All the Books You Will Never Read

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All the Books You Will Never Read encapsulates the reader’s greatest fear: the impossibility of reading every book. Two hundred works fill perforated pages, torn out once one is read, slowly silencing but never entirely defeating the fear for, as the foreword states, “…this may simply be considered Volume I.”

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  • Great list! I already read Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables, The Bell Jar, Brave New World, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Fault in Our Stars, The Secret Garden, The Sun Also Rises, To Kill a Mockingbird (my absolute FAVORITE) and am currently reading The Great Gatsby, and I also have a copy of In Cold Blood coming in the mail. I realize that's a damn small list compared to the 200 masterpieces on this list, but nearly every single one of these books are on my To Be Read list already. This just gives me even more titles to add to the list, haha.
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All the Books You Will Never Read

  1. 1. FOrEWORD In 2010, Google calculated the total number of books published in the mod- ern era as nearly 130 million separate titles1 . Compare that to the 30,000 days in the average Canadian lifespan and, dear reader, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve begun. This book is a monument to the millions on which, try as you might, you will never manage to lay your hands. It is a constant prodding to turn off the television and turn another page, but also a reminder that no matter how much you know, you will never know everything. As much a plea to read broadly, to tear from it as many pages as you can, it is the daunting souvenir of an ambition that is both noble and impossible. Empty its spine as you might, there will forever be thousands more, for this may simply be considered Volume I. The terrible grief of the dying as they realise their last hour is upon them and they still haven’t read Proust. – Jean-Claude Carrière 1 Kelly, Cathal. “How Many Books Are There in the World? Google Has the Answer.” Thestar.com. Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., 6 Aug. 2010. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
  2. 2. 5 7 HAbits OF HighlY EffectiVe People By Stephen R. Covey The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. It has sold more than 15 million copies in 38 languages worldwide, and remains one of the best selling nonfiction business books. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless. U.S. President Bill Clinton read the book and invited Covey to Camp David to counsel him on how to integrate the book into his presidency. The book first introduces the concept of Paradigm Shift and prepares the reader for a change in mindset. It helps the reader understand that there exists a different perspective, a viewpoint that may be different from his or her own and asserts that two people can see the same thing and yet differ with each other. Once the reader is prepared for this, it introduc- es the seven habits, in a proper order. Approximately 200 pages
  3. 3. 6 7 habit ofhig The Adveotures OF Huckleberrz Finn By Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first pub- lished in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. Approximately 450 pages
  4. 4. 8 9 ADVEN HUCKL The Adveotures OF Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The story is set in the fiction- al town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain lived. Tom Sawyer with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid. Tom dirties his clothes in a fight and is made to whitewash the fence the next day, as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. In Sunday school, Tom does not manage to get a Bible because Mr. Walters knew he was trading tickets. Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get “engaged” by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns Tom has been “engaged” previously, to a girl named Amy Lawrence. Shortly after being shunned by Becky, Tom accompanies Huckleberry Finn to the graveyard at night, where they witnessed the murder of Dr. Robinson. Tom, Huck, and Joe Harper run away to an island. While enjoying their newfound freedom, the boys become aware that the community is sound- ing the river for their bodies. Approximately 250 pages
  5. 5. 10 11 ENTUR SAWYE alice’s Adventures IN wooderland By Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure, charac- ters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre. Approximately 90 pages
  6. 6. 12 13 ALICE’s adven Americao PsYcho By Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho is a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991. The story is told in the first person by Patrick Bateman, a serial killer and Manhattan businessman. The book's graphic violence and sexual content generated a great deal of controversy before and after publication. The Observer notes that while “some countries [deem it] so potentially disturbing that it can only be sold shrink-wrapped”, “critics rave about it” and “academics revel in its transgressive and postmodern qualities.” Set in Manhattan during the Wall Street boom of the late 1980s, Ameri- can Psycho is about the daily life of wealthy young investment banker Pat- rick Bateman. Bateman, in his late 20s when the story begins, narrates his everyday activities, from his recreational life among the Wall Street elite of New York to his forays into murder by nightfall. Through present tense stream-of-consciousness narrative, Bateman describes his daily life, rang- ing from a series of Friday nights spent at nightclubs with his colleagues — where they snort cocaine, critique fellow club-goers' clothing, trade fashion advice, and question one another on proper etiquette — to his love- less engagement to fellow yuppie Evelyn and his contentious relationship with his brother and senile mother. Bateman's stream of consciousness is occasionally broken up by chap- ters in which he directly addresses the reader in order to critique the work of 1980s Pop music artists. The novel maintains a high level of ambiguity through mistaken identity and contradictions that introduce the possibili- ty that Bateman is an unreliable narrator. Approximately 420 pages
  7. 7. 14 15 AMER PSYCH animal Farm By George Orwell Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novel by George Orwell, pub- lished in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, especially after his experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin “un conte satirique contre Stalin”, and in his essay “Why I Write” (1946), he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”. The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, though the subtitle was dropped by U.S. publishers for its 1946 publication and subsequently all but one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime omitted it. Other variations in the title include: A Satire and A Contemporary Satire. Or- well suggested the title Union des républiques socialistes animales for the French translation, which recalled the French name of the Soviet Union, Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques, and which abbreviates to URSA, the Latin for “bear”, a symbol of Russia. Approximately 110 pages
  8. 8. 16 17 ANIMA FARM angels AND Demoos By Dan Brown Angels and Demons is a 2000 bestselling mystery-thriller novel written by American author Dan Brown and published by Pocket Books. The novel introduces the character Robert Langdon, who is also the protagonist of Brown's subsequent 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code; his 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol; and the 2013 novel Inferno. Angels and Demons shares many stylistic literary elements with its sequel, such as conspiracies of secret so- cieties, a single-day time frame, and the Catholic Church. Ancient history, architecture, and symbolism are also heavily referenced throughout the book. The book contains several ambigrams created by real-life typographer John Langdon. Besides the “Angels And Demons” and “Illuminati” designs, the title of the book is also presented as an ambigram on the hardcover book jacket, and on the inside cover of the paperback versions. The book also contains ambigrams of the words Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, which has served to bring the art of ambigrams to public attention by virtue of the popularity of the book. The “Illuminati Diamond” mentioned in the book is an ambigram of the four elements arranged in the shape of a diamond. Approximately 736 pages
  9. 9. 18 19 ANGEL DEMON Aona KareninA By Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Mes- senger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov over political issues that arose in the final installment; therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form. Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fic- tion, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel. Anna Karenina is the tragedy of married aristocrat and socialite Anna Karenina and her affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The story starts when she arrives in the midst of a family broken up by her brother’s un- bridled womanizing—something that prefigures her own later situation, though with less tolerance for her by others. A bachelor, Vronsky is eager to marry her if she would agree to leave her husband Karenin, a government official, but she is vulnerable to the pressures of Russian social norms, her own insecurities and Karenin’s indecision. Although Vronsky and Anna go to Italy where they can be together, they have trouble making friends. Back in Russia, she is shunned, becoming further isolated and anxious, while Vronsky pursues his social life. Despite Vronsky’s reassurances she grows increasingly possessive and paranoid about his imagined infidelity, fearing loss of control. Approximately 650 pages
  10. 10. 20 21 anna kare Aone Franl: The DiaryOF A Young Girl By Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl (also known as The Diary of Anne Frank) is a book of the writings from the Dutch language diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944 and Anne Frank ultimately died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The diary was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the family. The diary has now been published in more than 60 different languages. First published under the title Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 juni 1942 – 1 augustus 1944 (The Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944) by Contact Publishing in Amsterdam in 1947, it received widespread critical and popular attention on the appearance of its English language translation Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Doubleday & Company (United States) and Valentine Mitchell (United Kingdom) in 1952. Its popularity inspired the 1955 play The Diary of Anne Frank by the screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, which they subse- quently adapted for the screen for the 1959 movie version. The book is in several lists of the top books of the 20th century. Approximately 300 pages
  11. 11. 22 23 ANNE FRANK TH Aone OF GreeN Gables By Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Written as fiction for readers of all ages, the literary classic has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, a young orphan girl mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who have a farm on Prince Edward Island and who had intend- ed to adopt a boy to help them. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school and within the town. In writing the novel, Montgomery was inspired by notes she had made as a young girl, about a couple who were mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of the boy they had requested yet decided to keep her. She drew upon her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit as the model for the face of Anne Shirley, which she had clipped from New York’s Metropoli- tan Magazine and put on the wall of her bedroom. Approximately 320 pages
  12. 12. 24 25 ANNE fGREE Around THE World IN Eightz Days By Jules Verne Around the World in Eighty Days is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavi- gate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £1,511,978 today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works. Verne is often characterised as a futurist or science fiction author but there is not a glimmer of science fiction in this, his most popular work. Rather than any futurism, it remains a memorable portrait of the British Empire “on which the sun never sets” shortly before its peak, drawn by an outsider. Approximately 160 pages
  13. 13. 26 27 sROUND HEWO as I Lay Dzing By William Faulkner As I Lay Dying is a novel by American author William Faulkner. Faulkner said that he wrote the novel from midnight to 4:00 AM over the course of six weeks, and that he did not change a word of it. Faulkner wrote it while working at a power plant, published it in 1930, and described it as a “tour de force.” Faulkner’s seventh novel, it is consistently ranked among the best novels of 20th century literature. The title derives from Book XI of Homer’s The Odyssey, wherein Agamemnon speaks to Odysseus: “As I lay dying, the woman with the dog’s eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades.” The novel utilizes stream of consciousness writing technique, multiple narrators, and varying chapter lengths. The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest and motivations – noble or selfish – to honor her wish to be buried in the town of Jefferson. As is the case in much of Faulkner’s work, the story is set in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, which Faulkner referred to as “my apocryphal county,” a fictional rendition of the writer’s home of Lafayette County in that same state. Throughout the novel, Faulkner presents fifteen different points of view, each chapter narrated by one character, including Addie, who, after dying, expresses her thoughts from the coffin. In 59 chapters titled only by their narrators’ names, the characters are developed gradually through each other’s perceptions and opinions, with Darl’s predominating. Approximately 300 pages
  14. 14. 28 29 TURES E Asila dying atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the United States. Rand's fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. Atlas Shrugged includes elements of romance, mystery, and science fiction, and it contains Rand's most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction. The book explores a dystopian United States where many of society's wealthiest citizens refuse to pay increasingly high taxes, reject govern- ment regulations and disappear, shutting down their vital industries. The disappearances evoke the imagery of what would happen if the mythologi- cal Atlas refused to continue to hold up the sky. They are led by John Galt. Galt describes the disappearances as “stopping the motor of the world” by withdrawing the people that drive society's productivity. In their efforts, these characters hope to demonstrate that the destruction of the profit motive leads to the collapse of society. The title is a reference to Atlas, a Titan of Ancient Greek mythology, described in the novel as “the gi- ant who holds the world on his shoulders”, although in Greek mythology he holds the sky, not the earth. Approximately 1000 pages
  15. 15. 30 31 S R ATLAS SHRUG The Autobiographz OF Malcolm X By Malcolm X with Alex Haley The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965, the result of a collab- oration between Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X's 1965 assassination. The Autobiography is a spiritual conversion narrative that outlines Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism. After the death of his subject, Haley authored the book's epilogue, which describes their collab- oration and summarizes the end of Malcolm X's life. While Malcolm X and scholars contemporary to the book's publication regarded Haley as the book's ghostwriter, modern scholars tend to regard him as an essential collaborator who intentionally subsumed his authorial voice to allow readers to feel as though Malcolm X were speaking directly to them. Haley also influenced some of Malcolm X's literary choices; for example, when Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam during the composi- tion of the book, Haley persuaded him to favor a style of “suspense and drama” rather than rewriting earlier chapters into a polemic against the Nation. Furthermore, Haley's proactive censorship of the manuscript's antisemitic material significantly influenced the ideological tone of the autobiography, increasing its commercial success and popularity although distorting Malcolm X's public persona. Approximately 500 pages
  16. 16. 32 33 tures AUTOB OFMA The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar is American writer and poet Sylvia Plath's only novel, which was originally published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas” in 1963. The novel is semi-autobiographical with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef, with the protago- nist's descent into mental illness paralleling Plath's own experiences with what may have been clinical depression. Plath committed suicide a month after its first UK publication. The novel was published under Plath's name for the first time in 1967 and was not published in the United States until 1971, pursuant to the wishes of Plath's mother and her husband Ted Hughes. The novel has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. The novel is written using a series of flashbacks that show up parts of Esther's past. The flashbacks primarily deal with Esther's relationship with Buddy Willard. The reader also learns more about her early college years. The Bell Jar addresses the question of socially acceptable identity. It ex- amines Esther's “quest to forge her own identity, to be herself rather than what others expect her to be”. Esther is expected to become a housewife, and a self-sufficient woman, without the options to achieve independence. Esther feels she is a prisoner to domestic duties and she fears the loss of her inner self. The Bell Jar sets out to highlight the problems with oppressive patriarchal society in mid-20th Century America. The men in Esther's life are all oppressive, whether it is in a physical manner or an emotional one. Approximately 280 pages
  17. 17. 34 35 CAN O HEBE LLJAR BeloVed By Toni Morrison Beloved is a novel by the American writer Toni Morrison. Set after the American Civil War (1861–1865), it is inspired by the story of an African- American slave, Margaret Garner, who temporarily escaped slavery during 1856 in Kentucky by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. A posse arrived to retrieve her and her children under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which gave slave owners the right to pursue slaves across state borders. Margaret killed her two-year-old daughter rather than allow her to be recaptured. Beloved's main character, Sethe, kills her daughter and tries to kill her other three children when a posse arrives in Ohio to return them to Sweet Home, the Kentucky plantation from which Sethe recently fled. A woman presumed to be her daughter, called Beloved, returns years later to haunt Sethe's home at 124 Bluestone Road, Cincinnati. The story opens with an introduction to the ghost: “124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom.” The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. Approximately 350 pages
  18. 18. 36 37 ALBELO VED Beowulf By Unknown Author Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem con- sisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anony- mous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century. In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (in Heorot) has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victori- ous, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland. Approximately 250 pages
  19. 19. 38 39 S NS BEOW ULF Black Beautz By Anna Sewell Black Beauty is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was com- posed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate best-seller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, but long enough to see her only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, it also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. Black Beauty became a fore- runner to the pony book genre of children's literature. The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by the titular horse named Black Beauty—beginning with his care- free days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty's life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses, with Sewell's detailed observations and extensive descriptions of horse behaviour lending the novel a good deal of verisimilitude. Approximately 100 pages
  20. 20. 40 41 nina BLACK BEAUT The Book Thief By Markus Zusak The Book Thief is a novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. Narrated by Death, the book is set in Nazi Germany, a place and time when the narra- tor notes he was extremely busy. It describes a young girl's relationship with her foster parents, the other residents of their neighborhood, and a Jewish fist-fighter who hides in her home during the escalation of World War II. First published in 2005, the book has won numerous awards and was listed on the The New York Times Best Seller list for over 230 weeks. Upon arriving at the home of her foster parents, housepainter Hans Hubermann and his wife Rosa, Liesel finds it difficult to adjust. She is haunted by nightmares about her mother and dead brother. She eventually develops a bond with Hans, who comes to her every night and stays with her until she is able to fall sleep again, Hans, upon noticing The Grave Dig- ger's Handbook tucked under Liesel's mattress, decides to take advantage of the sleepless hours he spends with Liesel each night by teaching her how to read and write. Approximately 580 pages
  21. 21. 42 43 EBOOK THEIF BrAve New World By Aldus Huxley Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. – “After Ford” – in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and operant conditioning that combine to pro- foundly change society. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with Island (1962), his final novel. Huxley said that Brave New World was inspired by the utopian novels of H. G. Wells, including A Modern Utopia (1905) and Men Like Gods (1923). Wells' hopeful vision of the future's possibilities gave Huxley the idea to begin writing a parody of the novel, which became Brave New World. He wrote in a letter to Mrs. Arthur Goldsmith, an American acquaintance, that he had “been having a little fun pulling the leg of H. G. Wells,” but then he “got caught up in the excitement of [his] own ideas.” Unlike the most popular optimist utopian novels of the time, Huxley sought to provide a frighten- ing vision of the future. Huxley referred to Brave New World as a “negative utopia”, somewhat influenced by Wells' own The Sleeper Awakes (dealing with subjects like corporate tyranny and behavioural conditioning) and the works of D. H. Lawrence. Approximately 270 pages
  22. 22. 44 45 OF N BRAVE NEWW Breakfast AT Tiffaoy’s By Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany's is a novella by Truman Capote published in 1958. The main character, Holly Golightly, is one of Capote's best-known creations and an American cultural icon. In autumn 1943, the unnamed narrator be- comes friends with Holly Golightly, who calls him “Fred”, after her older brother. The two are both tenants in a brownstone apartment in Manhattan's Upper East Side. Holly (age 18–19) is a country girl turned New York café society girl. As such, she has no job and lives by socializing with wealthy men, who take her to clubs and restaurants, and give her money and expensive presents; she hopes to marry one of them. Approximately 160 pages
  23. 23. 46 47 RLD BREAKF ATTIFFA Bridge TO Terabithia By Katherine Paterson Bridge to Terabithia is a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Nate Paterson and was published in 1977 by Thomas Crowell. In 1978, it won the Newbery Medal. Paterson drew inspiration for the novel from a real event that occurred in August 1974 when a friend of her son was struck by lightning and killed. Bridge to Terabithia is the story of fifth grader Jesse Aarons, who becomes friends with his new neighbor Leslie Burke after he loses a footrace to her at school. Leslie is a smart, talented, outgoing tomboy, and Jesse thinks highly of her. Jesse is an artistic boy who, in the beginning of the novel, is fearful, angry, and depressed. After meeting Leslie, Jesse's life is trans- formed. He becomes courageous and learns to let go of his frustration. Approximately 180 pages
  24. 24. 48 49 yRIDGE OTERA Bridget Jones’s Diarz By Helen Fielding Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman living in London. She writes (often humorously) about her career, self-image, vices, family, friends, and romantic relationships. Bridget not only obsesses about her love life, but also details her vari- ous daily struggles with her weight, her over-indulgence in alcohol and cigarettes, and her career. Bridget's friends and family are the supporting characters in her diary. These friends are there for her unconditionally throughout the novel; they give her advice about her relationships, and support when problems arise. The novel is based on Pride and Prejudice. Approximately 270 pages
  25. 25. 50 51 GED BRIDG JONES The Call OF THE Wild By Jack London The Call of the Wild is a novel by American author Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments, fight to dominate other dogs, and survive in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts through lessons he learns, to emerge as a leader in the wild. London lived for most of a year in the Yukon and gained from that experience material for the book. The story was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903; a month later it was released in book form. The novel’s great popularity and success made a reputation for Lon- don. Much of its appeal derives from the simplicity with which London presents the themes in an almost mythical form. Approximately 100 pages
  26. 26. 52 53 IO L CALL WILD Caodide By Voltaire Candide, ou l'Optimisme is a French satire first published in 1759 by Vol- taire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. The novella has been widely translated, with English versions titled Candide: or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: or, Optimism (1947). It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply Optimism) by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillu- sionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, “we must cultivate our garden”, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”. Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone, as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Approximately 120 pages
  27. 27. 54 55 CAN DIDE The CanterburY Tales By Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century, during the time of the Hundred Years' War. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return. After a long list of works written earlier in his career, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and “Parliament of Fowls”, The Canterbury Tales was Chaucer's magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron, which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372. It is sometimes argued that the greatest contribution that this work made to English literature was in popularising the literary use of the vernacular, English, rather than French or Latin. English had, however, been used as a literary language for centuries before Chaucer's life, and several of Chaucer's contemporaries—John Gower, William Langland, and the Pearl Poet—also wrote major literary works in English. It is unclear to what extent Chaucer was responsible for starting a trend rather than simply being part of it. Approximately 690 pages
  28. 28. 56 57 CANTE TALES Casioo Rozale By Ian Fleming Casino Royale is Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. It paved the way for a further eleven novels by Fleming himself, in addition to two short story collections, followed by many “continuation” Bond novels by other authors. The story details James Bond, Agent 007 of the “Secret Service”, travelling to the casino at Royale-les-Eaux in order to bankrupt a fifth-columnist, Le Chiffre, the treasurer of a French union and a member of the Russian secret service. Bond is supported in his endeavours by Vesper Lynd, a member of his own service, as well as Felix Leiter of the CIA and René Mathis of the French Deuxième Bureau. Approximately 200 pages
  29. 29. 58 59 CASIN ROYAL The Castle OF Otranto By Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regard- ed as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Wal- pole, by extension, is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Ma- turin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier. The Castle of Otranto tells the story of Manfred, lord of the castle, and his family. The book begins on the wedding-day of his sickly son Conrad and princess Isabella. Shortly before the wedding, however, Conrad is crushed to death by a gigantic helmet that falls on him from above. This inexplicable event is particularly ominous in light of an ancient prophecy “[T]hat the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it”. Manfred, terrified that Conrad's death signals the beginning of the end for his line, resolves to avert destruction by marrying Isabella himself while divorcing his current wife Hippolita, who he feels has failed to bear him a proper heir. Approximately 180 pages
  30. 30. 60 61 Y CASTL OFOT CAtch-22 By Joseph Heller Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronologi- cal third-person omniscient narration, describing events from different characters' points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot. The novel follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the oth- er airmen in the camp, and their attempts to keep their sanity in order to fulfill their service requirements, so that they can return home. The phrase “Catch-22”, “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule,” has entered the English language. Approximately 550 pages
  31. 31. 62 63 CATCH H-22 The Catcher IN THE rYe By J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world’s major languages. Around 250,000 copies are sold each year with total sales of more than 65 million books. The novel’s protagonist and antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel was included on Time’s 2005 list of the 100 best English-lan- guage novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the United States and other countries for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality. It also deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation. Approximately 220 pages
  32. 32. 64 65 WORLD CATCH INTHE Charlotte’s web By E. B. White Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams; it was published in 1952 by Harper & Broth- ers. 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 praising Wilbur (such as “Some Pig”) in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. Written in White's dry, low-key manner, Charlotte's Web is considered a classic of children's literature, enjoyable to adults as well as children. The description of the experience of swinging on a rope swing at the farm is an often cited example of rhythm in writing, as the pace of the sentences reflects the motion of the swing. Publishers Weekly listed the book as the best-selling children's paperback of all time as of 2000. Approximately 200 pages
  33. 33. 66 67 AST ANY’S CHARL WEB A ChristDas Carol By Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. The story tells of bitter and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits from Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian Era Britain, a period when there was both strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions and an initiation of new practices such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens’s sources for the tale appear to be many and varied but are principally the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales. The tale has been viewed by critics as an indictment of 19th-century indus- trial capitalism. It has been credited with restoring the holiday to one of mer- riment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety and som- breness. A Christmas Carol remains popular, has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, stage, opera, and other media multiple times. Approximately 130 pages
  34. 34. 68 69 CHRIS CAROL Clarissa By Samuel Richardson Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, published in 1748. 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. Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtu- ous young lady whose family has become wealthy only recently and now desires to become part of the aristocracy. Their original plan was to con- centrate the wealth and lands of the Harlowes into the possession of Clar- issa's brother James Harlowe, whose wealth and political power will lead to his being granted a title. Clarissa's grandfather leaves her a substantial piece of property upon his death, and a new route to the nobility opens through Clarissa marrying Robert Lovelace, heir to an earldom. James's response is to provoke a duel with Lovelace, who is seen thereafter as the family's enemy. James also proposes that Clarissa marry Roger Solmes, who is willing to trade properties with James to concentrate James's holdings and speed his becoming Lord Harlowe. The family agrees and attempts to force Clarissa to marry Solmes, whom she finds physically disgusting as well as boorish. Approximately 1540 pages
  35. 35. 70 71 ET s CLAR ISSA A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess published in 1962. Set in a not-so-distant future society that has a culture of extreme youth violence, the novel's teenage anti-hero gives a first-person narration about his violent exploits and his experiences with state authorities intent on reforming him. It is partially written in a Russian-influenced argot called “Nadsat”. According to Burgess, the novel was a jeu d'esprit written in just three weeks. In 2005, A Clockwork Orange was included on Time Magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and it was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The original manuscript of the book is located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada since that insti- tution purchased the documents in 1971. Approximately 180 pages
  36. 36. 72 73 CLOCK WORK The Color Purple By Alice Walker The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing nu- merous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. Celie, the protagonist and narrator, is a poor, barely educated, fourteen- year-old black girl living in the American South. She writes letters to God because the man she believes to be her father, Alphonso, beats and rapes her. Almost none of the abusers in the novel possess a stereotypical demon-like demeanor that could be dismissed as pure evil. The characters who perpetuate violence are themselves, victims, often of sexism, racism, or paternalism. Approximately 300 pages
  37. 37. 74 75 THE COLOU The CoDplete Tales By Beatrix Potter Beatrix Potter was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist known for her imaginative children’s books featuring ani- mals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life. On 2 October 1902 The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published, and was an immediate success. It was followed the next year by The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester which had also first been written as picture letters to the Moore children. Working with Norman Warne as her editor, Potter published two or three little books each year for a total of twenty-three books. The last book in this format was Cecily Parsley's Nurs- ery Rhymes in 1922, a collection of favourite rhymes. Although The Tale of Little Pig Robinson was not published until 1930, it had been written much earlier. Potter continued creating her little books until after the First World War when her energies were increasingly directed toward her farming, sheep-breeding and land conservation. The immense popularity of Potter’s books was based on the lively qual- ity of her illustrations, the non-didactic nature of her stories, the depiction of the rural countryside, and the imaginative qualities she lent to her characters. Approximately 400 pages
  38. 38. 76 77 RCOMPL TALES CoraliEe By Neil Gaiman Coraline is a horror/fantasy novella by British author Neil Gaiman, pub- lished in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Coraline Jones and her parents move into an old house that has been divided into flats. The other tenants include Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, two elderly women retired from the stage, and Mr. Bobo, who is training a mouse circus. The flat beside Coraline's remains empty. During a rainy day she discovers a locked door in a downstairs room, which has been bricked up. As she goes to visit her neighbours, Mr. Bobo relates to her a mes- sage from the mice: Don't go through the door. At tea with Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, Miss Spink spies danger in Coraline’s future after reading her tea leaves, and gives her a lucky stone. They then explain that it will make the unseen seen. Despite these warnings, Coraline decides to unlock the door when she is home by herself and finds the brick wall behind the door gone. In its place is a long passageway, which leads to a flat identical to her own, inhabited by her Other Mother and Other Father, who are replicas of her real parents. They have button eyes and exaggerated features. In this “Other World”, Coraline finds everything to be better than her reality: her Other Parents are attentive, her toy box is filled with animate toys that can move and fly, and the Other Miss Spink and Miss Forcible forever perform a cabaret show in their flat. She even finds the feral Black Cat that wanders around the house in the real world can talk; however, she learns he is not of the Other World; he only travels from one world to another and warns Coraline of the imminent danger, but Coraline pays him no heed. Approximately 200 pages
  39. 39. 78 79 O E CORA LINE The Count OF MoEte Cristo By Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexan- dre Dumas. Completed in 1844, it is one of the author’s most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet. The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean, and in the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838. It begins from just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile) and spans through to the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. An adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness, it focuses on a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, “The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization’s lit- erature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, No- ah’s flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood.” Approximately 600 pages
  40. 40. 80 81 ETHECO OFMO Crime AND Punishmeot By Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky’s full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is the first great novel of his “mature” period of writing. Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral di- lemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Peters- burg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawn- broker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker’s money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hy- pothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonapar- te, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. Approximately 480 pages
  41. 41. 82 83 CRIME ANDP The Curious Incident OF THE Dog IN THE Eight-TiDe By Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon. Its title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1892 short story “Silver Blaze”. Haddon and The Curious Incident won the Whitbread Book Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book, and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. As a writer for The Guardian remarked, “Unusually, it was published simultaneously in separate editions for adults and children.” The novel is narrated in the first-person perspective by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as “a math- ematician with some behavioral difficulties” living in Swindon, Wiltshire. Although Christopher's condition is not stated, the book's blurb refers to Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism, or savant syndrome. In July 2009, Haddon wrote on his blog that “curious incident is not a book about asperger’s....if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsid- er, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The book is not specifically about any specific disorder,” and that he is not an expert on autism spectrum disorder or Asperger syndrome. Approximately 240 pages
  42. 42. 84 85 ERCURIO INCID Cyrano DE Bergerac By Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. Although there was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, the play is a fictionalization of his life that follows the broad outlines of it. The entire play is written in verse, in rhyming couplets of 12 syllables per line, very close to the Alexandrine format, but the verses sometimes lack a caesura. It is also meticulously re- searched, down to the names of the members of the Académie française and the dames précieuses glimpsed before the performance in the first scene. Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a cadet (nobleman serving as a soldier) in the French Army, is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents. In addition to being a remarkable duelist, he is a gifted, joyful poet and is also shown to be a musician. However, he has an extremely large nose, which is the reason for his own self-doubt. This doubt prevents him from expressing his love for his distant cousin, the beautiful and intellectual heiress Roxane, as he believes that his ugliness denies him the “dream of being loved by even an ugly woman.” Approximately 250 pages
  43. 43. 86 87 OCYRAN DEBER DaVid Copperfield By Charles Dickens David Copperfield is the common name of the eighth novel by Charles Dick- ens, first published as a novel in 1850. Its full title is The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account). Like most of his works, it originally appeared in serial form during the two preceding years. Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens' own life, and it is probably the most autobiographical of his novels. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, “...like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.” Approximately 740 pages
  44. 44. 88 89 TDAVID COPPE Death OF A Salesmao By Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play is mostly told from the point of view of the protagonist, Willy, and the previous parts of Willy's life are revealed in the analepsis, some- times during a present day scene. It does this by having a scene begin in the present time, and adding characters onto the stage whom only Willy can see and hear, representing characters and conversations from other times and places. Approximately 150 pages
  45. 45. 90 91 DEATH OFAS The Divine Comedz By Dante The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between c. 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the West- ern Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On the surface, the poem describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purga- tory, and Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents allegorically the soul's journey towards God. At this deeper level, Dante draws on medieval Chris- tian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called “the Summa in verse”. The work was originally simply titled Comedìa and was later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio. The first printed edition to add the word divine to the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, pub- lished in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de Ferrari. Approximately 930 pages
  46. 46. 92 93 DIVINE COMED DoE quiXote By Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, an hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry, under the name Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthly wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetor- ical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote is met by the world as it is, initiating such themes as intertextuality, realism, metatheatre, and literary representation. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. It has had ma- jor influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844) and Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). In a 2002 list, Don Quixote was cited as the “best literary work ever written”. Approximately 1000 pages
  47. 47. 94 95 R DON QUIXO Dracula By Bram Stoker Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire lit- erature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the nov- el has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations. The novel is told in epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary entries, ships’ log entries, and so forth. The main writers of these items are also the novel’s protagonists. The story is occasionally supplemented with newspaper clippings that relate events not directly witnessed by the story’s characters. The events portrayed in the novel take place largely in England and Tran- sylvania during 1893. Approximately 550 pages
  48. 48. 96 97 DRAC ULA EAst OF EdeE By John Steinbeck East of Eden is a novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, published in September 1952. Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck's young sons, Thom and John (then 6½ and 4½ years old, respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors. The Hamilton family in the novel is said to be based on the real-life fam- ily of Samuel Hamilton, Steinbeck's maternal grandfather. A young John Steinbeck also appears briefly in the novel as a minor character. According to his third and last wife, Elaine, Steinbeck considered it his magnum opus—his greatest novel. Steinbeck stated about East of Eden: “It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years.” He further claimed: “I think everything else I have writ- ten has been, in a sense, practice for this.” Approximately 600 pages
  49. 49. 98 99 EAST OFED EDma By Jane Austen Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters. Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” In the very first sentence she in- troduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.” Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people’s lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray. Emma Woodhouse is the first Austen heroine with no financial con- cerns, which, she declares to the naïve Miss Smith, is the reason that she has no inducement to marry. This is a great departure from Austen’s other novels, in which the quest for marriage and financial security are often important themes in the stories. Emma’s ample financial resources put her in a much more privileged position than the heroines of Austen’s earlier works, such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. Approximately 400 pages
  50. 50. 100 101 OUNT N EM MA Everything IS IllumiEated By Jonathan Safran Foer Everything Is Illuminated is the first novel by the American writer Jonathan Safran Foer, published in 2002. Jonathan Safran Foer, a young American Jew, journeys to Ukraine in search of Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather's life during the Nazi liquidation of Trachim- brod, his family shtetl. Armed with maps, cigarettes and many copies of an old photograph of Augustine and his grandfather, Jonathan begins his adventure with Ukrainian native and soon-to-be good friend, Alexander “Alex” Perchov, who is Foer's age and very fond of American pop culture, albeit culture that is already out of date in the United States. Alex studied English at his university, and even though his knowledge of the language is not “first-rate”, he becomes the translator. Alex's “blind” grandfather and his “deranged seeing-eye bitch,” Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., accompany them on their journey. Throughout the book, the meaning of love is deeply examined. Approximately 300 pages
  51. 51. 102 103 U EVERY ISILLU FAhreoheit 451 By Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future Ameri- can society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found. The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury understood to be the autoignition point of paper. The novel has been the subject of various interpretations, primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. In a 1956 radio interview, Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about censorship and the threat of book burning in the United States. In later years, he stated his motivation for writing the book in more general terms. Approximately 260 pages
  52. 52. 104 105 US ENTt FAHRE 451 A Farewell TOArms Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms is a novel written by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I. The book, published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant (“Tenente”) in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by 16th-century English dramatist George Peele. A Farewell to Arms focuses on a romance between the expatriate American Henry and Catherine Barkley, whose nationality is variously described as En- glish or Scottish, against the backdrop of the First World War, cynical soldiers, fighting and the displacement of populations. The publication of this, Hem- ingway's bleakest novel, cemented his stature as a modern American writer, became his first best-seller, and is described by biographer Michael Reynolds as “the premier American war novel from that debacle World War I.” Approximately 330 pages
  53. 53. 106 107 NO GERAC AFARE TOARM The Fault IN Our StArs By John Green The Fault in Our Stars is the fourth solo novel by author John Green, pub- lished in January 2012. The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seven- teen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee. Sixteen year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster is forced by her parents to at- tend a support group for children living with cancer. Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer with metastasis on her lungs when she was 13, but has managed to live with her disease thanks to an experimental drug called Phalanxifor. Isaac, a friend, also attends the support group. Hazel meets Augustus through Isaac and the support group. Augustus de- cides to read An Imperial Affliction, Hazel's favorite book, and he becomes almost as obsessed with it as she is. In addition to countless text messages and phone calls, Hazel and Augustus begin to spend more time together. Approximately 340 pages
  54. 54. 108 109 R FAULT INOUR The Fellowship OF THE ring By J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of three volumes of the epic novel The Lord of the Rings by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It takes place in the fictional universe of Middle-earth. It was originally published on July 29, 1954 in the United Kingdom. The volume consists of a Prologue titled “Concerning Hobbits, and other matters” followed by Book I and Book II. Tolkien conceived of The Lord of the Rings as a multiple volume with six sections he called “books” along with extensive appendices. The original publisher made the decision to split the work into three parts. It was also the publisher's decision to place the fifth and sixth books and the appen- dices into one volume under the title The Return of the King, in reference to Aragorn's assumption of the throne of Gondor. Tolkien indicated he would have preferred The War of the Ring as a title, as it gave away less of the story. Approximately 580 pages
  55. 55. 110 111 FELLOW ofth The Femioine MystiQue By Betty Friedan The Feminine Mystique is a 1963 book by Betty Friedan which is widely credit- ed with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. In 1957, Friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion; the results, in which she found that many of them were unhappy with their lives as housewives, prompted her to begin research for The Feminine Mystique, conducting in- terviews with other suburban housewives, as well as researching psychol- ogy, media, and advertising. She originally intended to publish an article on the topic, not a book, but no magazine would publish her article. Approximately 510 pages
  56. 56. 112 113 Y FEMIN MYSTI Fight Club By Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. It follows the experiences of an unnamed protagonist struggling with insomnia. Inspired by his doctor's exasperated remark that insomnia is not suffering, the protagonist finds relief by impersonating a seriously ill person in several support groups. Then he meets a mysterious man named Tyler Durden and establishes an underground fighting club as radical psychotherapy. Palahniuk first tried to publish another novel, Invisible Monsters, but publishers rejected it as too disturbing. Therefore, Palahniuk instead concentrated on Fight Club, intending it to be more disturbing. Initially Fight Club was published as a seven-page short story in the compilation Pursuit of Happiness (1995), but Palahniuk expanded it to novel length (in which the original short story became chapter six). Approximately 230 pages
  57. 57. 114 115 TE FIGHT CLUB FinnegaEs Wake By James Joyce Finnegans Wake is a work of comic prose by Irish writer James Joyce that is significant for its experimental style and resulting reputation as one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Written in Paris over a period of seventeen years, and published in 1939, two years before the author's death, Finnegans Wake was Joyce's final work. The entire book is written in a largely idiosyncratic language, consisting of a mixture of standard English lexical items and neologistic multilingual puns and portmanteau words, which many critics believe attempts to recreate the experience of sleep and dreams. Owing to the work's expansive linguistic ex- periments, stream of consciousness writing style, literary allusions, free dream associations, and its abandonment of the conventions of plot and character construction, Finnegans Wake remains largely unread by the general public. Despite these obstacles, readers and commentators have reached a broad consensus about the book's central cast of characters and, to a lesser degree, its plot. However, a number of key details remain elusive. The book treats, in an unorthodox fashion, the Earwicker family, composed of the father HCE, the mother ALP, and their three children Shem the Penman, Shaun the Postman, and Issy. Following an unspecified rumour about HCE, the book, in a nonlinear dream narrative, follows his wife's attempts to exonerate him with a letter, his sons' struggle to replace him, Shaun's rise to prominence, and a final monologue by ALP at the break of dawn. The opening line of the book is a sentence fragment which continues from the book's unfinished closing line, making the work a never-ending cycle. Approximately 720 pages
  58. 58. 116 117 FINNE WAKE FiVe ChildreE AND It By Edith Nesbit Five Children and It is a children's novel by English author Edith Nesbit, first published in 1902; it was expanded from a series of stories published in the Strand Magazine in 1900 under the general title The Psammead, or the Gifts. It is the first of a trilogy which includes The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) and The Story of the Amulet (1906). The book has never been out of print since its initial publication. Like Nesbit's Railway Children, the story begins when a group of children move from London to the countryside of Kent. While playing in a gravel pit, the five children—Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother, the Lamb—uncover a rather grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent sand-fairy known as the Psammead, who has the ability to grant wishes. However, the Psammead has been buried for so long, he is no longer able to grant individual wishes. Instead, he persuades the children to take one wish per day, to share amongst the lot of them, with the caveat that the wishes will turn to stone at sundown. This, apparently, used to be the rule in the Stone Age, when all children wished for was food, the bones of which would then become fossils. However, when the children's first wish—to be “as beautiful as the day”—ends at sundown, it simply vanishes, leading the Psammead to observe that some wishes are too fanciful to be changed to stone. Approximately 300 pages
  59. 59. 118 119 N FIVE CHILD Flowers FOR Algernoo By Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent nov- el written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966. The eponymous Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human test subject for the surgery, and it touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled. Although the book has often been challenged for removal from libraries in the US and Cana- da, sometimes successfully, it is regularly taught in schools around the world. Approximately 320 pages
  60. 60. 120 121 FLOWE ALGER Frankensteio By Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheusis a novel written by Mary Shelley about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was nineteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823. Shelley had travelled in the region of Geneva, where much of the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband, Percy Shelley. The storyline emerged from a dream. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. She then wrote Frankenstein. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Approximately 300 pages
  61. 61. 122 123 THFRAN KENS Freaky Fridaz By Mary Rodgers Freaky Friday is a classic comedic children's novel written by Mary Rodg- ers first published in the United States in 1972, and adapted for film several times. A willful, disorganized teenage girl, Annabelle Andrews, awakens one Friday morning to find herself in the body of her mother, with whom she argued the previous night. Suddenly in charge of taking care of the New York family's affairs and her younger brother Ben (whom Annabelle has not-so-affectionately nicknamed “Ape Face”), and growing increasingly worried about the disappearance of “Annabelle”, who appeared to be herself in the morning but has gone missing after leaving the Andrews' home, she enlists the help of her neighbor and childhood friend, Boris, though without telling him about her identity crisis. As the day wears on and Annabelle has a series of increasingly bizarre and frustrating misadventures, she becomes gradually more appreciative of how difficult her mother's life is. Approximately 180 pages
  62. 62. 124 125 NFREAK FRIDAY Girl WITH A Pearl EarriEg By Tracy Chevalier Girl with a Pearl Earring is a 1999 historical novel written by Tracy Chevalier. Set in 17th century Delft, Holland, the novel was inspired by Delft school painter Johannes Vermeer's painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Chevalier presents a fictional account of Vermeer, the model, and the painting. Tracy Chevalier's inspiration for Girl with a Pearl Earring was a poster of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. She bought the poster as a nineteen-year-old, and it hung wherever she lived for sixteen years. Chevalier notes that the “ambiguous look” on the girl's face left the “most lasting impression” on her. She describes the girl's expression “to be a mass of contradictions: innocent yet experienced, joyous yet tearful, full of longing and yet full of loss.” She began to think that the girl had directed all these emotions at the painter, and began to think of the “story behind that look”. Approximately 240 pages
  63. 63. 126 127 WELL MS GIRL PEARL The Giver By Lois Lowry The Giver is a dystopian children's novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a soci- ety which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness,” a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of “Receiver of Memory,” the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experi- ence to make. When Jonas meets the previous receiver—The “Giver”—he is confused in many ways. Additionally, the Giver is able to break some rules, such as turning off the speaker that listens to peoples' conversations in their homes, and lying to people of the community. As Jonas receives the memories from the Giver, he discovers the power of knowledge. The people in his community are happy because they do not know of a better life, and the knowledge of what they are missing out on could create major chaos. He faces a dilemma: Should he stay with the community and the safe, consistent but shallow life it offers, or should he run away in pursuit of a life full of love, color, choices, and knowledge, but also potentially full of danger? Despite controversy and criticism that the book's subject material is inappropriate for young children, The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 5.3 million copies. In Australia and the United States, it is a part of many middle school reading lists, but it is also on many challenged book lists and appeared on the American Library Associ- ation's list of most challenged books of the 1990s. Approximately 200 pages
  64. 64. 128 129 THE GIVER Go Ask Alice By Anonymous (Credited to Beatrice Sparks) Go Ask Alice (1971) is a cautionary tale about the life of a troubled teenage girl. It is written by Beatrice Sparks in the form of the diary of an anonymous teenage girl who became addicted to drugs. The diarist's name is never given in the book. The novel's title was taken from a line in the 1967 Grace Slick-penned Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit” (“go ask Alice/when she's ten feet tall”), which is itself a reference to a scene in Lewis Carroll's book Alice's Adventures In Wonderland where Alice eats a cookie that makes her grow large. Go Ask Alice is presented as an anti-drug testimonial. The story caused a sensation when published, and remains in print as of 2012. Revelations about the book's origin cast doubt on its authenticity and factual accounts, and the publishers have listed it as a work of fiction since at least the mid-late 1980s. Approximately 230 pages
  65. 65. 130 131 W e GOAS ALICE Goiog BoVine By Libba Bray Going Bovine is a 2009 surreal dark comedy novel by Libba Bray. It follows the experiences of high school junior Cameron Smith as he suffers from transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Cameron Smith is a high school slacker from Texas who is on “a slow but uncontrollable skid to nowhere” living a somewhat aimless life. His father is a college physics professor; his mother is a community college English teacher. Cameron’s apparent social exclusion is emphasized when the author introduces his sister, Jenna, who is described as perfect. One of the first scenes in the novel is of Cam having what he thinks is a marijua- na-induced hallucination of flames during his English class. This public hallucination gets Cameron sent to multiple drug counselors, all while his hallucinations continue. Cameron’s life starts to spiral out of control when he is diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob variant BSE (also known as mad cow disease), possibly contracted from the cafeteria at his school or his minimum-wage job at the fast food joint Buddha Burger. Approximately 500 pages
  66. 66. 132 133 IGOING BOVIN The GoldeE notebook By Doris Lessing The Golden Notebook is a 1962 novel by Doris Lessing. 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 explores mental and societal breakdown. The book also contains a powerful anti-war and anti-Stalinist message, an ex- tended analysis of communism and the Communist Party in England from the 1930s to the 1950s, and a famed examination of the budding sexual and women's liberation movements. The Golden Notebook has been translated into a number of other languages. The Golden Notebook is the story of writer Anna Wulf, the four notebooks in which she keeps the record of her life, and her attempt to tie them all together in a fifth, gold-coloured notebook. The book intersperses segments of an ostensibly realistic narrative of the lives of Molly and Anna, and their children, ex-husbands and lovers—entitled Free Women—with excerpts from Anna's four notebooks, coloured black (of Anna's expe- rience in Southern Rhodesia, before and during WWII, which inspired her own best-selling novel), red (of her experience as a member of the Communist Party), yellow (an ongoing novel that is being written based on the painful ending of Anna's own love affair), and blue (Anna's personal journal where she records her memories, dreams, and emotional life). Approximately 580 pages
  67. 67. 134 135 GOLDE NOTEB GoEe WITH THE wind By Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. It depicts the experiences of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to come out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman's “March to the Sea”. Margaret Mitchell was often asked what became of her lovers, Rhett and Scarlett, after the novel ended. She did not know, and said, “For all I know, Rhett may have found someone else who was less difficult.” Mitchell received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the book in 1937. The book was adapted into a 1939 American film. Gone with the Wind is the only novel by published by Mitchell. Approximately 1200 pages
  68. 68. 136 137 GONE WITH The Good Soldier By Ford Maddox Ford The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford's pioneering view of literary impres- sionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that is quite different from what the introduction leads the reader to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford's messy personal life. The novel’s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck. Approximately 300 pages
  69. 69. 138 139 REN GOOD SOLDE The Grapes OF WrAth By John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Stein- beck and published in 1939. As a result, he won the annual National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for novels and it was cited prominently when he won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agricultural industry forcing tenant farmers out of work. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies”, they sought jobs, land, dignity, and a future. The Grapes of Wrath is frequently read in American high school and college literature classes due to its historical context and enduring legacy. Approximately 550 pages
  70. 70. 140 141 RSGRAPE OFWR GreAt EXpectations By Charles Dickens Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’s thirteenth novel. It is his second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. Great Expectations is a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age novel, and it is a classic work of Victorian literature. It depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. The novel was first published in se- rial form in Dickens’ weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 Decem- ber 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes. Great Expectations was to be twice as long, but constraints imposed by the management of All the Year Round limited the novel’s length. Collected and dense, with a conciseness unusual for Dickens, the novel represents Dick- ens’ peak and maturity as an author. According to G. K. Chesterton, Dickens penned Great Expectations in “the afternoon of [his] life and fame.” It was the penultimate novel Dickens completed, preceding Our Mutual Friend. It is set among the marshes of Kent and in London in the early to mid- 1800s. From the outset, the reader is “treated” by the terrifying encounter between Pip, the protagonist, and the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. Great Expectations is a graphic book, full of extreme imagery, poverty, prison ships, “the hulks,” barriers and chains, and fights to the death. It therefore combines intrigue and unexpected twists of autobiographical detail in different tones. Regardless of its narrative technique, the novel reflects the events of the time, Dickens’ concerns, and the relationship between society and man. Approximately 400 pages
  71. 71. 142 143 GREAT EXPEC The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of deca- dence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream. Fitzgerald, inspired by the parties he had attended while visiting Long Island’s north shore, began planning the novel in 1923 desiring to produce, in his words, “something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” Progress was slow with Fitzgerald completing his first draft following a move to the French Riviera in 1924. His editor, Maxwell Perkins, felt the book was too vague and convinced the author to revise over the next winter. First published by Scribner’s in April 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly; in its first year, the book sold only 20,000 copies. Fitzgerald died in 1940, believing himself to be a failure and his work forgotten. His work, spearheaded by The Great Gatsby, experienced a revival during World War II, and the novel became a part of American high school curricula in the following decades. The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary classic and a contender for the title “Great American Novel”. Approximately 200 pages
  72. 72. 144 145 YGREAT GATSB H OF The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale is a 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. Set in the near future, in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government, The Handmaid's Tale explores themes of women in subjugation and the various means by which they gain agency. The nov- el's title was inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, which is a series of connected stories. The Handmaid's Tale is set in the near future in the Republic of Gile- ad, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. It was founded by a racist, homophobic, Christian nativist-derived, theocratic-organized cult's mil- itary coup as an ideologically driven response to the country's ecological, physical and social degradation. Beginning with a staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremist terrorists) that kills the President and most of Congress, a movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order. Approximately 420 pages
  73. 73. 146 147 HAND TALE Harry Potter AND THE Deathlz HAllows By J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The book was re- leased on 21 July 2007 by Bloomsbury Publishing in the United Kingdom, in the United States by Scholastic, and in Canada by Raincoast Books, end- ing the series that began in 1997 with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The novel chronicles the events directly following Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and the final confrontation between the wizards Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. Rowling completed the book while staying at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh in January 2007, and left a signed statement on a marble bust of Hermes in her room which read: “J. K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11 January 2007”. In a statement on her website, she said, “I've never felt such a mixture of ex- treme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.” She compared her mixed feelings to those expressed by Charles Dickens in the preface of the 1850 edition of David Copperfield, “a two-years' imaginative task”. “To which,” she added, “I can only sigh, try seventeen years, Charles”. Approximately 600 pages
  74. 74. 148 149 HARRY POTTE Heart OF Darkness By Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness is a short novel written by Joseph Conrad, presented as a frame narrative, about Charles Marlow’s job as an ivory transporter down the Congo River in Central Africa. This river is described to be “... a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.” In the course of his commercial-agent work in Africa, the seaman Marlow becomes obsessed by Mr. Kurtz, an ivory-procurement agent, a man of established notoriety among the natives and the European colonials. The story is a thematic exploration of the savagery-versus-civilization relationship, and of the colonialism and the racism that make imperialism possible. Originally published as a three-part serial story, in Blackwood's Magazine, the novella Heart of Darkness has been variously published and translated into many languages. Approximately 90 pages
  75. 75. 150 151 KHEART OFDAR Heidi By Johanna Spyri Heidi is a Swiss work of fiction, originally published in two parts as Heidi's years of learning and travel and Heidi makes use of what she has learned. It is a novel about the events in the life of a young girl in her grandfather's care, in the Swiss Alps. It was written as a book “for children and those who love children” (as quoted from its subtitle) in 1880 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Heidi is one of the best-selling books ever written and is among the best-known works of Swiss literature. Approximately 220 pages
  76. 76. 152 153 E HEI DI The Hitchhiker’s Guide TO THE GalaXy By Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitch- hiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction “trilogy” by Douglas Adams (with the sixth written by Eoin Colfer). The novel is an adaptation of the first four parts of Adams' radio series of the same name. The book begins with contractors arriving at Arthur Dent's house, in order to demolish it to make way for a bypass. His friend, Ford Prefect, arrives while Arthur is lying in front of the bulldozers, to keep them from demolishing it. He tries to explain to Arthur that the Earth is about to be demolished. The Vogons, an alien race, intend to destroy Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Approximately 230 pages
  77. 77. 154 155 N OOK HITCH HIKER The HobBit By J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title  The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children’s book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popu- lar and is recognized as a classic in children’s literature. Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo’s journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien’s Wilderland. By accept- ing the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Personal growth and forms of heroism are central themes of the story. Along with motifs of warfare, these themes have led critics to view Tolk- ien’s own experiences during World War I as instrumental in shaping the story. The author’s scholarly knowledge of Germanic philology and inter- est in fairy tales are often noted as influences. Approximately 400 pages
  78. 78. 156 157 THE HOBBIT Holes By Louis Sachar Holes is a 1998 young adults novel written by Louis Sachar and first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It won the 1999 U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the 1999 Newbery Medal for the year's “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. Originally, the book was to be called Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Kid. Stanley Yelnats, an overweight teenage boy who is supposedly af- fected by a family “curse” which has brought his family bad luck since his great-great-grandfather's time, has been wrongly accused of stealing the shoes of the baseball player Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston. As punishment for this crime, he is given the choice of either going to jail or to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention and correctional facility in the middle of nowhere in which the young inmates are forced to dig five-feet holes to “build their character”. When he arrives at the desolate place, he is warned by the supervisor, a man named Mr. Sir, not to cross the warden of the camp, warden Walker. Approximately 280 pages
  79. 79. 158 159 R HOL ES The Houod OF THE BaskerVilles By Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Orig- inally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. Sherlock Holmes and his compan- ion Doctor Watson investigate the case. This was the first appearance of Holmes since his intended death in “The Final Problem”, and the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival. Sir Charles Baskerville, Bart, is found dead on the grounds of his country house, Baskerville Hall. The cause is ascribed to a heart attack. Fearing for the safety of Sir Charles's nephew and the only known heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, coming from Toronto, Canada to claim his inheritance, Dr James Mortimer travels to London and asks Sherlock Holmes for help. Approximately 130 pages
  80. 80. 160 161 S A HOUND BASKE House OF Leaves By Mark Z. Danielewski House of Leaves is the debut novel by the American author Mark Z. Danielewski, published by Pantheon Books. The novel quickly became a bestseller following its release on March 7, 2000. It was followed by a com- panion piece, The Whalestoe Letters. The novel has since been translated into a number of languages. The format and structure of the novel is unconventional, with unusual page layout and style, making it ergodic literature. It contains copious foot- notes, many of which contain footnotes themselves, including references to books, films or articles that do not exist. Some pages contain only a few words or lines of text, arranged in strange ways to mirror the events in the story, often creating both an agoraphobic and a claustrophobic effect. The novel is also distinctive for its multiple narrators, who interact with each other throughout the story in elaborate and disorienting ways. While some have attempted to describe the book as a horror story, many readers as well as the author would define the book as a love story. Approximately 740 pages
  81. 81. 162 163 T HOUSE OFLEAV The House OF Mirth By Edith Warton The House of Mirth is the fourth novel by Edith Wharton. First published in 1905, the novel is Wharton's first important work of fiction. It sold 140,000 copies between October and the end of December, adding to Wharton's existing fortune. The House of Mirth was written while Edith Wharton lived at The Mount, her home in Lenox, Massachusetts. Although The House of Mirth is written in the style of a novel of manners, set against the backdrop of the 1890s New York aristocracy, it is considered American literary naturalism. Wharton places her tragic heroine, Lily Bart, in a society that she describes as a “hot-house of traditions and conventions.” The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible opportunities for a wealthy marriage, loses the esteem of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone. Approximately 370 pages
  82. 82. 164 165 Y HOUSE MIRTH How I Live now By Meg Rosoff How I Live Now is a novel by Meg Rosoff, first published in 2004. It re- ceived generally positive reviews and won the British Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the American Printz Award for young-adult literature. Fifteen-year-old Manhattanite Elizabeth (who goes by the name of Daisy) is sent to stay with cousins on a remote farm in the United Kingdom during the outbreak of a fictional third world war of the 21st century. Approximately 220 pages
  83. 83. 166 167 MAHOWI LIVEN The Huochback OF Notre Dame By Victor Hugo The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is a French Gothic novel by Victor Hugo published in January 14, 1831. The title refers to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on which the story is centered. The story begins on Epiphany (6 January), 1482, the day of the Feast of Fools in Paris, France. Quasimodo, a deformed hunchback who is the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as the Pope of Fools. The novel's original French title, Notre-Dame de Paris (the formal title of the Cathedral) indicates that the Cathedral itself is the most significant as- pect of the novel, both the main setting and the focus of the story's themes. With the notable exception of Phoebus and Esmeralda's meeting, almost every major event in the novel takes place within, atop, and around the outside of the cathedral, and also can be witnessed by a character standing within, atop, and around the outside of the cathedral. The Cathedral had fallen into disrepair at the time of writing, which Hugo wanted to point out. The book portrays the Gothic era as one of the extremes of archi- tecture, passion, and religion. The theme of determinism (fate and destiny) is explored as well as revolution and social strife. The severe distinction of the social classes is shown by the relationships of Quasimodo and Esmeralda with higher-caste people in the book. Readers can also see a variety of modern themes emanating from the work includ- ing nuanced views on gender dynamics. Approximately 450 pages
  84. 84. 168 169 R HUNC NOTRE I Capture THE Castle By Dodie Smith I Capture the Castle is the first novel by English author Dodie Smith, writ- ten in the 1940s when she and her husband (also British and a conscien- tious objector) lived in California during WWII. She longed for England and wrote of a happier time—unspecified in the novel but probably early 1930s—between the wars. Smith was already an established playwright and later became famous for writing the children's classic The Hundred and One Dalmatians. The novel relates the adventures of an eccentric family, the Mortmains, struggling to live in genteel poverty in a decaying English castle during the 1930s. The first person narrator is Cassandra Mortmain, an intelligent teenager who tells the story via her personal journal—a coming-of-age story in which she is visibly maturing and by the end is no longer a girl but a young woman. Approximately 350 pages

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