- Agee, James
- A Death in the Family
- Story of loss and heartbreak felt when a young father dies.
- Anderson, Sherwood
- Winesburg, Ohio
- A collection of short stories lays bare the life of a small town in
- Baldwin, James
- Go Tell It On the Mountain
- Semi-autobiographical novel about a 14-year-old black youth's religious
- Bellamy, Edward
- Looking Backward: 2000-1887
- Written in 1887 about a young man who travels in time to a utopian
year 2000, where economic security and a healthy moral environment have
- Bellow, Saul
- Seize the Day
- A son grapples with his love and hate for an unworthy father.
- Bradbury, Ray
- Fahrenheit 451
- Reading is a crime and firemen burn books in this futuristic society.
- Cather, Willa
- My Antonia
- Immigrant pioneers strive to adapt to the Nebraska prairies.
- Chopin, Kate
- The Awakening
- The story of a New Orleans woman who abandons her husband and children
to search for love and self-understanding.
- Clark, Walter Van Tilburg
- The Ox-Bow Incident
- When a group of citizens discovers one of their members has been murdered
by cattle rustlers, they form an illegal posse, pursue the murderers, and
- Cormier, Robert
- The Chocolate War
- Jerry Renault challenges the power structure of his school when he
refuses to sell chocolates for the annual fundraiser.
- Crane, Stephen
- The Red Badge of Courage
- During the Civil War, Henry Fleming joins the army full of romantic
visions of battle which are shattered by combat.
- Dorris, Michael
- A Yellow Raft in Blue Water
- Three generations of Native American women recount their searches for
identity and love.
- Ellison, Ralph
- Invisible Man
- A black man's search for himself as an individual and as a member of
his race and his society.
- Faulkner, William
- As I Lay Dying
- The Bundren family takes the ripening corpse of Addie, wife and mother,
on a gruesomely comic journey.
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott
- The Great Gatsby
- A young man corrupts himself and the American Dream to regain a lost
- Gaines, Ernest
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
- In her 100 years, Miss Jane Pittman experiences it all, from slavery
to the civil rights movement.
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel
- The Scarlet Letter
- An adulterous Puritan woman keeps secret the identity of the father
of her illegitimate child.
- Heller, Joseph
- A broad comedy about a WWII bombardier based in Italy and his efforts
to avoid bombing missions.
- Hemingway, Ernest
- A Farewell to Arms
- During World War I, an American lieutenant runs away with the woman
who nurses him back to health.
- Hurston, Zora Neale
- Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Janie repudiates many roles in her quest for self-fulfillment.
- Kesey, Ken
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
- A novel about a power struggle between the head nurse and one of the
male patients in a mental institution.
- Lee, Harper
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- At great peril to himself and his children, lawyer Atticus Finch defends
an African-American man accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama
- Lewis, Sinclair
- Main Street
- A young doctor's wife tries to change the ugliness, dullness and ignorance
which prevail in Gopher Prairie, Minn.
- London, Jack
- Call of the Wild
- Buck is a loyal pet dog until cruel men make him a pawn in their search
for Klondike gold.
- McCullers, Carson
- The Member of the Wedding
- A young southern girl is determined to be the third party on a honeymoon,
despite all the advice against it from friends and family.
- Melville, Herman
- A complex novel about a mad sea captain's pursuit of the White Whale.
- Morrison, Toni
- The lifelong friendship of two women becomes strained when one causes
the other's husband to abandon her.
- O'Connor, Flannery
- A Good Man is Hard to Find
- Social awareness, the grotesque, and the need for faith characterize
these stories of the contemporary South.
- Parks, Gordon
- The Learning Tree
- A fictional study of a black family in a small Kansas town in the 1920s.
- Plath, Sylvia
- The Bell Jar
- The heartbreaking story of a talented young woman's descent into madness.
- Poe, Edgar Allan
- Great Tales and Poems
- Poe is considered the father of detective stories and a master of supernatural
- Potok, Chaim
- The Chosen
- Friendship between two Jewish boys, one Hasidic and the other Orthodox,
begins at a baseball game and flourishes despite their different backgrounds
- Salinger, J.D.
- The Catcher in the Rye
- A prep school dropout rejects the "phoniness" he sees all
- Sinclair, Upton
- The Jungle
- The deplorable conditions of the Chicago stockyards are exposed in
this turn-of-the-century novel.
- Steinbeck, John
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The desperate flight of tenant farmers from Oklahoma during the Depression.
- Stowe, Harriet Beecher
- Uncle Tom's Cabin
- The classic tale that awakened a nation about the slave system.
- The Joy Luck Club
- After her mother's death, a young Chinese-American woman learns of
her mother's tragic early life in China.
- Twain, Mark
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Huck and Jim, a runaway slave, travel down the Mississippi in search
- Vonnegut, Kurt
- Billy Pilgrim, an optometrist from Ilium, New York, shuttles between
World War II Dresden and a luxurious zoo on the planet Tralfamadore.
- Walker, Alice
- The Color Purple
- A young woman sees herself as property until another woman teaches
her to value herself.
- Welty, Eudora
- Thirteen Stories
- A collection of short stories about people and life in the deep South.
- Wolfe, Thomas
- Look Homeward, Angel
- A novel depicting the coming of age of Eugene Gant and his passion
to experience life.
- Wright, Richard
- Native Son
- Bigger Thomas, a young man from the Chicago slums, lashes out against
a hostile society by committing two murders.
- Achebe, Chinua
- Things Fall Apart
- Okonkwo, a proud village leader, is driven to murder and suicide by
European changes to his traditional Ibo society.
- Allende, Isabel
- House of the Spirits
- The story of the Trueba family in Chile, from the turn of the century
to the violent days of the overthrow of the Salvador Allende government
- Austen, Jane
- Pride and Prejudice
- Love and marriage among the English country gentry of Austen's day.
- Balzac, Honore de
- Pere Goriot
- A father is reduced to poverty after giving money to his daughters.
- Borges, Jorge Luis
- An anthology of literary fireworks based on Borges' favorite symbol.
- Bronte, Charlotte
- Jane Eyre
- An intelligent and passionate governess falls in love with a strange,
moody man tormented by dark secrets.
- Bronte, Emily
- Wuthering Heights
- One of the masterpieces of English romanticism, this is a novel of
Heathcliff and Catherine, love and revenge.
- Camus, Albert
- The Stranger
- A man who is virtually unknown to both himself and others commits a
pointless murder for which he has no explanation.
- Carroll, Lewis
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
- A fantasy in which Alice follows the White Rabbit to a dream world.
- Cervantes, Miguel de
- Don Quixote
- An eccentric old gentleman sets out as a knight "tilting at windmills"
to right the wrongs of the world.
- Conrad, Joseph
- Heart of Darkness
- The novel's narrator journeys into the Congo where he discovers the
extent to which greed can corrupt a good man.
- Defoe, Daniel
- Robinson Crusoe
- The adventures of a man who spends 24 years on an isolated island.
- Dickens, Charles
- Great Expectations
- The moving story of the rise, fall, and rise again of a humbly-born
- Dostoevski, Feodor
- Crime and Punishment
- A psychological novel about a poor student who murders an old woman
pawnbroker and her sister.
- Eliot, George
- The Mill on the Floss
- Maggie is miserable because her brother disapproves of her choices
- Esquivel, Laura
- Like Water for Chocolate
- As the youngest of three daughters in a turn-of-the-century Mexican
family, Tita may not marry but must remain at home to care for her mother.
- Flaubert, Gustave
- Madame Bovary
- In her extramarital affairs, a bored young wife seeks unsuccessfully
to find the emotional experiences she craves.
- Forster, E.M.
- A Passage to India
- A young English woman in British-ruled India accuses an Indian doctor
of sexual assault.
- Fuentes, Carlos
- The Death of Artemio Cruz
- A powerful Mexican newspaper publisher recalls his life as he lies
dying at age 71.
- Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
- A technique called magical realism is used in this portrait of seven
generations in the lives of the Buendia family.
- Gogol, Nikolai
- The Overcoat
- Russian tales of good and evil.
- Golding, William
- Lord of the Flies
- English schoolboys marooned on an uninhabited island test the values
of civilization when they attempt to set up a society of their own.
- Grass, Gunter
- The Tin Drum
- Oskar describes the amoral conditions through which he has lived in
Germany, both during and after the Hitler regime.
- Hardy, Thomas
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles
- The happiness of Tess and her husband is destroyed when she confesses
that she bore a child as the result of a forced sexual relationship with
her employer's son.
- Hesse, Hermann
- Emerging from a kaleidoscope of experiences and pleasures, a young
Brahmin ascends to a state of peace and mystic holiness.
- Huxley, Aldous
- Brave New World
- A bitter satire of the future, in which the world is controlled by
advances in science and social changes.
- Joyce, James
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- A novel about a young man growing up in Ireland and rebelling against
family, country, and religion.
- Kafka, Franz
- The Trial
- A man is tried for a crime he knows nothing about, yet for which he
- Lawrence, D.H.
- Sons and Lovers
- An autobiographical novel about a youth torn between a dominant working-class
father and a possessive genteel mother.
- Mann, Thomas
- Death in Venice
- In this novella, an author becomes aware of a darker side of himself
when he visits Venice.
- Orwell, George
- Animal Farm
- Animals turn the tables on their masters.
- Pasternak, Boris
- Doctor Zhivago
- An epic novel of Russia before and after the Bolshevik revolution.
- Paton, Alan
- Cry, the Beloved Country
- A country Zulu pastor searches for his sick sister in Johannesburg,
and discovers that she has become a prostitute and his son a murderer.
- Remarque, Erich Maria
- All Quiet on the Western Front
- A young German soldier in World War I experiences pounding shellfire,
hunger, sickness, and death.
- Scott, Sir Walter
- Tale of Ivanhoe, the disinherited knight, Lady Rowena, Richard the
Lion-Hearted, and Robin Hood at the time of the Crusades.
- Shelley, Mary W.
- A gothic tale of terror in which Franken-stein creates a monster from
- Solzhenitsyn, Aleksander
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
- Ivan Denisovich Shukhov endures one more day in a Siberian prison camp
and finds joy in survival.
- Swift, Jonathan
- Gulliver's Travels
- Gulliver encounters dwarfs and giants and has other strange adventures
when his ship is wrecked in distant lands.
- Tolstoy, Leo
- Anna Karenina
- Anna forsakes her husband for the dashing Count Vronsky and brief happiness.
- Weisel, Elie
- A searing account of the Holocaust as experienced by a 15-year-old
- Wells, H.G.
- The Time Machine
- A scientist invents a machine that transports him into the future.
- Angelou, Maya
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- An African-American writer traces her coming of age.
- Ashe, Arthur and Arnold Rampersad.
- Days of Grace
- Biography of a highly respected tennis star and citizen of the world
who dies of AIDS.
- Baker, Russell
- Growing Up
- A columnist with a sense of humor takes a gentle look at his childhood
in Baltimore during the Depression.
- Berenbaum, Michael
- The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as told in the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
- Brown, Dee
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
- A narrative of the white man's conquest of the American land as the
Indian victims experienced it.
- Cooke, Alistair
- Alistair Cooke's America
- A history of the continent, with anecdotes and insight into what makes
- Criddle, Jan. D. and Teeda Butt Mam
- To Destroy You Is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family
- After the 1975 Communist takeover of Cambodia, Teeda's upper-class
life is re-duced to surviving impossible conditions.
- Crow Dog, Mary and Richard Erdoes
- Lakota Woman
- Mary Crow Dog stands with 2,000 other Native Americans at the site
of the Wounded Knee massacre, demonstrating for Native American rights.
- Curie, Eve
- Madame Curie
- In sharing personal papers and her own memories, a daughter pays tribute
to her mother, a scientific genius.
- Delany, Sara and A. Elizabeth with Amy Hill Hearth
- Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years
- Two daughters of former slaves tell their stories of fighting racial
and gender pre-
- judice during the 20th century.
- Epstein, Norrie
- Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of
- Gain a perspective on Shakespeare's works through these sidelights,
interpretations, anecdotes, and historical insights.
- Frank, Anne
- The Diary of a Young Girl
- The story of a Jewish family forced by encroaching Nazis to live in
- Franklin, Benjamin
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- Considered one of the most interesting autobiographies in English.
- Haley, Alex
- Traces Haley's search for the history of his family, from Africa through
the era of slavery to the 20th century.
Hamilton, Alexander; Madison, James; Jay, John
The Federalist Papers
The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution.
They were published serially between October 1787 and August 1788. The authors of The Federalist
(as they were originally called) wanted both to influence the vote in favor of ratification and to shape future interpretations of the Constitution.
- Hersey, John
- Six Hiroshima survivors reflect on the aftermath of the first atomic
- Karlsen, Carol
- The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England
- The status of women in colonial society affects the Salem witch accusations.
- Keller, Helen
- The Story of My Life
- The story of Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, and her relationship
with her devoted teacher Anne Sullivan.
- Kennedy, John F.
- Profiles in Courage
- A series of profiles of Americans who took courageous stands in public
- King, Martin Luther, Jr.
- A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King,
- King's most important writings are gathered together in one source.
- Kovic, Ron
- Born on the Fourth of July
- Paralyzed in the Vietnam War, 21-year-old Ron Kovic received little
support from his country and its government.
- Machiavelli, Niccolo
- The Prince
- A treatise giving the absolute ruler practical advice on ways to maintain
a strong central government.
- Malcom X, with Alex Haley
- The Autobiography of Malcom X
- Traces the transformation of a controversial Black Muslim figure from
street hustler to religious and national leader.
- Marx, Karl
- The Communist Manifesto
- Expresses Marx's belief in the inevitability of conflict between social
classes and calls on the workers of the world to unite and revolt.
- Mathabane, Mark
- Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid
- A tennis player breaks down racial barriers and escape to a better
life in America.
- Maybury-Lewis, David
- Millenium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World
- Profiles members of several tribal cultures.
- McPherson, James
- Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
- From the Mexican War to Appomattox, aspects of the Civil War are examined.
- Mills, Kay
- This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
- Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper's daughter, uses her considerable
courage and singing talent to become a leader in the civil rights movement.
- The Republic
- Plato creates an ideal society where
- justice is equated with health and happiness in the state and the individual.
- Rogosin, Donn
- Invisible Men: Life in Baseball's Negro Leagues
- Negro League players finally gain recognition for their contributions
- Thoreau, Henry David
- In the mid-19th century, Thoreau spends 26 months alone in the woods
to "front the essential facts of life."
- Tocqueville, Alexis de
- Democracy in America
- This classic in political literature examines American society from
the viewpoint of a leading French magistrate who visited the U.S. in 1831.
- Tuchman, Barbara
- A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century
- Tuchman uses the example of a single feudal lord to trace the history
of the 14th century.
- Williams, Juan
- Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-65
- From Brown vs. the Board of Education to the Voting Rights Act, Williams
outlines the social and political gains of African-Americans
- Yolen, Jane
- Favorite Folktales From Around the World
- Yolen frames these powerful tales with explanations of historical and
- Attenborough, David
- The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth
- Various habitats expand the vision of Planet Earth.
- Bronowski, Jacob
- The Ascent of Man
- A scientist's history of the human mind and the human condition.
- Carson, Rachel
- Silent Spring
- Carson's original clarion call to environmental action sets the stage
for saving our planet.
- Darwin, Charles
- The Origin of Species
- The classic exposition of the theory of
- evolution by natural selection.
- Hawking, Stephen
- A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes
- Cosmology becomes understandable as the author discusses the origin,
evolution, and fate of our universe.
- Leopold, Aldo
- A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There
- Leopold shares his present and future visions of a natural world.
- Campbell, Joseph
- The Power of Myth
- Explores themes and symbols from world religions and their relevance
to humankind's spiritual journey today.
- Hamilton, Edith
- Gods and heroes, their clashes and adventures, come alive in this splendid
retelling of the Greek, Roman and Norse myths.
- Kotlowitz, Alex
- There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in
- Lafayette and Pharoah Rivers and their family struggle to survive in
one of Chicago's worst housing projects.
- Kozol, Jonathan
- Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools
- Kozol's indictment of the public school system advocates equalizing
per pupil public school expenditures.
- Terkel, Studs
- Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession
- This kaleidoscope covers the full range of America's views on racial
- Beckett, Samuel
- Waiting for Godot
- Powerful, symbolic portrayal of the human condition.
- Brecht, Bertolt
- Mother Courage and Her Children
- A product of the Nazi era, Mother Courage is a feminine "Everyman"
in a play on the futility of war.
- Chekhov, Anton
- The Cherry Orchard
- The orchard evokes different meanings for the impoverished aristocrat
and the merchant who buys it.
- Ibsen, Henrik
- A Doll's House
- A woman leaves her family to pursue personal freedom.
- Marlowe, Christopher
- Doctor Faustus
- First dramatization of the medieval legend of a man who sold his soul
to the devil.
- Miller, Arthur
- Death of a Salesman
- The tragedy of a typical American who, at age 63, is faced with what
he cannot face: defeat and disillusionment.
- O'Neill, Eugene
- Long Day's Journey Into Night
- A tragedy set in 1912 in the summer home of an isolated, theatrical
- Sarte, Jean Paul
- No Exit
- A modern morality play in which three persons are condemned to hell
because of crimes against humanity.
- Shakespeare, William
- Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet,
- Macbeth, Twelfth Night, others.
- Shaw, Bernard
- Man and Superman, Saint Joan, Pygmalion, others.
- Oedipus Rex
- Classical tragedy of Oedipus who unwittingly killed his father, married
his mother and brought the plague to Thebes.
- Wilde, Oscar
- The Importance of Being Earnest
- Comedy exposing quirks and foibles of Victorian society.
- Wilder, Thornton
- Our Town
- The dead of a New Hamshire village of the early 1900s appreciate life
more than the living.
- Williams, Tennessee
- A Streetcar Named Desire
- Blanche Dubois' fantasies of refinement and grandeur are brutally destroyed
by her brother-in-law.
- Wilson, August
- The Piano Lesson
- Drama set in 1936 Pittsburgh chronicles black experience in America.
- Angelou, Maya
- And Still I Rise
- Poems reflecting themes from her autobiography.
- Brooks, Gwendolyn
- Selected Poems
- Poetry focusing on the lives of African American residents of Northern
urban ghettos, particularly women.
- Cummings, E.E.
- Complete Poems, 1904-1962
- Prepared directly from the original manuscripts, preserving the original
typography and format.
- Dickinson, Emily
- The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
- A chronological arrangement of all known Dickinson poems and fragments.
- Donne, John
- The Complete Poetry of John Donne
- Poems distinguished by wit, profundity of thought, passion and subtlety.
- Eliot, T.S.
- The Waste Land
- A poem of despair by one of the most important modern poets in English.
- Frost, Robert
- The Poetry of Robert Frost
- Collected works reflecting both flashing insight and practical wisdom.
- Ginsberg, Allen
- Howl and Other Poems
- Works from the leading poet of the so-called "beat generation."
- Giovanni, Nikki
- My House
- The poems in this collection deal with love, family, nature, friends,
music, aloneness, blackness, and Africa.
- Hughes, Langston
- Selected Poems
- Poems selected by Hughes shortly before his death in 1967, representing
work from his entire career.
- Keats, John
- Complete Poems
- Among the greatest odes in English, written by a genius who died young.
- Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
- The Poetical Works of Longfellow
- Includes "The Song of Hiawatha" and "The Courtship of
- Sandburg, Carl
- Complete Poems
- Sandburg celebrates industrial and agricultural America and the common
- Thomas, Dylan
- Poems of Dylan Thomas
- Poetry by a "word magician" with a powerful imagination.
- Williams, William Carlos
- Selected Poems
- Williams' poetry is firmly rooted in the commonplace details of American
- Wordsworth, William
- Poetry revealing the extraordinary beauty and significance of simple
- Yeats, William Butler
- The Poems
- Leading poet of the Irish Renaissance.
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