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19 Books Everyone Should Read




Avid readers devour books of all sorts. But There are some hallmarks of classic and contemporary published works that are a must for readers of every appetite level.

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

this first publication features twelve stories of the crime-solving duo Holmes and Watson. It features the work of illustrator Sydney Paget, establishing the characteristic appearance of the two detectives. Read More

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) by Truman Capote 


A charmingly naughty novella that captures a slice of New York City and American history during World War II. Adapted to a 1960s-era film starring Audrey Hepburn as the character Holly Golightly, a dreamer in pursuit of some ideal of happiness. Read More
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3. The Cider House Rules (1985) by John Irving 


A politically-charged novel about abortion, addiction, racism and rejection. Adapted for Academy Award-winning film in 1999. First edition (U.K.) cover art shown above was designed by Honi Werner. Read More
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4. Doctor Zhivago (1957) by Boris Pasternak 


An epic love story between Lara and Yuri during the Russian Revolution. Originally published in Russian, only after being smuggled into Milan. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 for this novel. Later adapted for film (1965) by David Lean. Read More
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5. Everything is Illuminated (2002) by Jonathan Safran Foer 


A striking novel about a young Jewish author who visit the Ukraine to research his family history up until the Holocaust. This novel, inspired by the author’s own life, negoitates the struggle between past and present, secrets and knowledge. Read More
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6. The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) by J.R.R. Tolkien


The first of three volumes of The Lord of Rings, this story is an epic adventure with an old-fashioned battle against good and evil. Tolkien’s academic background in Celtic, Norse and Anglo-Saxon mythology richly influenced the realms of “Middle Earth,” brought to life in the film adaption by director Peter Jackson (2001). Read More
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7. Gone with the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell  


Romanticized Civil War historical saga set in Georgia. Mitchell received the Pulitzer Price for Fiction for this novel in 1937, which was named in 2012 by the Library of Congress as one of 88 “Books That Shaped America.” Now a story beloved by generations thanks in part to the 1939 movie. Read More
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8. Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955) by Crockett Johnson  


A delightful children’s book tells the self-empowering story of a curious toddler who discovers the ability to create his own world simply by drawing it. It’s popularity has led to a complete Harold series and inspired many adaptations. Read More
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9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) by Maya Angelou 


The first of five volumes in African-American writer and poet, Maya Angelou’s autobiography, which has received both high-praise and criticism. Filled with lyrical prose, it’s unlike the typical genre of autobiography. Read More
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10. Joy of Cooking (1936) by Irma S. Rombauer


One of the most-published cookbooks in the United States with more than 18 million copies sold. A well-worn copy of this book from Julia Child‘s library is on display at the National Museum of American History. Read More
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11. Kim (1901) by Rudyard Kipling 


Lesser-known than The Jungle Book, this novel by Kipling is rated number 78 on the Modern Library’s list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It’s a tale of childhood adventure that takes place in the vivid backdrop of India. Read More
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12. The Little Prince (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 


A charming fable that tells the story of adult’s encounter with his inner child. Saint-Exupéry painted all the simple, watercolor illustrations in this book, which is the most-read and most-translated book in the French language. Read More
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13. Mrs. Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf


A novel about the life of a high-society, socialite in London which takes place over the course of a single day in June. It’s a prime example of stream of consciousness storytelling, and also a variety of narration styles including soliloquy. Read More
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14. Northanger Abbey (1818) by Jane Austen 


This novel was the first she completed in 1799, though it remained unpublished until December of 1817. Many of Austen’s works are often required reading titles in school, but this title often goes unnoticed. Its lighthearted parody is worth a read. Read More
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15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey 


A novel about a psychiatric hospital that critiques human behavior and society’s balance between conformity and rebellion. Later adapted into a play (1963) and an Academy Awarding-winning film (1975) starring Jack Nicholson. Read More
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16. The Princess Bride (1973) by William Goldman 


A romantic adventure about Buttercup and Westley the “farm boy.” This Renaissance-era fantasy is complete with pirates, fencing, fire swamps, a giant and ROUSes (Rodents of Unusual Size). Also made into a cult-classic film (1987) by director Rob Reiner. Read More
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17. The Quiet American (1955) by Graham Greene 


An anti-war novel that draws on the author’s personal experience as a war correspondent in the 50s. It was condemned and criticized as being anti-American, but its notoriety resulted in two film adaptations (1958 and 2002). Read More
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18. The Secret Garden (1911) by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Hailed as a classic of children’s literature, this book was first published with both adults and young readers as the intended audience. Its copyright expired, placing the book’s treasured story in the public domain. Read More
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19. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell


A book that describes sociological changes, people and behaviors that create “epidemics” from ideas, products and messages. This is the first in a string of nonfiction, bestselling publications by Gladwell which will get you thinking. Read More
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19 Books Everyone Should Read 19 Books Everyone Should Read Reviewed by Admin on 5:24:00 PM Rating: 5