Books everyone should have read

View all Best Picks for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 10/5/2012
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1 - 23 of 23 results
release date: Nov 01, 2001
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Alcoholics Anonymous
The fourth edition includes twenty-four new stories that provide contemporary sharing for newcomers seeking recovery from alcoholism in A.A. during the early years of the 21st century. Sixteen stories are retained from the third edition, including the "Pioneers of A.A." section, which helps the reader remain linked to A.A.'s historic roots, and shows how early members applied this simple but profound program that helps alcoholics get sober today. Approximately 21 million copies of the first three editions of "Alcoholics Anonymous" have been distributed. It is expected that the new fourth edition will play its part in passing on A.A.'s basic message of recovery. This fourth edition has been approved by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the hope that many more may be led toward recovery by reading its explanation of the A.A. program and its varied examples of personal experiences which demonstrate that the A.A. program works.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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release date: Oct 01, 1993
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Wuthering Heights

Critics often comment on the importance of landscape in Wuthering Heights, and in this edition, Christopher Heywood locates the text more precisely than previous editions amid Yorkshire's limestone north and moorland south, drawing out the importance of the region's slaveholding society. Heywood also makes an important contribution to scholarship arguing persuasively for a re-structuring of the chapter and section breaks. Finally, this edition includes a variety of appendices that help to illuminate the novel's historical background.

release date: Jun 01, 1992
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release date: Jan 01, 2006
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BELL JAR
Get your "A" in gear!

They're today's most popular study guides-with everything you need to succeed in school. Written by Harvard students for students, since its inception SparkNotes™ has developed a loyal community of dedicated users and become a major education brand. Consumer demand has been so strong that the guides have expanded to over 150 titles. SparkNotes'™ motto is Smarter, Better, Faster because:

· They feature the most current ideas and themes, written by experts.
· They're easier to understand, because the same people who use them have also written them.
· The clear writing style and edited content enables students to read through the material quickly, saving valuable time.

And with everything covered--context; plot overview; character lists; themes, motifs, and symbols; summary and analysis, key facts; study questions and essay topics; and reviews and resources--you don't have to go anywhere else!



release date: Jan 01, 2009
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On The Road
REA's MAXnotes for Jack Kerouac's On the Road

MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions.

MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Don Quixote
Don Quixote, the old gentleman of La Mancha, takes to the road in search of adventure, and remains undaunted in the face of repeated disaster.
by: Homer
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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The Odyssey of Homer
Colonel T. E. (Thomas Edward) Lawrence was one of the most flamboyant figures of his era, known throughout the Western world as Lawrence of Arabia. Glory-seeking yet self-effacing, this soldier, archaeologist, spy, and scholar was a war hero whom Winston Churchill called "one of the greatest men of our time." Less well known were his abilities as a historian and author, which won him the admiration of such writers as Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, and Robert Graves.

For a generation of readers accustomed to verse translations of Homer, this bold and vivid prose version is well worth rediscovery. Lawrence breathes new life into the adventures of Odysseus, smoothing the reader's path through a fantastic array of monsters, temptresses, gods, and goddesses. Highly recommended.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Walden

Originally published in 1854, Walden, or Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature.


This new paperback edition--introduced by noted American writer John Updike--celebrates the 150th anniversary of this classic work. Much of Walden's material is derived from Thoreau's journals and contains such engaging pieces as "Reading" and "The Pond in the Winter." Other famous sections involve Thoreau's visits with a Canadian woodcutter and with an Irish family, a trip to Concord, and a description of his bean field. This is the complete and authoritative text of Walden--as close to Thoreau's original intention as all available evidence allows.


For the student and for the general reader, this is the ideal presentation of Thoreau's great document of social criticism and dissent.


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Great Expectations
Great Expectations is the story of the orphan Pip, writing about his life from his early childhood until adulthood. The novel can also be considered semi-autobiographical of Dickens. The main plot takes place between Christmas Eve 1812, when the protagonist is about seven years old, and the winter of 1840.
release date: Jan 01, 1996
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Shoeless Joe
One day while out in his corn field, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears the voice of a baseball announcer saying, If you build it, he will come. He refers to Ray's hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. It is a baseball stadium, which Ray carves out of his corn field.
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Anthem
"Anthem" is a dystopian, fiction novella by Ayn Rand, first published in 1938. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age as a result of the evils of irrationality and collectivism and the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated (for example, the word "I" has disappeared from the language). As is common in her work, Rand draws a clear distinction between the "socialist/communal" values of equality and brotherhood and the "productive/capitalist" values of achievement and individuality. Many of the novella's core themes, such as the struggle between individualism and collectivism, are echoed in Rand's later books, such as "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged".
release date: Nov 01, 2004
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1984
Orwell depicts a gray world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police, quashing freedom in a totalitarian world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote.

Winston Smith, the hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell's nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is still the great modern classic of negative Utopia.

release date: Jan 01, 1989
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Grapes of Wrath
Unabridged, 17 CDs, 21 hours
Read by Dylan Baker
The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized-and sometimes outraged-millions of readers
At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's, "The Grapes of Wrath" is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, "The Grapes of Wrath" is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. From their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of this new America, Steinbeck creates a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, tragic but ultimately stirring in its insistence on human dignity.
release date: Jan 01, 2003
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Slaughterhouse-Five
Billy Pilgrim travels through time to relive parts of his life. 2 cassettes.
release date: Mar 01, 2005
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A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events. The most notable are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Carton is a dissipated British barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of his unrequited love for Darnay's wife, Lucie Manette. The 45-chapter novel was published in 32 weekly instalments in Dickens' new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. In May 1859 through December 1859, Dickens also republished the chapters as eight monthly sections in green covers. Dickens' previous novels had appeared only as monthly instalments. The first weekly instalment of A Tale of Two Cities ran in the first issue of All the Year Round on 30 April 1859. The last ran thirty-one weeks later, on 25 November.
release date: Aug 05, 1997
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William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is acknowledged as the greatest dramatist of all time. He excels in plot, poetry and wit, and his talent encompasses the great tragedies of Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth as well as the moving history plays and the comedies such as A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It with their magical combination of humour, ribaldry and tenderness. This volume is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.
release date: Jul 01, 1986
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Greatest Miracle In The World
'The greatest miracle in the world' contains the Memorandum from God to you. A great inspirational writer tells his story - a narrative that will hold you spellbound as it reveals exciting new secrets for your personal happiness and success.
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Alice in Wonderland
Alice In Wonderland - The Classic by Lewis Carroll
release date: Oct 01, 1981
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A Dog's Tale
Mark Twain's famous novels, "Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" (available in Everyman) have long been hailed as major masterpieces, but it is less well known that the father of American literature also made his mark as a master of the short story. This is the only edition in hardcover of his complete shorter fiction: sixty tales spanning a long career - many rollicking and uproarious, some sombre and even shocking. Included, of course, are such immortal classics as "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1865), a humorous piece set in Gold-Rush California, which helped establish the young author's reputation, and "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg" (1899), a satirical novella in which a self-righteously respectable American small town is exposed as a fraud.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Little Women
Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth - four "little women" enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England The charming story of the March sisters, Little Women has been adored by generations. Readers have rooted for Laurie in his pursuit of Jo's hand, cried over little Beth's death, and dreamed of traveling through Europe with old Aunt March and Amy. Future writers have found inspiration in Jo's devotion to her writing. In this simple, enthralling tale, both parts of which are included here, Louisa May Alcott has created four of American literature's most beloved women.
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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To Kill a Mockingbird
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.


release date: Jan 01, 2004
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Fifty years ago, Roald Dahl created a world that captured the imagination of millions of readers, and a boy who captured their hearts. Now featuring an introduction by award-winning author Jon Scieszka, this special edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perfect for longtime Roald Dahl fans, or for any reader discovering him for the very first time.
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