Anna and the King of Siam
by Margaret Landon
Anna, a young Welsh widow, was hired by the King of Siam in 1862 as governess to his many children. Contrast is provided between her Western ideals and the inner life of the harem, and between her Victorianism and the exotic Oriental setting and characters. This book inspired the musical "The King and I."
by Boris Pasternak
The story of a Russian physician and poet after the Bolshevik revolution. Yurii Zhivago, an individualist and something of an outsider, is separated from his wife by the political upheaval. He falls in love with Lara, the wife of another man. Pasternak's portrait of Russian life includes an epilogue expressing hope for liberation and freedom in the future. Nobel Prize 1958.
From Here to Eternity
by James Jones
A powerful novel of military life in Hawaii just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The plot centers on the conflict and bond between two men: Private Prewitt and First Sergeant Warden, who risks his career for an affair with his commanding officer's wife. National Book Award 1951.
Gone with the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell
A romantic Civil War epic in which Scarlet O'Hara, a forceful and ruthless heroine, and Rhett Butler, a war profiteer, play out their tempestuous love affair against the background of the war-torn South. This classic novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937.
Romeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
A 16th century romantic tragedy of two teenagers from rival families who fall in love. A sentence of exile and an impending arranged marriage force the two to flee. A friar suggests a ruse to accomplish their union, but miscommunication causes it to backfire.
The African Queen
by C.S. Forester
An action adventure story set during World War I. A tough, gin-loving trader teams up with a prudish missionary to destroy a German boat. They fall for each other while making a perilous river journey through the African jungle.
The Bridges of Madison County
by Robert James Waller
Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic, arrives in Madison County, Iowa, on August 16, 1965, to photograph covered bridges. He stops at the home of Francesca Johnson to ask for directions, ultimately staying with her for four wonderful days. She is married, however, and the couple must let go of one another.
The English Patient
by Michael Ondaatje
This novel is set in Italy during the final days of World War II. Four people occupy an abandoned villa: the English patient who was badly burned in a parachute jump; a former spy and thief who was tortured by the Nazis; an exhausted nurse; and a bomb disposal expert. The members of this disparate quartet reveal their pasts while forming new connections to one another. Booker Prize 1992.
by Emily Brontë
This 19th century English novel, set in the wild moor country of Yorkshire, is about Heathcliff, a foundling raised in the Earnshaw home, who passionately loves Catherine. He dedicates his life to the realization of that love and revenge on those who oppose him.