brandon Vogt, for example, has a comprehensive list.
In considering Pearce's list, I have few arguments. It's a good list. Some of the books are hard to find - even in our local library. My personal taste does not run to Jane Austen, so I doubt I'll put a lot of effort into reading more of her books (Mind you, I've taught Pride and Prejudice and even directed a play version of it!). I don't know why he included Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor - a play I rank among his poorer efforts.
The list does seem very Eurocentric, with a heavy British emphasis, but Pearce is from England, so I'll give him a pass on that.
In the the chapters of the book he does touch on some other writers, but does not add any of their works to the list of 100. There are other writers he never mentions at all..
Among the works I'd add to such a list:The Sonnets of Shakespeare (yes, a number of his plays are listed, but not his poetry)
Victor Hugo - Les Miserables
C. S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letter
Shusaku Endo - Silence
J. F. Powers - Morte d'Urban, Wheat That Springeth Green
Michael O'Brien - Father Elijah: An Apocalypse, Strangers and Sojourners
Yes, some of my added suggestions are not "classics," but they are well worth reading