"Chaucer is quiet possibly the most influencial English writer after Shakespeare. Sorry for the high price but you'll thank me for all the footnotes and endnotes when you start trying to read all that Middle English (and yes it must be Middle English, reading The Canterbury Tales in Modern English is like watching West Side Story instead of Romeo and Juliet)."
"The Godfather of English Literature and the last of the triumberant of must reads from England. I would actually recomend the Riverside Shakespeare but it is expensive and I didn't want another expensive book on the list. Be warned though if you take a Shakespeare class, you'll probably need the Riverside edition."
"Egads, yet another expensive book. Maybe you picked the wrong major (but then again you should see the price tags on my wife's business text books). Great overview of Critical Theory and a study of how smart people read. Not something you'll be forced into your first couple of years in school but it should be since they want you to think that way anyhow."
"No where near as important in real life as your Freshman Comp professor would like you to think, and not important at all if your not an English Major. Get it anyway, you'll need it in your upper division classes."
"The pinicle of American Literature and the only thing you absolutely must read from the American canon. P.S. There are somewhere in the area of 600 seperate editions on Amazon. I just picked this one because it came up first and was cheap. Browse, or better yet, The Norton Anthology of American Literature has the complete novel and lots of other stuff. I think it's in Vol. C, but I'm not sure."
"More for the Creative Writing Major than the Grammar or Literature Major, but they should read it too. This book doubles as King's autobiography and guide for inspiring writers. Says more about writing fiction (or creative non-fiction for that matter) than any other book I've come across."
"A modern classic. Tells you more about American vernacular than any other book I've ever opened. Also great as a source of political and social satire or just for finding a good, er... actually that should be bad (but that's what makes them good) movie for the weekend. Most unfortuanitely out of print."