Anne of Green Gables

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, first published in 1908, has been considered a classic of children’s literature almost since its original date of publication. A novel which appeals to all ages, it has never dwindled in popularity. The story of an 11-year old girl who is mistakenly sent to a two older people for adoption, … Read more

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Despite having gained minimal traction at the time of original publication, As I lay Dying has come to be regarded as William Falkner’s most prominent novels. Critics and readers alike were confused and put off by the books controversial subject matter, however, modern day readers and commentators have grown to appreciate the strong characters, abstract tone and striking … Read more

The Sun Also Rises

Set in the 1920s, The Sun Also Rises follows the lives of only a few characters who live in Europe in the aftermath of World War I. The novel explores the lives of the so-called Lost Generation, the young people whose lives were determined by the great war and its wreckage. Generally read as a modernist novel, … Read more

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D’Urbervilles was first published in bowdlerized form in Graphic in 1891. It was released in book form later that same year. Thomas Hardy, who wrote Tess of the d’Urbervilles, subtitled the novel A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented because the author believed its heroine to be a woman of virtue who had fallen victim to the rigid Victorian moral … Read more

Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory

Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur is a collection of tales originally in French which tell of the rise and fall of the legendary KingARthur. It includes numerous tales of the Knight of the Round Table and follows the struggles of these knights to uphold a strict code of courtly honor and chivalry. The story … Read more

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s fourth and final novel. It is also her longest. The book combines elements of romance, science fiction, and mystery. The novel is the most extensive fictionalized expression of her philosophy of “objectivism.” Atlas Shrugged tells the story of a dystopian future in which business and innovation are hampered by the … Read more

Through the Looking Glass

Shortly after completing Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carrol (the name Charles Dodgson used for a pseudonym) began writing a sequel. This became Through the Looking Glass. Again inspired by young Alice Liddell, Dodgson crafted another magical world of adventure and adversity for a young heroine who must find her own way amid a world which obeys no conventional … Read more

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Published in 1932, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a dystopian vision set 600 years in the future in which technology has diminished the place of human feeling and human life. The novel envisions a world in which the stability of the state takes precedence over any and all human concerns. This is taken to such and … Read more

Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf

Herman Hesse’s 1927 novel, Steppenwolf¸ in many ways expresses the profound doubts and conflicts Hesse went through at the time that he was writing the novel. The book explores the idea that all people have within them multiple and conflicting aspects of their nature. In Steppenwolf, the protagonist seems to be made of two main character types, … Read more

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Albert Camus’s The Stranger was published in France in 1942. Although it is a slender and seemingly simply novel, the underlying philosophical message is quite complex. Camus was one of the leading proponents of existentialist and absurdist philosophy. This was a mode of thinking which arose during and immediately following the Second World War in which philosophers … Read more

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe remains a controversial personality of the Renaissance era. Despite having obtained both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Cambridge University, Marlowe was anything but a reclusive scholar. On the contrary, he was enthusiastically engaged in a number of political, religious and scientific debate. He was also an accomplished lyricist, … Read more

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Written by Kate Chopin, The Awakening was the second and final novel to be published by the feminist, controversial writer. Published in 1899 during the first wave of feminism, the novel was extremely ahead of its time in its criticism of the patriarchal society and prevailing gender roles in the late 19th and early 20th century. The novel is … Read more

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman seemed to take its place in the canon of great American literature almost as soon as it deputed on Broadway in 1949. The play hits upon themes which have proved to resonate the world over but also has particular meaning for American audiences. Miller’s play ostensibly presents an idea American family, … Read more

Homer’s The Odyssey

Nearly three thousand years ago, sometime between 800 and 600 BCE, the inhabitants of what is now known as Greece passed the time by relaying tales about a war of tremendous proportions. The individual credited for collecting all of these stories and sharing them as one unified collection was a man known only as Homer, … Read more

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland tells the tale of a young girl as she falls asleep in a meadow one summer day only to find herself trapped in a world of fantastic animals and people, and engaged in a series of adventures. Alice is led by a White Rabbit down the rabbit hole where she meets talking … Read more

Night by Elie Wiesel

Making note of his fear of foreign journalists and their questions, Francois Mauriac tells of his chance meeting with a reporter from Tel Aviv, who is later revealed to be Elie Wiesel, the author of Night. As the two begin to converse, Mauriac’s apprehensions are dispelled by the unjudgmental nature of the interview. The men spoke about … Read more

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s only novel. Brontë wrote the gothic yet tragic novel in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell and received a great deal of criticism for the violent nature of the character of Heathcliff that she created. Wuthering Heights is still known today as one of the most tragic romantic, gothic novels in … Read more

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark is considered by many to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest works. Written around 1599-1602 (the exact date is unknown), it is certainly one of the most famous of Shakespeare’s plays. The line “To be or not to be,” from the famous soliloquy, is now part of the common language in … Read more

To Kill a Mockingbird

A now famous novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, was first published in 1960. The book won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize immediately, becoming a classical book of modern American literature and a bestseller, and was soon adapted into a film in 1962. Being one of only two books by Harper Lee, it brought her instant … Read more

Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Beloved, by American writer Toni Morrison, was inspired by the story of an African-American slave who escaped slavery in Kentucky after she fled to Cincinnati, Ohio. Garner later killed one of her own children to prevent them from being returned to slavery. Garner’s story was originally entitled “A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed … Read more

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian feminist and speculative/science-fiction novel written by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood in 1985. The novel is presented in a disjointed form that shifts from past to present and that allows for most of the events of the story to occur and be pushed forward through the psyche of the narrator and … Read more

The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a fantasy science-fiction novel written by the French author, poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and was first published in 1943. The novel is presented in the form of a parable or fable in which many creatures and animals are given the power and wisdom to speak and reveal important messages regarding society and … Read more

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange may be best known for the movie adaptation which came afterward. The novel has seen massive critical praise since its publication in 1962. This is a dystopian novel that imagines a future in which people are generally numbed by boredom and the general tedium of life under a repressive government, which … Read more

The Outsiders

Author, S.E. Hinton forever changed the direction of literature written for young adults when she penned her premier novel, the Outsiders. Remarkably, Hinton was just 17 years old when the book was published, the Outsiders, she has stated, was written as her response to the fluffy and feminine high school dramas about dating and proms and … Read more

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Introduction

Heart of Darkness, a novella written by Joseph Conrad, was first published in Blackwood’s magazine in 1899. It wasn’t printed in book form until 1942 in Youth: A Narrative, and Two Other Stories. Joseph Conrad set sail for the Belgian Congo in 1890, and wrote of his experiences in his novella, Heart of Darkness. On the surface, the story … Read more

Introduction of Les Misérables

Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most recognized French writers, Victor Hugo was the son of a general in Napoleon’s army. As such, he spent a significant portion of his childhood travelling Italy and Spain before joining his mother in Paris at the age of eleven. It was there that he developed his … Read more

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried is a powerful look into the lives and experiences of foot soldiers during and after the Vietnam war. Written by Tim O’Brien, the work is concurrently an autobiographical account of the war, a memoir, and a collection of short, fictional stories. O’Brien chose to subtitle the book, “A Work of Fiction”, and … Read more

A Doll’s House by Henrick Ibsen

The play, originally published on December 4, 1879, Henrick Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was first performed seventeen days later on December 21 in Copenhagen. Ibsen’s work was well regarded, and the play sold out of all 8,000 of it’s first run prints in record time. A Doll’s House spurned so much controversy that the playwright was forced to … Read more

The Pearl by John Steinbeck Introduction

John Steinbeck published The Pearl in 1947 as his 11th novel. The American writer’s best asset is that he writes only after experiencing his subject matter firsthand. The novel is a parable inspired by a Mexican folk tale of a young Indian pearl diver that Steinbeck had heard on his trip to Mexico. Steinbeck increases the depth of the folk tale … Read more