A list by Tim Kreuz
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Tim Kreuz
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Watership Down
Richard Adams
One of the most phenomenal international bestsellers of the 1970s, Watership Down is an immersive saga that traverses great themes and feelings—courage, frailty, community, ecology, responsibility, friendship, love—while holding readers on the edge of their metaphorical seats. And oh, yes—it’s a 500...show more
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Madeline
Ludwig Bemelmans
Great memories reading these with my daughters.
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The Bible
In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis—in just thirty-one short verses—the world is given form, light is summoned into being, Day and Night are named, Heaven hatched, the stars invoked, and Earth fashioned into land and sea, seeded with plants and populated with creatures. All in less than eigh...show more
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Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
One of my favorites from high school. I was just thinking of reading this again.
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Uncle Vanya
Anton Chekhov
Every couple years I go back to read a few Chekhov short stories. Some of the best reading in my life. Certain stories and details are stuck in my mind.
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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Agatha Christie
Like many of Agatha Christie’s best puzzles, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd takes us to an English village whose cozy society has been disrupted by death. In King’s Abbot, where Hercule Poirot has retired to garden, the suicide of the widowed Mrs. Ferrars is surrounded by rumors that she had killed her...show more
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The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
While the success of the Sherlock Holmes tales can properly be seen as a catalyst for the boom in crime and detective literature that began in the early twentieth century and seems to grow larger every year, the pleasure of Arthur Conan Doyle’s narratives rests only in part on the cleverly contrived...show more
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Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe
Inspired by the real-life experience of Alexander Selkirk (1676–1721), a Scottish sailor who was marooned for more than four years on a South Pacific island, Robinson Crusoe gave enduring form to fundamental themes of the Western imagination. With his parrot and parasol, the castaway Crusoe is an e...show more
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David Copperfield
Charles Dickens
This is my favorite Dickens novel. Great to see it on this list. So many great memorable characters. Super enjoyable.
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A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities may have the most famous opening of any novel ever written, the frequent application of its words outside the novel’s specific context giving it an edge over the nearest competition, Anna Karenina and Pride and Prejudice. Echoing the dichotomies invoked in its opening sentences,...show more
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A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
You know the story of this quintessential holiday tale, but have you ever read it? So many times has the tale been told—in numerous stage and screen adaptations—that we are apt to take the power of its invention for granted. Yet no retelling comes close to capturing the humor and human sympathy, the...show more
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Bleak House
Charles Dickens
Although it lacks the affectionate warmth of David Copperfield and the narrative unity of Great Expectations, Bleak House is considered by many critics to be its author’s greatest achievement. Unlike those other two novels, which, of course, have their own ardent champions, Bleak House is not steepe...show more
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Great Expectations
Charles Dickens
More nuanced and darker in mood than David Copperfield, Great Expectations is its author’s deepest working of the terrain of childhood and the fears and fates that spring from it. Anchored in a Kentish village, around which the years and events of the complicated plot will revolve, the book returns ...show more
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Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist was its author’s second novel, telling a continuous story in a way his first did not. What’s innovative in the book is not its shape, however, but its focus: Never before had a child been put so center stage in a novel; more importantly, while Wordsworth had evoked it in verse, never be...show more
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Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Is life unfair? Is circumstance fate? Can we ever take the law into our own hands to change it? Fyodor Dostoevsky’s first major novel poses these questions in the tale of a man who enacts brutal crimes in order to break the strictures of his social destiny. For Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, the han...show more
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The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky
I really need to read this one again. This book has interesting complex characters.
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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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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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Harriet the Spy
Louise Fitzhugh
Like an outsider Nancy Drew, Fitzhugh’s Harriet has won the esteem—“allegiance” is probably a better word—of countless young girls who’ve mimicked her notetaking (as well as her unwavering love for tomato sandwiches). She is, in a word, beloved, most likely because her stance apart—as writer, as spy...show more
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Johnny Tremain
Esther Forbes
I read this one as an adult and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I can see reading this one again.
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