100 Favorite Novels

  • Posted on: 14 June 2022
  • By: Sandman

The Great American Read 

I've linked to the Dover Thrift editions whenever possible. For series that have them, I added the box sets (because those can be hard to find in the catalog sometimes). 

Great American NovelsTo Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) 

"A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable 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, as her father - a crusading local lawyer - risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime." #BookToFilm

OGreat American Novelsutlander (Series) by Diana Gabaldon (1991) 

"Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire BeauGreat American Novelschamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages." #BookToFilm

3 Great American NovelsHarry Potter (Series) by J K Rowling (1997) 

"Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley - a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry - and anyone who reads about him - will find unforgettable. For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter." #BookToFilm

4 Great American NovelsPride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

"In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, a country squire of no great means must marry off his five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are his headstrong second daughter Elizabeth Bennet and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy - two lovers whose pride must be humbled and prejudices dissolved before the novel can come to its splendid conclusion." #BookToFilm

5 Great American NovelsThe Lord of the Rings (Series) by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)

"When Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves embark upon a dangerous quest to reclaim the hoard of gold stolen from them by the evil dragon Smaug, Gandalf the wizard suggests an unlikely accomplice: Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming Hobbit dwelling in peaceful Hobbiton. Along the way, the company faces trolls, goblins, giant spiders, and worse. But as they journey from the wonders of Rivendell to the terrors of Mirkwood and beyond, Bilbo will find that there is more to him than anyone—himself included—ever dreamed. Unexpected qualities of courage and cunning, and a love of adventure, propel Bilbo toward his great destiny . . . a destiny that waits in the dark caverns beneath the Misty Mountains, where a twisted creature known as Gollum jealously guards a precious magic ring." #BookToFilm

6 Great American NovelsGone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)

"Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life." #BookToFilm

7 Great American NovelsCharlotte's Web by E. B. White (1952) 

"Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White's Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come." #BookToFilm

8 Great American NovelsLittle Women (Series) by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

"The quintessential American family novel, Little Women captured readers’ hearts right from the start. It tells the story of the beloved March sisters: Meg, Beth, Jo, and Amy. The four girls couldn’t be more different, but with their father fighting in the Civil War and their mother supporting the family, the sisters have to rely on each other as they grow up and grow together." #BookToFilm

9 Great American NovelsThe Chronicles of Narnia (Series) by C.S. Lewis (1950) 

"Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years." #BookToFilm

10 Great American NovelsJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)

"Jane Eyre possesses neither the great beauty nor entrancing charm that her fictional predecessors used to make their way in the world. Instead, she relies upon her powers of diligence and perception, conducting herself with dignity animated by passion." #BookToFilm

11 Great American NovelsAnne of Green Gables (Series) by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908) 

"Favorites for nearly 100 years, these classic novels follow the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets." #BookToFilm

12 Great American NovelsThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

"Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads - driven from 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." #BookToFilm

13 Great American NovelsA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (1943)

"From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior - such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce - no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness. "

14 Great American NovelsThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

"Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist - books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. "

15 Great American NovelsThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

"The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted 'gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,' it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s." #BookToFilm

16 Great American NovelsThe Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

"Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town..." #BookToFilm

17 Great American NovelsThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)

"Whether forming a pirate gang to search for buried treasure or spending a quiet time at home, sharing his medicine with Aunt Polly's cat, the irrepressible Tom Sawyer evokes the world of boyhood in nineteenth century rural America. In this classic story, Mark Twain re-created a long-ago world of freshly whitewashed fences and Sunday school picnics into which sordid characters and violent incidents sometimes intruded. The tale powerfully appeals to both adult and young imaginations. Readers explore this memorable setting with a slyly humorous born storyteller as their guide." #BookToFilm

18 Great American Novels1984 by George Orwell (1948)

"A startling and haunting novel, 1984 creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions - a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time." #BookToFilm

19 Great American NovelsAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939)

"Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to an isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…" #BookToFilm

20 Great American NovelsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

"Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism - her groundbreaking philosophy - offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century’s leading artists." #BookToFilm

21 Great American NovelsWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)

"The turbulent and tempestuous love story of Cathy and Heathcliff spans two generations -- from the time Heathcliff, a strange, coarse young boy, is brought to live on the Earnshaws' windswept estate, through Cathy's marriage to Edgar Linton and Heathcliff's plans for revenge, to Cathy's death years later and the eventual union of the surviving Earnshaw and Linton heirs." #BookToFilm

22 Great American NovelsLonesome Dove (Series) by Larry McMurtry (1985)

"An epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember." #BookToFilm

23 Great American NovelsThe Pillars of the Earth (Series) by Ken Follett (1989) 

"The story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother."

24 Great American NovelsThe Stand by Stephen King (1978)

"When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge - Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them--and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity." #BookToFilm

25 Great American NovelsRebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)

" Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderley Again... With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife - the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca." #BookToFilm

26 Great American NovelsA Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1989)

"In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary." #BookToFilm

27 Great American NovelsThe Color Purple by Alice Walker (1985)

"Depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker's epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love."

28 Great American NovelsAlice's Adventures in Wonderland (Series) by Lewis Carroll (1865)

"Lewis Carroll's Alice has been enchanting children for 150 years. Curious Alice, the bossy White Rabbit, the formidable Queen of Hearts, and the Mad Hatter are among the best-loved, most iconic literary creations of all time. Every bit as iconic are Sir John Tenniel's remarkable illustrations, perfectly capturing the combination of the ordinary and the extraordinary at the heart of Wonderland." #BookToFilm

29 Great American NovelsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861)

"In this unflaggingly suspenseful story of aspirations and moral redemption, humble, orphaned Pip, a ward of his short-tempered older sister and her husband, Joe, is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman. And, indeed, it seems as though that dream is destined to come to pass -- because one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of great expectations. " #BookToFilm

30 Great American NovelsThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951)

"The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caufield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days."

31 Great American NovelsWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961)

"Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann - he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters - now friends - and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past." #BookToFilm

32 Great American NovelsThe Outsiders (Series) by S. E. Hinton (1967)

"No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends - true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect - until the night someone takes things too far."

33 Great American NovelsThe Da Vinci Code (Series) by Dan Brown (2003)

"While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci - clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter." #BookToFilm

34 Great American NovelsThe Handmaid's Tale (Series) by Margaret Atwood (1985)

"Environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War and the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead's Commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive." #BookToFilm

35 Great American NovelsDune (Series) by Frank Herbert (1965)

"In the far future, on a remote planet, an epic adventure awaits. Here are the first six novels of Frank Herbert’s magnificent Dune saga - a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction series of all time." #BookToFilm

36 Great American NovelsThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)

"A pilot crashes in the Sahara Desert and encounters a strange young boy who calls himself the Little Prince. The Little Prince has traveled there from his home on a lonely, distant asteroid with a single rose. The story that follows is a beautiful and at times heartbreaking meditation on human nature." #BookToFilm

37 Great American NovelsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London

"The gripping tale of a heroic dog who, thrust into the brutal life of the Alaska Gold Rush, ultimately faces a choice between living in man's world and returning to nature. Adventure and dog-story enthusiasts as well as students and devotees of American literature will find this classic work a thrilling, memorable reading experience." #BookToFilm

38 Great American NovelsThe Clan of the Cave Bear (Series) by Jean M. Auel

"Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear."

39 Great American NovelsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy (Series) by Douglas Adams

"Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space." #BookToFilm

40 Great American NovelsThe Hunger Games (Series) by Suzanne Collins

"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love." #BookToFilm

41 Great American NovelsThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

"Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration." #BookToFilm

42 Great American NovelsThe Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

"With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery."

43 Great American NovelsFrankenstein by Mary Shelley

"Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense." #BookToFilm

44 Great American NovelsThe Giver (Series) by Lois Lowry

"Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. Everyone is the same. Except Jonas." #BookToFilm

45 Great American NovelsMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

"Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it." #BookToFilm

46 Great American NovelsMoby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

"Interspersed with graphic sketches of life aboard a whaling vessel, and a wealth of information on whales and 19th-century whaling, Melville's greatest work presents an imaginative and thrilling picture of life at sea, as well as a portrait of heroic determination. The author's keen powers of observation and firsthand knowledge of shipboard life (he served aboard a whaler himself) were key ingredients in crafting a maritime story that dramatically examines the conflict between man and nature."

47 Great American NovelsCatch-22 by Joseph Heller

"Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved."

48 Great American NovelsGame of Thrones (Series) by George R. R. Martin

"Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse - unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season." #BookToFilm

49 Great American NovelsFoundation (Series) by Isaac Asimov

"The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are among the most influential in the history of science fiction, celebrated for their unique blend of breathtaking action, daring ideas, and extensive worldbuilding. In Foundation, Asimov has written a timely and timeless novel of the best - and worst - that lies in humanity, and the power of even a few courageous souls to shine a light in a universe of darkness." #BookToFilm

50 Great American NovelsWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

"From the breathless excitement of 16-year-old Natasha Rostov's first ball, to Prince Andrei Bolkonsky's epiphany on the battlefield at Austerlitz, the novel abounds in memorable incidents, particularly those involving Pierre Bezukhov. A seeker after moral and spiritual truths, Pierre and his search for life's deeper meaning stand at the heart of this monumental book. A tale of strivers in a world fraught with conflict, social and political change, and spiritual confusion, Tolstoy's magnificent work continues to entertain, enlighten, and inspire readers around the world."

51 Great American NovelsTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

"One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years - due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist - Hurston’s classic has become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature."

52 Great American NovelsJurassic Park (Series) by Michael Crichton

"An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them - for a price." #BookToFilm

53 Great American NovelsThe Godfather (Series) by Mario Puzo

"With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld." #BookToFilm

54 Great American NovelsOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

"The story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendiá family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad and alive with unforgettable men and women - brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul - this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction."

55 Great American NovelsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

"In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde's most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind."

56 Great American NovelsThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

"Every so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story - it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again . . ." #BookToFilm

57 Great American NovelsThe Shack (Series) by William P. Young

"When Mackenzie Allen Phillips's youngest daughter Missy is abducted during a family vacation, he remains hopeful that she'll return home. But then, he discovers evidence that she may have been brutally murdered in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note that's supposedly from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment, he arrives on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever."

58 Great American NovelsA Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

"An American comic masterpiece. Toole's hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times)."

59 Great American NovelsThe Hunt for Red October (Series) by Tom Clancy

"Somewhere under the freezing Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. The chase for the highly advanced nuclear submarine is on - and there's only one man who can find her..." #BookToFilm

60 Great American NovelsBeloved by Toni Morrison

"An unflinching look into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved."

61 Great American NovelsThe Martian by Andy Weir (2014)

"After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive." #BookToFilm

62 Great American NovelsThe Wheel of Time (Series) by Robert Jordan

"The Eye of the World, the first novel in Robert Jordan's #1 New York Times bestselling epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time®, follows Moiraine Damodred as she arrives in Emond's Field on a quest to find the one prophesized to stand against The Dark One." #BookToFilm

63 Great American NovelsSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922)

"The story of the quest of Siddhartha, a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege and comfort to seek spiritual fulfillment and wisdom. On his journey, Siddhartha encounters wandering ascetics, Buddhist monks, and successful merchants, as well as a courtesan named Kamala and a simple ferryman who has attained enlightenment. Traveling among these people and experiencing life’s vital passages–love, work, friendship, and fatherhood–Siddhartha discovers that true knowledge is guided from within."

64 Great American NovelsCrime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)

"One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, Crime and Punishment catapulted Dostoyevsky to the forefront of Russian writers and into the ranks of the world's greatest novelists. Drawing upon experiences from his own prison days, the author recounts in feverish, compelling tones the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student tormented by his own nihilism, and the struggle between good and evil. Believing that he is above the law, and convinced that humanitarian ends justify vile means, he brutally murders an old woman -- a pawnbroker whom he regards as stupid, ailing, greedy... good for nothing. Overwhelmed afterwards by feelings of guilt and terror, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime and goes to prison. There he realizes that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering. Infused with forceful religious, social, and philosophical elements, the novel was an immediate success. "

65 Great American NovelsThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926)

"A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. In his first great literary masterpiece, Hemingway portrays an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. "

66 Great American NovelsThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

"Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years."

67 Great American NovelsA Separate Peace by John Knowles

"Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world"

68 Great American NovelsDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

"Cervantes' masterpiece has been translated into more than sixty languages, and the novel's fantasy-driven knight, Don Quixote, and his loyal squire, Sancho Panza, rank among fiction's most recognized characters. Their adventures have been interpreted for film, opera, and ballet, and they head a cast of characters that comprises a diverse array of beliefs and perspectives, reflecting the historical realities of seventeenth-century Spain. Within its absorbing re-creation of the world during Cervantes' time, this parody of chivalric romances and epic of heroic idealism forms a strikingly contemporary narrative. The author is often credited with inventing the concept of the novel, addressing himself to the readers rather than the characters or the action. "

69 Great American NovelsThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy." #BookToFilm

70 Great American NovelsThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

"This masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different - and far more satisfying - than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams."

71 Great American NovelsHatchet (Series) by Gary Paulsen

"Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present."

72 Great American NovelsInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison

"In this deeply compelling novel and epic milestone of American literature, a nameless narrator tells his story from the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. He describes growing up in a Black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of 'the Brotherhood,' before retreating amid violence and confusion."

73 Twilight Saga Box Set Complete SeriesThe Twilight Saga (Series) by Stephenie Meyer

"Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, the Twilight saga captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires." #BookToFilm

74 Tales of the CityTales of the City (Series) by Armistead Maupin

"For almost four decades Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City has blazed its own trail through popular culture - from a groundbreaking newspaper serial to a classic novel, to a television event that entranced millions around the world. The first of nine novels about the denizens of the mythic apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane, Tales is both a sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live."

75 Great American NovelsGulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

"From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the 4 remarkable journeys of ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy; for adults, a witty parody of political life in Swift's time and a scathing send-up of manners and morals in 18th-century England." #BookToFilm

76 Great American NovelsReady Player One (Series) by Ernest Cline

"In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days. When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune - and control of the OASIS itself. " #BookToFilm

77 Great American NovelsLeft Behind (Series) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

"An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane, but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun." #BookToFilm

78 Great American NovelsGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

"On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?" #BookToFilm

79 Great American NovelsWatchers by Dean Koontz

"On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever who will let him go no further into the dark woods. That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a dog of alarming intelligence that soon leads him into a relentless storm of mankind’s darkest creation..."

80 Great American NovelsThe Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

"One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of a man's religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgram as he travels an obstacle-filled road to the Celestial City. Along the way, he is confronted by monsters and spiritual terrors, among them Worldly Wiseman, Giant Dispair, and the demons of the Vally of the Shadow of Death. An enormously influential 17th century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language."

81 Great American NovelsAlong Came A Spider (Series) by James Patterson

"Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. He works and lives in the ghettos of D. C. and looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. He's a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. But he also has two adorable kids of his own, and they are his own special vulnerabilities..." #BookToFilm

82 Great American NovelsThings Fall Apart (Series)  by Chinua Achebe

"Things Fall Apart is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order."

83 Great American NovelsHeart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1902)

"The tale concerns the journey of the narrator (Marlow) up the Congo River on behalf of a Belgian trading company. Far upriver, he encounters the mysterious Kurtz, an ivory trader who exercises an almost godlike sway over the inhabitants of the region. Both repelled and fascinated by the man, Marlow is brought face to face with the corruption and despair that Conrad saw at the heart of human existence."

84 Great American NovelsGilead by Marilynne Robinson

"A hymn of praise and lamentation to the God-haunted existence that Reverend Ames loves passionately, and from which he will soon part. This is also the tale of another remarkable vision--not a corporeal vision of God but the vision of life as a wondrously strange creation. It tells how wisdom was forged in Ames's soul during his solitary life, and how history lives through generations, pervasively present even when betrayed and forgotten."

85 Great American NovelsFlowers in the Attic (Series) by V.C. Andrews

"They were a perfect and beautiful family - until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. They are kept in the attic of their grandmother’s labyrinthine mansion, isolated and alone. As the visits from their seemingly unconcerned mother slowly dwindle, the four children grow ever closer and depend upon one another to survive both this cramped world and their cruel grandmother. A suspenseful and thrilling tale of family, greed, murder, and forbidden love, Flowers in the Attic is the unputdownable first novel of the epic Dollanganger family saga."

86 Great American NovelsFifty Shades of Grey (Series) by E.L. James

"E L James’s New York Times #1 bestselling trilogy has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as being in a class by itself. The Fifty Shades Trilogy will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever." #BookToFilm

87 Great American NovelsThe Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

"An outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there’ s a catch to the invitation–and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell."

88 Great American NovelsThis Present Darkness (Series) by Frank E. Peretti

"Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful, hardworking pastor begin to investigate mysterious events, they suddenly find themselves caught up in a hideous New Age plot to enslave the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. The physical world meets the spiritual realm as the battle rages between forces of good and evil."

89 Great American NovelsAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"From the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow Sun - the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race, belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home."

90 Great American NovelsAnother Country by James Baldwin

"Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions - sexual, racial, political, artistic. Stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, this 'brilliantly and fiercely told book' (The New York Times) depicts men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime."

91 Great American NovelsBless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

"Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past--a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world... and will nurture the birth of his soul."

92 Great American NovelsLooking for Alaska by John Green

"Brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words - and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the 'Great Perhaps.' Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps."

93 Great American NovelsThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

"Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who - from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister - dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú - a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere - and risk it all - in the name of love."

94 Great American NovelsSwan Song by Robert R. McCammon

"In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, Earth’s last survivors have been drawn into a final battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity. There’s Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets…Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station…and Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with her gifts. But the ancient force behind earth’s devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army…beginning with Swan herself."

95 Great American NovelsMind Invaders (aka The Archon Conspiracy) by Dave Hunt

out of print

96 Great American NovelsWhite Teeth by Zadie Smith

"At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith."

97 Great American NovelsGhost by Jason Reynolds

"Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons - it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems - and running away from them - until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?"

98 Great American NovelsThe Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

"Ghetto-born, Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, and business-minded, she knows and loves the streets like the curves of her own body. But when a cold Winter wind blows her life in a direction she doesn't want to go, her street smarts and seductive skills are put to the test of a lifetime. Unwilling to lose, this ghetto girl will do anything to stay on top."

99 Great American NovelsThe Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

"It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it. There are two warring factions within the department: the Empiricists, who work by the book and dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects. Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. When she goes underground to investigate a crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever."

100 Great American NovelsDoña Bárbára by Rómulo Gallegos (1929) 

"Following the epic struggle between two cousins for an estate in Venezuela, Doña Barbara is an examination of the conflict between town and country, violence and intellect, male and female. Doña Barbara is a beautiful and mysterious woman - rumored to be a witch - with a ferocious power over men. When her cousin Santos Luzardo returns to the plains in order to reclaim his land and cattle, he reluctantly faces off against Doña Barbara, and their battle becomes simultaneously one of violence and seduction. All of the action is set against the stunning backdrop of the Venezuelan prairie, described in loving detail. Gallegos’s plains are filled with dangerous ranchers, intrepid cowboys, and damsels in distress, all broadly and vividly drawn. A masterful novel with an important role in the inception of magical realism, Doña Barbara is a suspenseful tale that blends fantasy, adventure, and romance."

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