The best 100 Literature books

Literature holds a mirror to human experiences, emotions, and societal dynamics, enriching our understanding of the world around us. Delve into our curated literature book list to explore a diverse range of narratives, styles, and themes, shedding light on profound human complexities and universal truths.

Immerse yourself in these captivating literary works to broaden your perspectives and connect with the profound beauty of storytelling. Join us on this literary journey and uncover the transformative power of words.

The best 100 Literature books
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1
Literature Books: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens
4.8 (103 ratings)
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What's Where the Crawdads Sing about?

Where the Crawdads Sing (2018) is a coming-of-age story that seamlessly blends into a murder mystery and an ode to nature. A reminder that we are forever shaped by our childhoods, it recounts the early life of a remarkable girl, Kya, and her transformation into an equally remarkable young woman.

Who should read Where the Crawdads Sing?

  • Nature lovers
  • Poets and scientists
  • Anyone who loves gripping stories

2
Literature Books: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho
4.5 (712 ratings)
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What's The Alchemist about?

The Alchemist (1988) follows the story of a young Andalusian shepherd, who travels to the pyramids of Egypt to find a treasure he has recurrently dreamed about. On his journey, he has to overcome multiple obstacles – through which he learns valuable life lessons. Based on a thirteenth-century folktale, it explores topics such as following your dreams, finding your destiny, and the nature of love.

Who should read The Alchemist?

  • People who want to become more resilient
  • Anyone with a dream or passion
  • Those who wish to find their own purpose in life 

3
Literature Books: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee
4.8 (259 ratings)
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What's To Kill a Mockingbird about?

To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) is one of the most influential American novels ever written. Set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s, it follows the Finch family over three tumultuous years as a trial divides a community. Covering themes of love and hate, innocence and experience, and kindness and cruelty, Harper Lee’s book goes to the heart of human behavior.   

Who should read To Kill a Mockingbird?

  • Anyone interested in classic fiction
  • History buffs
  • Those invested in the struggle for justice

4
Literature Books: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes
4.4 (284 ratings)
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What's Don Quixote about?

Don Quixote (1605) is widely regarded as the first modern novel. Its claim to fame extends beyond historical novelty. For many readers and critics, it remains the greatest novel of its kind. It tells the story of a man who becomes so enchanted by tales of chivalry that he decides to become a knight-errant – a wandering gallant in the style of Lancelot. The self-styled knight who calls himself Don Quixote and his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza get themselves into all kinds of absurd mischief, but their foolish quest ultimately brings them something precious: an immortal friendship.

Who should read Don Quixote?

  • Anyone who’s been put off by the length of Cervantes’s great novel
  • Lovers of classic literature, tall tales, and absurd adventures
  • Anyone looking to put a face to the famous names Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

5
Literature Books: The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad

Homer
4.5 (72 ratings)
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What's The Iliad about?

The Iliad (c. eighth century BC) is one of the oldest and most important works of Western literature. Attributed to ancient Greek poet Homer, the epic poem recounts the final days of the Greek siege of Troy. At the center of the story is Greek war hero Achilles, who has to beat back the Trojan enemy, struggle against meddling gods, and vie for recognition among his fellow Greeks. 

Who should read The Iliad?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Bookworms and history nerds
  • Anyone interested in ancient Western culture

6
Literature Books: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah
A Novel
4.8 (32 ratings)
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What's The Nightingale about?

The Nightingale (2015) is a historical novel telling the often-neglected story of those left behind when soldiers go off to war. Set in northwestern France during World War II and told through the eyes of two sisters, this sweeping saga reveals the hidden horrors, and heroism, of the survivors.

Who should read The Nightingale?

  • Historical fiction buffs looking for a well-told tale from a new angle
  • Literature lovers craving epic stories of survival
  • Anyone interested in the true costs of war on all fronts

7
Literature Books: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

George Orwell
4.8 (1,642 ratings)
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What's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) about?

Nineteen Eighty-Four, also published as 1984, is a dystopian novel from 1949 that deals with the perils of totalitarianism. It’s set in an imagined future in a superstate called Oceania, which is ruled by an authoritarian government that maintains power through constant surveillance and other insidious means.

Who should read Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)?

  • Anyone who’d like to know more about this must-read classic
  • People interested in politics and history
  • Those who are worried about freedom of thought

8
Literature Books: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

Donna Tartt
A Novel
4.5 (26 ratings)
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What's The Secret History about?

The Secret History (1992) is the gripping tale of a group of Classics students at a New England college who are involved in the murder of a classmate. The novel explores the complex relationships between the friends, and the impact the incident has on their lives.

Who should read The Secret History?

  • People who enjoy psychological fiction
  • Fans of the “dark academia” genre
  • Anyone with an interest in Classics

9
Literature Books: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry

Bonnie Garmus
A Novel
4.2 (259 ratings)
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What's Lessons in Chemistry about?

Lessons in Chemistry (2022) is the story of Elizabeth Zott, a brilliant scientist who has the misfortune of being a woman in 1950s America. After a frustrating failed academic career, Zott finds success in an unlikely place: as the host of a television cooking show.

Who should read Lessons in Chemistry?

  • Foodies interested in the science behind cooking
  • Feminists looking for a window into the history of women in STEM
  • Anyone who appreciates stories that are sharp and warm-hearted

10
Literature Books: Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune

Frank Herbert
4.3 (315 ratings)
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What's Dune about?

Dune (1965) is a modern epic, often considered the greatest sci-fi novel of all time. Set in a distant future, it follows the story of Paul, son of the noble Duke Leto of Atreides, as he adapts to life on Arrakis – his family’s new dominion. The desert planet is highly contested as it’s the source of a valuable commodity called spice. Soon, Paul must join the native desert people in an epic battle against the power-hungry enemies of Arrakis. 

Who should read Dune?

  • Sci-fi and fantasy devotees 
  • Anyone interested in stories about politics, ecology, and power 
  • Timothée Chalamet superfans

11
Literature Books: Beowulf by Unknown

Beowulf

Unknown
4.6 (200 ratings)
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What's Beowulf about?

Beowulf is a masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon literature, set in sixth-century Scandinavia. The narrative poem recounts the heroic exploits of Beowulf, who battles monsters and eventually becomes king.

Who should read Beowulf?

  • Fantasy fans
  • People who enjoy stories of adventure and heroism
  • Anyone interested in the origins of English literature

12
Literature Books: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller
A Novel
4.3 (44 ratings)
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What's The Song of Achilles about?

The Song of Achilles (2011) is a creative retelling of Homer’s Iliad. The epic tale of the Trojan War is transformed into a moving love story, told from the perspective of Patroclus, the beloved companion of the Greek hero Achilles.

Who should read The Song of Achilles?

  • Hopeless romantics
  • Fans of Greek mythology
  • Anyone interested in the Iliad and the Trojan War

13
Literature Books: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger
4.3 (210 ratings)
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What's The Catcher in the Rye about?

The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is J. D. Salinger’s classic coming-of-age novel, telling the story of the troubled young Holden Caulfield. Holden has just been expelled from school, and spends several days traversing New York City, sharing his opinions of the world around him.

Who should read The Catcher in the Rye?

  • Lovers of coming-of-age stories
  • Classic literature fans
  • People who dislike phonies

14
Literature Books: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini
4.6 (74 ratings)
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What's The Kite Runner about?

The Kite Runner (2003) is narrated by Amir, an Afghan living in the US, as he reflects on his childhood in Kabul, and an incident that changed his life. This best-selling novel is a story of friendship, family, betrayal, and redemption.

Who should read The Kite Runner?

  • Fathers and sons
  • People interested in Afghanistan

Anyone who’s curious about a book that was a New York Times bestseller for 2 years


15
Literature Books: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
4.5 (333 ratings)
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What's Brave New World about?

Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel set in a world where citizens are socially engineered to be complacent and pleasure-seeking. It’s a world that worships Henry Ford –⁠ a scaled-up version of an assembly line that’s mass produced, homogenous, and ultimately consumable. 

Who should read Brave New World?

  • Anyone fascinated by dystopias, utopias, and everything in between
  • People concerned about the state of modern society
  • Fans of George Orwell who want a very different take on dystopia

16
Literature Books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë
4.7 (43 ratings)
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What's Jane Eyre about?

Jane Eyre (1874) is an intense, intimate portrait of a young woman’s search to find her place in Victorian society without compromising her passionate ideals. It follows her as she navigates life’s obstacles – and her developing love for the mysterious Edward Rochester.

Who should read Jane Eyre?

  • Hopeless romantics who crave plot twists and turns
  • History lovers keen to get a window into life as a nineteenth-century governess
  • Fans of period dramas like Outlander and Bridgerton

17
Literature Books: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck
4.7 (100 ratings)
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What's Of Mice and Men about?

Of Mice and Men (1937) is a poignant tale that traces an unlikely friendship between two impoverished workers in California during the Great Depression: compact, quick-witted George Milton, and huge, childlike Lennie Small.

Who should read Of Mice and Men?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • Those entranced by the American dream
  • People curious about one of Steinbeck’s greats

18
Literature Books: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin
A Novel
3.6 (52 ratings)
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What's Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow about?

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (2022) by Gabrielle Zevin tells the story of Sadie and Sam, childhood friends turned creative collaborators and video game designers. The novel charts the tumultuous highs and lows of Sam and Sadie’s friendship against the vividly realized backdrop of the gaming industry at the turn of the 21st century. 

Who should read Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow?

  • Anyone intrigued by the idea of creative partnerships
  • Anyone with even a passing interest in video games
  • Anyone who’s ever had, or lost, a friend

19
Literature Books: Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Sally Rooney
A Novel
4.5 (80 ratings)
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What's Normal People about?

Normal People (2018) tells the story of Marianne and Connell, two people who grow close during the final days of secondary school. As they move on to college and careers, the two struggle to make sense of their relationship and their feelings for one another.

Who should read Normal People?

  • Anyone interested in complex relationships
  • Fans of romantic dramas
  • Readers curious about one of the most popular books of the 2010s

20
Literature Books: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald
4.6 (140 ratings)
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What's The Great Gatsby about?

The Great Gatsby (1925) tells the tale of a tragic romance set against a Roaring Twenties backdrop of hedonism and excess. It's considered a defining work of America’s Jazz Age and the time leading up to the Great Depression. With sales surpassing 30 million copies worldwide, it’s among the twentieth century’s most enduring novels.

Who should read The Great Gatsby?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • Fans of 1920s glitz and glamour
  • Anyone interested in the mythology of the American Dream

21
Literature Books: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion

Jane Austen
4.5 (69 ratings)
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What's Persuasion about?

Persuasion (1817) is the story of Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old woman whose heart was broken at 19, when she was persuaded not to marry the naval captain Frederick Wentworth – the love of her life. When Anne and Captain Wentworth cross paths again, they are both still unattached. But does the Captain still carry a torch for Anne, or has resentment and time snuffed out the flame forever?

Who should read Persuasion?

  • Romantics
  • Period drama fans
  • Austen readers looking for a quick plot refresher

22
Literature Books: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien
4.6 (66 ratings)
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What's The Hobbit about?

The Hobbit (1937) is the classic fantasy adventure story of an unsuspecting hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. Ripped unexpectedly from his idle epicurean life by the wizard Gandalf, Bilbo finds himself on a journey to help a group of dwarves take back their stolen treasure from the jealous dragon Smaug. Along the way, he encounters trolls, elves, goblins, and spiders –⁠ plus a certain magic ring –⁠ and eventually finds that he had what it took to be a hero all along.

Who should read The Hobbit?

  • Fantasy lovers
  • Fans of the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movies
  • Adventure seekers

23
Literature Books: Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott

Little Women

Louisa M. Alcott
4.7 (66 ratings)
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What's Little Women about?

Little Women (1868-1869) tells the story of the four March sisters, and the struggles and day-to-day obstacles they faced while becoming young adults. While the story takes place in the American Northeast, it’s a universal coming-of-age story that has been appreciated around the world.

Who should read Little Women?

  • Fans of stories told from a female perspective
  • Lovers of classic literature
  • Anyone who likes a good young adult story

24
Literature Books: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis
Letters from a Senior to a Junior Devil
4.7 (91 ratings)
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What's The Screwtape Letters about?

The Screwtape Letters (1942) is a satirical novel in the form of letters written from one demon to another. Senior demon and hellish administrator Screwtape shares advice and lessons with his nephew, Wormwood, who is tasked with tempting his “patient” away from God and toward Satan. As such, readers see the ordinary troubles and temptations of human life depicted from a devil’s point of view.

Who should read The Screwtape Letters?

  • Satire lovers with an interest in Christian theology
  • Non-Christians with a self-deprecating streak
  • Narnia fans who want to sample another of Lewis’s works

25
Literature Books: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë
4.7 (49 ratings)
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What's Wuthering Heights about?

Wuthering Heights (1847) is a masterpiece of English literature. Set in Yorkshire, it tells the story of two families and their intense, often tumultuous relationships – in particular, the stormy romance between Heathcliff and Catherine.

Who should read Wuthering Heights?

  • Fans of family sagas
  • People drawn to unconventional love stories and antiheroes
  • Anyone interested in classic novels of the nineteenth century

26
Literature Books: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Macbeth

William Shakespeare
4.7 (130 ratings)
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What's Macbeth about?

Macbeth (1606) is the Shakespearean tragedy of Scottish general Macbeth and his doomed attempt to seize his country’s throne. His ambitions ignited by a prophecy spoken to him by three witches, Macbeth’s path to power begins with anxiety and reticence and ends with callousness and cruelty. His story is a timeless exploration of guilt, paranoia, madness, prophecy, and the evils of ambition.

Who should read Macbeth?

  • Shakespeare lovers who haven’t had the chance to read Macbeth 
  • Those who find Shakespeare’s original language difficult to enjoy
  • Macbeth fans who want a refresher

27
Literature Books: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
4.3 (50 ratings)
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What's American Psycho about?

American Psycho (1991) is a controversial cult novel that uses graphic violence to satirize modern capitalism and consumer culture. It follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and handsome investment banker living in Manhattan in the 1980s. Beneath his polished exterior lies a psychopathic killer who preys on his victims without remorse. Bateman’s exploits quickly grow more and more extreme, and his mask of sanity starts to slip.

Who should read American Psycho?

  • Fans of the the 2000 movie starring Christian Bale
  • Readers who enjoy Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and William S. Burroughs
  • Anyone who enjoys dark humor

28
Literature Books: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4.6 (452 ratings)
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What's Crime and Punishment about?

Crime and Punishment (1866) is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Russian literature. It follows a young man called Rodion Raskolnikov – first as he plots to kill an elderly pawnbroker, then as he commits the deed, and finally as he confronts the many consequences of his actions. Emotionally poignant as well as philosophically and psychologically complex, the novel has left a visible mark on generations of writers, thinkers, and artists ever since its publication.

Who should read Crime and Punishment?

  • Fans of Russian literature
  • Lovers of melodrama, mental anguish, and moral quandaries
  • Philosophy buffs

29
Literature Books: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

George Orwell
4.8 (445 ratings)
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What's Animal Farm about?

Animal Farm (1945) is a classic satirical novella that transplants the events of the Russian Revolution of 1917 to a small English farm. Once the animals stage an uprising, a political battle ensues between an ideological pig named Snowball and a power-hungry pig named Napoleon. 

Who should read Animal Farm?

  • Fans of political satire
  • Animal lovers
  • Anyone who likes a classic story

30
Literature Books: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy
4.2 (190 ratings)
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What's War and Peace about?

War and Peace (1869) is a novel that follows the lives of several aristocratic families during the French invasion of Russia and the Napoleonic Wars. It explores themes of love, war, politics, and the human condition, and is considered one of the great works of literature.

Who should read War and Peace?

  • Curious minds craving timeless wisdom
  • Eager explorers of Russia’s literary landscapes
  • Time travelers fond of the Napoleonic era

31
Literature Books: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara
4.8 (28 ratings)
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What's A Little Life about?

A Little Life (2015) follows the lives of four friends in New York City: aspiring actor Willem, moody painter JB, quiet architect Malcolm, and the brilliant, mysterious litigator Jude. Over the years, the four friends grow together, drift apart, find love and success, and struggle with loss and addiction. As enigmatic Jude gradually moves into the center of the narrative, the full extent of his unbearable burden begins to reveal itself. 

Who should read A Little Life?

  • People who enjoy character-driven literature
  • Fans of stories about complex relationships 
  • Anyone in need of a good cry

32
Literature Books: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare
4.8 (42 ratings)
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What's Romeo and Juliet about?

Romeo and Juliet (c. 1591-1597) is the iconic tragedy of two youths who fall in love amid the feud raging between their two families. The many themes it explores include love and hate, fate and free will, and dream and reality.

Who should read Romeo and Juliet?

  • Romantic souls
  • Shakespeare fans who want a Romeo and Juliet refresher
  • Anyone trying to up their knowledge of classic literature

33
Literature Books: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe
3.8 (25 ratings)
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What's Things Fall Apart about?

Things Fall Apart (1958) was the first in the African Writers Series of 350 books published between 1962 and 2003 which provided an international audience for many African writers. It tells the story of a respected leader of an Igbo community and the problems faced by the community as white men arrive and bring with them their laws and religion.

Who should read Things Fall Apart?

  • Lovers of great story-telling
  • Anthropology students interested in understanding the cultural and religious practices of the Igbo people of Nigeria
  • History buffs interested in African history and the impact of colonialism

34
Literature Books: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller
4.3 (48 ratings)
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What's Death of a Salesman about?

Death of a Salesman (1949) is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest plays. A poignant critique of the promises and pitfalls of capitalism and the American Dream, it follows the salesman Willy Loman, his increasingly tense relationships with his family and colleagues, and his tragic, hallucinatory descent into fantasy and madness. 

Who should read Death of a Salesman?

  • Budding playwrights and theater enthusiasts
  • People curious about the dangers of unbridled capitalism
  • Anyone interested in modern drama

35
Literature Books: Antigone by Sophocles

Antigone

Sophocles
4.8 (36 ratings)
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What's Antigone about?

Antigone (c. 441 BC) is a tragedy by Sophocles, one of ancient Greece’s greatest playwrights. After a civil war, two brothers – the leaders of rival factions – are dead. One is remembered as a patriotic hero; the other, as a treacherous usurper. The king of Thebes, Creon, has forbidden anyone to bury the traitor – an order the man’s sister, Antigone, can’t square with her conscience. The stage is set for a conflict pitting the individual against the state, justice against law, idealism against realism, and a defiant woman against a male-dominated world.

Who should read Antigone?

  • Theater enthusiasts interested in the history of drama
  • Fans of classical literature and mythology
  • Anyone interested in exploring themes of morality, family, and power

36
Literature Books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies

William Golding
4.6 (198 ratings)
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What's Lord of the Flies about?

Lord of the Flies (1954) is the allegorical story of a group of young boys stranded on a deserted island and left to fend for themselves and create a society. As the boys struggle with the complexities of leadership, cooperation, and survival, they are forced to face some fundamental questions about human nature and the fragility of civilization.

Who should read Lord of the Flies?

  • Readers looking for fresh eyes on an old classic
  • Literature lovers who somehow never got around to this important book
  • Anyone looking for insight into the nature of society and the humans who build it

37
Literature Books: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden

John Steinbeck
4.6 (77 ratings)
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What's East of Eden about?

East of Eden (1952) is a sweeping epic that centers around three generations of the Trask family. Growing up, Adam Trask competed with his brother for his father’s love – with jealousy and vengeance leading to violent consequences. When Adam has children of his own, he struggles to spare them the same fate.

Who should read East of Eden?

  • Fans of the great American novel
  • Lovers of classic Westerns
  • Anyone who enjoys epics or family dramas

38
Literature Books: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley
The Modern Prometheus
4.7 (222 ratings)
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What's Frankenstein about?

Frankenstein (1818) is a Gothic horror classic that tells the tale of ambitious young scientist Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with the idea of creating life, Frankenstein assembles a freakish human-like monster. But when he animates it, he’s shocked at the horror he’s created. Although the monster seeks affection at first, it’s continually rejected and eventually seeks revenge on humankind.

Who should read Frankenstein?

  • Anyone who knows the name Frankenstein but has never read the book
  • Fans of a good horror story that makes you squirm
  • Lovers of classic literature

39
Literature Books: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet

William Shakespeare
4.8 (81 ratings)
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What's Hamlet about?

Hamlet (c. 1509-1601) is widely regarded as Shakespeare’s greatest play. A tragedy in five parts, it tells the story of Prince Hamlet, a thinker who must turn to action to avenge his father. It’s not only the finely crafted plot that’s fascinated readers and theatergoers down the centuries, though – Hamlet is also a penetrating study of the meaning of life and death.

Who should read Hamlet?

  • Shakespeare lovers who haven’t gotten around to reading Hamlet
  • Those who find Shakespeare’s original language difficult to enjoy
  • Fans of Hamlet who want a refresher

40
Literature Books: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad
4.2 (48 ratings)
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What's Heart of Darkness about?

Heart of Darkness (1899) is a classic novella that explores themes of imperialism, power dynamics, and morality. It tells the story of sailor Charles Marlow, who becomes captain of a river steamboat for a Belgian ivory trade company Africa and witnesses the brutal reality of European colonialism. Marlow becomes fascinated with the mysterious ivory trader Kurtz – a mad genius who commands a trading post deep in the jungle. 

Who should read Heart of Darkness?

  • Fans of classic literature 
  • Those interested in critical perspectives on imperialism and colonialism 
  • Anyone who loves a good sailor’s yarn

41
Literature Books: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
4.6 (266 ratings)
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What's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn about?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is often considered a landmark, if controversial, work in the history of American literature. It tells the story of a young teenager who runs away from an abusive, alcoholic father by fleeing in a raft down the Mississippi River. Along the way, he befriends a man running from slavery and becomes a reluctant accomplice to a pair of con artists.

Who should read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • People interested in stories about the antebellum South
  • Anyone who likes a good coming-of-age story

42
Literature Books: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey

E. L. James
3.0 (142 ratings)
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What's Fifty Shades of Grey about?

Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) is the first in the Fifty Shades trilogy, telling the story of student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey – who introduces her to his dark world of sensuality, bondage, and discipline.

Who should read Fifty Shades of Grey?

  • Fans of captivating fiction
  • BDSM enthusiasts – or anyone curious
  • Anyone curious about what all the Fifty Shades fuss is about

43
Literature Books: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4.7 (146 ratings)
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What's The Brothers Karamazov about?

The Brothers Karamazov (1879) follows the events, machinations, and tragedies of the Karamazov family over the course of four critical days in an unnamed town in Russia. As tensions within the household simmer and seeth into a stunning climax, we are treated to one of the most penetrating explorations of religion, faith, and doubt in all of world literature. 

Who should read The Brothers Karamazov?

  • Anyone interested in deep themes like philosophy and religion
  • Agnostics looking for spiritual guidance
  • People who don’t have time to read a 900-page novel

44
Literature Books: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins
4.7 (50 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Hunger Games about?

The Hunger Games (2008) is the first volume of the popular YA fantasy trilogy. In the post-apocalyptic future state of Panem, teenagers participate in a brutal yearly game show where they compete against each other in a deadly obstacle arena. When her sister is drafted for the games, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her place – not realizing she’ll end up fighting for something bigger than mere survival.

Who should read The Hunger Games?

  • Sci-fi fans and fantasy aficionados
  • Readers who love strong female characters
  • Fans of The Hunger Games movies with Jennifer Lawrence

45
Literature Books: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood
4.7 (86 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Handmaid's Tale about?

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) is a contemporary classic – the story of a patriarchal dystopia that inspired the hit television series of the same name and remains as relevant today as it did when it was first published.

Who should read The Handmaid's Tale?

  • Literature lovers who want to brush up on a modern classic
  • Feminists seeking an introduction to this iconic critique of the patriarchy
  • Speculative fiction fans who want to learn more about a notable literary dystopia

46
Literature Books: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet

Kahlil Gibran
4.5 (64 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Prophet about?

The Prophet (1923) follows the prophet Almustafa during his departure from the fictional city of Orphalese. As the community bids Almustafa farewell by the harbor, they petition him to share some final nuggets of wisdom from the deep well of his mind. What follows is a collection of profound insights into various aspects of life and the human condition.

Who should read The Prophet?

  • Anyone seeking inspiration
  • Teenagers on the cusp of adulthood
  • Lost souls in need of spiritual guidance

47
Literature Books: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka
4.7 (80 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Metamorphosis about?

The Metamorphosis (1915) is an allegorical novella about what happens when the main character, Gregor Samsa, is transformed into a bug. It grapples with the themes of alienation, the absurdity of life, and the power of change.

Who should read The Metamorphosis?

  • Anyone interested in a compelling short story classic
  • People struggling with the absurdity of life or the feeling of alienation
  • Students of twentieth-century literature

48
Literature Books: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
4.8 (135 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Little Prince about?

The Little Prince (1943) is the classic allegorical tale about a stranded pilot’s extraordinary encounter with a wise and curious little boy from another planet. As the boy shares his fantastic and poetic journey, he reveals profound lessons and observations regarding life, love, and the importance of looking with our hearts.

Who should read The Little Prince?

  • The young at heart who feel lost in the absurdity of the adult world
  • Weary souls looking to recapture their misplaced innocence and imagination
  • Daydreamers who’d like to enrich their lives with an existential classic

49
Literature Books: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe
4.6 (188 ratings)
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00:00

What's Uncle Tom's Cabin about?

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) is a compelling indictment of slavery. Describing the many trials of Uncle Tom, its long-suffering enslaved protagonist, the story reveals the horrors of America’s “peculiar institution” while showing how Christian love can triumph over evil. It played a pivotal role in the abolition of slavery and remains one of the most important American novels ever written. 

Who should read Uncle Tom's Cabin?

  • Those curious about a controversial classic
  • Christians and believers 
  • History buffs

50
Literature Books: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde
4.6 (70 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Picture of Dorian Gray about?

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) is an iconic late-Victorian gothic novel that centers on the young aesthete Dorian, who never seems to age or feel the ill effects of his hedonistic lifestyle, and the supernatural portrait that reveals the truth behind the face Dorian presents to the world.

Who should read The Picture of Dorian Gray?

  • Literature lovers wanting to meet one of the canon’s most iconic characters
  • Fans of gothic fiction, ready to get acquainted with a classic of the genre
  • History buffs who want the scoop on one of the Victorian era’s most scandalous books

51
Literature Books: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens
4.6 (203 ratings)
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00:00

What's Great Expectations about?

Great Expectations (1860) is Charles Dickens’ classic novel about the social ambitions and failings of Pip, a small-town orphan who suddenly becomes wealthy through a mysterious benefactor. Pip leaves his home town for London, but as his social and material standing develop, he suffers a moral deterioration that leaves him questioning his decisions. 

Who should read Great Expectations?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Anyone who loves a good tale of rags to riches
  • People who want to find out what Dickens was all about

52
Literature Books: Paradise Lost by John Milton

Paradise Lost

John Milton
4.5 (114 ratings)
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00:00

What's Paradise Lost about?

Paradise Lost (1667) is an early classic of English literature. In over ten thousand lines of verse, the epic poem tells the biblical story from Satan’s rebellion against God to Adam and Eve’s original sin. Written at a time of great political and religious upheaval, the epic proves an impressive inquiry of free will, sin, and the nature of evil to this very day.

Who should read Paradise Lost?

  • Fans of epic battles between good and evil
  • Students of English literature
  • Anyone interested in theology and philosophy

53
Literature Books: Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick

Herman Melville
4.5 (81 ratings)
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00:00

What's Moby Dick about?

Moby Dick (1851) is an enduring classic of American literature. From the perspective of a boat hand named Ishmael, it tells the story of an ill-fated voyage aboard the Pequod, a whaling vessel. With humor and attention to the smallest detail, it explains how a crew came under the spell of the obsessed Captain Ahab, who had only one mission in life: to kill the giant white whale known as Moby Dick.

Who should read Moby Dick?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Anyone who likes a good tale of adventure
  • Landlubbers and salty sea dogs alike

54
Literature Books: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand
3.7 (207 ratings)
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00:00

What's Atlas Shrugged about?

Atlas Shrugged (1957) plunges you into a dystopian America where the economy stagnates and society crumbles. As you navigate this complex narrative, you'll meet ambitious industrialists and scheming bureaucrats, and encounter the enigmatic question, "Who is John Galt?" Prepare to grapple with philosophical themes of capitalism, individualism, and self-interest in this intricate web of economics, politics, and human resilience.

Who should read Atlas Shrugged?

  • Fans of philosophical fiction and thought-provoking narratives
  • Advocates of individualism and laissez-faire capitalism
  • Readers interested in dystopian novels and societal critique

55
Literature Books: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe
4.2 (156 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Cask of Amontillado about?

The Cask of Amontillado (1846) is a chilling tale about one man’s expertly plotted revenge on another who has insulted him. It is a story of deceit, detachment and coolly premeditated murder.  

Who should read The Cask of Amontillado?

  • Fans of the legend that is Edgar Allen Poe
  • Lovers of the dark and the macabre
  • Anyone who loves a well-written story

56
Literature Books: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Markus Zusak
4.5 (178 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Book Thief about?

The Book Thief (2006) is a story about a young girl living in Nazi Germany who makes her way in the world by stealing books. With Death as the narrator, it follows her coming of age in the most difficult of times and places. 

Who should read The Book Thief?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Lovers of tales full of emotion and humanity
  • Seekers of literary thrills

57
Literature Books: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha

Hermann Hesse
4.6 (248 ratings)
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00:00

What's Siddhartha about?

Siddhartha (1922) is the beloved classic novel about a pampered prince who goes on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Through the depths of asceticism to the heights of worldly success, the novel traces one seeker’s path to enlightenment taking the road less traveled.

Who should read Siddhartha?

  • Seekers curious about this classic texts
  • Path-finders and way-makers looking for stories of kindred souls
  • Anyone interested in alternative visions for society, religion, success, and relationships

58
Literature Books: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut
A Novel
4.3 (24 ratings)
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00:00

What's Slaughterhouse-Five about?

Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) is a seminal work that delves into the experiences of Billy Pilgrim, a soldier who becomes unstuck in time after surviving the devastating bombing of Dresden in World War II. It intricately interweaves themes of fate, free will, and the nature of time, using a nonlinear narrative that reflects the protagonist's time-traveling episodes. Through dark humor and poignant commentary, it critiques the horrors of war and the absurdities of human existence.

Who should read Slaughterhouse-Five?

  • Pacifists looking for works that offer a profound exploration of the horrors of conflict
  • Historians interested in semi-autobiographical tales of Vonnegut’s war experiences
  • Fans of novels that challenge traditional narrative structures through nonlinear storytelling

59
Literature Books: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex

Sophocles
4.7 (252 ratings)
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00:00

What's Oedipus Rex about?

Oedipus Rex (fifth century BCE) is a tragedy based on the myth of King Oedipus. While investigating a murder, Oedipus learns shocking truths about his life.

Who should read Oedipus Rex?

  • Fans of Greek mythology
  • People who enjoy dark, dramatic stories
  • Anyone interested in one of the greatest plays of all time

60
Literature Books: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson
4.7 (12 ratings)
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00:00

What's We Have Always Lived in the Castle about?

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) tells the mysterious tale of the eccentric Blackwood sisters, Mary Katherine and Constance, who live isolated in their family estate after a tragic incident. As the sisters navigate their peculiar world, dark secrets unravel, making this a gothic and suspenseful exploration of family, mystery, and the haunting power of the past.

Who should read We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

  • Fans of gothic fiction
  • Readers who enjoy a strong female protagonist
  • Anyone interested in classic literature

61
Literature Books: Villette by Charlotte Brontë

Villette

Charlotte Brontë
4.0 (5 ratings)
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What's Villette about?

Villette (1853) tells the tale of Lucy Snowe who, after a series of family deaths, immigrates from England to the fictional French town of Villette to teach at a girls' school, where she encounters love, loss, and linguistic barriers.

Who should read Villette?

  • Fans of classic literature 
  • Romantic novel enthusiasts 
  • Historical fiction readers

62
Literature Books: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road

Cormac McCarthy
4.4 (31 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Road about?

The Road (2006) is a dystopian thriller following a father-and-son duo fighting to survive in a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape. Forced to scavenge for food and supplies, threatened by gangs of outlaw survivors, and faced with death and illness, the duo struggle to maintain morality and hope in a world that seems to have lost all humanity.

Who should read The Road?

  • Fans of post-apocalyptic fiction
  • Admirers of Cormac McCarthy’s unique literary style.
  • Anyone who enjoys thought-provoking allegorical tales.

63
Literature Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain
4.6 (170 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Prince and the Pauper about?

The Prince and the Pauper (1881) is a classic tale that explores the societal framework of the sixteenth-century English society. The story unravels the unexpected journey of two identical boys – Prince Edward, the royal heir, and Tom Canty, a destitute pauper, as they swap their lives. In exploring each other's worlds, they gain insightful lessons about society, identity, and human kindness, with the story offering a profound commentary on class disparities and social norms.

Who should read The Prince and the Pauper?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Fans of classic literature
  • Personal development seekers

64
Literature Books: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse

Virginia Woolf
4.3 (17 ratings)
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00:00

What's To the Lighthouse about?

To the Lighthouse (1927) places you squarely in the heart of the Ramsay family’s summer home, providing intimate insights into their complex dynamics. It weaves an intricate web of familial relationships, artistic inspiration, and philosophical musings, while contemplating the concept of time and death.

Who should read To the Lighthouse?

  • Fans of stream-of-consciousness
  • Readers exploring feminist literature
  • Enthusiasts of modernist novels

65
Literature Books: The Song of Roland by Anonymous

The Song of Roland

Anonymous
4.9 (10 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Song of Roland about?

The Song of Roland (ca. the eleventh century) is an anonymous epic poem that tells the heroic deeds of Frankish king Charlemagne’s knights in their battle against Muslim Saracens in Spain. One of them, military leader Roland, bravely leads his men against the enemy – risking death to defend chivalry, honor, and the Christian religion. 

Who should read The Song of Roland?

  • Fans of epic poetry and ancient literature
  • History buffs interested in medieval Europe and early French culture
  • Military history enthusiasts wanting to read early accounts of battles

66
Literature Books: The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Trial

Franz Kafka
4.2 (22 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Trial about?

The Trial ( 1925 ) tells the distressing story of Josef K. who wakes up one morning to find he’s under arrest for an unnamed offense. As cryptic legal proceedings unfold around him, K. struggles to make sense of his predicament or convince others of his innocence. It’s a  disturbing parable that raises philosophical questions about personal dignity and free will when pitted against entrenched bureaucracies.

Who should read The Trial?

  • People who appreciate surreal, disorienting stories
  • Readers and listeners grappling with existential questions
  • Anyone who feels alienated from bureaucracy

67
Literature Books: The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe

The Black Cat

Edgar Allen Poe
3.9 (15 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Black Cat about?

The Black Cat (1843) explores the dark themes of guilt, perversity, and violence. It's a tale of a man driven to self-destruction by his own malevolent actions and the haunting presence of a vengeful black cat.

Who should read The Black Cat?

  • Fans of Gothic fiction  
  • Psychology enthusiasts  
  • Horror literature aficionados

68
Literature Books: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen
3.7 (12 ratings)
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What's Sense and Sensibility about?

Sense and Sensibility (1811) explores the divergent paths of two sisters as they navigate through society’s challenges, drawn by differing temperaments of sound logic and emotional sensitivity.

Who should read Sense and Sensibility?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students studying societal norms
  • Lovers of strong female characters

69
Literature Books: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce
4.4 (16 ratings)
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00:00

What's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man about?

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) explores the maturation of Stephen Dedalus, an introspective and artistically inclined young man grappling with personal and national identity, religion, and aesthetic philosophy. It frames the universally relatable struggle of growing up and self-discovery.

Who should read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?

  • Aspiring writers
  • Fans of modernist literature
  • Anyone studying Irish history

70
Literature Books: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens
4.4 (119 ratings)
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00:00

What's A Tale of Two Cities about?

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel set against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the French Revolution and London in the late eighteenth century. The story revolves around the lives of Charles Darnay, a French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a dissolute English lawyer, who share a striking physical resemblance. As the novel unfolds, it explores themes of sacrifice, resurrection, and the stark contrast between the two cities of Paris and London, ultimately culminating in a powerful and emotionally charged climax.

Who should read A Tale of Two Cities?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Literature lovers
  • Students of social justice

71
Literature Books: The Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper
4.3 (14 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Last of the Mohicans about?

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) chronicles the thrilling journey of two daughters of a British Colonel, lost in Native American territory during the French and Indian War. It explores themes of racial and cultural conflict, intertwined with poignant romance.

Who should read The Last of the Mohicans ?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers keen on adventure tales
  • Individuals interested in Native American history

72
Literature Books: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot
2.7 (6 ratings)
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00:00

What's Daniel Deronda about?

Moving between love and duty, Daniel Deronda (1876) explores the life of its eponymous protagonist, torn between his loyalty to his past and an unfamiliar Jewish heritage. It navigates through societal expectations, morality, self-realization, and the idea of destiny in Victorian England.

Who should read Daniel Deronda?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students of Victorian England
  • History and society enthusiasts

73
Literature Books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl
4.4 (11 ratings)
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00:00

What's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory about?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) revolves around a poor boy, Charlie, who, despite his dire circumstances, maintains his moral compass in a world riddled with materialism as he embarks on a magical adventure inside an opulent chocolate factory.

Who should read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

  • Young readers interested in fantasy
  • Adults with a taste for satire
  • Fans of moral allegories

74
Literature Books: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe
4.0 (112 ratings)
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00:00

What's Moll Flanders about?

Moll Flanders is an exploration of a woman's relentless quest for survival and prosperity in 17th-century England, weaving through her numerous marriages and criminal endeavors.

Who should read Moll Flanders?

  • Classic novel aficionados  
  • Social history enthusiasts  
  • Students of feminist literature

75
Literature Books: Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner

George Eliot
4.3 (8 ratings)
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00:00

What's Silas Marner about?

Silas Marner (1861) is the story of a lonely outcast weaver, and the child who unexpectedly arrives in his solitary life, bringing him slowly back into the society that he has rejected and that has rejected him.

Who should read Silas Marner?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • History buffs with an interest in English village life
  • Anyone drawn to stories of misfits, loners, and outcasts

76
Literature Books: The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky
4.2 (25 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Idiot about?

The Idiot (1869) follows the naïvely optimistic prince Myshkin as he moves through Russia’s confusing and cynical society, offering a profound discussion on the struggle between idealism and worldly disillusionment.

Who should read The Idiot?

  • Connoisseurs of Russian literature
  • Readers interested in philosophy
  • Enthusiasts of character-driven narratives

77
Literature Books: What Napoleon Could Not Do by DK Nnuro

What Napoleon Could Not Do

DK Nnuro
3.9 (65 ratings)
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00:00

What's What Napoleon Could Not Do about?

What Napoleon Could Not Do (2023) explores the contrasting experiences of two Ghanaians, Jacob and Belinda, and their aspirations in the United States. Jacob, an awkward computer programmer who still lives with his father, wants to join his wife in America but is foiled by visa denials. His sister, Belinda, meanwhile, has studied in the US and married an American – Wilder, a prosperous Black Texan businessman. But she, too, contends with disappointment: as she waits for her green card, her perception of America is soured by racism. Their journeys reflect the allure and letdowns of life in a foreign land, and the narrative insightfully captures how each grapples with dreams both realized and thwarted.

Who should read What Napoleon Could Not Do?

  • Readers interested in immigrant experiences
  • Fans of emotional family dramas
  • Anyone who loves character-driven stories

78
Literature Books: Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

Hello Beautiful

Ann Napolitano
A Novel
4.0 (109 ratings)
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00:00

What's Hello Beautiful about?

Hello Beautiful (2023) is a tale of love, family, and sisterhood. It centers on William Waters, who meets and marries the ambitious, practical Julia Padovano while they are both still in college. Julia is one of four girls in a close knit Italian-American family, whose storybook lives at first seem like a fantasy to William. But soon enough, life’s many obstacles catch up with the Padovanos, and William is drawn deep into their lives, loves, conflicts, and griefs. 

Who should read Hello Beautiful?

  • Readers who love sprawling family epics
  • Lovers of Little Women, the classic story of sisterhood that inspired Hello Beautiful
  • Anyone who wants the scoop on one of 2023’s best-selling novels

79
Literature Books: All the Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby

All the Sinners Bleed

S. A. Cosby
A Novel
4.2 (14 ratings)
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00:00

What's All the Sinners Bleed about?

All the Sinners Bleed (2023) is a work of crime fiction, focused on main character Titus Crown’s efforts to investigate several recent killings in his hometown. To solve the crime, Crown must contend with the town’s racist history, a far-right group, and a long-undiscovered serial killer.

Who should read All the Sinners Bleed?

  • Anyone interested in an action-filled crime novel
  • Readers looking to explore the lingering effects of racism in the American South 
  • Fans of modern-day noir fiction

80
Literature Books: Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beloved

Toni Morrison
4.1 (107 ratings)
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00:00

What's Beloved about?

Beloved (1987) is a haunting and profound exploration of the enduring legacy of slavery on the African-American psyche. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, the narrative revolves around the life of Sethe, a former slave who escaped from Sweet Home, a brutal Kentucky plantation, and her struggles with the traumatic past that comes back to haunt her in the form of a mysterious and vengeful spirit.

Who should read Beloved?

  • People who enjoy award-winning fiction
  • Lovers of the literary genre of magical realism
  • Anyone who enjoys heartbreakingly profound, moving stories

81
Literature Books: The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey

Homer
4.6 (72 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Odyssey about?

The Odyssey (c. eighth century BC) is one of the foundational works of Western literature. The ancient Greek epic chronicles the arduous 10-year journey of hero Odysseus as he strives to return home from the Trojan War. Battling vengeful gods, mythical monsters, and the siren call of temptation, Odysseus's quest is not just for Ithaca, but for identity and meaning in a turbulent world.

Who should read The Odyssey?

  • Adventurers who love an epic travel story
  • Fans of fairy tales, fantasy, and mythology
  • Students of classic literature

82
Literature Books: Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder

Sophie's World

Jostein Gaarder
A Novel about the History of Philosophy
4.3 (67 ratings)
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00:00

What's Sophie's World about?

Sophie’s World (1991) is a unique story that takes you on a journey through the history of philosophy, as experienced by a teenage girl named Sophie Amundsen. After receiving mysterious letters containing philosophical questions, Sophie finds herself exploring fundamental questions about life, reality, and the very nature of existence.

Who should read Sophie's World?

  • History buffs
  • Lifelong students of philosophy
  • Anyone curious about the meaning of life

83
Literature Books: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel García Márquez
3.9 (75 ratings)
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00:00

What's One Hundred Years of Solitude about?

One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) tells the multigenerational story of the Buendía family, founders of the fictional town of Macondo. Mixing magical realism with historical events, it follows the family members and inhabitants of Macondo over a century through cycles of happiness and tragedy, as well as periods of solitude.

Who should read One Hundred Years of Solitude?

  • Lovers of the magical realism genre
  • Anyone interested in Latin American literature and culture
  • Fans of epic family sagas

84
Literature Books: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace
4.0 (167 ratings)
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00:00

What's Infinite Jest about?

Infinite Jest (1996) is considered a classic of postmodern literature. It weaves together a dizzying story of dozens of characters who are struggling to get by in a lonely, technologically oversaturated world. It also deals with the subjects of substance abuse and recovery in a deep and meaningful way.

Who should read Infinite Jest?

  • Fans of modern literature
  • Anyone interested in dystopian futures
  • People who feel isolated by technology

85
Literature Books: Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

Poor Things

Alasdair Gray
A Novel
4.2 (65 ratings)
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00:00

What's Poor Things about?

Poor Things (1992) is an award-winning postmodern novel that takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the monstrous and gothic world of late-Victorian Glasgow. A Frankenstein-esque tale of a dubious scientific experiment, it playfully subverts genre conventions to provide a fresh perspective on the representation of women in literature.

Who should read Poor Things?

  • Fans of satirical postmodern literature
  • History buffs who love all things Victorian 
  • Sci-fi enthusiasts interested in a modern take on Frankenstein

86
Literature Books: Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses

James Joyce
4.4 (80 ratings)
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00:00

What's Ulysses about?

Ulysses (1922) is a modernist novel that unfolds over the course of a single day in Dublin on June 16, 1904. The narrative follows two young men as they navigate the city and encounter a diverse array of characters and situations. Through its intricate narrative structures and literary styles, the novel explores themes of identity, consciousness, and the complexities of the human experience.

Who should read Ulysses?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Those interested in the origins of modernism
  • Anyone curious about a reimagining of The Odyssey

87
Literature Books: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner
4.2 (6 ratings)
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00:00

What's As I Lay Dying about?

As I Lay Dying (1930) centers on the arduous journey of the Bundren family to bury their mother, Addie, in her hometown. The story’s uniqueness lies in its delivery through the perspectives of fifteen different characters, subtly unraveling the family’s complex dynamics and individual struggles. 

Who should read As I Lay Dying?

  • Lovers of American literature
  • Fans of complex, multi-character narratives
  • Readers interested in family dynamics and individualism

88
Literature Books: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami
4.2 (98 ratings)
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00:00

What's Norwegian Wood about?

Norwegian Wood (1987) transports you to late 1960s Tokyo, where Toru Watanabe's recollection of his student days unveils a haunting tale of love, loss, and the passage of time. As he navigates friendships, passionate encounters, and heart-wrenching choices, we witness his complex relationships with the troubled beauty, Naoko, and the brazen Midori. Set against a backdrop of societal upheaval, Murakami delves deep into the emotional turmoil of choosing between past and future, weaving a story that resonates with the nostalgia and unrest of youth.

Who should read Norwegian Wood?

  • Lovers of introspective, melancholic narratives
  • Fans of Japanese culture and literature
  • Anyone grappling with the complexities of love and loss

89
Literature Books: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James
3.5 (2 ratings)
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What's The Portrait of a Lady about?

The Portrait of a Lady (1881) represents a highpoint in the literary career of Henry James, one of the most accomplished novelists in the English language. It tells the story of Isabel Archer, a beautiful and spirited American brought to Europe by a wealthy aunt. Defying social expectations, she turns down two marriage proposals in order to pursue a journey of self-discovery. Her love of liberty, however, leads her into a trap of her own devising: a union with the outwardly charming yet manipulative Gilbert Osmond.

Who should read The Portrait of a Lady?

  • Fans of classic literature 
  • Readers interested in themes of identity and freedom
  • Anyone who loves nuanced storytelling 

90
Literature Books: Sula by Toni Morrison

Sula

Toni Morrison
A Novel
3.9 (74 ratings)
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What's Sula about?

Sula (1973) invites you into the lives of Sula Peace and Nel Wright, childhood friends whose lives take sharply different paths. Their story explores friendship, betrayal, and identity, as well as examining life in a quiet African American town in the 1920s.

Who should read Sula?

  • Avid readers of literary masterpieces
  • Anyone interested in themes of race, gender, or identity
  • Enthusiasts of African American history and culture

91
Literature Books: The Tempest by William Shakespeare

The Tempest

William Shakespeare
4.5 (17 ratings)
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What's The Tempest about?

The Tempest (1623) is the ultimate revenge story. After being exiled from Milan by his scheming brother, the sorcerer Prospero uses his magical powers to conjure a storm that shipwrecks his enemies on his island, where he uses a series of magical illusions to take his vengeance. 

Who should read The Tempest?

  • Shakespeare-lovers looking to fill the gaps in their knowledge of the bard’s repertoire
  • Fantasy enthusiasts interested in one of the earliest treatments of magic in literature
  • Anyone whose interest is piqued by shipwrecks, sorcery, and vengeance

92
Literature Books: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie
3.8 (106 ratings)
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What's Midnight's Children about?

Midnight’s Children (1981) is the tale of Saleem Sinai, a child born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947 – the exact moment of India’s independence. This biographical and historical coincidence shapes his destiny, connecting him to a thousand other midnight’s children endowed with miraculous powers and intertwining his own fate with that of his nation. 

Who should read Midnight's Children?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of magical realism
  • Individuals interested in exploring the themes of identity, nationalism, and postcolonialism
  • Those looking to delve into a complex and imaginative narrative that challenges conventional storytelling

93
Literature Books: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen
3.7 (84 ratings)
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What's The Corrections about?

The Corrections (2001) invites you into an exploration of family dynamics, as it delves into the turbulent lives of the Lambert family. You’ll find yourself engrossed in their struggles with personal demons, societal pressures, and the relentless march of time.

Who should read The Corrections?

  • Fans of contemporary family dramas
  • Anyone interested in explorations of societal norms and aging
  • Enthusiasts of literary fiction with psychological depth

94
Literature Books: Strangers by Taichi Yamada

Strangers

Taichi Yamada
Uncover a Haunting World Amid Tokyo’s Mysterious Shadows
4.6 (34 ratings)
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What's Strangers about?

Strangers (1987) is the story of a lonely Japanese script writer who returns to his childhood home and, by chance, meets a couple who are uncannily like his parents, who died in a car crash when he was 12. As he becomes increasingly involved with them, the narrative explores the boundaries between the living and the dead, past and present, and the deep longing for familial bonds.

Who should read Strangers?

  • Lovers of literature in translation 
  • Japanophiles eager to learn more about one of the country’s most beloved novels
  • Movie buffs interested in the book that inspired 2023’s All of Us Strangers

95
Literature Books: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride
A Novel
3.3 (85 ratings)
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What's The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store about?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store (2023) is the richly-textured story of a small, diverse community centered around the Jewish-owned Heaven and Earth Grocery store in Pottstown Pennsylvania in the 20s and 30s, and of the big events – love, death, murder, kidnapping – that mark the lives of the people connected to it.

Who should read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store?

  • Lovers of historical fiction
  • Fans of contemporary American literature
  • Anyone who likes a tale full of twists and turns

96
Literature Books: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
4.1 (18 ratings)
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What's Pride and Prejudice about?

Pride and Prejudice (1813) is the classic story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a couple who must overcome all manner of social and financial obstacles – including their own initial dislike of each other – to find lasting love.

Who should read Pride and Prejudice?

  • True romantics seeking an all-time classic love story
  • History buffs curious about class life in Regency-era England
  • Lovers of classic literature and period dramas

97
Literature Books: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne
4.2 (13 ratings)
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What's The Scarlet Letter about?

The Scarlet Letter (1850) delves into the repercussions of sin, societal judgment, and the pathway to personal redemption, journeying through the life of Hester Prynne, an adulteress in a Puritan society.

Who should read The Scarlet Letter?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers interested in morality tales
  • Feminist literature enthusiasts

98
Literature Books: Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Notes from Underground

Fyodor Dostoevsky
3.8 (16 ratings)
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What's Notes from Underground about?

Notes from Underground (1864) is a stark exploration of the human condition. It delves into the innermost recesses of a deeply introspective protagonist's mind, unearthing radical thoughts on reason, free will, and suffering.

Who should read Notes from Underground?

  • Psychology enthusiasts
  • Existentialism explorers
  • Classic literature aficionados

99
Literature Books: The Zone of Interest  by Martin Amis

The Zone of Interest

Martin Amis
A Novel
4.1 (8 ratings)
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What's The Zone of Interest about?

The Zone of Interest (2014) explores the lives of three people under the harsh conditions of a Nazi concentration camp. This brutal narrative, which recently inspired a film adaptation, challenges you to confront the depths of human evil as well as the sparks of resilience in unimaginable circumstances. In it, you’ll encounter a chilling exploration of love, betrayal, and survival set against one of the darkest eras of human history.

Who should read The Zone of Interest ?

  • Fans of historical fiction and WWII narratives
  • Anyone interested in moral and ethical dilemmas
  • Enthusiasts of psychologically complex character studies

100
Literature Books: The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger

Albert Camus
4.8 (4 ratings)
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What's The Stranger about?

The Stranger (1942) is widely considered a classic in twentieth-century literature. It tells the tale of a murder in Algiers, and the unusual trial that follows. While there’s no mystery as to who did the killing, the story raises many questions about what makes a person guilty in the eyes of their community.

Who should read The Stranger?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Anyone interested in philosophy
  • People curious about existentialism and absurdism

Related Topics

Literature Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Literature book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Where the Crawdads Sing as the ultimate read on Literature.

What are the Top 10 Literature books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) by George Orwell
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  • Dune by Frank Herbert

Who are the top Literature book authors?

When it comes to Literature, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Delia Owens
  • Paulo Coelho
  • Harper Lee
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Homer