Just the Classics Please!
by Charles Dickens
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness...." The most famous and possibly the most popular of Dickens's novels, A Tale of Two Cities shows a master of dramatic narrative extracting gold from the ore of history.
by George Orwell
Animal Farm was George Orwell's satirical shot at the then-new totalitarianism of the left. It is so accurate that no one has been able to do it better or more effectively, or even come close. Who can forget "All Animals Are Created Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others." By putting wisdom in the mouths of animals, Orwell uses an age-old artifice and proves again how the pen can be mightier than the sword.
by Charlotte Bronte
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature.
by Willa Cather
Infused with a gracious passion for the land, My Antonia embraces its uncommon subject - the hardscrabble life of the pioneer woman on the prairie - with poetic certitude, rendering a deeply moving portrait of an entire community. Through Jim Burden's endearing, smitten voice, we revisit the remarkable vicissitudes of immigrant life in the Nebraska heartland with all its insistent bonds.
by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experiece as going to the movies
by Shirley Jackson
The four visitors at Hill House-- some there for knowledge, others for adventure-- are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own.
by Stephen Crane
First published in 1895, America's greatest novel of the Civil War was written before 21-year-old Stephen Crane had "smelled even the powder of a sham battle." But this powerful psychological study of a young soldier's struggle with the horrors, both within and without, that war strikes the reader with its undeniable realism and with its masterful descriptions of the moment-by-moment riot of emotions felt by me under fire.