Based on your enjoyment of The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera… You're likely* to like:

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  1. Blindness

    by José Saramago
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortune of a handful of unnamed characters who are among the first to be stricken with blindness, including an ophthalmologist, several of his patients, and assorted others, who are thrown together by chance. The ophthalmologist's spouse, "the doctor's wife," is inexplicably immune from the blindness. After a lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the good … (Wikipedia)

  2. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The first section occurs in 1971 and is the story of Mirek, as he explores his memories of Zdena. Knowing that he loved this ugly woman has left a blemish, and he hopes to rectify this by destroying the love letters that he had sent her. While he travels to her home and back, he is followed by two men. Mirek is arrested at his home and sentenced to jail for six years, his son to two years, and ten or so of his friends to terms of from one to six years. Kundera also describes a photograph from 21 … (Wikipedia)

  3. The Name of the Rose

    by Umberto Eco
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    In 1327, Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Adso of Melk , a Benedictine novice travelling under his protection, arrive at a Benedictine monastery in Northern Italy to attend a theological disputation . This abbey is being used as neutral ground in a dispute between Pope John XXII and the Franciscans, who are suspected of heresy. The monastery is disturbed by the death of Adelmo of Otranto, an illuminator revered for his illustrations. Adelmo was skilled at comical artwork, especially concerning religious matters. William is asked by the monastery's abbot , Abo of Fossanova, to investigate the death: During his … (Wikipedia)

  4. Immortality

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Divided into seven parts, Immortality centers on Agnes, her husband Paul and her sister Laura. Part One: the Face establishes these characters. Part Two: Immortality depicts Goethe 's fraught relationship with Bettina , a young woman who aspires to create a place for herself in the pantheon of history by controlling Goethe's legacy after his death. Part Three: Agnes and Laura fight, while focusing on the deteriorating state of Laura's relationship with Bernard Bertrand. Part Four: Homo Sentimentalis chronicles Goethe's afterlife and postmortem friendship with Ernest Hemingway . Part Five: Chance sees Agnes' death, and intersects these fictional events with … (Wikipedia)

  5. Franny and Zooey

    by J.D. Salinger
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The short story concerns Franny's weekend date with her collegiate boyfriend, Lane Coutell. Lane takes her to a fashionable lunch room, where Franny quickly becomes exasperated when he only appears interested in conversing about the minutiae of his academic frustrations. Franny questions the importance of college education and the worth of Lane's friends. She eats nothing, feels faint, and becomes progressively more uncomfortable talking to Lane. Eventually she excuses herself to visit the restroom, where, after a crying spell, she regains her composure. She returns to the table, where Lane questions her on the small book she has been carrying. … (Wikipedia)

  6. Norwegian Wood

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Popular

    Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that … (Goodreads)

  7. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

    by Patrick Süskind
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder. In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift—an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille's genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the … (Goodreads)

  8. Laughable Loves

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Laughable Loves is a collection of stories that first appeared in print in Prague before 1968, but was then was subsequently banned. The seven stories are all concerned with love, or rather with the complex erotic games and stratagems employed by women and especially men as they try to come to terms with needs and impulses that can start a terrifying train of events. Sexual attraction is shown as a game that often turns sour, an experience that brings with it painful insights and releases uncertainty, panic, vanity and a constant need for reassurance. Thus a young couple on holiday … (Goodreads)

  9. Steppenwolf

    by Hermann Hesse
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The book is presented as a manuscript written by its protagonist , a middle-aged man named Harry Haller, who leaves it to a chance acquaintance, the nephew of his landlady. The acquaintance adds a short preface of his own and then has the manuscript published. The title of this "real" book-in-the-book is Harry Haller's Records (For Madmen Only) . As the story begins, the hero is beset by reflections on his being ill-suited for the world of everyday, regular people, specifically for frivolous bourgeois society. In his aimless wanderings about the city he encounters a person carrying an advertisement for … (Wikipedia)

  10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The first part, "The Thieving Magpie", begins with the narrator, Toru Okada, a low-key and unemployed lawyer's assistant, being tasked by his wife, Kumiko, to find their missing cat. Kumiko suggests looking in the alley, a closed-off strip of land behind their house. After Toru stays there for a while with no luck, May Kasahara, a teenager who had been watching him camping out in the alley for some time, questions him. She invites him over to her house in order to sit on the patio and look over an abandoned house that she says is a popular hangout for … (Wikipedia)

  11. A Farewell to Arms

    by Ernest Hemingway
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The novel is divided into five sections or 'books'. Frederic Henry is first person narrator of the story. Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American paramedic , is serving in the Italian Army . The novel begins during the First World War. It is the start of winter when a Cholera epidemic kills thousands of soldiers. Frederic has a brief visit to Gorizia where he meets with other army fellows and the priest. He finds there are two brothels, one for officers and the other for lower rank soldiers. On his return, he shares his experience with his friend, Surgeon Rinaldi, quite … (Wikipedia)

  12. The House of the Spirits

    by Isabel Allende
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The story starts with the del Valle family, focusing upon the youngest and the oldest daughters of the family, Clara and Rosa. The youngest daughter, Clara del Valle, has paranormal powers and keeps a detailed diary of her life. Using her powers, Clara predicts an accidental death in the family. Shortly after this, Clara's sister, Rosa the Beautiful, is killed by poison intended for her father who is running for the Senate . Rosa's fiancé, a poor miner named Esteban Trueba, is devastated and attempts to mend his broken heart by devoting his life to restoring his family hacienda , … (Wikipedia)

  13. The Trial

    by Franz Kafka
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    On the morning of his thirtieth birthday, Josef K., the chief cashier of a bank, is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime. Josef is not imprisoned, however, but left "free" and told to await instructions from the Committee of Affairs. Josef's landlady, Frau Grubach, tries to console Josef about the trial, but insinuates that the procedure may be related to an immoral relationship with his neighbor Fräulein Bürstner. Josef visits Bürstner to vent his worries, and then kisses her. Josef is ordered to appear at the court's address the coming Sunday, without … (Wikipedia)

  14. The Joke

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Very niche

    The novel is composed of many jokes, which have strong effects on the characters. The story is told from the four viewpoints of Ludvik Jahn, Helena Zemánková, Kostka, and Jaroslav. Jaroslav's joke is the transition away from his coveted Moravian folk lifestyle and appreciation. Kostka, who has separated himself from the Communist Party due to his Christianity , serves as a counterpoint to Ludvik. Helena serves as Ludvik's victim and is satirical of the seriousness of party supporters. Ludvik demonstrates the shortcomings of the party and propels the plot in his search for revenge and redemption. Written in 1965 Prague … (Wikipedia)

  15. Sophie's World

    by Jostein Gaarder
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    Sophie Amundsen is a 14-year-old girl who lives in Lillesand , Norway. The book begins with Sophie receiving two messages in her mailbox and a postcard addressed to Hilde Møller Knag. Afterwards, she receives a packet of papers, part of a course in philosophy . Sophie, without the knowledge of her mother, becomes the student of an old philosopher, Alberto Knox. Alberto teaches her about the history of philosophy . She gets a substantive and understandable review from the Pre-Socratics to Jean-Paul Sartre . In addition to this, Sophie and Alberto receive postcards addressed to a girl named Hilde from … (Wikipedia)

  16. Identity

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Very niche

    There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. This also happens with couples--indeed, above all with couples, because lovers fear more than anything else "losing sight" of that loved one. With stunning artfulness in expanding and playing variations on the meaningful moment, Milan Kundera has made this situation--and the vague sense of panic it inspires--the very fabric of his novel. Here brevity goes hand in hand with intensity, and a moment of bewilderment marks the start … (Goodreads)

  17. The Things They Carried

    by Tim O'Brien
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    In 1979, Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato —a novel about the Vietnam War—won the National Book Award. In this, his second work of fiction about Vietnam, O'Brien's unique artistic vision is again clearly demonstrated. Neither a novel nor a short story collection, it is an arc of fictional episodes, taking place in the childhoods of its characters, in the jungles of Vietnam and back home in America two decades later. … (Goodreads)

  18. Invisible Cities

    by Italo Calvino
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Eclectic

    "Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So begins Italo Calvino's compilation of fragmentary urban images. As Marco tells the khan about Armilla, which "has nothing that makes it seem a city, except the water pipes that rise vertically where the houses should be and spread out horizontally where the floors should be," the spider-web city of Octavia, and other … (Goodreads)

  19. The Death of Ivan Ilych

    by Leo Tolstoy
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Ivan Ilyich lives a carefree life that is "most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible". Like everyone he knows, he spends his life climbing the social ladder. Enduring marriage to a woman whom he often finds too demanding, he works his way up to be a magistrate, thanks to the influence he has over a friend who has just been promoted, focusing more on his work as his family life becomes less tolerable. While hanging curtains for his new home one day, he falls awkwardly and hurts his side. Though he does not think much of it at … (Wikipedia)

  20. Cat's Cradle

    by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ... Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he's the inventor of 'ice-nine', a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker's Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, … (Goodreads)