The Greatest Books Lists — Videos

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Book, Books, Communications, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

 Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and Fellini, this master list came together in 2012 when Sight & Sound (the cinema journal of the British Film Institute) asked contemporary critics and directors to name their 12 favorite movies. Nearly 900 cinephiles responded, and, from those submissions, a meta list of 10 was culled.

So how about something similar for books, you ask? For that, we can look back to 2007, when J. Peder Zane, the book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books — writers like Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Michael Chabon. The lists were all compiled in an edited collection, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and then prefaced by one uber list, “The Top Top Ten.”

Zane explained the methodology behind the uber list as follows: “The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”

The short list appears below, along with links to electronic versions of the works. There’s one notable exception, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. We couldn’t provide that text, but we do have something special — an audio recording of Nabokov reading a chapter from his controversial 1955 novel.

The texts listed below are permanently housed in our collection of Free eBooks, along with many other classics. In many cases, you’ll find audio versions of the same works in our ever-growing collection of Free Audio Books. If you have questions about how to load files onto your Kindle, please see this related instructional video.

Got an issue with any of the selections? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online

2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov

10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Note: Great literature courses can be found in our collection of 825 Free Online Courses.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/the-10-greatest-books-ever.html

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 1

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 2

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 3

The 10 Greatest Books Of All Time

100 Classic Books Of All Time

The 100 Best Books of All Time

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 1

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 2

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 3

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 4

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 5

Classic Books You Should Actually Read

Reading Classics as a Woman

Reading Classics + Recommendations

Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Where To Begin Part 1

Where To Begin Part 2

Where To Begin Part 3

I Should Be Reading

I Should Be Reading #2

I Should Be Reading #3

I Should Be Reading #4

Friday Reads: November 14, 2014 + Break

Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Q&A Part 1: Books and Booktube

 

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

by

Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare.

“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett,Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, andJoyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point.

In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness:

If you’re putting together a list of ‘the greatest books,’ you’ll want to do two things: (1) out of kindness, avoid anyone working on a novel; and (2) decide what the word ‘great’ means. The first part is easy, but how about the second? A short list of possible definitions of ‘greatness’ might look like this:

1. ‘Great’ means ‘books that have been greatest for me.’
2. ‘Great’ means ‘books that would be considered great by the most people over time.’
3. ‘Great’ has nothing to do with you or me — or people at all. It involves transcendental concepts like God or the Sublime.
4. ‘Great’? I like Tom Clancy.

From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis) toStephen King (#1: The Golden Argosy, a 1955 anthology of the best short stories in the English language), the collection offers a rare glimpse of the building blocks of great creators’ combinatorial creativity — because, as Austin Kleon put it, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”

The book concludes with an appendix of “literary number games” summing up some patterns and constructing several overall rankings based on the totality of the different authors’ picks. Among them (*with links to free public domain works where available):

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY
  1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma* by Jane Austen
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED
  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED
  1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
  2. William Shakespeare — 293
  3. James Joyce — 194
  4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
  6. William Faulkner — 173
  7. Charles Dickens — 168
  8. Anton Chekhov — 165
  9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
  10. Jane Austen — 161

As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love a similar anthology of nonfiction favorites — then again, famous writers might wave a knowing finger and point me to the complex relationship between truth and fiction.

 http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/01/30/writers-top-ten-favorite-books/

 

The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
1 . Ulysses by James Joyce
  1. Image of Ulysses

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer’s Odyss…

 

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Swann’s Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust’s seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narr…

 

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Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th…

 

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First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.” The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh…

 

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The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age”. Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the “roar…

 

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The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se…

 

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Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of fi…

 

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One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car…

 

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For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for “offenses against morality and religion.” What shoc…

 

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Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers, is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is mur…

 

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11 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

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Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl…

 

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12 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

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Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri’s poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the …

 

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13 . The Odyssey by Homer

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The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m…

 

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14 . Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endu…

 

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15 . The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

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The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo…

 

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16 . The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

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The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their fa…

 

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17 . 1984 by George Orwell

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The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur…

 

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18 . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie…

 

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19 . The Iliad by Homer

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The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and e…

 

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20 . Hamlet by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Pri…

 

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21 . To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

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A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psycholog…

 

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22 . Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx…

 

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23 . King Lear by William Shakespeare

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King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606. It is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a…

 

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24 . The Trial by Franz Kafka

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Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and mu…

 

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25 . Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th…

 

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26 . Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

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Absalom, Absalom! is a Southern Gothic novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. It is a story about three families of the American South, taking place before, during,…

 

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27 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite…

 

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28 . Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister”, the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. Wit…

 

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29 . Middlemarch by George Eliot

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Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final i…

 

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30 . Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerful…

 

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31 . Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th…

 

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32 . Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison…

 

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33 . Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen “Nelly” Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,…

 

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34 . The Red and the Black by Stendhal

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Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle (“Chronicle of the 19th century”), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830…

 

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35 . The Stranger by Albert Camus

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Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus’s extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L’Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story …

 

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36 . One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt

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One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Ni…

 

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37 . The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

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The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to…

 

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38 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane’s childhood at Gateshead…

 

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39 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

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As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram’s narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make expla…

 

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40 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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The story of the abandoned waif who learns to survive through challenging encounters with distress and misfortune.

 

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41 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a …

 

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42 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

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The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka is a compilation of all Kafka’s short stories. With the exception of Kafka’s three novels (The Trial, The Castle and Amerika), this collection includes all of Ka…

 

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43 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Macbeth, commonly just Macbeth, is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometim…

 

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44 . Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;…

 

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45 . The Tempest by William Shakespeare

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The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, estimated to have been written in 1610–11, (although some researchers have argued for an earlier dating). The play’s protagonist is the banished sorcer…

 

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46 . Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is written in the genre of “bildungsroman” or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i…

 

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47 . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ…

 

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48 . A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

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A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Cyril Fi…

 

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49 . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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The novel explores the lives and values of the so-called “Lost Generation,” chronicling the experiences of Jake Barnes and several acquaintances on their pilgrimage to Pamplona for the annual San F…

 

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50 . Collected Fiction by Jorge Luis Borges

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From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges’…

  1. 51 . Othello by William Shakespeare

    Image of Othello

    Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”) b…

 

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52 . To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is…

 

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53 . Richard III by William Shakespeare

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Final play in Shakespeare’s masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Richard is a stunning archvillain who schemes, seduces, betrays and murders hi…

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54 . Candide by Voltaire

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Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, an…

 

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55 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

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The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

 

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56 . The Aeneid by Virgil

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The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC (29–19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the…

 

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57 . The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

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Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to…

 

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58 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

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The book is told in stream of consciousness writing style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest—noble or selfish—to honor he…

 

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59 . The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer, playwright and physician, considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature. His career as a dram…

 

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60 . Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

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Midnight’s Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis…

 

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61 . Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word…

 

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62 . Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people’s encounter with colonialism, the 1890’s, though the white man and…

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63 . Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Roc…

 

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64 . Emma by Jane Austen

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Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.”[1] In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, …

 

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65 . Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her senti…

 

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66 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea…

 

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67 . Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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The novel is presented as a poem titled “Pale Fire” with commentary by a friend of the poet’s. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The int…

 

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68 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a mo…

 

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69 . Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”,…

 

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70 . Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

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To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: “the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself.” You see exactly what he means in this cor…

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71 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

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Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and…

 

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72 . The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery…

 

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73 . Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

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A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neig…

 

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74 . The Castle by Franz Kafka

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The Castle is a novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village where he wants to work as a la…

 

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75 . On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post…

 

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76 . Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

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Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is…

 

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77 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

 

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78 . The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consi…

 

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79 . Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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The main character, an African American woman in her early forties named Janie Crawford, tells the story of her life and journey via an extended flashback to her best friend, Pheoby, so that Pheoby…

 

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80 . My Antonia by Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather’s own estimation, My Antonia, first published in 1918, was “the best thing I’ve ever done.” An enduring paperback bestseller on Houghton Mifflin’s literary list, this hauntingly elo…

 

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81 . Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov…

 

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82 . Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

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Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only th…

 

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83 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’…

 

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84 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product …

 

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85 . Native Son by Richard Wright

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The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago’s South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl…

 

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86 . The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump…

 

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87 . Light in August by William Faulkner

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Lght in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States.

 

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88 . Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation o…

 

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89 . Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chron…

 

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90 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

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It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is …

 

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91 . Rabbit, Run by John Updike

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Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.

 

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92 . Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

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William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

 

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93 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

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A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl…

 

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94 . Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy’s immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently…

 

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95 . Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

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Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel s…

 

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96 . Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the ‘ghost story’ that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the…

 

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97 . The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

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The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes…

 

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98 . Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

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Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann’s first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mer…

 

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99 . Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

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In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories — a hundred stories of love, adv…

 

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100 . The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

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The Waste Land is a 434 line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called “one of the most important poems of the 20th century.” Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem – i…

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    Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens’s finest novels, containing one of …

 

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102 . Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

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In her most exuberant, most fanciful novel, Woolf has created a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, Orlando is a young noble…

 

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103 . The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The Possessed is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demon…

 

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104 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod…

 

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105 . Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

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The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of t…

 

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106 . American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov’s happy and conventional upper…

 

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107 . The Ambassadors by Henry James

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This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James’ final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of his widowed fiancée’s supposedly wayward son. Streth…

 

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108 . Paradise Lost by John Milton

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Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve…

 

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109 . The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

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The Big Sleep (1939) is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and a…

 

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110 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat…

 

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111 . The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, The Count of Monet Cristo recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantes, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason. The…

 

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112 . Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Anderson

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a Danish author and poet noted for his children’s stories. These include “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina”, “The Little Match Girl”, and the “The Ugl…

 

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113 . Hunger by Knut Hamsun

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Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha…

 

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114 . The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

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Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist mo…

 

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115 . All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

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All the King’s Men portrays the dramatic political ascent and governorship of Willie Stark, a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.

 

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116 . The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

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This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing’s “inner space fiction”, her work that …

 

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117 . A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

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The novel describes the life of a young man (Frederic Moreau) living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, and his love for an older woman (based on the wife …

 

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118 . Antigone by Sophocles

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Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. Chronologically, it is the third of the three Theban plays but was written first.[1] The play expands on the Theban legend that preda…

 

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119 . Howards End by E. M. Forster

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“Only Connect,” Forster’s key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, ideal…

 

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120 . Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

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The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte…

 

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121 . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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A slender novel but far from flimsy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie enrolls the reader at Edinburgh’s fictional Marcia Blaine School for Girls under the tutelage of one Jean Brodie, a magnetic, unco…

Time

 

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122 . The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor

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The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n…

 

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123 . Herzog by Saul Bellow

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Herzog is a novel set in 1964, in the United States, and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E. Herzog. He is just emerging from his second divorce, this one particularly acrimo…

 

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124 . Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

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It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English language.

 

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125 . An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

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Clyde Griffiths is a young man with ambitions. He’s in love with a rich girl, but it’s a poor girl he has gotten pregnant, Roberta Alden, who works with him at his uncle’s factory. One day he takes…

Time

 

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126 . A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House is an 1879 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Written one year after The Pillars of Society, the play was the first of Ibsen’s to create a sensation and is now perhaps his mo…

 

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127 . The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

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Balzac considered it the most important French novel of his time. André Gide later deemed it the greatest of all French novels, and Henry James judged it to be a masterpiece. Now, in a major litera…

 

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128 . A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

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In A Handful of Dust Waugh satirises the upper class, the mercantile class and the establishments (for example: the Church) using many effective literary devices which characterise most of his work…

 

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129 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr…

 

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130 . Dubliners by James Joyce

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Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dub…

 

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131 . The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985…

 

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132 . Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted …

 

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133 . The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. Published posthumously in 1958, after two rejections by the …

 

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134 . Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The story is that of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychoanalyst and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It would be Fitzgerald’s first novel in nine years, and …

 

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135 . The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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A classic in children’s literature The Wind in the Willow is alternately slow moving and fast paced. The book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. T…

 

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136 . Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

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Set sometime around 1950, Lucky Jim follows the exploits of the eponymous James (Jim) Dixon, a reluctant Medieval history lecturer at an unnamed provincial English university. Having made a bad fir…

 

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137 . Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results….

 

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138 . Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

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Conrad’s great novel of guilt and redemption follows the first mate on board the Patna, a raw youth with dreams of heroism who, in an act of cowardice, abandons his ship. His unbearable guilt and i…

 

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139 . Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett

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Malone Dies is a novel by Samuel Beckett. It was first published in 1951, in French, as Malone Meurt, and later translated into English by the author.

 

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140 . Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long…

 

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141 . Metamorphoses by Ovid

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The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world. Completed in 8 AD, it has remained one of the most popular works …

 

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142 . The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia.

 

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143 . Oresteia by Aeschylus

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The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play t…

 

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144 . Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin…

 

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145 . Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

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Doctor Faustus is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (“Doct…

 

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146 . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both…

 

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147 . The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and first published in 1868. It was first published serially in Russian in Russky Vestnik, St. Petersburg, 1868-1869. The Idiot…

 

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148 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nem…

 

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149 . The World According to Garp by John Irving

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The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica…

 

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150 . Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Spawned by a nightmare that Stevenson had, this classic tale of the dark, primordial night of the soul remains a masterpiece of the duality of good and evil within us all.

151 . A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

  1. Image of A Farewell to Arms

    The novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I.

 

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152 . I, Claudius by Robert Graves

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I, Claudius deals sympathetically with the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius and cynically with the history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44…

 

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153 . Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

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Pedro Páramo is a short novel written by Juan Rulfo, originally published in 1955. In just the 23 FCE editions and reprintings, it had sold by November 1997 1,143,000 copies. Other editions in Mexi…

 

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154 . The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

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The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including “The Enormous Radio,” “Goodbye, My Brother,” “Th…

 

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155 . Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

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Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat…

 

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156 . The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

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The Man without Qualities (1930-42) is a novel in three books by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil. The main issue of this “story of ideas”, which takes place in the time of the Au…

 

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157 . Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi…

 

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158 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as…

 

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159 . Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Bertha is the madwoman locked in the attic by her husband Rochester, the simmering Englishman whose children Jane has been hired to tutor. In Bronte’s novel we lear…

Time

 

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160 . Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

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Set in France (primarily Paris) during the 1930s, it is the tale of Miller’s life as a struggling writer. Combining fiction and autobiography, some chapters follow a strict narrative and refer to M…

 

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161 . Epic of Gilgamesh by Unknown

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Ancient Iraq and is among the earliest known works of literary writings. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems abo…

 

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162 . The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea…

 

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163 . The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

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The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman,…

 

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164 . Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

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Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the chara…

 

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165 . Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man’s religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled roa…

 

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166 . Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

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Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.

 

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167 . Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

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Before he gained wide fame as a novelist, Ernest Hemingway established his literary reputation with his short stories. This collection, The Short Stories, originally published in 1938, is definitiv…

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168 . Medea by Euripides

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Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the barbarian protagonist as she finds her position …

 

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169 . Rabbit Redux by John Updike

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Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, …

 

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170 . If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

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Calvino’s anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able…

 

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171 . The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st…

 

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172 . Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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Doctor Zhivago is a 20th century novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a medical doctor and poet. It tells the story of a man to…

 

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173 . The Call of the Wild by Jack London

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The plot concerns a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous…

 

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174 . Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

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Call It Sleep is the story of an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in New York in the early part of the twentieth century. Six-year-old David Schearl has a close and loving relationship with his mot…

 

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175 . Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertake…

 

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176 . Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction — evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet mo…

 

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177 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

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In the “brilliant novel” (“The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man–an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol…

 

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178 . Germinal by Émile Zola

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Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola’s masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the no…

 

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179 . The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position …

 

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180 . The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werthe…

 

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181 . Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance. Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walte…

 

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182 . Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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Waiting for Godot (pronounced /ˈɡɒdoʊ/) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects…

 

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183 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

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The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett’s “Trilogy” of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F…

 

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184 . Molloy by Samuel Beckett

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Molloy is a novel by Samuel Beckett. The English translation is by Beckett and Patrick Bowles.

 

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185 . The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

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The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym…

 

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186 . A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, “as queer as a clockwork orange” and alludes to the prevention of the main character’s exercise of his free will through the use of a classical co…

 

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187 . The Odes by Horace

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The Odes (Latin: Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. The Horatian ode format and style has been emulated since by other poets. Books 1 to 3 were published in 23 …

 

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188 . Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

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Zeno’s Conscience is a novel by Italian businessman and author Italo Svevo. The main character is Zeno Cosini and the book is the fictional character’s memoirs that he keeps at the insistence of hi…

 

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189 . Independent People by Halldor Laxness

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Independent People is an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, published in 1946. It deals with the struggle of poor Icelandic farmers in the early 20th century, only freed from debt bondag…

 

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190 . The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created.

 

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191 . Don Juan by Molière

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Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster …

 

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192 . Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

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Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d’Had…

 

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193 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

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Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.

 

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194 . Ramayana by Valmiki

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The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the…

 

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195 . Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy’s fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll…

 

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196 . The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultiva…

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197 . The Big Money by John Dos Passos

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THE BIG MONEY completes John Dos Passos’s three-volume “fable of America’s materialistic success and moral decline” (American Heritage) and marks the end of “one of the most ambitious projects that…

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198 . Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos

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With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume no…

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199 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel’s main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, …

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200 . Los Siete Locos by Roberto Arlt

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Los siete locos is a novel of Argentine writer Roberto Arlt published in October 1929 . In the same some of the problems posed by the philosophical existentialism develop. Moral issues, loneliness,…

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    In 1895 Hardy’s final novel, the great tale of Jude the Obscure, sent shock waves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the…

 

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202 . The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

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La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madam…

 

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203 . Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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The novel examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It also, more…

 

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204 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t…

 

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205 . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, it was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Am…

 

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206 . If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by William Faulkner

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In this feverishly beautiful novel—originally titled If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Faulkner, and now published in the authoritative Library of America text—William Faulkner interweaves two narrati…

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207 . The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelation…

 

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208 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who …

 

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209 . The Stand by Stephen King

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The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It re-works the scenario in his earlier short story, Night Surf. The novel was originally published in 1978 and…

 

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210 . A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud

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“With skill and imagination, Bertrand Mathieu gives us an intimacy of the spoken American that allows readers to absorb themselves in Rimbaud’s private drama as in an obsessive dream of our own…….

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211 . Stories of Guy de Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant

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Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. In a l…

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212 . Jakob Von Gunten by Robert Walser

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The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories…

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213 . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of th…

 

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214 . The Waves by Virginia Woolf

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The Waves, first published in 1931, is Virginia Woolf’s most experimental novel. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book’s six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis.[1]…

 

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215 . The Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

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Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic de…

 

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216 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

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Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. “A nocturnal state…. That is what I …

 

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217 . Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

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Oedipus at Colonus is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles’ death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles…

 

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218 . Money by Martin Amis

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Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self…

 

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219 . Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works. Some observers have noted parallels with Jane Eyre. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Alexandria, Egypt, where her husband wa…

 

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220 . Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

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Bellow’s glorious, spirited story of an eccentric American millionaire who finds a home of sorts in deepest Africa.

 

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221 . Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

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It is Wolfe’s first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American Bildungsroman. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel cover…

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222 . Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

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It follows the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman’s quest for identity as a black man in …

 

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223 . Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

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In this classic satire of small-town America, beautiful young Carol Kennicott comes to Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, with dreams of transforming the provincial old town into a place of beauty and cult…

 

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224 . A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

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A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-volume cycle of novels by Anthony Powell, inspired by the painting of the same name by Nicolas Poussin. One of the longest works of fiction in literature, i…

 

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225 . De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

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De rerum natura is a first century BC epic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in dactylic hexam…

 

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226 . Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot

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The main subject of the book is the relationship between the valet Jacques and his master (who is never named). The two are traveling to a destination the narrator leaves insistently vague, and to …

 

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227 . Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

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Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by Willa Cather. It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.

 

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228 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

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The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, …

 

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229 . The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

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Set in the rural midlands of England, The Rainbow revolves around three generations of the Brangwen family over a period of more than sixty years, setting them against the emergence of modern Engla…

 

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230 . Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. Waugh wrote that the novel “deals with what is t…

 

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231 . Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis’s crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob…

 

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232 . The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

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The Good Soldier Švejk is the abbreviated title of an unfinished satirical novel by Jaroslav Hašek. It was illustrated by Josef Lada and George Grosz after Hašek’s death. The original Czech title o…

 

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233 . The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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From the esteemed author of The Age of Innocence–a black comedy about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. Lily Bart’s quest to find a husband who…

 

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234 . White Noise by Don DeLillo

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Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle…

 

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235 . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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Narrated by the gigantic but docile half-Indian “Chief” Bromden, who has pretended to be a deaf-mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, a …

 

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236 . Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

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Darkness At Noon stands as an unequaled fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which …

 

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237 . Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot by T.S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.

 

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238 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

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Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is in many ways one of his most sophisticated works, combining deep psychological insight with ri…

 

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239 . The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

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The novel tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, the Pollits. The story centers on the family’s impoverishment, the failure of the father Sam to provide for them, the parents’ marital ba…

 

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240 . At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien

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At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex…

 

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241 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a …

 

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242 . Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Wi…

 

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243 . Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

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Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during …

 

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244 . Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

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Pippi Longstocking is a children’s book written in 1945 by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a 9-year old that lives in an old villa in a Swedish town. (which remains unnamed for the series) She meet To…

 

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245 . History by Elsa Morante

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History: A Novel is a novel by Italian author Elsa Morante, largely seen to be her most famous and controversial work. Published in 1974, it narrates the story of a woman, Ida Ramundo, and her two …

 

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246 . Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

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The book is structured as a series of loosely-connected vignettes. Burroughs himself stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie Willia…

 

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247 . The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

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The novel is set in the 1680s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. It tells the story of an English poet named Ebenezer Cooke who is given the title “Poet Laureate …

 

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248 . In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

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When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emot…

 

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249 . The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Rilke’s great cycle of ten elegies, perhaps his most profound poetic achievement, had its inception on the morning of January 21, 1912, but was interrupted by the First World War and not completed …

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  1. 250 . The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

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    The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set between the two world wars. It is about a sixteen year old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Tho…


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