Based on your enjoyment of Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino… You're likely* to like:

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  1. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

    by Italo Calvino
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    Readership: Eclectic

    If on a Winter's Night a Traveler is a marvel of ingenuity, an experimental text that looks longingly back to the great age of narration—"when time no longer seemed stopped and did not yet seem to have exploded." Italo Calvino's novel is in one sense a comedy in which the two protagonists, the Reader and the Other Reader, ultimately end up married, having almost finished If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. In another, it is a tragedy, a reflection on the difficulties of writing and the solitary nature of reading. The Reader buys a fashionable new book, which opens … (Goodreads)

  2. Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings

    by Jorge Luis Borges
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    Readership: Very niche

    Although his work has been restricted to the short story, the essay, and poetry, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina is recognized all over the world as one of the most original and significant figures in modern literature. In his preface, Andre Maurois writes: "Borges is a great writer who has composed only little essays or short narratives. Yet they suffice for us to call him great because of their wonderful intelligence, their wealth of invention, and their tight, almost mathematical style." Labyrinths is a representative selection of Borges' writing, some forty pieces drawn from various books of his published over … (Goodreads)

  3. Don Quixote

    by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote's fancy often leads him astray—he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants—Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together, and together they have haunted readers' imaginations for nearly four hundred years. With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. The book has … (Goodreads)

  4. Waiting for Godot

    by Samuel Beckett
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, have met near a leafless tree. Estragon spent the previous night lying in a ditch and receiving a beating from some unnamed assailants. The two men discuss a variety of issues, and it is revealed that they are waiting for a man named Godot. They are not certain if they’ve ever met Godot, or if he will even arrive. Two other characters show up, Pozzo and his slave Lucky, who are headed for the market, where Pozzo intends to sell Lucky. They pause in their journey, as Pozzo engages Vladimir and Estragon in conversation. Lucky … (Wikipedia)

  5. Collected Fictions

    by Jorge Luis Borges
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    Readership: Very niche

    Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. Now for the first time in English, all of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered into a single volume, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity , through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph , these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a … (Goodreads)

  6. Naked Lunch

    by William S. Burroughs
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Naked Lunch is a non-linear narrative without a clear plot. The following is a summary of some of the events in the book that could be considered the most relevant. The book begins with the adventures of William Lee (also known as "Lee the Agent"), who is Burroughs' alter ego in the novel. His journey starts in the U.S. where he is fleeing the police in search of his next fix. There are short chapters describing the different characters he travels with and meets along the way. Eventually he gets to Mexico where he is assigned to Dr. Benway; for … (Wikipedia)

  7. The Trial

    by Franz Kafka
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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)

  8. Steppenwolf

    by Hermann Hesse
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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)

  9. Ficciones

    by Jorge Luis Borges
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges's genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal's abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between. Part One: The Garden of Forking Paths Prologue Tlön, … (Goodreads)

  10. 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)

  11. The Rings of Saturn

    by W.G. Sebald
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Rings of Saturn — with its curious archive of photographs — records a walking tour along the east coast of England. A few of the things which cross the path and mind of its narrator (who both is and is not Sebald) are lonely eccentrics, Sir Thomas Browne's skull, a matchstick model of the Temple of Jerusalem, recession-hit seaside towns, wooded hills, Joseph Conrad, Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson," the natural history of the herring, the massive bombings of WWII, the dowager empress Tzu Hsi, and the silk industry in Norwich. … (Goodreads)

  12. The Baron in the Trees

    by Italo Calvino
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    Readership: Very niche

    A landmark new translation of a Calvino classic, a whimsical, spirited novel that imagines a life lived entirely on its own terms Cosimo di Rondó, a young Italian nobleman of the eighteenth century, rebels against his parents by climbing into the trees and remaining there for the rest of his life. He adapts efficiently to an existence in the forest canopy—he hunts, sows crops, plays games with earth-bound friends, fights forest fires, solves engineering problems, and even manages to have love affairs. From his perch in the trees, Cosimo sees the Age of Enlightenment pass by and a new century … (Barnes & Noble)

  13. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    by James Joyce
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a universal testament to the artist's 'eternal imagination'. Both an insight into Joyce's life and childhood, and a unique work of modernist fiction, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a novel of sexual awakening, religious rebellion and the essential search for voice and meaning that every nascent artist must face in order to blossom fully into themselves. … (Goodreads)

  14. The Crying of Lot 49

    by Thomas Pynchon
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    Readership: Eclectic

    In the mid-1960s, Oedipa Maas lives a fairly comfortable life in the (fictional) northern Californian village of Kinneret, despite her lackluster marriage with Mucho Maas, a rudderless radio jockey , and her sessions with Dr. Hilarius, an unhinged German psychotherapist who tries to medicate his patients with LSD . One day, Oedipa learns of the death of an ex-lover, Pierce Inverarity, an incredibly wealthy real-estate mogul, who has left her as the executor of his massive estate. Inverarity appears to have owned or financed nearly all the goings-on in San Narciso , a (fictional) southern Californian city near Los Angeles … (Wikipedia)

  15. The Invention of Morel

    by Adolfo Bioy Casares
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    The fugitive starts a diary after tourists arrive on the desert island where he is hiding. ,, Although he considers their presence a miracle, he is afraid they will turn him in to the authorities. He retreats to the swamps while they take over the museum on top of the hill where he used to live. The diary described the fugitive as a writer from Venezuela sentenced to life in prison. He believes he is on the (fictional) island of Villings, a part of the Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu ), but is not sure. All he knows is that the … (Wikipedia)

  16. Gravity's Rainbow

    by Thomas Pynchon
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative, and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force. … (Goodreads)

  17. Ulysses

    by James Joyce
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    It is 8 a.m. Buck Mulligan , a boisterous medical student, calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer encountered as the principal subject of ,A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ) up to the roof of the Sandycove Martello tower , where they both live. There is tension between Stephen and Mulligan, stemming from a cruel remark Stephen overheard Mulligan make about his recently deceased mother, May Dedalus , and from the fact that Mulligan has invited an English student, Haines , to stay with them. The three men eat breakfast and walk to the shore, where Mulligan … (Wikipedia)

  18. Cosmicomics

    by Italo Calvino
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Italo Calvino's extraordinary imagination and intelligence combine here in an enchanting series of stories about the evolution of the universe. He makes his characters out of mathematical formulae and simple cellular structures. They disport themselves among galaxies, experience the solidification of planets, move from aquatic to terrestrial existence, play games with hydrogen atoms, and even have a love life. During the course of these stories Calvino toys with continuous creation, the transformation of matter, and the expanding and contracting reaches of space and time. He succeeds in relating complex scientific concepts to the ordinary reactions of common humanity. William Weaver's … (Goodreads)

  19. The New York Trilogy

    by Paul Auster
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A 2006 reissue by Penguin Books is fronted by new pulp magazine -style covers by comic book illustrator Art Spiegelman . The first story, City of Glass , features an author of detective fiction who becomes a private investigator and descends into madness as he becomes embroiled in the investigation of a case. It explores layers of identity and reality, from Paul Auster the writer of the novel to the unnamed "author" who reports the events as reality, to "Paul Auster the writer", a character in the story, to "Paul Auster the detective", who may or may not exist in … (Wikipedia)

  20. 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)