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Top 100 books on Literature and Fiction


 
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Call of the Wild, The

By: Jack London

In this novel (often mistakingly classified a children’s book) the main protagonist Buck, a St. Bernard/Collie mix, is abducted and sold to a trainer of sled dogs in Alaska. He adapts to the brutal conditions and is finally acquired by a loving man. When this new owner is killed, Buck follows the ‘call of the wild’ and joins a pack of wolves. (Summary written by Gesine)

Adventure, Animals, Teen/Young adult

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Call of the Wild, The

By: Jack London

In this novel (often mistakingly classified a children’s book) the main protagonist Buck, a St. Bernard/Collie mix, is abducted and sold to a trainer of sled dogs in Alaska. He adapts to the brutal conditions and is finally acquired by a loving man. When this new owner is killed, Buck follows the ‘call of the wild’ and joins a pack of wolves. (Summary written by Gesine)

Adventure, Animals, Teen/Young adult

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Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, The

By: Daniel Defoe

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders is a 1722 novel by Daniel Defoe. - Defoe wrote this after his work as a journalist and pamphleteer. By 1722, Defoe had become recognized as a novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. His political work was tapering off at this point, due to the fall of both Whig and Tory party leaders with whom he had been associated; Robert Walpole was beginning his rise, and Defoe was never fully at home with the Wa...

Romance

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Northanger Abbey

By: Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many “horrid” gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror — but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough. (Summary by Kara)

Horror/Ghost stories, Romance, Satire

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Beyond Good and Evil

By: Friedrich Nietzsche

First published in 1886 at Nietzsche’s own expense, the book was not initially considered important. In it, Nietzsche denounced what he considered to be the moral vacuity of 19th century thinkers. He attacked philosophers for what he considered to be their lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their considerations of morality and values. Beyond Good and Evil is a comprehensive overview of Nietzsche’s mature philosophy. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Philosophy

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Siddhartha

By: Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha is one of the great philosophical novels. Profoundly insightful, it is also a beautifully written story that begins as Siddhartha, son of an Indian Brahman, leaves his family and begins a lifelong journey towards Enlightenment. On the way he faces the entire range of human experience and emotion: he lives with ascetics, meets Gotama the Buddha, learns the art of love from Kamala the courtesan, and is transformed by the simple philosophy of the ferryman Vasudev...

Fiction

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Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The

By: Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (published 1876) is a very well-known and popular story concerning American youth. Mark Twain's lively tale of the scrapes and adventures of boyhood is set in St. Petersburg, Missouri, where Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn have the kinds of adventures many boys can imagine: racing bugs during class, impressing girls, especially Becky Thatcher, with fights and stunts in the schoolyard, getting lost in a cave, and playing pirates on ...

Children

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Picture Of Dorian Gray (1891 Version), The

By: Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock, and Company in April 1891. The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is imp...

Fantasy, Fiction

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Hunchback of Notre Dame, The

By: Victor Hugo

One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit. (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Fiction

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Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (version 2)

By: Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The work is a very early example of time travel in literature, anticipating by six years H. G. Wells' The Time Machine of 1895 (however, unlike Wells, Twain does not give any real explanation of his protagonist's traveling in time). Some early editions are entitled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur.

Literature, Fiction, Humor, Historical Fiction

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Villette

By: Charlotte Brontë

After a tragedy in her family, Lucy Snow leaves her home to become a teacher at a French boarding school. Lucy soon begins to fight against an overwhelming sense of desolation. Meeting a charming doctor and a strict, peculiar schoolmaster changes her life forever-- and threatens to break her spirit. (summary by heatherausten)

Romance

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Ivanhoe NL

By: Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe is een historische roman uit 1819 van Sir Walter Scott. Het verhaal speelt ten tijde van het bewind van koning Richard Leeuwenhart en handelt over de smeulende tegenstellingen tussen de Normandiërs en de Saksen in de eeuwen na de Normandische verovering. De historische juistheid van het verhaal werd al meteen na verschijning van het boek in twijfel getrokken en Scott gaf ook toe dat het zeer waarschijnlijk was dat ik de gebruiken van twee of drie eeuwen heb verwa...

Adventure, Historical Fiction, Literature

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Faust I

By: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts. It is Goethe's most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature. This first part of Faust is not divided into acts, but is structured as a sequ...

Literature, Play, Tragedy, Myths/Legends

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Prince, The (Version 3)

By: Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but long before then, in fact since the first ...

Essay/Short nonfiction

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Bhagavad Gita

By: Sir Edwin Arnold

The content of the text is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna taking place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra just prior to the start of a climactic war. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and Prince and elaborates on a number of different Yogic[7] and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and also a...

Philosophy, Religion

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Utopia

By: Sir Thomas More

This book is all about the fictional country called Utopia. It is a country with an ‘ideal’ form of communism, in which everything really does belong to everybody, everyone does the work they want to, and everyone is alright with that. This country uses gold for chamber pots and prison chains, pearls and diamonds for children’s playthings, and requires that a man and a woman see each other exactly as they are, naked, before getting married. This book gave the word 'utopi...

Philosophy, Politics

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Moonstone, The

By: Wilkie Collins

The story concerns a young woman called Rachel Verinder who inherits a large Indian diamond, the Moonstone, on her eighteenth birthday. The book is widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels. T. S. Eliot called it 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre: a large number of suspects, red herrings, a crime being investigated by talented am...

Mystery, Fiction

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Black Beauty (version 2)

By: Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is a fictional autobiographical memoir told by a horse, who recounts many tales, both of cruelty and kindness. The title page of the first edition states that it was Translated from the Original Equine by Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she was confined to her house as an invalid. After its publication in 1877, Sewell lived just long enough to see her first and only novel become an immediate bestseller, as well as it ...

Animals, Children

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Mayor of Casterbridge, The (version 2)

By: Thomas Hardy

Irritated and drunken, an itinerant farm-worker sells his wife and child to a stranger. Thus begins The Mayor of Casterbridge, set in rural and small-town England in the mid-1800s. In the original subtitle, Hardy called this the story of a man of character, and the central character, Michael Henchard, is one of English fiction's greatest creations. Henchard is deeply developed as a realistic character, but also larger-than-life in the manner of a Greek or Shakespearean t...

Fiction, Literature, Tragedy

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Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

By: L. Frank Baum

The timeless story of the Wizard Of Oz. Follow Dorothy as she leaves Kansas for Oz on a cyclone. She meets many strange, and wonderful people and creatures along the way. Enjoy it again with your children and family. L. Frank Baum's classic story that has made pop culture status. Summary by jhall

Children

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