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Recommended Reading List

“The man who does not read good books
has no advantage over the man who can
t read them.”
-- Mark Twain

Achebe, Chinua. A Man of the People. Arrow of God. Things Fall Apart.
Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone.
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Americanah. Half of a Yellow Sun. Purple
spacer Hibiscus.

Adiga, Aravind. White Tiger.
Agbabi, Patience. Telling Tales.
Albee, Edward. The American Dream. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
spacer The Zoo Story.

Alexie, Sherman. Reservation Blues.
Allende, Isabel. House of Spirits.
Alvarez, Julia. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. In the Time of
spacerthe Butterflies.

Anaya, Rudolfo. Bless Me, Ultima.
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. The Blind Assassin.Cat’s Eye.
spacerHandmaid’s Tale. Testament.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
Baldwin, James. Another Country. Giovanni’s Room. Go Tell It on the
spacer Mountain.

Baraka, Amiri (Leroi Jones). Dutchman.
Barth, John. Lost in the Funhouse.
Barthelme, Donald. Snow White. The Dead Father.
Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot.
Bellow, Saul. Henderson the Rain King.
Berendt, John. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Bolt, Robert. A Man for All Seasons.
Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths.
Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.
Brown, Rita Mae. Rubyfruit Jungle.
Buck, Pearl. The Good Earth.
Bunyan, John. Pilgrim's Progress.
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange.
Camus, Albert. The Plague. The Stranger.
Cao, Lan. Monkey Bridge.
Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood.
Cather, Willa. Death Comes for the Archbishop. My Antonia.
Cela, Camilo José. The Family of Pascual Duarte.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street.
Clark, Walter Van Tilburg. The Ox-Bow Incident.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. The Water Dancer.
Conrad, Joseph. Lord Jim. The Heart of Darkness.
Cortázar, Julio. Hopscotch.
Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions.
Danticat, Edwidge. Breath, Eyes, Memory. The Farming of Bones.
Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Robinson Crusoe.
Desai, Anita. The Fire on the Mountain.
Dìaz, Junot. The Brief Windrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. David Copperfield. Hard Times.
spacerNicholas Nickleby. Oliver Twist.

Dillard, Annie. An American Childhood. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
Dimaline, Cherie. The Marrow Thieves.
Dinesen, Isak. Out of Africa.
Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. One Amazing Thing. Sister of My Heart.
Doctorow, E. L. Ragtime.
Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See.
Dostoevsky, Feodor. Crime and Punishment.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
Dumas, Alexander. The Count of Monte Cristo.
Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose.
Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man. Juneteenth. Shadow and Act.
Erdrich, Louise. The Beet Queen. Love Medicine. The Night Watchman.
spacer The Round House. Tracks.
Esquivel, Laura.
Like Water for Chocolate.
Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom! As I Lay Dying. The Light in
spacerAugust. The Sound and the Fury.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. Tender Is the Night. The Great Gatsby. This Side of spacerParadise.
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary.
Forster, E. M. Howard’s End. A Passage to India.
Friel, Brian. Dancing at Lughnasa.
Fuller, Charles. A Soldier’s Play.
Gaines, Ernest. A Gathering of Old Men. A Lesson Before Dying.
Garcia, Cristina. Dreaming in Cuban.
Gardner, John. Grendel.
Ghali, Waguih. Beer in the Snooker Club.
Glancy, Diane. Pushing the Bear.
Golding, William. The Lord of the Flies.
Greene, Graham. Brighton Rock. The Heart of the Matter.
Gyasi, Yaa. Homegoing.
Hale, Janet Campbell. Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter. The
spacer Jailing of Cecelia Capture.

Hami, Mohsi. Exit West.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun.
Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. The Mayor of Casterbridge. The
spacer Return of the Native. Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of Seven Gables. The Scarlet Letter.
Heller, Joseph. Catch-22.
Hellman, Lilian. The Little Foxes. Watch on the Rhine.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. The Old Man and the Sea.
spacer The Sun Also Rises.

Herrera, Yuri. Signs Preceding the End of the World.
Herriot, James. All Creatures Great and Small.
Hersey, John. Hiroshima.
Hesse, Herman. Demian. Siddhartha.
Hilton, James. The Lost Horizon.
Hogan, Linda. Power.
Homer. The Iliad.
Hosseibi, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. The Kite Runner.
Hugo, Victor. The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Howe, LeeAnne. Shell Shaker.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Mules and Men. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Huxley, Aldous. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. Brave New World. spacerBrave New World Revisited.
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House. An Enemy of the People.Ghosts. Hedda
spacerGabler.

Irving, John. A Prayer for Owen Meany.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. The Remains of the Day.
James, Henry. Daisy Miller. The Turn of the Screw.
Jen, Gish. Typical American.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. Ulysses.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis.
Kawabataq, Yusunari. The Old Capital. Snow Country. Thousand Cranes.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon.
Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy.
Kingston, Maxine Hong. China Men. The Woman Warrior.

 

Kinsella, W. P. Shoeless Joe.
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace.
Kogawa, Joy. Obasan.
Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake.
Lalami, Laila. The Other Americans: A Novel.
Larsen, Nella. Passing.
Lawrence, D. H. Sons and Lovers. St. Mawr. The Rainbow.
Lawrence, Jerome and R. L. Lee. Inherit the Wind.
Lee, Chang-Ree. A Gesture Life. Native Speaker.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Lee, Min Jin. Pachinko.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince.
MacLeish, Archibald. J.B.
Malamud, Bernard. The Natural.
Malory, Sir Thomas. Le Morte d'Arthur.
Marlowe, Christopher. Doctor Faustus. The Jew of Malta.
spacer
Tamburlaine the Great.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Love in the Time
spacer of Cholera. One Hundred Years of Solitude
.
Marshall, Paule. Brown Girl, Brownstones. Daughters. Praisesong for the
spacer Widow.

Mathabane, Mark. Kaffir Boy.
Mathews, John Joseph. Sundown.
McCarthy, Cormac. All the Pretty Horses. The Crossing. No Country for
spacer Old Men. The Road.

McCullers, Carson. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.
Melville, Herman. Benito Cereno. Billy Budd.
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. The Crucible.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost.
Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn.
More, Sir Thomas. Utopia.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. The Bluest Eye. The Song of Solomon. Sula.
Mukherjee, Bharati. Jasmine.
Naipul, V. S. A Bend in the River. A House for Mr. Biswas. Middle Passage.
Narayan, R. K. The English Teacher.
Naylor, Gloria. Linden Hills. Mama Day. The Women of Brewster Place.
Neruda, Pablo. Memoirs.
Ng, Celeste. Everything I Never Told You. Little Fires Everywhere.
Ng, Fae M. Bone: A Novel.
O’Brien, Tim. Going After Cacciato. The Things They Carried.
O’Connor, Flannery. Wise Blood.
Okada, John. No-No Boy.
Ondaatje, Michael. Coming Through Slaughter. The English Patient.
Orange, Tommy. There, There.
Orwell, George. 1984. Animal Farm.
Pan, Emily X. R. The Astonishing Color of After.
Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. Too Late the Phalarope.
Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell-Jar.
Plato. The Republic.
Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49. V.
Rand, Ayn. Anthem. The Fountainhead.
Reed, Ishmael. The Last Days of Louisiana Red. Yellow Back Radio
spacer Broke-Down.

Remarque, Eric Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front.
Renault, Mary. The King Must Die.
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea.
Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory.
Ronyoung, Kim. Clay Walls.
Rose, Reginald. Twelve Angry Men.
Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things.
Rulfo, Juan. Pedro Paramo.
Saadawi, Ahmed. Frankenstein in Baghdad.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye.
Saroyan, William. The Human Comedy.
Sartre, John Paul. No Exit.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood.
Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe.
See, Lisa. Snow Flower and and the Secret Fan.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. King Lear. Macbeth. Merchant of Venice.
spacer Othello. Taming of the Shrew. The Tempest.

Shamsie, Kamila. Home Fire.
Shaw, George Bernard. Pygmalion. Saint Joan.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein.
Shepard, Sam. True West.
Shute, Nevil. A Town Like Alice. On the Beach.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony.
Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle.
Singer, Isaac Bashevis. Shosha. The Penitent.
Smith, Zadie. White Teeth.
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
Sophocles. Antigone. Oedipus Rex.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men. Travels with
spacer Charley.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's Travels.
Tan, Amy. The Bonesetter’s Daughter. The Joy Luck Club.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden.
Toffler, Alvin. Future Shock.
Tolstoy, Leo. The Death of Ivan Ilych.
Toomer, Jean. Cane.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Life on the Mississippi.
spacer Pudd'head Wilson. Roughin' It.

Valdez, Luis. Los Vendidos. Zoot Suit.
Voltaire. Candide.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse Five.
Vuong, Ocean. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. In Search of Our Mother's Gardens.
spacer Meridian.

Ward, Jesmyn. Salvage the Bones. Sing, Unburied, Sing.
Waters, Frank. The Man Who Killed the Deer.
Waugh, Evelyn. Black Mischief. The Loved One. Scoop.
Welch, James. Winter in the Blood.
Wharton, Edith. Age of Innocence. Ethan Frome. Summer.
White, T. H. The Once and Future King.
Whitehead, Colson. Nickel Boys. The Underground Railroad.
Wiesel, Elie. The Fifth Son. Night.
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest. The Picture of Dorian
spacer Gray.

Wilder, Thornton. The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Our Town.
Williams, Tennessee. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A Streetcar Named Desire.
spacer The Glass Menagerie.

Wilson, August. Fences. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The Piano Lesson.
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own.
Wright, Richard. Black Boy. Native Son.
Yoshimoto, Banana. Kitchen.

bookI have worked on this list for more than forty years. As I discover new authors I love, I am often tempted to go back and delete older works which have lost some of their charm. Yet, I could not love Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhy, if I had not first loved Jane Eyre by Charotte Bronte. Certainly most of my new favorites don’t have such a direct connection to earlier works, but all my favorites are somehow interconnected. There are titles on here I do not like, that I read gritting my teeth -- that does not make them less valuable. This is also certainly not a recommended lst for Advanced Placement® courses or for college entrance reading -- just books I found worthwhile and still love well. (22 February 2022)


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Updated 22 February 2022. Home.