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Classic novels you can't miss!

Katie "Words-at-war"
The list author says: "My favorite classic novels that I've read and read again, or have never forgotten. Some are old classic, others are new classics that everyone should read, or try, at least once."
Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles)
Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles)
"1995. Lestat, feeling incredibly immortal & the world drowning in religious hypocrisy, is approached by a figure who calls himself Memnoch the Devil. As Memnoch reveals to Lestat who God is, the truth of it all, does the Devil show his own disillusions...& Lestat experience a profound epiphany. Gorgeous, life-changing, this book can't be missed!"
The Voyage Out (Oxford World's Classics)
The Voyage Out (Oxford World's Classics)
"1915. A heart-breaking tale of a young woman, Rachel Vinrace's journey to the lush wilds of South America, watching life through all its variegated personalities & confusions...toward a personal quest to discover herself, only for those realizations to never come to pass. Woolf's first novel is very accessible & utterly sublime."
Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
"1953. Burn baby burn. Guy Montag, a fireman, loves to burn books but without truly understanding why. Then he meets, Clarisse, who tells him of a time when books were revered. In the backdrop of this dystopian world, war looms, a parallel to Guy's awakening-&the first time he begins to question himself & the world he lives in. A little book with a HUGE message."
Dorn of the Mountains
Dorn of the Mountains
"1920. Milt Dorn is a loner by nature & a man attuned to the wilds with great respect for the forest he dwells within. However, when he overhears a plan to kidnap 2 young sisters, Helen & Bo, he springs into action to save them and in the process, learns there is more to life. This is one of Grey's finest novels, a romantic western not to be miss!"
The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
"8th c. BCE. Troy is defeated & Odysseus, King of Ithica, is homeward bound but the Fates malign his route. Meanwhile, his wife, Penelope, sits upon her throne, waiting for her husband but is constantly being besieged by suitors & a growing fear for her son. An epic tale of a journey of one man, & his dreams of returning home."
The Giver
The Giver
"1993. A vague future time of an earthly utopia where everyone is the same, unemotional & no one grows old. A young boy, Jonas, is selected to become the repository of memories by the Giver, an old man who is the holder of immense power--of knowledge before the bliss of utopia. Once Jonas' eyes are opened, he knows he cannot go back but no longer feels comfortable or safe in a world he once knew."
The Call of the Wild (Puffin Classics)
The Call of the Wild (Puffin Classics)
"1903. Buck, a mixed breed mut, lives a happy life Santa Clara. But that soon changes when he is taken and he learns of the dark natures of man and perplexity of the world. Buck survives every ordeal that is pressed upon him with a nobleness and primordial instinct that had remained in his bones despite his domestic upbringing. Sad, dark & haunting, this is one of London's most vibrant tales."
The Martian Chronicles
The Martian Chronicles
"1950. The Martian Chronicles is actually a compilation of episodic, interstitial vignettes, a collection of short stories with the same theme & bound into one 'book'. It is the tale, a chronology of Martian colonization from the POV of the new colonists & the Martians. Strange, somewhat disjointed & can be hard to get into, this is a brilliant insight into human nature & what drives people."
Dracula
Dracula
"1897. Through the diary narrative of several of the main characters, it is the story of Jonathan Harker & his frightful interactions with a count, Dracula, in Eastern Europe, & his eventual infiltration of his life. Soon, Harker realizes that Dracula has followed him back home, threatening those he cares about. However, he decides that Dracula won't win..."
2001: a Space Odyssey
2001: a Space Odyssey
"1968. An ancient, alien monolith unearthed in a crater on the Moon soon leads to an epic odyssey. When a signal is being transmitted by the monolith to a planet, an expeditionary team lead by Dr. David Bowman is launched to find the source. What happens becomes one man's grand journey of cosmic understanding & personal discovery."
The Aeneid
The Aeneid
"19 BCE. A son of Troy, Aeneas, flees a burning Troy, taking with him the remaining survivors of a once great city. This is the epic tale of his fateful meeting with Dido, Queen of Carthage, of how Rome was born, & Aenea's struggles to become the leader that he was born to be, all while evading the malicious wrath of Juno & to reestablish a dynasty that was supposed to perish."
Brave New World
Brave New World
"1932. The future. Genetics. Science. Perfection rules the world while the savages, the imperfect, are rejected into the fringes of civilized society. Four people-Bernard, Watson & Lenina, part of the superior race, & John the savage-head toward a collision course that shakes the world to its core. Controversial, daring & provocative, Huxley's novel is as relevant now as it ever was."
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth
"1961. A lovely, entertaining children's classic fairy tale about Milo & his over active imagination taking him on wild ride through a world of quixotic cast of characters that teach Milo about the important things in life."
Frankenstein
Frankenstein
"1818. A gothic, horror story with romantic themes, Frankenstein is a tale of a creature & its creator with devastating, sad & even poignant consequences."
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
"1939. And their anger fermented. The Great Depression, an era where instability ruled the day & life so precariously fragile. This is the story of the Joad family who traverse on Route 66 to California, in search of a better life. Upon arrival, the struggles continue, & in Steinbeck's stunning narrative, weaves a tale about people at their very worst, & at their absolute best."
Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 5: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: 1800 Headwords (Oxford Bookworms ELT)
Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 5: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: 1800 Headwords (Oxford Bookworms ELT)
"1968. The basis for Blade Runner, this sci-fi must-read. Deckard, a hunter of androids who take on human identities is dissatisfied with his life. His wife is indifferent; he tries to get them a 'real' animal. Deckard begins to ponder upon what is real & what makes people more real than a machine..."
A World Out of Time
A World Out of Time
"1976. Jerome Corbell, frozen in 1970, wakes up in 2190 in the wiped mind of a criminal who is property of The State, & forced into work as a pilot. During one of his missions, Corbell makes for his escape, only to get pulled into a black hole, further propelling him into the future again, toward another unknown destiny. This is pure adventure escapism at its weirdly best & thoroughly entertaining!"
The Mysterious Stranger (Literary Classics)
The Mysterious Stranger (Literary Classics)
"1916. Published after Twains death, this is a dark, surreal and very important social commentary on the frailties of human kind & their blind perceptions of God/religion through the eyes of a boy, Theordor & his meeting with a mysterious stranger, the angel Satan. This book pokes heavily on the foundations of Christianity but will surely stay with you."
A Canticle for Leibowitz
A Canticle for Leibowitz
"1959. Nuclear war has destroyed the world into a dark age again. The Order of Leibowitz, a group of monks who revere the writings of a long-dead scientist, Leibowitz, whose writings are believed to be the key to man kind's salvation. Spanning a thousand years, mankind has finally come full circle...back to self-destruction. Post-apoc fantasy at its theological, gritty & eye-opening best."
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray
"1890. A vain, self-absorbed & mocking man who has everything, & yet has nothing. As Dorian's listless existence begins to bore even himself, he makes a deal--he will stay forever young & his picture will age. As the downward spiral of his own personal horror & obsession begins to crystalize does he fully understand the die he has cast...and cannot undo."
I Am Legend
I Am Legend
"1954. Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a pandemic in which the remaining population are vampires. By day, he researches for a cure; by night, he survives them. When Ruth, an unaffected woman, enters his life betrays him, his questions about his humanity, his purpose in a seemingly dead world begin to torment him, & ultimately, the end of his own life but the start of new legend: himself."
The Millennium Trilogy Box Set
The Millennium Trilogy Box Set
"2005-2007. A true masterpiece in suspense, thriller and mystery centering on punk-goth and savant Lizbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who team up to uncover some of the most gruesome secrets that threaten their lives and everyone around them. This Swedish trilogy is riveting and once you start, you won't stop till the very end!"
Childhood's End (Del Rey Impact)
Childhood's End (Del Rey Impact)
"1953. Peace. That has been mankind's greatest endeavors. But when an alien race, the Overlords, invades earth & offers peace & wanting nothing in return, do the real problems begin. This is a tale of the cost of peace, & mankind's struggles, as a collective, to re-define themselves without influence & to create their own destiny & the ultimate breakdown of humankind itself."
Matilda
Matilda
"1988. A fantastic classic tale of a genius, warm-loving young girl seeking knowledge...and love. Despite her maltreatment by her family, Matilda isn't jaded but full of life & whose clever antics are still a joy to read, even as an adult!"
Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies
"1954. Golding's harrowing tale of a group of stranded boys during wartime, the utter social breakdown of morality & ethics & the corruption of the innocent by the innocent will amaze & disturb. Full of allegory & symbolism, LotF challenges the precepts of rules of civilization, of how easily boundaries become limitless & that none of us are innocent, perhaps not even the innocent."
White Fang
White Fang
"1906. White Fang's journey begins before he is even born, to a wild wolf pack. When he is 5 years old he is taken to an Indian camp. There, his education in the cruelty & brutal violence of man, & his lonely solitary existence, begins. Though ill treated by those he comes across throughout his life, White Fang's indomitable spirit prevails."
Hatchet
Hatchet
"1987. 13 year old Brian is stranded in the wilderness & must learn to rely upon himself to survive, or perish, & fueled by his memories of his family. He struggles on a physical level though it's his emotional trials that are captivating & enriching. Even when he is saved, nothing will ever be the same & the wilderness that fostered the new Brian, perhaps is the real world he belongs in..."
Silas Marner: Literary Touchstone Edition
Silas Marner: Literary Touchstone Edition
"1861. Falsely accused, his life in shambles, a disgraced Silas leaves & settles in Ravoloe. Through a series of events, a small girl wanders into his home, who he takes in, names her Epple, becoming like a daughter to him. In the process, his love for her restores his faith & hopes. An elegant short story of a gentle man whose honest actions are rewarded."
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (FSG Classics)
Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (FSG Classics)
"1991. Philosophy has never been so fascinating and accessible in this wonder tale of a young Norwegian girl, Sophie, who receives letters from a stranger asking deep questions that pique her curiosity and fascination. This leads to a series of correspondences, transporting her back to times of how the world became to be."
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
"1989. An accounting error of 79 cents is what got Clifford Stoll, a computer programmer, to start asking questions. Soon, he falls into the world of espionage, 3-lettered entities, chasing a hacker & saving the world. Or close to it. It's hard to believe this is a first hand account of a real life but Stoll's lucid re-tell reads like silk & will have you on the edge of your seat!"
Thief of Always
Thief of Always
"1992. A dark fable by horror master Clive Barker, this children's tale of Harvey's decision to forsake his dull life for one of excitement soon turns twisted when the grand adventure land he's taken to starts to become stranger & scarier. Worse, the more he wants out, the more sinister this once wonder land was...& a place Harvey's not sure he can escape unscathed, or alive."
The Martian: A Novel
The Martian: A Novel
"2014. Not just for Geeks! Astronaut Mark Watney is left behind on Mars. Through self-depricating humor and incredible smarts, can Watney survive? This debut novel by Weir will blow you mind, and makes math seem so cool."
Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, and Memoirs: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, and Memoirs (Library of America)
Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, and Memoirs: The Devil's Dictionary, Tales, and Memoirs (Library of America)
"19th c. An acerbic & intelligent perspective of the Civil War, in which the author was a soldier, The Devil's Dictionary is a lexicon of witty & dark definitions while Tales is a series of short stories about the ruthlessness & ugliness of war, ending with Memoirs, a brief insight into Ambrose, the man. Bierce is lesser known American author who deserves a rightful place on everyone's shelf."