In 1934, the great novelist Ernest Hemingway made a list of books that all aspiring writers should read. Below, we’ve linked to free copies of most of the books on his massive list.
Open Culture has a great article about how a young hobo and aspiring writer named Arnold Samuelson ended up getting writing advice from Hemingway himself. Check it out:
Hemingway advised Samuelson to avoid contemporary writers and compete only with the dead ones whose works have stood the test of time: “When you pass them up you know you’re going good.” He asked Samuelson what writers he liked. Samuelson said he enjoyed Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. “Ever read War and Peace?” Hemingway asked. Samuelson said he had not. “That’s a damned good book. You ought to read it. We’ll go up to my workshop and I’ll make out a list you ought to read.”