A list by Charles Frechette
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Charles Frechette
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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Delightfully more graphic than the movie. Especially when I read it as a child.
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All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
Encouraged by their teachers and fueled by optimism, patriotism, and the promise of glory, Paul Bäumer and three friends volunteer for what would come to be known as World War I. But the reality of war in the trenches, as they witness unimagined carnage, leaves them struggling to keep their sanity a...show more
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Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak
“It is a constant miracle to me that children manage to grow up,” Maurice Sendak once said, citing the unseen and inchoate dangers that well up from within—anxiety, pain, fear, anger, boredom, even love—that make kids’ emotional survival such a prodigious feat. It is the slightly spooky magic of Sen...show more
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The Lord of the Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien
Appearing in three separate volumes between July 1954 and October 1955, The Lord of the Rings constitutes a single linear narrative that was segmented for publishing convenience rather than by authorial intent. Tolkien’s hero, Frodo, is the adoptive heir of Bilbo Baggins, protagonist of The Hobbit. ...show more
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The Firm
John Grisham
There are times in our reading lives when turning the page is more important than what’s on it, when the headlong rush toward what happens next overwhelms reflection—and sometimes even reason. John Grisham has made a career creating plots that deliver just such pleasure to readers. In his writing, G...show more
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Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice
Anne Rice has been wildly prolific in the decades since Interview with the Vampire, her 1976 debut novel, catapulted her to fame, but her first book is still her most intriguing. Subverting convention in many ways, notably by making the vampire in question fallibly human and by presenting his story ...show more
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Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Great innovative book
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Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
In the course of roughly a hundred pages, Heart of Darkness will journey, with a strangely leisurely intensity, into realms of depravity best encoded in the dying cry of Kurtz, the delusional, despicable character at its enigmatic core: “The horror! The horror!” Although this extraordinarily concent...show more
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Into Thin Air
Jon Krakauer
Loved it
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Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls Wilder
At the age of sixty or so, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote a memoir of her upbringing called Pioneer Girl, for which she couldn’t find a publisher. With some advice and guidance from her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, she recast her memories as a book for young readers, Little House in the Big Woods. A cele...show more
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Lord of the Flies
William Golding
Assigned at least once to nearly every student in the English-speaking world, Golding’s chilling depiction of the descent into savagery of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island stirs to menacing life as we turn the pages; terror coils behind the words like a patient predator stalking its prey. Wr...show more
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The Complete Maus
Art Spiegelman
Maus is a comic book about the Holocaust—or, if you prefer, a “graphic novel” or “graphic memoir.” The shock is the same: Who would use a comic strip to document the Holocaust? The answer is the American comics artist Art Spiegelman. His use of this improbable genre as a vehicle for reconstructing a...show more
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Moby-Dick
Herman Melville
Perhaps it was the scale of Moby-Dick—the most ambitious novel ever written in America to that point, a rollicking ocean of maritime adventure, Christian allegory, metaphysical disquisition, natural history, literary escapade, and social criticism—that scared off readers of the time, because no mode...show more
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The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway
Great book.
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Carrie
Stephen King
Sixteen-year-old Carietta White is a social misfit tormented by her fanatically religious mother and ridiculed by her peers. Unable to fit in, too unknowing to avoid the vicious taunts of her classmates, Carrie takes what comfort she can in her peculiar telekinetic ability: By concentrating on objec...show more
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain
“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” Ernest Hemingway famously proclaimed in Green Hills of Africa, and it is the idiomatic immediacy of Huck’s voice—to say nothing of the speech rhythms of the several other spoken dialects Twain mimics in his n...show more
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The Bible
Happy to see this book was added.
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The Call of the Wild
Jack London
Like Buck, the big dog that is this book’s protagonist, the reader of The Call of the Wild is swiftly and irrevocably swept from the “sun-kissed” world of its opening pages into a realm of elemental and unsparing experience. A favorite of his owner, Buck has known a placid, even pampered life in Cal...show more
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The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien
In the late 1920s, J. R. R. Tolkien, a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, scribbled a sentence while correcting some student papers: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Those ten words are the seed from which grew a complex and elaborate mythology that would captivate the ima...show more
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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
Rare is the modern literary work that speaks with the uncanny authority of folklore. Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, published in 1886 to a popular acclaim that has not diminished since, is just such a creation, a tale of tantalizing suspense that echoes with disturbing and ...show more
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