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Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
Great book!
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Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie is an incredible writer!
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
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Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, the second of four daughters of a noted proponent of Transcendentalism, Bronson Alcott. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a friend of the family, as were Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Despite her transcendentalist pedigree, Louisa May Alcott ...show more
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Fairy Tales
Hans Christian Andersen
While the emotional sophistication of his stories can make them seem darker than their child-friendly frames at first suggest, there is no shortage of humor or high spirits in Andersen’s fanciful canon. Only a dozen or so of his more than 150 tales were drawn from existing folktales, in the manner o...show more
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou
When you discover that a person has written six books of autobiography, you’re bound to wonder: Is she just a prolific narcissist, or has she really lived a six-volume life? If she’s Maya Angelou, there’s no doubt that the latter is the case: So compelling is her private story, so extravagant her pu...show more
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The Arabian Nights
Is there an entry in the annals of story more charming than the tale of the brave and brilliant Shahrazad, who, by dint of cunning and invention, puts off her death at the hands of King Shahryār for a thousand and one nights? Bewitching the king with a nightly dose of suspenseful storytelling, she s...show more
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Emma
Jane Austen
At twenty, Emma Woodhouse—“handsome, clever, and rich”—knows that she’s the most fantastic woman in Highbury, and nothing amuses her more than meddling in other people’s affairs. But although she has good intentions, her matchmaking goes seriously awry, wrecking a perfectly good engagement for her f...show more
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Mansfield Park
Jane Austen
From a large and not too wealthy family, bashful Fanny Price is sent to live with her rich aunt and uncle at the house that gives this book its name. She finds herself intimidated by everyone there, except her kind cousin Edmund; constantly bursting into tears, she won’t even take part in her coeval...show more
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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
There’s no greater tribute to the pleasures of L. Frank Baum’s book than to say that the story is so good that it isn’t overwhelmed by the images from the wonderful Judy Garland movie. The story unfolds with a declarative matter-of-factness that puts no barrier between the real and the imagined; bec...show more
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Tender at the Bone
Ruth Reichl
I prefer her Garlic & Sapphires, but she's an incredible writer and not to be missed!
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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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Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson writes slow novels. Her first, the highly acclaimed Housekeeping, was published in 1981; Gilead, her second, did not appear until nearly a quarter century later. But the slowness that characterizes her fiction is not of the calendar but on the page: It is so carefully composed, in...show more
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The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was an intrepid pilot, a pioneer in the early days of commercial aviation who flew mail routes and, later, military reconnaissance missions for the Allies until his plane disappeared in 1944 off the coast of Marseille. During his lifetime, Saint-Exupéry also earned an intern...show more
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The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger
It’s been considerably more than a half century since the first angst-ridden teenager cracked the spine of The Catcher in the Rye and felt he’d found a book—or more specifically, a character—that spoke for him. In the intervening years, millions of other self-anointed outsiders have felt the same wa...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 Sonnets
William Shakespeare
The consummate exemplar of the Elizabethan love affair with the sonnet, Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 fourteen-line poems is replete with luxurious, and lingering, literary melodies. Music amply rewards any reader’s attention, yet there is more to The Sonnets than a considerable catalog of lovely an...show more
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot
At a fundamental level, Henrietta Lacks’s contribution to the advance of medical science may be as great as that of anyone who has ever lived. Her cells, obtained without her permission or knowledge during treatment for terminal cancer in 1951, were the first human cells to be replicated and kept al...show more
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Antigone
Sophocles
It is easy to see the battle of wills between Antigone and Creon as a struggle between conscience and power, liberty and tyranny, individual courage and the brutality of the state. Many modern readings of the tale (including mid-twentieth-century restagings by Jean Anouilh and Bertolt Brecht) do so....show more
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Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot was Samuel Beckett’s first performed play, written in French and then translated by the author into English. It is one of the signal accomplishments in twentieth-century theater and one of the touchstones of modern literature. It is also, as one contemporary critic said of its two ...show more
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