Classic literature

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Article in Adult Fiction, and Historical categories.

This novel follows the four March sisters, detailing their passage from childhood to adulthood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.
Read about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet's eighteenth century courtship, a comedy of manners, and the foundation for the modern romantic comedy. This popular novel is also on the list of Top 100 Beach Books
In the future, firemen don't put out fires, they create them to burn books. This is a good example of dystopian literature, and it's on the list of Top 100 Science Fiction Novels.
Jane Eyre, an orphan, becomes governess at Thornfield, where she falls in love with her secretive employer, Mr. Rochester.
Another popular Romance novel, this also made the list of Top 100 Beach Books
Winner of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize, this book chronicles several years in the life of a Chinese farming family during the early 20th century.
Inspired by the journey the author took up the Congo River, this dark allegorical story combines adventure with psychological insight.
In this coming-of-age story, an anonymous benefactor gives the orphan Pip money, which changes every aspect of his life.
Fitzgerald's novel observes the lives of society folks on Long Island during the Roaring 20's. Love, obsession and excess in the Roaring Twenties between a mysterious millionaire, Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan, a former debutante, who is married to an unfaithful husband. This was the Big Read Selection in 2007. For more information, see Typically Gatsby
Emma Bovary tries to escape a dull marriage that does not live up to her expectations by taking a lover, but her romantic dreams lead her life to spiral out of control.
Lucy Honeychurch begins to see the world differently after meeting some other English travelers while staying at a pensione in Florence, Italy.
Marooned on an island, a group of boys gradually sheds order and standards of behavior. A more primitive world arises.
Heller's experiences as a bombardier during World War II inspired this book, which makes fun of American bureaucracy and the brutality of war.
This Pulitzer-Prize winning fish tale also contributed to Hemingway being awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize. The story centers on Santiago, an old fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Sea.
Janie Crawford reflects on the relationships she's had with different men in her life in Florida during the early part of the 20th century. Their Eyes Were Watching God was the Big Read selection in 2009.
The story of a struggle between the iron-fisted Nurse Ratched and a newly admitted mental patient who introduces chaos, gambling, and drinking on a psychiatric ward.
Young Scout Finch witnesses the injustices of her small Alabama town during the 1930s as her father defends an innocent black man accused of murder.
To Kill a Mockingbird was the Big Read selection in 2008.
Epic story of Scarlett O'Hara's life and loves in Georgia during the American Civil War and postwar years.
  • 1984 by George Orwell
Written in 1948, 1984 was Orwell's chilling prediction of the future, where “Big Brother is watching you.”
Follows the sarcastic Holden Caulfield, who has run away from prep school, and rejects growing up and “phony” adults.
Dr. Frankenstein assembles a human from stolen body parts, and brings it to life. As the monster searches for love and acceptance, he develops a humanity to rival his creator’s.
The Joad family, driven from their home in Oklahoma by the Dust Bowl, head to California. An eloquent portrayal of the economic, social, and natural forces aligned against the common man.
Against the backdrop of a changing 19th c. Russian society, the novel follows the doomed love affair between Anna Karenina, trapped in a dull marriage, and Count Vronsky, a dashing but irresponsible officer.
Earth is attacked by Martians in this prototypical alien invasion story. The tale was popularized by Orson Welles' radio drama, when listeners thought the alien invasion was real.
Dorian sells his soul for eternal youth, beginning a moral disintegration which is reflected in a portrait that becomes grotesque as his humanity deteriorates.
Bilbo Baggins sets off on a heroic quest to recover gold guarded by a dragon, and along the way discovers a magical ring. The famous prelude to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.