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View all Best Picks for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 4/30/2013
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release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Catcher in the Rye
Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
release date: Jan 01, 1979
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Handful of Dust
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Evelyn Waugh's 1934 novel is a bitingly funny vision of aristocratic decadence in England between the wars. It tells the story of Tony Last, who, to the irritation of his wife, is inordinately obsessed with his Victorian Gothic country house and life. When Lady Brenda Last embarks on an affair with the worthless John Beaver out of boredom with her husband, she sets in motion a sequence of tragicomic disasters that reveal Waugh at his most scathing. The action is set in the brittle social world recognizable from Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies, darkened and deepened by Waugh's own experience of sexual betrayal. As Tony is driven by the urbane savagery of this world to seek solace in the wilds of the Brazilian jungle, A Handful of Dust demonstrates the incomparably brilliant and wicked wit of one of the twentieth century's most accomplished novelists.
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release date: Apr 01, 1999
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Native Son
The tale of Bigger Thomas and his struggle for survival in a hostile country, America, is retold in a new edition of this Richard Wright classic. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.
release date: Jun 01, 1983
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Henderson the Rain King
Henderson the Rain King, is seriocomic novel by Saul Bellow, first published in 1959. The novel examines the midlife crisis of Eugene Henderson, an unhappy millionaire. The story concerns Henderson's search for meaning. A larger-than-life 55-year-old who has accumulated money, position, and a large family, he nonetheless feels unfulfilled. He makes a spiritual journey to Africa, where he draws emotional sustenance from experiences with African tribes. Deciding that his true destiny is as a healer, Henderson returns home, planning to enter medical school.

“A kind of wildly delirious dream made real by the force of Bellow's rollicking prose and the offbeat inventiveness of his language.” — Chicago Tribune

“Bellow's aura of fable is constantly washed over by humor, impulsive creation, and actual, turbulent detail.” — The Nation
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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release date: Jan 01, 1988
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The Satanic Verses
One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic Verses is a key work of our times.
release date: Feb 01, 1995
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The Cunning Man
"Canada's leading man of letters and literary virtuoso" (Chicago Tribune) crowns an astonishing literary career with a new novel in the spirit of hi s bestselling What's Bred in the Bone. A mysterious death prologues a rich and meaty saga, narrated by Dr. Jonathan Hullah, which looks back over a long life punctuated by the dazzling intellectual highjinks and compassionate philosophies of Hullah and his circle.
release date: Sep 01, 1994
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Illusions
In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders...until he meets Donald Shimoda--former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard's imagination soar....

In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that people don't need airplanes to soar...that even the darkest clouds have meaning once we lift ourselves above them... and that messiahs can be found in the unlikeliest places--like hay fields, one-traffic-light midwestern towns, and most of all, deep within ourselves.
release date: Sep 01, 2003
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Mythago Wood

Myth and Terror in the Forest Deeps

The mystery of Ryhope Wood, Britain's last fragment of primeval forest, consumed George Huxley's entire long life. Now, after his death, his sons have taken up his work. But what they discover is numinous and perilous beyond all expectation.

For the Wood, larger inside than out, is a labyrinth full of myths come to life, "mythagos" that can change you forever. A labyrinth where love and beauty haunt your dreams. . .and may drive you insane.

release date: Dec 01, 2003
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Mulengro

A tale of magic and murder

The increasingly bizarre murders have baffled the police―but each death is somehow connected with the city's elusive Gypsy community. The police are searching for a human killer, but the Romany know better. They know the name of the darkness that hunts them down, one by one: Mulengro.

release date: Jan 01, 2004
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My Antonia
My Ántonia chronicles the life of Ántonia, a Bohemian immigrant woman, as seen through the eyes of Jim, the man unable to forget her. Jim, now a successful New York lawyer, recollects his upbringing on a Nebraska farm. Even after twenty years, Ántonia continues to live a romantic life in his imagination. When he returns to Nebraska, he finds Ántonia has lived a battered life. Although the man to whom she dedicated her life abandons her, she remains strong and full of courage.
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Sometimes a Great Notion
The magnificent second novel from the legendary author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls "one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century." This wild-spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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release date: May 01, 2006
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A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway's classic novel of the First World War

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Ernest Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that lead to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction, who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in fiction in his brilliant novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he subsequently covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. He died in 1961.
release date: Nov 01, 1986
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One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Kesey chronicles the struggle between a formidable nurse on a mental ward and an inmate who refuses to surrender to her soul-destroying methods.
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Light In August
An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities. Audie Award-winning narrator Will Patton lends his voice to Light in August. Patton has narrated works by Ernest Hemingway, Don DeLillo, Pat Conroy, Denis Johnson, Larry McMurtry, and James Lee Burke, and brings to this performance a keen understanding of Faulkner, an authentic feel for the South, and a virtuoso narrator's touch. “His passion is like the current of a surging river, and his performance as authentic and timeless as Faulkner's Mississippi dirt. A stunning achievement.” - AudioFile
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Brideshead Revisited
The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.
release date: Dec 01, 2004
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Citizen of the Galaxy
A youth who has known only the primitive life of a galaxy slave is purchased by a beggar who turns out to be a man with many extracurricular activities.
release date: Jun 01, 2000
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Double Star
[LIBRARY EDITION Audiobook CD format in sturdy Vinyl Case with cloth sleeves that keep compact discs protected.]

[Read by Tom Weiner]

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe is in a bar, drinking away his troubles. Then a space pilot buys him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knows, he's shanghaied to Mars. Smythe suddenly finds himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who has been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians is at stake, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. Smythe knows nothing of the issues concerning free interplanetary trade and equal rights for aliens, but the handsome compensation is impossible to refuse. He soon realizes, however, that his masquerade could be permanent.
release date: Aug 01, 2009
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The Puppet Masters
First came the news that a flying saucer had landed in Iowa. Then came the announcement that the whole thing was a hoax. End of story. Case closed.

Except that two agents of the most secret intelligence agency in the U.S. government were on the scene and disappeared without reporting in. And four more agents who were sent in also disappeared. So the head of the agency and his two top agents went in and managed to get out with their discovery: an invasion is underway by slug-like aliens who can touch a human and completely control his or her mind. What the humans know, they know. What the slugs want, no matter what, the human will do. And most of Iowa is already under their control.

Sam Cavanaugh was one of the agents who discovered the truth. Unfortunately, that was just before he was taken over by one of the aliens and began working for the invaders, with no will of his own. And he has just learned that a high official in the Treasury Department is now under control of the aliens. Since the Treasury Department includes the Secret Service, which safeguards the President of the United States, control of the entire nation is near at hand . . .

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (DRM Rights Management).
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter)
Abridged CDs ? 5 CDs, 6 hours

Learn how Anita Blake started raising the dead?and killing the undead?in Guilty Pleasures, the debut novel in the #1 New York Times?bestselling series.

release date: Jan 01, 1997
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The Hunt for Red October
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Both the Americans and the Soviets commence an intense naval search when a trusted and skilled Soviet naval officer defects, using the USSR's most valuable nuclear submarine as his escape vehicle.
release date: Dec 01, 1995
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Naked Lunch
Bill Lee, an addict-hustler, travels to Mexico and Tangiers in order to find easy access to drugs and ends up in the Interzone, a bizarre fantasy world. Read by William S. Burroughs. Book available.
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Watership Down
One of the most beloved novels of our time, Watership Down is an epic journey, a stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival.

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. So did his brother, Hazel, for Fiver's sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, an upland meadow. But here they face their most difficult challenges of all.

A stirring epic of courage and survival against the odds, Watership Down is also an exciting adventure story and an involving allegory about freedom, ethics, and even human nature, in what has become a beloved classic for all ages. (This modern classic has been adapted to film, TV, and theater.)
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Arrowsmith
With an afterword by E. L. Doctorow—the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of one man's pursuit of intellectual freedom in the face of ignorance and corruption, from the author of Babbit

Arrowsmith,
the most widely read of Sinclair Lewis's novels, is the incisive portrait of a man passionately devoted to science. As a bright, curious boy in a small Midwestern town, Martin Arrowsmith spends his free time in old Doc Vickerson's office avidly devouring medical texts. Destined to become a physician and a researcher, he discovers that societal forces of ignorance, greed, and corruption can be as life-threatening as the plague. 

Part satire, part morality tale, Lewis's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel illuminates the mystery and power of science while giving enduring life to a singular American hero's struggle for integrity and intellectual freedom in a small-minded world.

With an Introduction by Sally E. Parry 
and an Afterword by E. L. Doctorow
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Fahrenheit 451
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoys his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.
release date: Aug 17, 1998
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At Swim-Two-Birds
"That's a real writer, with the true comic spirit. A really funny book." James Joyce.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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The Call of the Wild
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London's masterpiece. Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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I, Claudius
Considered an idiot because of his physical infirmities, Claudius survived the intrigues and poisonings of the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and the Mad Caligula to become emporer in 41 A.D.
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