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  1. A Farewell to Arms

    by Ernest Hemingway
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    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)

  2. For Whom the Bell Tolls

    by Ernest Hemingway
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    The novel graphically describes the brutality of the Spanish Civil War. It is told primarily through the thoughts and experiences of the protagonist, Robert Jordan. It draws on Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War as a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance . ,, Jordan is an American who lived in prewar Spain and fights as an irregular soldier for the Republic against Francisco Franco 's fascist forces. An experienced dynamiter, he is ordered by a Soviet general to travel behind enemy lines and destroy a bridge with the aid of a band of local anti-fascist guerrillas … (Wikipedia)

  3. 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)

  4. The Things They Carried

    by Tim O'Brien
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    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)

  5. All Quiet on the Western Front

    by Erich Maria Remarque
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    Readership: Popular

    The book tells the story of Paul Bäumer, who belongs to a group of German soldiers on the Western Front during World War I . The patriotic speeches of his teacher Kantorek had led the whole class to volunteer for military service shortly after the start of World War I . He didn't have any experience when going into the war but he still went in with an open mind and a kind heart. Paul lived with his father, mother, and sister in a charming German village, and attended school. His class was "scattered over the platoons amongst Frisian fishermen, … (Wikipedia)

  6. Nine Stories

    by J.D. Salinger
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Nine Stories (1953) is a collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger published in April 1953. It includes two of his most famous short stories, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor". (Nine Stories is the U.S. title; the book is published in many other countries as For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories.) The stories are: "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" "Just Before the War with the Eskimos" "The Laughing Man" "Down at the Dinghy" "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor" … (Goodreads)

  7. Mrs. Dalloway

    by Virginia Woolf
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Clarissa Dalloway goes around London in the morning, getting ready to host a party that evening. The nice day reminds her of her youth spent in the countryside in Bourton and makes her wonder about her choice of husband; she married the reliable Richard Dalloway instead of the enigmatic and demanding Peter Walsh, and she "had not the option" to be with a close female friend, Sally Seton. Peter reintroduces these conflicts by paying a visit that morning. Septimus Warren Smith, a First World War veteran suffering from deferred traumatic stress , spends his day in the park with his … (Wikipedia)

  8. Heart of Darkness

    by Joseph Conrad
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    Readership: Popular

    Aboard the Nellie , anchored in the River Thames near Gravesend , Charles Marlow tells his fellow sailors how he became captain of a river steamboat for an ivory trading company. As a child, Marlow had been fascinated by "the blank spaces" on maps, particularly by the biggest, which by the time he had grown up was no longer blank but turned into "a place of darkness". Yet there remained a big river, "resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country and its tail lost in the … (Wikipedia)

  9. The Garden of Eden

    by Ernest Hemingway
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    Readership: Very niche

    The novel is fundamentally the story of five months in the lives of David Bourne, an American writer, and his wife Catherine. It is set mainly in the French Riviera , specifically in the Côte d'Azur , and in Spain. The story begins with their honeymoon in the Camargue , then moves to Spain, then back to France (at a "long low rose-colored Provençal house where they had stayed before... in the pines on the Estérel side of la Napoule" (within easy driving distance to Cannes). ,, However, early in the book, Catherine seemed to change (from David's point of … (Wikipedia)

  10. As I Lay Dying

    by William Faulkner
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor, rural family's quest and motivations—noble or selfish—to honor her wish to be buried in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi . In the novel's first chapters, Addie is alive, though in ill health. Addie and others expect her to die soon, and she sits at a window watching as her firstborn child, Cash, builds her coffin. Anse, Addie's husband, waits on the porch, while their daughter, Dewey Dell, fans her mother in the July heat. The night … (Wikipedia)

  11. Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

    by Cormac McCarthy
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving. … (Barnes & Noble)

  12. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    by Haruki Murakami
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    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)

  13. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    by Dave Eggers
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    'When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh, then cry, then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once.' "Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tried already, from that winter. So when something would come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his … (Goodreads)

  14. My Ántonia

    by Willa Cather
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Orphaned Jim Burden rides the trains from Virginia to Black Hawk, Nebraska, where he will live with his paternal grandparents. Jake, a farmhand from Virginia, rides with the 10-year-old boy. On the same train, headed to the same destination, is the Shimerda family from Bohemia. Jim lives with his grandparents in the home they have built, helping as he can with chores to ease the labor on the others. The home has the dining room and kitchen downstairs, like a basement, with small windows at the top of the walls, an arrangement quite different from Jim’s home in Virginia. The … (Wikipedia)

  15. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    by Milan Kundera
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    Readership: Popular

    In The Unbearable Lightness of Being , Milan Kundera tells the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places, brilliant and playful reflections, and a variety of styles, to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers. … (Goodreads)

  16. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

    by Ernest Hemingway
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    Readership: Very niche

    THE ONLY COMPLETE COLLECTION BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR In this definitive collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories, readers will delight in the author's most beloved classics such as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," and will discover seven new tales published for the first time in this collection. For Hemingway fans The Complete Short Stories is an invaluable treasury. … (Goodreads)

  17. The Importance of Being Earnest

    by Oscar Wilde
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades. Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack's ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack's country home on the same weekend the "rivals" … (Goodreads)

  18. 1Q84

    by Haruki Murakami
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    The events of 1Q84 take place in Tokyo during a fictionalized year of 1984, with the first volume set between April and June, the second between July and September, and the third between October and December. The book opens with a female character named Aomame (,あおまめ,) as she rides a taxi in Tokyo on her way to a work assignment. When the taxi gets stuck in a traffic jam on the Shibuya Route of the Shuto Expressway , the driver suggests that she get out of the car and climb down an emergency escape in order to make it to … (Wikipedia)

  19. Cat's Cradle

    by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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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)

  20. The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

    by Ernest Hemingway
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    The ideal introduction to the genius of Ernest Hemingway, ,The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, contains ten of Hemingway's most acclaimed and popular works of short fiction. Selected from ,Winner Take Nothing, Men Without Women,, and ,The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories,, this collection includes "The Killers," the first of Hemingway's mature stories to be accepted by an American periodical; the autobiographical "Fathers and Sons," which alludes, for the first time in Hemingway's career, to his father's suicide; "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," a "brilliant fusion of personal observation, hearsay and invention," wrote Hemingway's biographer, … (Goodreads)