1. William Shakespeare, 28 readings : I have read and reread most of Shakespeare's plays over the more than five decades. His works are essential for understanding humanity and provide a reference point for understanding many more contemporary authors.
2. Plato, 26 readings: Plato's Dialogues have provided me with intellectual stimulation for almost as long as Shakespeare. I read my first dialogue as a Freshman in college and have continued to read a reread Plato ever since.
3. Leo Tolstoy, 18 readings: While I did not read War and Peace until I was almost forty years old, I have managed to reread it several times while reading almost all of Tolstoy's other novels, novellas, and short stories.
4. William Faulkner, 16 readings: I struggled with The Sound and the Fury in high school as part of my outside reading, but persevered over several readings and in the meantime found Faulkner's prose style in all of his novels and short stories to be most felicitous.
5 . Iris Murdoch, 16 readings: I encountered Iris Murdoch while I was in college and over the years have read most of her novels and also her philosophical writings. The way she weaves philosophy and psychology into her novels appeals to me.
6. Charles Dickens, 15 readings: My first Dickens novel was Oliver Twist which I read while at Summer Camp when I was twelve years old. Since then I have read and reread all of his novels with delight, counting David Copperfield as my favorite.
7. Henry James, 15 readings: While I have not read all of his novels, I've read and sometimes reread most of the more important ones.
8. Aristotle, 14 readings: Again starting in college and continuing to this day I have read many of Aristotle's philosophic works. My favorite is the Nicomachean Ethics.
9. A. E. Van Vogt, 14 readings: This is evidence of my fascination with Science Fiction which peaked in my teen years, but has continued, albeit at a slower pace, till today. Van Vogt's superheroes were some of my favorite SF characters.
10. Thomas Mann, 12 readings: I planned to read all the novels of Thomas Mann when I retired, having enjoyed those I had read before then. I reached my goal a couple of years ago when I finally read Doktor Faustus, while Death in Venice remains my favorite.
Special Mentions (Authors who came close to making this list): Joseph Conrad, Robert Heinlein, Ayn Rand, H. G. Wells, and Virginia Woolf.