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Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg,
Short vignettes, told with emotion and realism, chronicle life in a small town. (250 pages)
Austen, Jane. Emma.
A young heiress, fond of matchmaking, discovers that people don't always fall in love according to plan. (215 pages)
Balzac, Honore de. Eugenie
Eugenie, a beautiful flower in a garden of miserliness and cunning, falls in love with Charles. But her father will not allow a marriage with the son of a ruined man. (238 pages)
Camus, Albert. The Stranger.
The narrator does not believe in God or a life after death. When he is tried for murder, he faces the finality of his own death and realizes the absurdity of his life. (154 pages)
Cather, Willa. Alexander's
The bridges Bartley Alexander builds between river banks are charged with his genius and strength, as are the bridges between the two women in his life. (138 pages)
Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge
Henry Fleming, a young soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, learns about real fear in his first experience in combat. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (173 pages)
Craven, Margaret. I Heard the
Owl Call My Name.
A young Anglican priest with only three years left to live is sent to work in a remote Canadian village. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (159 pages)
Elliot, George. Silas Marner.
Being falsely accused of theft does not change the goodness of a man who opens his heart to a homeless child. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (240 pages)
Faulkner, William. As I Lay
This experimental novel uses short interior monologues to explore the events surrounding the illness, death and burial of Addie Bundren, a wife and mother. (250 pages)
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great
A racketeer and a romantic, Jay Gatsby buys a great house and throws lavish parties, all to win the heart of a girl named Daisy. (182 pages)
Hardy, Thomas. Under the Greenwood
A gathering of rustic folks furnishes a comic chorus to the love affairs of a boy and a girl. (211 pages)
Hawthorne, Nathanial. The Scarlet
Adultery can be a capital offense in Puritan New England, so when young Hester Prynne conceives a child outside of marriage, the entire village plays a part in her cruel punishment. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (226 pages)
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old
Man and the Sea.
Santiago is an old fisherman who wants to catch one more big fish before he dies. When he catches a marlin, he fights the elements and attacking sharks to hold on to the fish. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (127 pages)
Hersey, John. A Single Pebble.
In the mist-filled gorges of the Yangtze River, Old China and New West learn of each other. (181 pages)
Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha.
An allegory in which Siddhartha achieves peace and understanding of mankind's rule on earth by experiencing the lives of others. (122 pages)
James, Henry. Daisy Miller.
Daisy, an American tourist in Europe, shocks and offends others with her carefree American approach to her friendship with a Italian man. (95 pages)
James, Henry. The Turn of the
A young governess must battle evil ghosts to save the souls of the children in her care. (165 pages)
Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis.
A young man wakes up one morning and finds he has become a beetle. (95 pages)
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace.
Sixteen-year-old Gene Forrester maims his best friend, a budding athlete, and must face the turmoil of World War II while facing his inner guilt about the accident. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (196 pages)
London, Jack. The Call of the
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch Shepherd, that was kidnapped and shipped off to Alaska to work on the Klondike Gold Rush. Buck the dog quickly learns how to survive in the wild and also learns the call of the wolf. (Also found in Juvenile fiction.) (250 pages)
Mann, Thomas. A Death in Venice.
An intense story of an artist facing emotional upheaval. (60 pages)
McCullers, Carson. Member of
Twelve-year-old Frankie's brother is getting married, and she decides to join the new couple on their honeymoon. (118 pages)
O'Conner, Flannery. Wise Blood.
A zany Southern story that chronicles a search for God and Faith and includes a false prophet and a gorilla! (232 pages)
Orwell, George. Animal Farm.
A farmer is driven away by his animals, who set up a utopian government. The animals' selfishness and greed, however, soon turn the farm into a place as bad as it was in the beginning. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (128 pages)
Porter, Katherine Anne. Pale
Horse, Pale Rider.
The spectre of death rides among the living as smoothly as air drifting between buildings, making no impression except upon those he claims. (85 pages)
Rand, Ayn. Anthem.
In a future totalitarian society, the hero rediscovers individualism and his own ego. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (125 pages)
Saint-Exupery, Antoine de. Night
A night flight from Patagonia to Buenos Aires in the infancy of flying. (198 pages)
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher
in the Rye.
He's just been kicked out of prep school, he smokes and drinks and thinks he's a pretty normal 17-year-old boy; so why is Holden Caulfield going crazy? (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (214 pages)
Saroyan, William. The Human
Small town life in the San Joaquin Valley during World War II. (240 pages)
Sillitoe, Alan. The Loneliness
of the Long Distance Runner.
A young Englishman in prison uses running to show his defiance of authority. (176 pages)
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One
Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
Describes the day of a prisoner in a Stalinist Siberian labor camp; Ivan's routine of self-preservation is real and gripping. (175 pages)
Spark, Muriel. The Prime of
Miss Jean Brodie.
Miss Brodie has a tremendous influence over her students, but eventually one turns on her and brings about her dismissal; a story of hero-worship and treachery. (187 pages)
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and
Two California farm hands, George and Lenny, dream of their own farms. Their plans are tragically disrupted by jealousy and misunderstanding. (118 pages)
Steinbeck, John. The Pearl.
The discovery and loss of a great pearl parallels the life of a family. (118 pages)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Convinced of man's dual nature, a doctor concocts a mixture that turns him into an evil being. (Also found in Juvenile mysteries.) (100 pages)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure
Young Jim Hawkins finds a mysterious map and signs on to sail in search of treasure, but finds mutiny, murder and misadventure instead. (Also found in Juvenile fiction.) (175 pages)
Twain, Mark. The Adventures
of Tom Sawyer.
A story full of humorous observations about growing up and being a boy in 19th century America. (Also found in Juvenile fiction.) (225 pages)
Twain, Mark. The Prince and
When a prince and a beggar trade places, history, democracy and class values are examined in a humorous way. (Also found in Juvenile fiction.) (225 pages)
Voltaire, Francoise. Candide.
An incurable optimist, who believes he lives in the best of all possible worlds, invites and receives disaster. (155 pages)
Vonnegut, Kurt . Cat's Cradle.
A free-lance writer unearths the secret of ice-nine, an element more lethal than that produced by nuclear fission. The search leads to the mythical island of San Lorenzo, where the writer also discovers the leader of a new religion, Bokonon. (233 pages)
Well, H. G. The Invisible Man.
A young scientist experimenting with light refraction discovers a way to become invisible, but does not use his discovery wisely. (178 pages)
Welty, Eudora. The Optimist's
Laurel comes home to Mississippi and takes a second look at the people, living and dead, from her former life. (180 pages)
West, Rebecca. The Return of
Three women are bound reluctantly to each other because of their love for the same man. (187 pages)
Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome.
In rural Massachusetts, a young husband, a talkative wife, and a pretty cousin share a household that comes to a tragic end. (181 pages)
Wilde, Oscar . The Picture
of Dorian Gray.
A beautiful young man has a portrait of himself which proves to have supernatural qualities. (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (250 pages)
Wilder, Thornton. The Bridge
of San Luis Rey.
When a Peruvian bridge collapses, five travelers fall into the abyss. Was is an accident or was it the culmination of the pattern of each life? (Also found in Young Adult fiction.) (148 pages)
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