Fiction

37 Best Books of All Time You Must Read

In life, there are things you could do, things you should do, and things you must do. These same categories apply to the choice of book you read next. You could read any number of books, for reasons ranging from guilty pleasure to the fact that your book club meets in two days. You should probably read any number of classic novels that will expand your literary palate or teach you a thing or two. And then, there are the books you must read, best books of all time we daresay, no matter who you are. There are a lot of reasons books becomes must-reads, and it’s not necessarily just their literary quality or fame. This list of 37 books to read have much to offer anyone who picks them up.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera

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Love in the Time of Cholera

Gabriel García Márquez , Edith Grossman

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Featuring a main protagonist whose methods and motives may be seen as somewhat controversial by today’s standards, this is one of those beautifully written, classic stories that keeps us hopeful about the possibility of love finding us in whatever stage of life we’re in. First translated to English in 1988, Love in the Time of Cholera was written by the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez and is a romance that Newsweek calls “[a] love story of astonishing power.”

Featuring a main protagonist whose methods and motives may be seen as somewhat controversial by today’s standards, this is one of those beautifully written, classic stories that keeps us hopeful about the possibility of love finding us in whatever stage of life we’re in. First translated to English in 1988, Love in the Time of Cholera was written by the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez and is a romance that Newsweek calls “[a] love story of astonishing power.”

The Talented Mr. Ripley (B&N Exclusive Edition)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (B&N Exclusive Edition)

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The Talented Mr. Ripley (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Patricia Highsmith

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Many of us dream of winning the lottery and changing our lives. Some of us fantasize about being another person; losing one’s identity to someone else “better.” And then, there are very, very few people who will risk life and limb (their own or another’s) to make such a change. Have ANY of those thoughts ever entered your mind? If so, then we introduce you to The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Many of us dream of winning the lottery and changing our lives. Some of us fantasize about being another person; losing one’s identity to someone else “better.” And then, there are very, very few people who will risk life and limb (their own or another’s) to make such a change. Have ANY of those thoughts ever entered your mind? If so, then we introduce you to The Talented Mr. Ripley.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E. L. Konigsburg

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Who hasn’t dreamt of spending the night in their favorite museum, surrounded by a vast collection of ancient artifacts and beautiful artwork? From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler follows siblings Claudia and Jamie as they run away from their suburban Connecticut home to the revered Metropolitan Museum of Art in bustling New York City. This clever and charming tale is equal parts adventure, mystery, wisdom and wit, and is just as enjoyable today as it was when it was originally published in 1967.

Who hasn’t dreamt of spending the night in their favorite museum, surrounded by a vast collection of ancient artifacts and beautiful artwork? From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler follows siblings Claudia and Jamie as they run away from their suburban Connecticut home to the revered Metropolitan Museum of Art in bustling New York City. This clever and charming tale is equal parts adventure, mystery, wisdom and wit, and is just as enjoyable today as it was when it was originally published in 1967.

Rebecca

Rebecca

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Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier

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Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel Rebecca is about a woman unraveling the truth about her new husband’s dead first wife. Du Maurier deftly blurs the line between dreams and reality in this haunting, unforgettable tale.  

Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel Rebecca is about a woman unraveling the truth about her new husband’s dead first wife. Du Maurier deftly blurs the line between dreams and reality in this haunting, unforgettable tale.  

Holes

Holes

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Holes

Louis Sachar

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Quirky, fun, and mysterious all at once, Holes is a modern classic worthy of a spot on every young reader’s bookshelf. Louis Sachar deftly weaves together stories from the past and present, creating a brilliant and thought-provoking tale about Stanley Yelnats, Camp Green Lake, and the power of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. A must-read at any age.

Quirky, fun, and mysterious all at once, Holes is a modern classic worthy of a spot on every young reader’s bookshelf. Louis Sachar deftly weaves together stories from the past and present, creating a brilliant and thought-provoking tale about Stanley Yelnats, Camp Green Lake, and the power of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. A must-read at any age.

Atonement

Atonement

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Atonement

Ian McEwan

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When an intimate moment is misinterpreted by a young girl, the consequences are tragic. Ian McEwan’s novel of two lovers separated by an imagined crime, explores the redemptive nature of storytelling.

When an intimate moment is misinterpreted by a young girl, the consequences are tragic. Ian McEwan’s novel of two lovers separated by an imagined crime, explores the redemptive nature of storytelling.

Kindred

Kindred

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Kindred

Octavia E. Butler

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While many early Black classics center around slavery or its aftermath, Octavia Butler took a unique approach with her 1979 novel, Kindred. A neo-slave narrative that crosses genre lines mixing in Butler’s usual science fiction elements left many people scratching their heads about how to classify it. Her unique perspective to a largely white genre is one that Essence calls “truly terrifying . . . a book you’ll find hard to put down.” 

While many early Black classics center around slavery or its aftermath, Octavia Butler took a unique approach with her 1979 novel, Kindred. A neo-slave narrative that crosses genre lines mixing in Butler’s usual science fiction elements left many people scratching their heads about how to classify it. Her unique perspective to a largely white genre is one that Essence calls “truly terrifying . . . a book you’ll find hard to put down.” 

Play It As It Lays

Play It As It Lays

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Play It As It Lays

Joan Didion , David Thomson

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Told in flashbacks as the story cuts between Hollywood, Las Vegas and a film shoot in the Mojave Desert, Play It As It Lays is the indelible story of Maria Wyeth, a woman whose marriage and acting career are both failing. She’s become an alien in her own world, endlessly driving the freeways of Los Angeles (and cracking hard-boiled eggs on the steering wheel) because that’s the only true comfort she can find. Is her world the problem? Or is she?

Told in flashbacks as the story cuts between Hollywood, Las Vegas and a film shoot in the Mojave Desert, Play It As It Lays is the indelible story of Maria Wyeth, a woman whose marriage and acting career are both failing. She’s become an alien in her own world, endlessly driving the freeways of Los Angeles (and cracking hard-boiled eggs on the steering wheel) because that’s the only true comfort she can find. Is her world the problem? Or is she?

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

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The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster , Jules Feiffer

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“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” Generations of readers discovered that life is full of adventure as they journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Published 60 years ago, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is a beguiling read ― whether it’s your first or your 50th.

“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” Generations of readers discovered that life is full of adventure as they journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Published 60 years ago, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is a beguiling read ― whether it’s your first or your 50th.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Shirley Jackson , Jonathan Lethem , Thomas Ott

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Written from the point of view of 18-year-old Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood who lives in isolation with her older sister, Constance, and uncle, Julian, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a timeless story about feeling unwelcome in the world and finding solace in the confines of one’s home. For those of us coming out of quarantine and those of us weary to return to normalcy, this is the perfect and timely read. If you’ve read Shirley Jackson’s psychological horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House, you already know you’re in for a treat with this one.

Written from the point of view of 18-year-old Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood who lives in isolation with her older sister, Constance, and uncle, Julian, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a timeless story about feeling unwelcome in the world and finding solace in the confines of one’s home. For those of us coming out of quarantine and those of us weary to return to normalcy, this is the perfect and timely read. If you’ve read Shirley Jackson’s psychological horror novel, The Haunting of Hill House, you already know you’re in for a treat with this one.

The Westing Game

The Westing Game

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The Westing Game

Ellen Raskin

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For over thirty-five years, Ellen Raskin’s Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite. Samuel W. Westing’s vast fortune is up for grabs. How to acquire it? Play the mysterious and dangerous games laid out in his will. The winner walks away a millionaire.

For over thirty-five years, Ellen Raskin’s Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite. Samuel W. Westing’s vast fortune is up for grabs. How to acquire it? Play the mysterious and dangerous games laid out in his will. The winner walks away a millionaire.

Address Unknown

Address Unknown

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Address Unknown

Kathrine Kressmann Taylor , Margot Livesey

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A searing, heartbreaking tale told in letters; author Kathrine Kressmann Taylor chronicles the catastrophic destruction of a friendship through pernicious ideologies. A slim novel originally written in the 1930s, Address Unknown cautioned readers to the splintering of humanity and the rise of hateful moralities ahead of World War II. A tale of vengeance, a classic and a literary triumph.

A searing, heartbreaking tale told in letters; author Kathrine Kressmann Taylor chronicles the catastrophic destruction of a friendship through pernicious ideologies. A slim novel originally written in the 1930s, Address Unknown cautioned readers to the splintering of humanity and the rise of hateful moralities ahead of World War II. A tale of vengeance, a classic and a literary triumph.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

Christopher Paul Curtis

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In The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, Christopher Paul Curtis has expertly crafted a story that stands the test of time. Though originally published in 1995, its nuanced depiction of a Black family at the height of the civil rights movement gives young readers important insight into a period they typically only read about in history books.

In The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, Christopher Paul Curtis has expertly crafted a story that stands the test of time. Though originally published in 1995, its nuanced depiction of a Black family at the height of the civil rights movement gives young readers important insight into a period they typically only read about in history books.

The Hustler

The Hustler

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The Hustler

Walter Tevis

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A taut novel full of suspense, smoke, and pool sharks. “Fast” Eddie Felson is ready to make it in the big times of competitive pool playing but needs to best top player Minnesota Fats to do it. From the author of The Queen’s GambitThe Hustler ruminates once again on the importance, and cost, of winning it big.

A taut novel full of suspense, smoke, and pool sharks. “Fast” Eddie Felson is ready to make it in the big times of competitive pool playing but needs to best top player Minnesota Fats to do it. From the author of The Queen’s GambitThe Hustler ruminates once again on the importance, and cost, of winning it big.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley Series)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley Series)

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley Series)

John le Carré

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John le Carré’s brilliant 1974 novel ratchets up tension so deliberately and subtly it’s almost supernatural. The hunt for a Soviet spy deeply embedded in a position of influence in the British secret service and the retired spy, George Smiley, charged with identifying him. This is not a spy thriller composed of fisticuffs and gun fights, but rather meticulous spycraft and the quietly fascinating work of piecing together a puzzle.

John le Carré’s brilliant 1974 novel ratchets up tension so deliberately and subtly it’s almost supernatural. The hunt for a Soviet spy deeply embedded in a position of influence in the British secret service and the retired spy, George Smiley, charged with identifying him. This is not a spy thriller composed of fisticuffs and gun fights, but rather meticulous spycraft and the quietly fascinating work of piecing together a puzzle.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

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Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

Diana Wynne Jones

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An irresistible character who comes to town, stealing hearts? That’s pretty much a spot-on description of Wizard Howl — at least in his heart-stealing days, before he runs into Sophie Hatter.

An irresistible character who comes to town, stealing hearts? That’s pretty much a spot-on description of Wizard Howl — at least in his heart-stealing days, before he runs into Sophie Hatter.

Beloved (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Beloved (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

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Beloved (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Toni Morrison

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A lot of classic writers lived in an age before many of us existed. But not Toni Morrison; her death was monumental for generations of readers. She wrote for Black people, specifically Black women, and she was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Inspired by a true story, Beloved is about an enslaved woman who believes that killing her child would be a better life than having them grow up as a slave. Many different themes are explored when the ghost of her baby comes back to her 18 years later. In 1988, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

A lot of classic writers lived in an age before many of us existed. But not Toni Morrison; her death was monumental for generations of readers. She wrote for Black people, specifically Black women, and she was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Inspired by a true story, Beloved is about an enslaved woman who believes that killing her child would be a better life than having them grow up as a slave. Many different themes are explored when the ghost of her baby comes back to her 18 years later. In 1988, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things

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The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy

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With nearly 800,000 copies sold and 40 different language translations, winner of the the Man Booker Prize for fiction, The God of Small Things tells the story of fraternal twins that explored how even the smallest of instances can affect our lives and change us forever.

With nearly 800,000 copies sold and 40 different language translations, winner of the the Man Booker Prize for fiction, The God of Small Things tells the story of fraternal twins that explored how even the smallest of instances can affect our lives and change us forever.

The Bell Jar (P.S. Series)

The Bell Jar (P.S. Series)

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The Bell Jar (P.S. Series)

Sylvia Plath

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This novel, which explores the pangs of teenage love and rejection, along with the pressures to achieve perfection in a competitive world, is a timeless story.

This novel, which explores the pangs of teenage love and rejection, along with the pressures to achieve perfection in a competitive world, is a timeless story.

Life Of Pi

Life Of Pi

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Life Of Pi

Yann Martel

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A tiger, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a boy named Pi are the lone survivors of a shipwreck. In time, only the boy and the tiger remain. The two survive for months at sea before landing in Mexico. Pi is eager to tell his story, but will anyone believe him?

A tiger, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a boy named Pi are the lone survivors of a shipwreck. In time, only the boy and the tiger remain. The two survive for months at sea before landing in Mexico. Pi is eager to tell his story, but will anyone believe him?

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart

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Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

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One of the first African novels to be widely studied and read in the English-speaking world, Achebe’s book remains a must-read for the uniqueness of its literary vision and characters. Focused on a fictional village in Nigeria, the book’s epic scope traces how life changes from pre-colonial times to post-colonial modernity (for the time; the novel was published in 1958).

One of the first African novels to be widely studied and read in the English-speaking world, Achebe’s book remains a must-read for the uniqueness of its literary vision and characters. Focused on a fictional village in Nigeria, the book’s epic scope traces how life changes from pre-colonial times to post-colonial modernity (for the time; the novel was published in 1958).

The Color Purple: A Novel

The Color Purple: A Novel

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The Color Purple: A Novel

Alice Walker

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Brutal, harsh, yet somehow raggedly beautiful, Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a must read because its subject matter, focused on the grim lives of African-American women in 1930s rural Georgia, shouldn’t be turned away from. Exploring the long ragged scars of racism, slavery, and class inequality, it’s one of those novels people are always trying to get banned—and you know what? Any novel certain people don’t want you to read is a novel you must read.

Brutal, harsh, yet somehow raggedly beautiful, Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a must read because its subject matter, focused on the grim lives of African-American women in 1930s rural Georgia, shouldn’t be turned away from. Exploring the long ragged scars of racism, slavery, and class inequality, it’s one of those novels people are always trying to get banned—and you know what? Any novel certain people don’t want you to read is a novel you must read.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou , Oprah Winfrey

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Maya Angelou’s autobiography is, in a word, breathtaking. In several words, it’s poignant, brutal, honest, warm, funny, devastating, and powerful. Drawing from her experiences growing up largely in Stamps, Arkansas, poet and civil rights activist Angelou has woven together a narrative about the loneliness of childhood and her subsequent search for identity all while having to navigate the injustices of racism and segregation.

Maya Angelou’s autobiography is, in a word, breathtaking. In several words, it’s poignant, brutal, honest, warm, funny, devastating, and powerful. Drawing from her experiences growing up largely in Stamps, Arkansas, poet and civil rights activist Angelou has woven together a narrative about the loneliness of childhood and her subsequent search for identity all while having to navigate the injustices of racism and segregation.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston

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With hauntingly lyrical prose and characters so real they practically leap off the page, this Zora Neale Hurston novel about love and independence has no business languishing unread on your shelf. Published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God went largely unappreciated until author Alice Walker revived public interest in Hurston in the 1970s, giving both the book and its author the acclaim they dearly deserved.

With hauntingly lyrical prose and characters so real they practically leap off the page, this Zora Neale Hurston novel about love and independence has no business languishing unread on your shelf. Published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God went largely unappreciated until author Alice Walker revived public interest in Hurston in the 1970s, giving both the book and its author the acclaim they dearly deserved.

1984

1984

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1984

George Orwell , Erich Fromm

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Orwell’s imagination of what a future society might look like at its worst has some shocking similarities to modern times. In this dystopian tale, mindless obedience rules, and as the main character finds himself straying, the regime crushes in. Although written in 1949, Orwell makes indirect references to “fake news,” “facetime,” “social media,” and more. Big Brother is watching!

Orwell’s imagination of what a future society might look like at its worst has some shocking similarities to modern times. In this dystopian tale, mindless obedience rules, and as the main character finds himself straying, the regime crushes in. Although written in 1949, Orwell makes indirect references to “fake news,” “facetime,” “social media,” and more. Big Brother is watching!

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

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For a novel narrated by Death (yes, you read that right), this book sure has a lot of heart. Published in 2003 but set in Germany during World War II, Zusak’s historical novel follows young Liesel as her world is expanded by two things: the books she steals and loves, and the connection she forms with Max, the Jewish man her family hides from the Nazis. Due to its wholly original style and themes of the power of kindness and sacrificial love, The Book Thief has quickly become an enduring classic.

For a novel narrated by Death (yes, you read that right), this book sure has a lot of heart. Published in 2003 but set in Germany during World War II, Zusak’s historical novel follows young Liesel as her world is expanded by two things: the books she steals and loves, and the connection she forms with Max, the Jewish man her family hides from the Nazis. Due to its wholly original style and themes of the power of kindness and sacrificial love, The Book Thief has quickly become an enduring classic.

The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary Edition)

The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary Edition)

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The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary Edition)

Khaled Hosseini

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While the title of this one holds promise of childhood whimsy, Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel actually tells a heartbreaking tale of betrayal, devastation, and—ultimately—redemption. Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, The Kite Runner centers on Amir, the main character who wrestles in the aftermath of witnessing and allowing the sexual assault of his friend. Because of its universal themes of friendship, guilt, and atonement, The Kite Runner has deeply resonated with readers of varying cultural backgrounds, as evidenced by the seven-million-plus copies that have been sold in the United States alone.

While the title of this one holds promise of childhood whimsy, Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel actually tells a heartbreaking tale of betrayal, devastation, and—ultimately—redemption. Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, The Kite Runner centers on Amir, the main character who wrestles in the aftermath of witnessing and allowing the sexual assault of his friend. Because of its universal themes of friendship, guilt, and atonement, The Kite Runner has deeply resonated with readers of varying cultural backgrounds, as evidenced by the seven-million-plus copies that have been sold in the United States alone.

Invisible Man

Invisible Man

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Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison

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Ellison combines a fluid, compelling writing style with a robust exploration of life as a black man in mid-century America. The unnamed narrator tells his story from his youth in a small Southern town, where he wins a scholarship to college that he can secure only after taking part in a brutal fight for the amusement of rich white sponsors, to his engagement with rising black nationalism and his realization that his color renders him, for all practical purposes, invisible to society at large.

Ellison combines a fluid, compelling writing style with a robust exploration of life as a black man in mid-century America. The unnamed narrator tells his story from his youth in a small Southern town, where he wins a scholarship to college that he can secure only after taking part in a brutal fight for the amusement of rich white sponsors, to his engagement with rising black nationalism and his realization that his color renders him, for all practical purposes, invisible to society at large.

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

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Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Charlotte Bronte

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A coming-of-age story, a mystery, a romance, and a Gothic horror novel all rolled into one, this darkly atmospheric Charlotte Brontë classic is a timeless tale of twisted love that’s full of passion, drama, and things that go bump in the night. Jean Rhys’ last novel, The Wide Sargasso Sea, is a feminist and anti-colonial response to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, telling the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who is sold into a marriage to Mr. Rochester. Rhys highlights the oppression of women and people of color under the white supremacist patriarchy of the mid-1800s.

A coming-of-age story, a mystery, a romance, and a Gothic horror novel all rolled into one, this darkly atmospheric Charlotte Brontë classic is a timeless tale of twisted love that’s full of passion, drama, and things that go bump in the night. Jean Rhys’ last novel, The Wide Sargasso Sea, is a feminist and anti-colonial response to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, telling the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who is sold into a marriage to Mr. Rochester. Rhys highlights the oppression of women and people of color under the white supremacist patriarchy of the mid-1800s.

Watchmen

Watchmen

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Watchmen

Alan Moore , Dave Gibbons

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Watchmen a graphic novel that demonstrates the true potential of the format. If you think comic books are just for kids, this is the book that will change your mind. Even better, if you have a vast collection of comics and graphic novels, it can be appreciated as a story that simultaneously celebrates and deconstructs superhero tropes.

Watchmen a graphic novel that demonstrates the true potential of the format. If you think comic books are just for kids, this is the book that will change your mind. Even better, if you have a vast collection of comics and graphic novels, it can be appreciated as a story that simultaneously celebrates and deconstructs superhero tropes.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies

William Golding , Lois Lowry , Jennifer Buehler

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What happens when a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island have to learn how to survive? With politics, clashing personalities, and strong survival instincts comes a story of morality and immorality. Golding’s account of children stranded on an island without supplies or adult supervision is absolutely terrifying for one simple reason: there’s nothing supernatural going on. It’s a story about insufficiently socialized humans descending into savagery because that’s our fundamental nature. You look into the abyss at the center of this novel and the abyss looks back.

What happens when a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island have to learn how to survive? With politics, clashing personalities, and strong survival instincts comes a story of morality and immorality. Golding’s account of children stranded on an island without supplies or adult supervision is absolutely terrifying for one simple reason: there’s nothing supernatural going on. It’s a story about insufficiently socialized humans descending into savagery because that’s our fundamental nature. You look into the abyss at the center of this novel and the abyss looks back.

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

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Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Mary Shelley

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Surely you know the story of Frankenstein by now, or at least the concept. Whether you’ve never read the book or it’s been too long to remember the details, this classic horror story is one to add to your to-be-read list.

Surely you know the story of Frankenstein by now, or at least the concept. Whether you’ve never read the book or it’s been too long to remember the details, this classic horror story is one to add to your to-be-read list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

Douglas Adams

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. This hilarious sci-fi is the perfect novel for some light reading, despite its lengthy size. Featuring a sarcastic man from Earth, a depressed robot, and some wacky interstellar travelers who hitchhike through space, this slightly absurd comedy is one that will have you asking, “what is the answer to the universe?” Already read it? Start the 2nd book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

. This hilarious sci-fi is the perfect novel for some light reading, despite its lengthy size. Featuring a sarcastic man from Earth, a depressed robot, and some wacky interstellar travelers who hitchhike through space, this slightly absurd comedy is one that will have you asking, “what is the answer to the universe?” Already read it? Start the 2nd book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Paperback $14.99 $17.00

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Kurt Vonnegut

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It’s strange to call a critically acclaimed science fiction, anti-war novel quirky, but Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is definitely quirky. Published in 1969, the story follows the life and experiences of an American Veteran, Billy Pilgrim, his life as a prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII and his life postwar as a successful optometrist. With non-linear order, time travel, and an unreliable narrator, Vonnegut tells his readers important messages on the brutality of war, illusion of free will, and existentialism in a disorganized, yet straightforward way.

It’s strange to call a critically acclaimed science fiction, anti-war novel quirky, but Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is definitely quirky. Published in 1969, the story follows the life and experiences of an American Veteran, Billy Pilgrim, his life as a prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII and his life postwar as a successful optometrist. With non-linear order, time travel, and an unreliable narrator, Vonnegut tells his readers important messages on the brutality of war, illusion of free will, and existentialism in a disorganized, yet straightforward way.

Giovanni's Room

Giovanni's Room

Paperback $13.49 $15.00

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin

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The list of mainstream fiction that deals with homosexuality in a sincere and powerful way remains woefully short, but at the top of it is this remarkable novel by Baldwin, one of the most complex examinations of a gay character (now more accurately considered a bisexual character) of its era. The story of an American’s affair with a Parisian man who is eventually executed for murder is a fantastic story and a crucial example of representation.

The list of mainstream fiction that deals with homosexuality in a sincere and powerful way remains woefully short, but at the top of it is this remarkable novel by Baldwin, one of the most complex examinations of a gay character (now more accurately considered a bisexual character) of its era. The story of an American’s affair with a Parisian man who is eventually executed for murder is a fantastic story and a crucial example of representation.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Paperback $7.99 $9.00

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen , Vivien Jones , Tony Tanner

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Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular novels in English literature to illustrate social issues. Featuring a strong female character, Lizzy’s intelligence, charm, and resilience shows off a feminist perspective and social class deconstruction that was rare in the 19th century. If that isn’t enough to want to read this popular classic, how about an enchanting romance story and comedy, too?

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular novels in English literature to illustrate social issues. Featuring a strong female character, Lizzy’s intelligence, charm, and resilience shows off a feminist perspective and social class deconstruction that was rare in the 19th century. If that isn’t enough to want to read this popular classic, how about an enchanting romance story and comedy, too?