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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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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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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith
An immediate popular success, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn sold 300,000 copies in its first six weeks; by the time of Smith’s death three decades later, more than six million copies had been sold, and the adventures of her protagonist, Francie Nolan, had been translated into more than a dozen languages....show more
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The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
As story and as media phenomenon, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games is at the top of the pile of wildly popular dystopian teen fiction that has dominated twenty-first-century bestseller lists (in no small part by appealing to readers well beyond their teen years). In the nation of Panem, power and ...show more
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The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
A book of shimmering social surfaces and hauntingly evanescent private depths, The Great Gatsby imbues its fleet narrative with a formal elegance that has been readily apparent even to the generations of high school students to whom it has been assigned—generally long before they might understand th...show more
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Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is the story of a marriage’s unraveling and the suspicion that falls on the husband in the wake of his wife’s disappearance. But it is author Gillian Flynn’s knowing exploitation of the intimate pact between writer and reader, her head-turning violation of it, that tightens the story's gri...show more
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Othello
William Shakespeare
Despite being an outsider, Othello is honored as the defender of Venice, and he falls ardently in love with Desdemona, a patrician daughter of the city, who has been swept away by the romantic aura of exotic adventure the noble Moor exudes. Although many of its scenes take place out of doors, the dr...show more
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The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame
From its first pages, in which the amiable Mole and the resourceful Water Rat inaugurate their friendship with a waterborne picnic, The Wind in the Willows transports us to a genial and welcoming world. The story of life on the riverbank is peopled with a cast of players—Rat and Mole, the formidable...show more
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The End of the Affair
Graham Greene
A compelling tapestry of brooding desire, obsessive jealousy, and religious belief, The End of the Affair tells the story of Maurice Bendrix, who, stung by the abrupt end of an affair with a friend’s wife, has hired a private investigator to follow the woman who walked out of his embrace nearly two ...show more
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Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
This is a classic family tale with strong female characters.
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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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Matilda
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s roster of youth-delighting tales is as rich as that of any twentieth-century children’s author. From The Gremlins (1943) to The Minpins (1991), Dahl created marvelous confections for young readers for nearly five decades. Standing out among his storytelling treats is Matilda, whose supe...show more
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Purgatorio: The Divine Comedy, Book 2
Dante Alighieri
Although the stories in hell are better than those in purgatory, sin being a sexier subject than penance, Dante’s poetry never palls. Throughout, he infuses his narrative with a current of feeling that humanizes the austere theological arc of his pilgrim’s progress.
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Inferno: The Divine Comedy, Book 1
Dante Alighieri
From the dark wood of its beginning, down through the nine circles of hell, across the seven terraces of purgatory, and into the ten heavens of paradise, Dante’s medieval tour de force gives us, in T. S. Eliot’s estimation, the greatest altitude and the greatest depth of human passion any writer has...show more
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Paradiso: The Divine Comedy, Book 3
Dante Alighieri
As the Comedy ascends to a heaven of light, Dante completes the grand imaginative arc he began in the dark wood, having composed out of eschatological speculations an epic as thrilling as those of Homer, as filled with human sensibility as Virgil’s—one in which all the deadly sins, and all the longe...show more
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The Silence of the Lambs
Thomas Harris
Hannibal Lecter is one of the most chillingly drawn villains in the annals of modern fiction. He is perverse, polite, charming, brilliant, and brutal, and the FBI would like to lure him into helping with an ongoing investigation of a string of savage killings of young women that have left them baffl...show more
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The Iliad
Homer
The Iliad is a narrative of divine stratagems and military exploits, of fierce courage and heroic endeavor—a tale, clearly, of epic imagination. Yet the sense of pageantry the poem evokes obscures what may be its most telling characteristic: the peculiar angle from which Homer chooses to view antiqu...show more
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The Odyssey
Homer
What can one say about a story that has been entertaining, enchanting, and educating the human race from the very border of recorded history until today? Homer’s epic poem of the wandering and homecoming of Odysseus (aka Ulysses) is a grand adventure, where fact, myth, gods, and people meet, settle,...show more
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The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas
When it comes to page-turners, The Count of Monte Cristo is the great granddaddy of them all. Despite the novel’s gargantuan dimensions—it runs to more than twelve hundred pages in most editions—each of its chapters is like an exhibit in a compendium of narrative suspense; it’s hard to imagine any t...show more
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Confessions
Saint Augustine
Of all the saints of the early Christian church, Saint Augustine of Hippo possesses, for the modern reader at least, the most interesting mind. His ideas on language, time, and the mysteries of personality, humanity, and divinity are still provocative—after sixteen centuries!—and his genius for expr...show more
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