Monday, September 26, 2011

100 Books Every Student Should Read

I love to read. I love to read classics, fantasy, romance, everything. You give me a book and I will more than likely read it cover to cover. Except for textbooks, those are just too boring. Anyways, I stumbled upon this list and thought everyone should check it out! It is especially cool because they have descriptions. Books I have read are starred.

  1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a "masterpiece".
  2. *To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: A child’s-eye view of racial prejudice and weird neighbours in Thirties Alabama.
  3. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore: A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears.
  4. *The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Don’t panic.
  5. One Thousand and One Nights Anon: A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.
  6. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : Werther loves Charlotte, but she’s already engaged. Woe is he!
  7. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie: The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth.
  8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre: Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason.
  9. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons : Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. "Something nasty" has been observed in the woodshed.
  10. The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki: The life and loves of an emperor’s son. And possibly the world’s first novel?
  11. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch: A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined.
  12. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing: Lessing considers communism and women’s liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls "inner space fiction."
  13. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin: Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love.
  14. On the Road by Jack Kerouac: Beat generation boys aim to "burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles."
  15. Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac: A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The anti-hero "Rastingnac" became a byword for ruthless social climbing.
  16. The Red and the Black by Stendhal: Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his "force diame."
  17. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: "One for all and all for one:" the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady.
  18. Germinal by Emile Zola: Written to "germinate" social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners.
  19. The Stranger by Albert Camus: Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts "the gentle indifference of the world."
  20. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco: Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry.
  21. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey: An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he can’t move a glass church 400km.
  22. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic.
  23. *Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Carroll’s ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast.
  24. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers. Isn’t that crazy?
  25. The Trial by Franz Kafka: K proclaims he’s innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But "innocent of what?"
  26. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee: Protagonist’s "first long secret drink of golden fire" is under a hay wagon.
  27. Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan: Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist.
  28. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque: The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier.
  29. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler: Three siblings are differently affected by their parents’ unexplained separation.
  30. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin: Profound and panoramic insight into 18th-century Chinese society.
  31. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: Garibaldi’s Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the "jackals" ousting the nobility, or "leopards."
  32. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino: International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle.
  33. Crash by JG Ballard: Former TV scientist preaches "a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology."
  34. A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul: East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds "The world is what it is."
  35. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.
  36. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak: Romantic young doctor’s idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution.
  37. The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz: Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952.
  38. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: This famous novella has been adapted for movies, opera and plays.
  39. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift: Swift’s scribulous satire on travellers’ tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George I’s).
  40. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk: A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse.
  41. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga.
  42. London Fields by Martin Amis: A failed novelist steals a woman’s trashed diaries which reveal she’s plotting her own murder.
  43. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaoo: Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels.
  44. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse: Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules.
  45. The Tin Drum by Gnter Grass: Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism.
  46. Austerlitz by WG Sebald: Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust.
  47. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Scholar’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent "nymphet" is complicated by her mother’s passion for him.
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding.
  49. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: Expelled from a "phony" prep school, adolescent anti-hero goes through a difficult phase.
  50. Underworld by Don DeLillo: From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here.
  51. Beloved by Toni Morrison: Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery.
  52. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: "Okies" set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity.
  53. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin: Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlem’s African-American community.
  54. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera: A doctor’s infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it can’t matter.
  55. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark: A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun.
  56. The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet: Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach? If so, who heard?
  57. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre: A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on.
  58. The Rabbit books by John Updike: A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs.
  59. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum "sivilisation."
  60. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.
  61. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue.
  62. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe: A Nigerian yam farmer’s local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionary’s arrival.
  63. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: A mysterious millionaire’s love for a woman with "a voice full of money" gets him in trouble.
  64. The Warden by Anthony Trollope: "Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money," said WH Auden.
  65. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly.
  66. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis: An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl.
  67. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler: "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts" in this hardboiled crime noir.
  68. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson: Epistolary adventure whose heroine’s bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace.
  69. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell: Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears "the wrong kind of overcoat."
  70. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky: Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France.
  71. Atonement by Ian McEwan: Puts the "c" word in the classic English country house novel.
  72. Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec: The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms.
  73. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding : Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door.
  74. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Human endeavours "to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world" have tragic consequences.
  75. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell: Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.
  76. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Hailed by TS Eliot as "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels."
  77. Ulysses by James Joyce: Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest "sentences" in English literature: 4,391 words.
  78. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctor’s wife to an agonising end.
  79. A Passage to India by EM Forster: A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India.
  80. 1984 by George Orwell: In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired.
  81. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Samuel Johnson thought Sterne’s bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah!
  82. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells: Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles.
  83. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh: Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes.
  84. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy : Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy.
  85. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene: A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greene’s novel.
  86. The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse: A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentleman’s gentleman.
  87. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each other’s "souls." Then he leaves.
  88. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens: Debt and deception in Dickens’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows.
  89. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island.
  90. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Every proud posh boy deserves a bratty, prejudiced girl.
  91. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills.
  92. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: Septimus’s suicide doesn’t spoil our heroine’s stream-of-consciousness party.
  93. Disgrace by JM Coetzee: An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student.
  94. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr. Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally.
  95. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust: Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literature’s most celebrated lemony cake.
  96. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: "The conquest of the earth," said Conrad, "is not a pretty thing."
  97. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: An American heiress in Europe "affronts her destiny" by marrying an adulterous egoist.
  98. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: Tolstoy’s doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of "a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow."
  99. Moby Dick by Herman Melville: Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale that ate his leg.
  100. Middlemarch by George Eliot: "One of the few English novels written for grown-up people," said Virginia Woolf.
Obviously, I have a lot of catching up to do. Some of these I have started and just never finished. Maybe I will over break.

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