Books and Reading


Traditional Classics

Have a teacher telling you it's time to read a "classic"?  Check out this list for a variety of literature published before 1950.




Cover Image Emma
Austen, Jane, 1775-1817.


As daughter of the richest, most important man in the small provincial village of Highbury, Emma Woodhouse is firmly convinced that it is her right--perhaps even her "duty"--To arrange the lives of others. Considered by most critics to be Austen's most technically brilliant achievement, "Emma" sparkles with ironic insights into self-deception, self-discovery, and the interplay of love and power.

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Cover Image Wuthering Heights
Brontë, Emily, 1818-1848.




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Cover Image The Stranger
Camus, Albert, 1913-1960.


A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. In the story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus was exploring what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd".

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Cover Image Don Quixote. English
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616.




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Cover Image The Awakening
Chopin, Kate, 1851-1904.




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Cover Image Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924.




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Cover Image The Last of the Mohicans
Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851.




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Cover Image Great Expectations
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.


An unknown benefactor supplies an orphaned blacksmith's apprentice with the means to be educated in London as a gentleman of "great expectations."

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Cover Image Invisible Man
Ellison, Ralph.




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Cover Image Tess of the D'urbervilles
Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928.




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Cover Image The Power and the Glory
Greene, Graham, 1904-1991.




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Cover Image Brave New World
Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.


Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.

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Cover Image One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Kesey, Ken.


An inmate of a mental institution tries to find the freedom and independence denied him in the outside world.

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Cover Image To Kill a Mockingbird
Lee, Harper.


A tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, Scout, as her father, Atticus Finch -- a crusading local lawyer-- risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

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Cover Image The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967.


As they each attempt to overcome their loneliness, an adolescent girl, a boisterous reformer, and a Negro patriarch all look to Singer, a deaf mute, for some answer to what they want from life. Set in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s.

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Cover Image Death of a Salesman; Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and a Requiem.
Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005.




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Cover Image Gone with the Wind
Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949.




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Cover Image Animal Farm
Orwell, George, 1903-1950.




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Cover Image The Fountainhead
Rand, Ayn.


Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption.

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Cover Image King Lear
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.




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Cover Image Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.




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Cover Image Frankenstein
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851.




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Cover Image The Jungle
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968.




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Cover Image A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Smith, Betty, 1896-1972.


A poignant tale of childhood and the ties of family, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" will transport the reader to the early 1900s where a little girl named Francie dreamily looks out her window at a tree struggling to reach the sky.

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Cover Image The Grapes of Wrath
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.


The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity

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Cover Image Dracula
Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912.


After discovering the double identity of the wealthy Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula, a small group of people vow to rid the world of the evil vampire.

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Cover Image Uncle Tom's Cabin
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896.


Eliza Harris, a slave whose child is to be sold, escapes her beloved home on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky and heads North, eludes the hired slave catchers and is aided by the underground railroad. Another slave, Uncle Tom, is sent "down the river" for sale and ultimately endures a martyr's death under the whips of Simon Legree's overseers.

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Cover Image Anna Karenina
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910.




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Cover Image Ethan Frome
Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937.




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Last modified on Friday, August 03, 2012