Must reads: 80 best books to read of all time - MGara Coin

Our selection of the best books to read is the ultimate literary bucket list. From award-winning novels to controversial classics that sparked conversation, these are the books you must read so far.

Must Read Books So far
Must Read Books of All Time By MGara Coin

Numerous books, but limited time. Familiar to many book enthusiasts is the allure of purchasing a stunning new hardcover. However, which books must read? Encompassing various genres and historical periods, our curated selection of the best books to read so far, meant to be experienced in a lifetime, is available to provide guidance.

Best literary books to read so far

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel García Márquez

This magical realist novel tells the story of the Buendía family over the course of 7 generations in the fictional town of Macondo. It is a complex and beautifully written novel that explores themes of love, loss, family, and history.

"One Hundred Years of Solitude stands as a literary masterpiece that holds a place alongside the Book of Genesis as essential reading for humanity. In crafting this work, Mr. Garcia Marquez accomplishes nothing short of cultivating within the reader an awareness of life's profound, significant, and even nonsensical aspects." —William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review

A paramount literary creation of our era, One Hundred Years of Solitude remains a remarkable and innovative accomplishment authored by the virtuoso Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature.

This novel narrates the saga of the ascent and decline, birth and demise of the fabled Macondo town, intricately woven into the chronicles of the Buendía family. Ingenious, captivating, charismatic, melancholic, and pulsating with unforgettable characters—imbued with authenticity, empathy, and a poetic enchantment that resonates with the spirit—this book stands as a work of artistry in the realm of storytelling.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Buy One Hundred Years of Solitude on Amazon >>

The Lord of the Rings 

by J.R.R. Tolkien

This epic fantasy novel follows the journey of Frodo Baggins to destroy the One Ring, an evil artifact created by the Dark Lord Sauron. It is a classic tale of good versus evil that has captured the imaginations of readers of all ages.

"An exceptional creation—pure exhilaration." —Review from The New York Times

One Ring to govern them all, One Ring to locate them, One Ring to gather them all and in the depths of darkness bind them.

In ages long past, the Rings of Power were meticulously forged by the Elven-smiths. Among them, Sauron, the malevolent Dark Lord, shaped the One Ring, imbuing it with his own strength, aiming to establish supremacy over all others. Yet, this One Ring was wrested from his grasp, and despite his relentless pursuit throughout the realm of Middle-earth, it remained beyond his reach. Over countless epochs, fate led it into the possession of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron's stronghold within the foreboding Dark Tower of Mordor, his influence extended extensively. Sauron collected the entire array of the Great Rings, ever driven to locate the One Ring that would consummate his dominion.

As Bilbo reached his eleventh-first birthday, he vanished, leaving behind his young kinsman Frodo with the Ruling Ring and an arduous mission: to embark on a perilous expedition across Middle-earth, venturing deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and to annihilate the Ring by casting it into the Chasms of Ruin.

The narrative of The Lord of the Rings delves into the monumental journey undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall enigmatic wanderer known as Strider.

The Lord of the Rings

Buy The Lord of the Rings on Amazon >>

Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen

This romantic comedy follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a young woman who must choose between two suitors. It is a witty and insightful novel that explores themes of love, class, and marriage.

"How swiftly reasons emerge to support our preferences." Eight years prior... Anne Elliot, a kind-hearted nineteen-year-old, daughter of Sir Walter, is convinced to terminate her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a young naval officer, due to his lack of wealth.

Now, eight years hence...

Captain Wentworth has returned to England prosperous and accomplished, but harbors lingering resentment. Anne, now independent and mature, still holds affection for him. Their encounters are filled with anguish for her.

What unfolds when Wentworth learns that Anne declined Charles Musgrove's marriage proposal? Will his affection for her rekindle? Will their bond be rekindled?

Crafted in Austen's distinctive manner, Persuasion illustrates the shifting dynamics of the evolving nineteenth-century society. Published after Austen's passing, it stands as her final completed work. The story has inspired numerous adaptations across various artistic mediums. This poignant tale of love continues to captivate its readers.

Pride and Prejudice

Buy Pride and Prejudice on Amazon >>

To Kill a Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of a young girl named Scout who witnesses the trial of a black man falsely accused of rape. It is a powerful novel about racism and injustice that is still relevant today.

The enduring tale of a childhood in a tranquil Southern town and the moral dilemma that jolted its foundations, To Kill A Mockingbird swiftly gained immense popularity and garnered critical acclaim upon its initial release in 1960. This novel swiftly became a bestseller and achieved commendation from reviewers. Subsequently, in 1961, it was honored with the Pulitzer Prize and later adapted into an Academy Award-winning cinematic masterpiece.

Full of empathy, intensity, and profound emotion, To Kill A Mockingbird transports readers to the origins of human conduct—exploring innocence and experience, benevolence and cruelty, affection and animosity, wit and sorrow. Now boasting more than 18 million copies in circulation and available in forty languages, this regional narrative by a young writer from Alabama resonates universally. Although Harper Lee initially saw her work as a simple tale of love, it is now celebrated as an exemplar of American literary brilliance.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Buy To Kill a Mockingbird on Amazon >>

The Great Gatsby 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This classic American novel tells the story of Jay Gatsby, a wealthy man who throws lavish parties in the hopes of winning back the love of his life. It is a cautionary tale about the American Dream and the pursuit of happiness.

The definitive authorized edition of the classic from the twentieth century, presenting F. Scott Fitzgerald's ultimate revisions, enriched with an introduction by his granddaughter and a new preface by Jesmyn Ward, winner of the National Book Award.

Selected as one of PBS's The Great American Read's most cherished novels in America.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's third novel, The Great Gatsby, stands as the crowning accomplishment of his literary career. Initially published in 1925, this quintessential portrayal of the Jazz Age has garnered admiration from countless generations of readers. Narrating the enigmatic magnate Jay Gatsby's infatuation with the captivating Daisy Buchanan, amidst extravagant soirées on Long Island during a period when "gin was the prevailing drink and sex the popular preoccupation," it emerges as a meticulously fashioned account of 1920s America.

The Great Gatsby

Buy The Great Gatsby on Amazon >>


by William Shakespeare

This tragedy tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who seeks revenge for the murder of his father. It is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and is a classic exploration of the themes of revenge, guilt, and madness.

Introducing a fresh compact version of William Shakespeare's timeless tragedy, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Hamlet presents a narrative woven with familial and political intrigues, vengeance, and madness. It remains one of Shakespeare's most enduringly favored and impactful creations, encompassing numerous unforgettable characters and verses.

This condensed edition draws from the original Cambridge publications, initially released for the general readership during the 1860s. It is crafted for reading comfort—possessing the dimensions of a customary mass market paperback, rendering it conveniently portable to slide into a pocket, briefcase, or handbag. Simultaneously, it boasts a typeface size conducive to effortless reading and employs durable paper that stands up to multiple readings.


Buy Hamlet on Amazon >>

Crime and Punishment 

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This psychological thriller tells the story of Raskolnikov, a poor student who murders an old pawnbroker. It is a complex and disturbing novel that explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the nature of good and evil.

Crime and Punishment, a supreme masterpiece of global literature, launched Fyodor Dostoyevsky into the vanguard of Russian writers and among the elite echelons of the world's most distinguished novelists.

The protagonist, Raskolnikov, a destitute student ensnared by his own nihilism and the battle between morality and malevolence, fosters the belief that he transcends the confines of the law. Convinced that noble goals validate heinous methods, he mercilessly murders an elderly pawnbroker he deems "dim-witted, frail, avaricious... worthless." Overwhelmed by guilt and dread thereafter, Raskolnikov confesses and faces imprisonment. In this setting, he discovers that true contentment and redemption can only be achieved through suffering.

Drawing on his personal experiences during his time in prison, Dostoyevsky paints a feverish, gripping psychological thriller imbued with potent religious, societal, and philosophical undercurrents.

The years preceding the creation of Crime and Punishment (1866) were fraught for Dostoyevsky. Bereavements struck his wife and brother, and the magazine he co-founded, Epoch, collapsed under a burden of debt. Threatened with debtor's prison, he secured an advance for an unwritten novel, fleeing to Wiesbaden with hopes of winning enough at roulette to relieve his debts. Instead, he squandered all his funds, resorting to pawning his attire and seeking loans from friends to settle his hotel expenses and return to Russia. Among his pleas for assistance, one was directed at a magazine editor, requesting an advance for yet another unwritten novel—which he titled Crime and Punishment. This extraordinary classic of Russian literature, replete with vintage allure, is now reissued with the authoritative translation by Constance Garnett.

Dover's collection of Thrift Editions remains a favored resource for educators, scholars, librarians, and leisure readers globally. It offers exceptional value in classic fiction, nonfiction, plays, and poetry.

Crime and Punishment

Buy Crime and Punishment on Amazon >>

In Search of Lost Time

by Marcel Proust

This novel tells the story of Marcel, a young man who reflects on his childhood and early adulthood. It is a long and challenging novel, but it is also a rewarding one that is considered one of the greatest works of literature of all time.

Appearing as a conventional "Bildungsroman" on the surface, narrating the protagonist's voyage of self-exploration, this extensive and intricate work also presents a sweeping and humorously detailed portrayal of France during the author's era. It serves as a profound contemplation on the essence of art, love, time, memory, and mortality. However, for most readers, the novel's characters assume paramount importance: figures like Swann, Odette, Monsieur de Charlus, Morel, the Duchesse de Guermantes, Françoise, Saint-Loup, and a multitude of others—these are the "Giants," as the author dubs them, immersed within the currents of Time. 

"In Search of Lost Time" spans seven volumes, and its genesis traces back to 1909. Proust dedicated himself to its creation until his final illness in 1922 necessitated an interruption. While he established the narrative structure early on, Proust continually appended new material and refined each volume for publication. The concluding trio of volumes retains imperfections, unfinished sections, and fragments in their draft form, reflecting the state of the text at the time of the author's passing. The publication of these portions was overseen by Proust's brother, Robert.

In this authoritative English rendition, D. J. Enright has revised the esteemed adaptation by Terence Kilmartin, which was based on C. K. Scott Moncrieff's translation. This revision considers the comprehensive French editions of À la recherche du temps perdu, with the final volume of these new editions issued by the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade in 1989.

In Search of Lost Time

Buy In Search of Lost Time on Amazon >>

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 

by Mark Twain

This coming-of-age novel tells the story of Huck Finn, a young boy who runs away from home with an escaped slave named Jim. It is a classic American novel that explores themes of freedom, friendship, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

Speaking about Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. Mencken observed that his encounter with this quintessential American novel was "the most remarkable occurrence of my entire existence"; Ernest Hemingway proclaimed that "all contemporary American literature originates from this singular book," while T. S. Eliot labeled Huck as "one of the enduring symbolic personas in fiction, deserving a place alongside Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet."

The novel's eminence is rooted in its brilliantly imaginative portrayal of boyhood escapades along the Mississippi River, its skillful delineation of characters, the author's astonishing ear for authentic dialogue, and the narrative's subtle exploration of profound underlying themes: the dichotomy between the "natural" individual and "civilized" society, the malevolence of slavery, the intrinsic worth and respect owed to humanity, and various other subjects. Above all, Huckleberry Finn unveils a captivating tale, replete with daring escapades and unforgettable personages.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Buy The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on Amazon >>

The Catcher in the Rye 

by J.D. Salinger

This novel tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenager who is expelled from boarding school and goes on a journey around New York City. It is a coming-of-age novel that explores themes of alienation, loneliness, and the search for meaning.

The novel that The New Yorker lauded as "brilliant, humorous, and profound," establishing J. D. Salinger as a prominent figure in American literature, and sowing in countless readers worldwide an enduring affection for books.

"If you truly want the whole story, the first thing you're likely curious about is where I was born, what my rather dismal childhood was like, the activities of my parents before they had me, and all that sort of David Copperfield nonsense. But honestly, I'm not inclined to delve into that right now, if you want the honest truth."

The protagonist and narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is a worldly-wise sixteen-year-old, a native New Yorker by the name of Holden Caulfield. Due to circumstances that dissuade adult-style, secondhand depiction, he departs his preparatory school in Pennsylvania and immerses himself beneath the surface of New York City for a span of three days.

The Catcher in the Rye

Buy The Catcher in the Rye on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read:

The best literary fiction to read right now

Best classic books to read so far

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 

by Arthur Conan Doyle

This collection of short stories introduces the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his partner, Dr. Watson. The stories are full of mystery, suspense, and wit, and they have been enjoyed by readers of all ages for generations. 

"Step back into the Victorian era in London and immerse yourself in the world of literature's iconic detective duo — the brilliant Sherlock Holmes and his faithful assistant, Dr. Watson. Join them as they delve into a dozen of their most famous cases, transporting you to the heart of the mystery. First published in 1892, this collection stands as the original and finest compilation of stories featuring the legendary sleuth. And now, it's also the most affordable edition you can find.

This assortment of tales includes some of the author's personal favorites, such as "A Scandal in Bohemia," where a king becomes ensnared in blackmail by a former lover, and Holmes matches wits with the only woman to earn his genuine admiration. Other featured mysteries encompass "The Speckled Band," "The Red-Headed League," and "The Five Orange Pips." In addition, you'll find captivating enigmas like "The Blue Carbuncle," "The Engineer’s Thumb," "The Beryl Coronet," "The Copper Beeches," and four more intriguing cases."

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Buy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on Amazon >>

Don Quixote 

by Miguel de Cervantes

This Spanish novel tells the story of Don Quixote, a middle-aged man who believes himself to be a knight errant. The novel is a satire of the chivalric romances of the Middle Ages, but it is also a moving and insightful story about the power of imagination. 

Selected as one of America's most cherished novels in PBS's The Great American Read, Don Quixote embarks on a journey after immersing himself in tales of chivalry. His newfound inspiration prompts him to become a knight errant, accompanied by his loyal squire, Sancho Panza. Their adventures take shape in a variety of captivating forms. As Quixote's imagination often leads him astray—mistaking windmills for giants, for instance—Sancho acquires a shrewdness and a unique wisdom. Together, they navigate the world as a combination of a sensible madman and a wise fool, leaving an indelible mark on readers' minds for nearly four centuries.

Celebrated for its innovative structure and literary creativity, Don Quixote is widely regarded as the first modern novel. This edition from Penguin Classics, adorned with a striking new cover design, features John Rutherford's expert translation that captures the vivacity and humor of Cervantes's prose. Accompanying this, a compelling critical introduction by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarriá provides valuable insights into the work's significance.

Don Quixote   by Miguel de Cervantes

Buy Don Quixote on Amazon >>

David Copperfield

by Charles Dickens

This autobiographical novel tells the story of David Copperfield, a young boy who overcomes poverty and hardship to become a successful writer. The novel is full of memorable characters and heartwarming moments, and it is considered one of Dickens's best works. 

"Regarded by Virginia Woolf as Dickens' most flawless work, David Copperfield unfolds the journey of a young man from a troubled and impoverished childhood to his discovery of his calling as a successful novelist. The narrative introduces a vibrant array of characters, including the overbearing stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; the brilliant yet morally questionable schoolmate, James Steerforth; the formidable Aunt Betsey Trotwood; the perpetually meek but cunning Uriah Heep; the enchanting yet shallow Dora Spenlow; and the wonderfully penniless Wilkins Micawber, a comedic masterpiece in literature. Through David Copperfield, a novel he affectionately referred to as his 'favorite child,' Dickens infused his own life experiences to craft an enduringly beloved work that masterfully blends tragedy and comedy. This edition presents the text from the original 1850 volume publication, along with updated reading recommendations, original illustrations by 'Phiz,' an expanded chronology, and comprehensive notes. In the introduction by Jeremy Tambling, the novel's autobiographical elements, as well as its central themes of memory and identity, are thoughtfully explored.

For over seventy years, Penguin has been a leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With a catalog boasting more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics stands as a global repository of the finest literary works spanning history, genres, and disciplines. Readers rely on this series for authoritative texts accompanied by introductions and annotations from esteemed scholars and contemporary authors, along with modern translations by award-winning translators."

David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens

Buy David Copperfield on Amazon >>

Wuthering Heights 

by Emily Brontë

This novel tells the story of the passionate and destructive love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. The novel is set in the English moors, and it is full of dark and brooding atmosphere. Wuthering Heights is a classic of English literature, but it is also a challenging and disturbing novel.

"Presented with an introduction and annotations by John S. Whitley from the University of Sussex, Wuthering Heights unfurls as a tempestuous tale of fervent and almost supernatural affection between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan embraced into Catherine's family by her father. Following Mr. Earnshaw's demise, Heathcliff faces mistreatment and degradation under Catherine's brother, Hindley. Misinterpreting Catherine's feelings and convinced that she does not share his love, Heathcliff departs Wuthering Heights. He resurfaces years later as a prosperous and sophisticated man, driven by a sinister urge for vengeance against past injustices. The narrative delves into a world of chaos and relentless brutality, yet skillfully navigates its intricate composition. The vivid descriptions of the desolate moors, coupled with the poignant depiction of grand visions, ultimately fuse together to position this exceptional novel as a masterpiece of English literature."

Wuthering Heights   by Emily Brontë

Buy Wuthering Heights on Amazon >>


by George Eliot

This novel tells the story of Dorothea Brooke, a young woman who seeks to make a difference in the world. The novel is set in the fictional town of Middlemarch, and it explores themes of love, marriage, and social reform. Middlemarch is considered one of the greatest novels ever written, and it is a must-read for any fan of classic literature.

"Accompanied by an introduction and annotations by Doreen Roberts from Rutherford College, University of Kent at Canterbury, Middlemarch unfolds as a multifaceted narrative encompassing ideals, shattered dreams, extravagance, steadfastness, and unfulfilled affections. This incisive examination of existence within an English provincial town amid the upheaval preceding the Reform Bill of 1832 intertwines the stories of Dorothea Brooke and Dr. Tertius Lydgate. Their narratives intertwine with those of other pivotal characters, collectively shedding light on the societal state of mid-nineteenth-century England."

Middlemarch   by George Eliot

Buy Middlemarch on Amazon >>

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 

by Frederick Douglass

This memoir tells the story of Frederick Douglass, an African American who escaped from slavery and became a leading abolitionist and civil rights activist. The narrative is a powerful and moving account of Douglass's life, and it is an important historical document. 

Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), a former slave, fervent abolitionist, gifted writer, newspaper editor, and compelling orator whose speeches ignited the flames of the abolitionist movement, led a remarkable existence. Despite enduring physical abuse, hardship, and personal tragedy in his formative years, his indomitable spirit enabled him to overcome these adversities, emerging as a prominent advocate for his people. Within his initial and frequently referenced autobiographical work, Douglass paints vivid portraits of his childhood, recounting the harrowing experiences of his life as a slave and recounting his daring escape to the North and eventual attainment of freedom. Originally published in 1845 to dispel uncertainties about his origins—given the rarity of literate slaves at that time—the Narrative is esteemed today for its fervent emotion, poignant and detailed depictions, and compelling narrative prowess. It stands as an essential addition to the collection of those interested in African-American history and the life of one of America's most courageous and influential defenders of civil rights. A recommended resource aligned with the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass   by Frederick Douglass

Buy Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass on Amazon >>


by Herman Melville

This American novel tells the story of Captain Ahab, a monomaniacal captain who seeks revenge on the whale Moby Dick. The novel is a classic seafaring adventure novel, but it is also a meditation on the nature of good and evil. Moby-Dick is a challenging but rewarding read, and it is considered one of the greatest novels ever written. 

"Moby-Dick; or, The Whale" is a novel crafted by Herman Melville, wherein Ishmael serves as the narrator, unfolding the obsessive pursuit of Ahab, the captain of the whaling vessel Pequod, as he relentlessly seeks revenge against the albino sperm whale, Moby Dick. This very whale had previously annihilated Ahab's ship and left him maimed, his leg severed at the knee. Although the novel faced commercial disappointment and was out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its stature burgeoned significantly during the twentieth century. D. H. Lawrence hailed it as "one of the oddest and most superb books in the world," deeming it "the finest maritime book ever written." Moby-Dick has garnered recognition as a masterpiece of American literature, embodying the essence of the Romantic era in America and the American Renaissance. The iconic opening line, "Call me Ishmael," remains one of the most renowned in world literature.

Composed over a year and a half, the book is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "in token of my admiration for his genius," and draws from Melville's maritime experiences, his immersion in whaling literature, and his literary inspirations including Shakespeare and the Bible. The narrative seamlessly integrates vivid depictions of whale hunting and the extraction of whale oil, as well as life aboard a ship with a culturally diverse crew. These aspects are interwoven with explorations of class dynamics, social hierarchy, morality, the existence of divinity, and notions of good and evil. Melville employs diverse stylistic techniques, ranging from songs, poetry, and catalogs to Shakespearean stage directions, soliloquies, and asides.

Interestingly, the author changed the title just before publication, ultimately settling on "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale." The novel made its debut in London as "The Whale" in October 1851, and then took its definitive title "Moby-Dick" in New York in November of the same year. However, in both editions, the whale is referred to as "Moby Dick," without a hyphen. While the British edition consisted of five hundred copies and was not reprinted in the author's lifetime, the American edition, comprising nearly three thousand copies, underwent three reprintings of around 250 copies each, with the final reprint in 1871. These numbers are somewhat inflated due to the destruction of three hundred copies in a fire at Harper's, resulting in approximately 3,200 copies being sold during the author's lifetime.

Moby-Dick   by Herman Melville

Buy Moby-Dick on Amazon >>

The Odyssey 

by Homer 

This ancient Greek epic poem tells the story of Odysseus, a Greek hero who returns home after the Trojan War. The Odyssey is a classic adventure story, but it is also a meditation on the nature of home and family. The Odyssey is a must-read for any fan of classic literature. 

Translated by the esteemed classicist Robert Fagles, this remarkable rendition stands as the magnum opus of Western literature. A distinguished Penguin Classic edition.

Renowned for his translation prowess, Robert Fagles, recipient of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and the 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents to us Homer's celebrated and accessible poem in a breathtaking modern-verse interpretation. The Odyssey commences with the immortal words, "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." This translation by Robert Fagles has been hailed by Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review as nothing short of "a distinguished achievement."

While the Iliad stands as the world's preeminent war epic, the Odyssey unfolds as literature's grandest portrayal of the common man's voyage through life. Odysseus' reliance on his astuteness and resourcefulness in his encounters with both divine and natural forces throughout his decade-long odyssey to return to Ithaca following the Trojan War forms a narrative that is at once a perennial human tale and a personal trial of moral strength.

In the retelling of these myths and legends, Fagles masterfully captures the vigor and elegance of Homer's original work, infusing it with a bold and modern voice. His rendition invites us to read the Odyssey aloud, to relish its essence, and to treasure its profound lyrical mastery. Aiding this translation is the illuminating introduction and textual commentary by acclaimed classicist Bernard Knox, offering insights and context for readers ranging from the casual to the scholarly, thereby enhancing the potency of Fagles' interpretation. This rendition of the Odyssey will undoubtedly enchant both seasoned classicists and general readers alike, while captivating a new generation of students of Homer's legacy. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition is characterized by French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For over seven decades, Penguin has upheld its stature as the paramount publisher of classical literature in the English-speaking world. With an expansive library comprising more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics serves as a universal bookshelf showcasing the finest literary works spanning history, genres, and disciplines. Readers entrust this series to furnish authoritative texts, enriched by introductions and annotations from eminent scholars and contemporary authors, as well as current translations from lauded translators.

The Odyssey   by Homer

Buy The Odyssey on Amazon >>

The Divine Comedy 

by Dante Alighieri

This Italian epic poem tells the story of Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. The Divine Comedy is a classic exploration of the afterlife, and it has influenced Western thought for centuries. The Divine Comedy is a challenging but rewarding read, and it is considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written.

Presented within this single volume are the definitive translations of The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso—Dante Alighieri's triumphant trinity of poetic masterpieces.

Nestling in the revered company of literature's finest creations, Dante Alighieri's profound epic, The Divine Comedy, unfolds as a poignant human narrative and an indelible odyssey through the boundless anguish of Hell, the laborious ascent of Purgatory's challenging slopes, and the radiant expanse of Paradise—the realm of cosmic equilibrium and timeless deliverance.

In an unprecedented compilation, John Ciardi's exceptional and authoritative interpretations of Dante's three majestic canticles—The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradiso—have been harmoniously united in a singular volume. This amalgamation captures the essence of the poet's remarkable vision of the aspiring soul, crystallizing the potency and splendor intrinsic to this timeless work. The Divine Comedy emerges as a resplendent opus, resonating with profound truths and an enigmatic spiritual fervor.

The Divine Comedy   by Dante Alighieri

Buy The Divine Comedy on Amazon >>

The Book Thief 

by Markus Zusak

This historical novel set in Nazi Germany tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who learns to read and steal. The Book Thief is a powerful and moving novel about the importance of words, the power of the human spirit, and the resilience of children.

A remarkable bestseller topping the NEW YORK TIMES chart • Listed among TIME MAGAZINE’S top 100 YA books of all time

This beloved novel delves into the profound influence of books on the human spirit, even in the bleakest of circumstances.

When Death narrates a tale, you pay heed.

The year is 1939, and Nazi Germany is gripped by tension. Death is tirelessly occupied, and this activity will only escalate.

Liesel Meminger, a foster child residing outside Munich, ekes out a modest existence by thieving. However, when she encounters something irresistible—books—her life takes a new trajectory. Assisted by her foster father's accordion melodies, she learns to read and shares her pilfered books with neighbors amidst bombing raids, as well as with a Jewish man concealed in her basement.

With writing that blazes with intensity and masterful craftsmanship, acclaimed author Markus Zusak, renowned for I Am the Messenger, weaves one of the most enduring stories of our era.

“The type of book that possesses life-altering potential.” —The New York Times

“Worthy of a spot alongside Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl.” —USA Today

Don't overlook BRIDGE OF CLAY, the first novel by Markus Zusak since THE BOOK THIEF.

The Book Thief   by Markus Zusak

Buy The Book Thief on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read: 

The Best 10 History Books of 2023 That Will Transport You Through Time

Best sci-fi and fantasy books to read so far

War of the Worlds 

by H. G. Wells

A spine-chilling narrative depicting a Martian invasion of 19th-century London—a timeless science fiction masterpiece.

The War of the Worlds served as the inspiration for the worldwide bestseller, The Map of the Sky, authored by Félix J. Palma. As a token of appreciation for our readers, we have enclosed a snippet of The Map of the Sky within this eBook edition.

War of the Worlds   by H. G. Wells

Buy War of the Worlds on Amazon >>

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 

by Douglas Adams

This comedic science fiction novel follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman who escapes Earth's destruction with his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be an alien researcher who was stranded on Earth for fifteen years while gathering information for the titular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a pan-galactic encyclopaedia and travel guide for hitchhikers.

A sensational ride of hilarity awaits in this NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, filled with inspired lunacy that leaves you craving for more, and it's over all too soon—proclaims The Washington Post Book World.

Coming soon as a Hulu series and currently celebrating the monumental 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

This book has been nominated as one of America's most cherished novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

For Arthur Dent, a typical Thursday morning turns into an extraordinary adventure when his house is unexpectedly demolished. And if that weren't enough, the Earth itself is obliterated to make way for an interstellar express route, and his best friend claims to be an alien.

But that's only the beginning of Arthur's troubles.

With just a towel, a small yellow fish, and a peculiar book, Arthur must navigate a treacherous cosmos alongside an unreliable group of extraterrestrials. Fortunately, the fish has a knack for languages, and the book turns out to be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, helpfully emblazoned with the reassuring words DON’T PANIC.

Douglas Adams's mega-hit of pop culture blasts logic into the stratosphere, toys with time and physics, provides witty insights on everyday objects like ballpoint pens, potted plants, and digital watches, and, most importantly, unveils the ultimate answer to the profound questions of life, the universe, and everything.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy   by Douglas Adams

Buy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on Amazon >>

The Dune Chronicles 

by Frank Herbert

This series of science fiction novels tells the story of the Atreides family, who control the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the valuable spice melange. The Dune Chronicles are complex and thought-provoking novels that explore themes of ecology, politics, and religion.

The comprehensive Dune series comprises these 6 books: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune.

In Book 1, titled Dune, Frank Herbert's timeless masterpiece shines—a testament to imagination and a bestseller in the realm of science fiction. This mythic and emotionally intense hero's journey follows Paul Atreides, a brilliant young man with an astounding destiny beyond his grasp. His path takes him to the universe's most perilous planet, where he must safeguard his family and people. As malevolent forces collide in a struggle for control over the world's exclusive source of the most precious substance—a resource that holds the potential to unlock humanity's greatest capabilities—only those who can conquer their fear stand a chance at survival.

Book 2, known as Dune Messiah, continues the saga of Paul Atreides, now revered and feared as Muad'Dib. As the Emperor of the known cosmos, he holds more power than any single individual should. Revered by the zealous Fremen, Paul faces not only the resentment of the political houses he displaced but also a plot hatched within his own realm of influence.

Book 3, Children of Dune, introduces the twins Leto and Ghanima Atreides, children of Emperor Paul Muad'Dib who vanished in the desert wastelands of Arrakis a decade earlier. Like their father, the twins possess extraordinary abilities that make them prized assets to their manipulative aunt Alia, the ruler of the Empire in House Atreides' name. Alia believes that by extracting the secrets of the twins' prophetic visions, she can secure her dynasty's control.

Frank Herbert's grand Dune novels have captivated readers worldwide, selling millions of copies. They stand as monumental achievements of the human creative spirit, constituting one of the most significant sagas in the annals of literary science fiction.

The Dune Chronicles   by Frank Herbert

Buy The Dune Chronicles on Amazon >>

Ender's Game 

by Orson Scott Card

This science fiction novel tells the story of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a child prodigy who is trained to be a military commander. Ender's Game is a gripping and suspenseful novel that explores themes of war, violence, and the nature of humanity. 

To establish a robust defense against a potential attack by a hostile alien race, governmental bodies embark on a project to breed child prodigies and mold them into soldiers. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, a brilliant young boy, resides with his kind yet distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and his cherished sister Valentine, who holds a special place in his heart. While Peter and Valentine had been considered for the soldier-training initiative but were deemed unfit, it is young Ender who is selected as the Wiggin representative to undergo rigorous military instruction at the orbiting Battle School.

Ender's exceptional abilities propel him to a leadership position in school and earn him respect in the Battle Room, where children simulate battles in zero gravity. However, growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers takes its toll on Ender. He grapples with feelings of isolation, competition from his peers, the pressure imposed by adult instructors, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His internal struggles encompass loneliness, apprehensions of resembling his cruel brother, and a deep devotion to his beloved sister.

The question looms: Is Ender the commander that Earth desperately needs? Nevertheless, Ender is not the sole result of these genetic experiments. The conflict with the Buggers has raged for a century, and the pursuit of the perfect military leader has persisted nearly as long. Ender's two older siblings possess remarkable traits as well, though in distinctly different ways. Together, the trio holds the potential to reshape the world—assuming the world itself survives.

Recipient of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula Awards, this tale explores the journey of a remarkable young boy whose destiny intersects with the fate of humanity in the face of an extraterrestrial threat.

Ender's Game   by Orson Scott Card

Buy Ender's Game on Amazon >>

The Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins

This dystopian novel set in a future where children are forced to fight to the death in an annual televised event. The Hunger Games is a powerful and disturbing novel that explores themes of violence, oppression, and the power of hope.

The initial book in the globally acclaimed series by Suzanne Collins!

Triumph brings fame and wealth, while defeat leads to certain demise. The Hunger Games have commenced. In the remnants of a region once named North America, the nation of Panem now exists—an opulent Capitol encircled by twelve remote districts. The Capitol's demeanor is severe and unkind, governing the districts by compelling each to offer one boy and one girl, aged twelve to eighteen, for the annual Hunger Games—a televised battle to the death. At sixteen years old, Katniss Everdeen perceives it as a death sentence when she steps forward to replace her sister in the Games. Yet, Katniss has faced perilous situations before, and survival is an instinctual part of her. Almost inadvertently, she becomes a contender. However, if she aims to emerge victorious, she must confront decisions that juxtapose survival with compassion and existence with love.

The Hunger Games   by Suzanne Collins

Buy The Hunger Games on Amazon >>

The Martian 

by Andy Weir

This science fiction novel tells the story of Mark Watney, an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must use his ingenuity to survive. The Martian is a suspenseful and inspiring novel that explores themes of survival, hope, and the power of the human spirit. 

Chosen for communal reading at North Lake College

Nominated as one of PBS's The Great American Read's most cherished novels

Just six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney achieved the remarkable feat of becoming one of the initial humans to set foot on Mars.

However, now he faces the grim certainty that he could be the first individual to meet his end on the Red Planet.

When a ferocious dust storm nearly claims his life and compels his crew to depart, presuming him deceased, Mark finds himself marooned and utterly solitary. He lacks the means to signal Earth of his survival, and even if he managed to communicate, his provisions would be depleted long before a rescue could be mounted.

In all likelihood, starvation won't be his undoing. Instead, the impaired machinery, the harsh environment, or perhaps just simple human error seem more plausible threats to his life.

Yet Mark remains unwavering in his determination. Armed with his resourcefulness, his engineering prowess, and an unwavering refusal to succumb, he confronts each seemingly insurmountable hurdle. Can his ingenuity prevail against the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against him?

The Martian   by Andy Weir

Buy The Martian on Amazon >>

World War Z 

by Max Brooks

This post-apocalyptic novel tells the story of a fictional oral history of the zombie apocalypse. World War Z is a gripping and suspenseful novel that explores the human cost of a zombie apocalypse.

#1 BESTSELLER ON THE NEW YORK TIMES LIST • "Get ready to be captivated by this captivatingly readable oral history chronicling the monumental conflict between humans and zombies."—Entertainment Weekly

Though we've survived the onslaught of the zombie apocalypse, how many of us still bear the haunting scars of that dreadful era? The living dead were temporarily subdued, but at what price? Presented through the chilling and gripping narratives of those who directly witnessed the horror, World War Z is the sole account of that devastating pandemic.

The Zombie War came perilously close to wiping out humanity entirely. With an urgent determination to preserve the raw and etched memories of the survivors, Max Brooks embarked on a journey across the United States and the globe. He ventured from ruined cities once bustling with tens of millions of inhabitants to the most desolate and unforgiving corners of the planet. He captured the testimonies of men, women, and even children who faced head-on the living—or more accurately, the undead—nightmare of that dreadful epoch. The outcome of this endeavor is World War Z, an unprecedented document that captures the profound fear and terror that gripped society, as well as the indomitable spirit of resilience that emerged during the darkest days of the plague.


"The New York Times Book Review rightly notes that it will truly give you shivers." 

"World War Z possesses more inventiveness and excitement than entire stacks of contemporary fiction releases. Imagine the convergence of Mad Max and The Hot Zone... It's Apocalypse Now, with a pandemic twist. Both eerie and fascinating."—USA Today

"World War Z will clutch onto you like the grip of a deceased hand. A."—Entertainment Weekly, Editor's Choice

"This is quite possibly the most timely and well-crafted fright since Orson Welles's infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast... The book offers action-packed, globally conscious satire."—Dallas Morning News

World War Z   by Max Brooks

Buy World War Z on Amazon >>

The Time Machine 

by H.G. Wells

This science fiction novel tells the story of a man who travels through time to the future. The Time Machine is a classic of science fiction that explores themes of social inequality, technological advancement, and the nature of time. 

When the Time Traveller boldly stepped out of his machine for the first time, he was transported to the year 802,700—and a world drastically transformed. In this strange and utopian era, beings coexisted in seemingly flawless harmony. The Time Traveller believed he could observe and learn from these remarkable creatures, unravel their enigma, and then return to his own time. However, his plans were shattered when he discovered that his invention, his sole means of escape, had been stolen.

H. G. Wells' renowned tale of an individual's extraordinary voyage beyond the boundaries of imagination made its debut in 1895. It earned him instant acclaim and has been revered ever since as one of the foremost masterpieces in the realm of science fiction literature.

The Time Machine   by H.G. Wells

Buy The Time Machine on Amazon >>

2001: A Space Odyssey 

by Arthur C. Clarke

This science fiction novel tells the story of a crew of astronauts who are sent on a mission to Jupiter to investigate a mysterious black monolith. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a visually stunning novel that explores themes of artificial intelligence, the meaning of life, and the limits of human knowledge. 

A timeless work of science fiction literature that both encapsulates and expands upon Stanley Kubrick's iconic film, reshaping our perception of the cosmos and ourselves.

Spanning from the African savannas during the dawn of humanity to the Saturnian rings marking humanity's venture into the far reaches of the solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey offers a unique and unparalleled journey.

This allegorical narrative, delving into humanity's quest to explore the universe and the universe's corresponding response, stands as a landmark achievement in storytelling. The tale follows the crew of the spacecraft Discovery as they undertake a mission to Saturn, with their vessel under the control of HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer endowed with cognitive capabilities rivaling, and perhaps challenging, the human intellect.

Addressing themes of space exploration, the dangers of technology, and the boundaries of human dominion, 2001: A Space Odyssey endures as a cinematic epic, continuing to captivate audiences with its boundless scope.

2001: A Space Odyssey   by Arthur C. Clarke

Buy 2001: A Space Odyssey book on Amazon >>

The Left Hand of Darkness 

by Ursula K. Le Guin

This science fiction novel tells the story of a human envoy who is sent to a planet where the inhabitants are genderless. The Left Hand of Darkness is a thought-provoking novel that explores themes of gender, identity, and the nature of otherness. 

Commemorating its 50th anniversary, this edition features a fresh introduction by David Mitchell and a new afterword by Charlie Jane Anders.

Ursula K. Le Guin's revolutionary contribution to the realm of science fiction, which garnered both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

On the frozen planet of Winter, where gender is fluid and prejudice is absent, a solitary human ambassador is dispatched. His mission: to integrate Winter into the expanding intergalactic community. However, to achieve this, he must navigate the gap between his own beliefs and the enigmatic, captivating culture he encounters.

By delving into realms of psychology, society, and human sentiment on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a monumental achievement in the history of intellectual science fiction.

The Left Hand of Darkness   by Ursula K. Le Guin

Buy The Left Hand of Darkness on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read:

 The 10 Best New Romances Books of August by MGara Coin

Best non-fiction books to read so far

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 

by Yuval Noah Harari

This book tells the story of humankind from the Stone Age to the present day, and it explores the major turning points in human history. Sapiens is a thought-provoking and eye-opening book that will change the way you think about the world.

This is the official U.S. edition, enriched with full-color illustrations throughout.

A New York Times Bestseller.

Selected as a Summer Reading Pick by figures such as President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.

In this groundbreaking narrative by a renowned historian, we delve into the creation and evolution of humanity—an international bestseller that investigates how biology and history have shaped us, enhancing our comprehension of what it truly means to be "human."

A hundred thousand years in the past, Earth was home to at least six distinct human species. Yet today, only one remains—homo sapiens. What transpired to extinguish the others? And what could be in store for us?

Commonly, books on the history of mankind take either a historical or a biological angle. However, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari defies convention with this innovative work. He begins around 70,000 years ago, marking the emergence of modern cognition. Sapiens delves into the ecological roles of evolving humans, traces the ascent of empires, and blends history and science to reevaluate established narratives. It links past events to present concerns and contextualizes specific occurrences within broader concepts.

Dr. Harari compels us to also contemplate the future. In recent decades, humans have begun to manipulate the laws of natural selection that have governed life for billions of years. Our capabilities now extend to shaping not only our surroundings, but also ourselves. Where will these developments lead, and what do we aspire to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations and diagrams, this thought-provoking and enlightening book is certain to ignite discussions. It is an indispensable read for those who appreciate the works of authors like Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind   by Yuval Noah Harari

Buy Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind book on Amazon >>


by Hans Rosling

This book argues that the world is actually getting better, not worse, and it challenges many of the negative stereotypes that we have about the developing world. Factfulness is an optimistic and inspiring book that will change the way you see the world.

Factfulness: The calming practice of holding opinions supported by robust factual evidence.

When posed with straightforward inquiries regarding global trends—such as the proportion of the world's population living in poverty, the reasons behind the planet's population growth, or the number of girls completing their education—we consistently provide incorrect answers. These miscalculations are so glaring that a chimpanzee randomly selecting responses would consistently outperform educators, journalists, Nobel laureates, and even investment bankers.

In Factfulness, Hans Rosling, a distinguished Professor of International Health and a TED sensation on the global stage, collaborates with his long-standing partners Anna and Ola to present an entirely new perspective on why this phenomenon occurs. They unveil the ten inclinations that skew our outlook—from our inclination to categorize the world into opposing groups (often a variation of 'us' versus 'them') to the manner in which media consumption shapes our perceptions (with fear often prevailing), and even our perception of progress (where the assumption that most aspects are deteriorating prevails).

Our predicament lies in our lack of awareness about what we are unaware of, and our assumptions are invariably influenced by unconscious and predictable biases.

In a surprising twist, the world, despite its imperfections, is in a far better state than our perceptions lead us to believe. This doesn't imply that there are no valid concerns. Yet, when we continuously fret about everything without adopting a worldview grounded in evidence, we risk losing our capacity to focus on the issues that pose the greatest threats.

Uplifting and enlightening, enriched with captivating anecdotes and poignant tales, Factfulness is a pressing and indispensable read that will reshape your perception of the world. It will empower you to react to future challenges and prospects with greater clarity and efficacy.

Factfulness   by Hans Rosling

Buy Factfulness book on Amazon >>

The Power of Habit 

by Charles Duhigg

This book explains the science of habit formation and how we can change our habits for the better. The Power of Habit is a practical and insightful book that will help you break bad habits and create good ones.

BESTSELLER ON THE NEW YORK TIMES LIST • This modern classic delves into the potential of transforming our lives by altering our patterns.

SELECTED AS ONE OF THE YEAR'S FINEST BOOKS BY The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times

In The Power of Habit, acclaimed business journalist Charles Duhigg guides us to the exhilarating frontier of scientific revelations that illuminate the reasons behind habits and how we can reshape them. Condensing vast troves of knowledge into captivating narratives, Duhigg transports us from the inner sanctums of Procter & Gamble's boardrooms to the sidelines of the NFL and the forefront of the civil rights movement. By doing so, he presents an entirely novel insight into human nature and its latent capabilities. At its core, The Power of Habit puts forth a thrilling argument: unraveling the enigma of exercising consistently, shedding weight, enhancing productivity, and attaining triumph hinges on comprehending the mechanics of habits. As Duhigg elucidates, by tapping into this novel scientific understanding, we possess the power to revolutionize our enterprises, societies, and individual existences.

With a fresh postscript from the author

“Incisive, thought-provoking, and practical.”—Jim Collins

“Rarely do [books] become indispensable guides for both business and life. The Power of Habit is a rarity. Charles Duhigg not only demystifies the origins of habits but also outlines how to vanquish detrimental ones and retain the beneficial.”—Financial Times

“A thoroughly engaging read.”—David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

“Your self-image, your organization, and your perception of the world will all undergo a transformation.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Engaging . . . pleasurable . . . absorbing . . . an earnest exploration of the science behind habit formation and transformation.”—The New York Times

The Power of Habit   by Charles Duhigg

Buy The Power of Habit book on Amazon >>

The Tipping Point 

by Malcolm Gladwell

This book explores the phenomenon of social epidemics and how small changes can have a big impact. The Tipping Point is a fascinating and thought-provoking book that will change the way you think about the spread of ideas and trends. 

Delve into the enthralling realm of the scientific underpinnings behind viral trends in business, marketing, and human conduct with the pioneering debut work by Malcolm Gladwell, the bestselling author of The Bomber Mafia. This groundbreaking book, recognized as one of the standout works of the decade by The A.V. Club and The Guardian, unearths the intricacies of the tipping point, that enchanting juncture when an idea, trend, or societal pattern breaches a threshold and takes off like wildfire. In much the same way a solitary sick individual can trigger a flu epidemic, a meticulously targeted nudge can set in motion a fashion trend, the rapid adoption of a novel product, or a plunge in crime rates. Malcolm Gladwell, in his widely acclaimed bestseller, scrutinizes and brilliantly elucidates the phenomenon of the tipping point, catalyzing a paradigm shift in global perspectives on product marketing and idea propagation.

“A captivating read that compels contemplation of a riveting concept, destined to reshape the perception of our world for every inquisitive mind.” —Michael Lewis

The Tipping Point   by Malcolm Gladwell

Buy The Tipping Point book on Amazon >>

+The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This book argues that we should be more aware of the role of randomness and uncertainty in our lives. The Black Swan is a challenging and thought-provoking book that will change the way you think about risk and probability. 

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's stand-alone book, "The Black Swan," holds a distinctive place within his seminal Incerto series, a comprehensive exploration into the realms of opacity, chance, uncertainty, probability, human fallibility, risk, and decision-making in a world characterized by its enigmatic nature. The other volumes in this series include "Fooled by Randomness," "Antifragile," "Skin in the Game," and "The Bed of Procrustes."

A black swan signifies an immensely improbable occurrence defined by three core attributes: its unpredictability, its monumental impact, and the human inclination to retrospectively concoct explanations that render it less random and more foreseeable than it truly was. The staggering triumph of Google and the tragic events of 9/11 both exemplify black swans. In the perspective of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, these black swan events underlie nearly every facet of our world, spanning from the emergence of religions to events within our personal lives.

Why is it that we fail to recognize the presence of black swans until they have materialized? Taleb suggests that our cognitive makeup steers us toward learning specifics when we should be focusing on overarching patterns. We fixate on what we already comprehend and consistently disregard what remains beyond our grasp. Consequently, our ability to accurately assess opportunities is compromised, as we remain prone to simplifying, narrating, and categorizing, while neglecting to appreciate those who can conceive the "impossible."

Over years of observation, Taleb has scrutinized how we deceive ourselves into assuming that our knowledge exceeds its actual bounds. Our thinking becomes restricted to the inconsequential and trivial, even as substantial events continue to astound us and shape our world. Within this illuminating book, Taleb dissects everything we believe we know about the scope of our ignorance. This second edition introduces a fresh philosophical and empirical essay titled "On Robustness and Fragility," which offers tools to navigate and capitalize on the intricacies of a world rife with Black Swan occurrences.

Elegantly composed, astonishing in its revelations, and universally applicable, "The Black Swan" will revolutionize your perception of the world. Taleb, a profoundly captivating writer, infuses wit, irreverence, and captivating narratives. He demonstrates mastery over a broad range of subjects, from cognitive science to business to probability theory. "The Black Swan" stands as a landmark work—a black swan in its own right.

Acclaim for Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

"The most prophetic voice of all." — GQ

Acclaim for "The Black Swan":

"[A book] that reshaped modern thought." — The Times (London)

"A masterpiece." — Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of "The Long Tail"

"Idiosyncratically brilliant." — Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times

"Reading 'The Black Swan' altered my perspective on how the world functions." — Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate

"[Taleb's writing] fuses the styles of Stephen Colbert and Michel de Montaigne... We journey with him through the pitfalls of confirmation bias and narrative fallacy." — The Wall Street Journal

"Exceptionally enjoyable—compelling... easily accessible for intermittent reading." — Financial Times

"Engaging... 'The Black Swan' possesses a charming audacity and commendable ambition." — The New York Times Book Review"

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable  by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Buy The Black Swan book on Amazon >>

The Worldly Philosophers 

by Robert L. Heilbroner

This book tells the story of the great economic thinkers from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes. The Worldly Philosophers is a classic book that will give you a deeper understanding of the economic forces that shape our world. 

"The enduring bestseller that delves into the evolution of economic thought from Adam Smith to Karl Marx—offering readers a comprehensive exploration of economic knowledge that caters to their curiosity (The New York Times).

"The Worldly Philosophers" not only invites us to delve deeper into our historical roots, but also grants us a clearer understanding of the contemporary era. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner introduces a novel theme that links a range of thinkers, including Adam Smith and Karl Marx. This overarching theme unifies their diverse ideas, which revolve around a singular pursuit: comprehending the mechanisms of a capitalist society. This endeavor holds particular relevance in an age characterized by perplexing economic headlines.

A fresh and audacious final chapter titled "The End of the Worldly Philosophy?" underscores the dual connotations of the word "end"—referring to both the purpose and limits of economics. Within this chapter, Heilbroner raises concerns about the potential oversight of fundamental social and political issues, inherent to economics, in the face of an increasingly "scientific" economic approach. Unlike its forerunners, this updated edition not only sheds light on our historical past but also galvanizes readers for the future, by encouraging them to take action."

The Worldly Philosophers   by Robert L. Heilbroner

Buy The Worldly Philosophers book on Amazon >>

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies 

by Jared Diamond

This book argues that geography and climate have played a major role in shaping human history. Guns, Germs, and Steel is a controversial book, but it is also a thought-provoking and important book that will change the way you think about the world.

"Engaging and thought-provoking.... Lays a robust foundation for comprehending the trajectory of human history." ― Bill Gates

In this "skillfully crafted, enlightening, and enjoyable" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) volume, Jared Diamond presents a compelling argument that the course of human history has been significantly influenced by geographical and environmental factors. He asserts that societies with an early advantage in food production progressed beyond the hunter-gatherer phase, leading to the development of organized religions, the emergence of formidable diseases, and the creation of powerful tools of war. These societies subsequently embarked on maritime and terrestrial expeditions, asserting dominance and often decimating preliterate cultures. A groundbreaking advancement in our comprehension of human societies, "Guns, Germs, and Steel" chronicles the intricate process that shaped the modern world while adeptly dismantling racially motivated theories of historical evolution. This book, a Pulitzer Prize recipient, a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal, offers an invaluable contribution to our understanding of human civilization.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies   by Jared Diamond

Buy Guns, Germs, and Steel book on Amazon >>

A Brief History of Time 

by Stephen Hawking

This book explains the basic concepts of cosmology and astrophysics in a way that is accessible to laypeople. A Brief History of Time is a classic book that will give you a deeper understanding of the universe.

"A groundbreaking bestseller on the New York Times list

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant mind of our era, presents a landmark work in the realm of science writing. In this book, Hawking delves into profound inquiries such as: How did the universe come into existence, and what conditions facilitated its inception? Does time consistently move forward, or are there exceptions? Is the universe boundless, or are there limitations? Could there exist additional dimensions within space? What lies in the future when everything culminates?

Articulated in language accessible to all, "A Brief History of Time" immerses readers into the extraordinary domains of black holes and quarks, antimatter and the enigmatic concept of the "arrow of time," the grand event of the big bang, and a universe that houses an even more significant presence. Within these pages, the possibilities are both awe-inspiring and unforeseen. With captivating imagery and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking propels us closer to uncovering the fundamental mysteries that reside at the core of creation."

A Brief History of Time   by Stephen Hawking

Buy A Brief History of Time book on Amazon >>

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 

by Benjamin Franklin

This autobiography tells the story of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is a classic book that will inspire you to achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

"“Do not mistake motion for action.” ― Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The title traditionally given to Benjamin Franklin's incomplete account of his life is "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin." Penned by Franklin himself between 1771 and 1790, it seems he referred to the work as his "Memoirs." Despite encountering publication challenges after Franklin's passing, this piece has emerged as one of the most renowned and impactful examples of autobiographical writing.

Franklin chronicles his life across four distinct sections, each corresponding to different periods in which he composed them. While there are noticeable pauses in the narrative between the initial three parts, the storytelling of Part Three seamlessly transitions into Part Four without an authorial interruption.

In the 1916 edition's introduction, edited by F. W. Pine, it's asserted that Franklin's autobiography offers the most extraordinary among all the histories of self-made individuals. Franklin stands as the quintessential embodiment of this sentiment.

A Truly Timeless Gem Worthy of a Spot on Every Bookshelf!"

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin   by Benjamin Franklin

Buy The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin book on Amazon >>

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! 

by Richard Feynman

This book tells the story of Richard Feynman, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! is a funny and inspiring book that will give you a deeper understanding of the world of physics. 

"A renowned science book that has achieved legendary status in our era, this extraordinary national bestseller pulsates with vitality, anecdotes, and the essence of life itself. Its allure is so captivating that it might even inspire a yearning to delve into the realm of physics" (Science Digest).

Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel Prize laureate in physics, found himself drawn to audacious escapades. In this dynamic volume that defies the stereotype of the conventional scientist (Detroit Free Press), Feynman regales us with tales of engaging in intellectual exchanges on atomic physics with Einstein, mastering the art of unlocking impenetrable safes that guard the most secretive nuclear insights, and a host of other eyebrow-raising escapades. Through these stories, the vibrant essence of Feynman's life is revealed in its full eccentric splendor—a captivating fusion of exceptional intellect, unbounded curiosity, and fearless audacity.

This edition is complemented by a new introduction from Bill Gates."

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!   by Richard Feynman

Buy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! book on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read:

 The 10 Best New Young Adult Books of August by MGara Coin

Best crime and thriller books to read so far

The Godfather 

by Mario Puzo

This classic novel tells the story of the Corleone family, a powerful Mafia clan in New York City. The Godfather is a sprawling and engrossing novel that explores themes of family, loyalty, and betrayal.

Upon the initial release of Mario Puzo's monumental masterpiece, "The Godfather," in 1969, literary critics lauded it as one of the most exceptional novels of its era, describing it as "vast, tumultuous, and immensely captivating." Over time, "The Godfather" has transcended its literary origins to become an integral facet of America's collective identity, as well as the foundation for a trilogy of iconic cinematic works. Now, in this newly reimagined 30th Anniversary Edition, both long-standing readers and newcomers can immerse themselves in the timeless narrative of crime.

From the opulent inaugural scene that showcases Don Corleone's hosting of guests and management of business affairs at his daughter's wedding... to his son Michael's assumption of his father's role to safeguard his family... culminating in the climactic and blood-soaked resolution that concludes all family matters, "The Godfather" stands as an epic chronicle of kinship, fidelity, and the distinct world in which "men of integrity" exist and ultimately meet their end in accordance with their own principles.

The Godfather   by Mario Puzo

Buy The Godfather book on Amazon >>

Gone Girl 

by Gillian Flynn

This psychological thriller tells the story of a woman who disappears on the night of her fifth wedding anniversary, and her husband who becomes the prime suspect. Gone Girl is a twisty and suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end. 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This instantly timeless classic delves into the intricacies of identity and the harrowing secrets that can thrive within the most intimate connections, all while offering never-before-seen deleted scenes.

Heralded as one of the most impactful books of the decade by CNN and lauded among the finest works of the era by TIME and ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, this novel has also earned its place among the top ten books of the year according to Janet Maslin of The New York Times, as well as other prestigious publications like People, O: The Oprah Magazine, Slate, and many more.

In North Carthage, Missouri, on a balmy summer morning, Nick and Amy Dunne are meant to be celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. As presents are wrapped and reservations are made, Nick's intelligent and striking wife vanishes without a trace. While Husband-of-the-Year Nick does himself no favors with cringeworthy fantasies about the contours of his wife's head, passages from Amy's diary uncover the possibility that her pursuit of perfection might have unsteadied anyone to the brink. With the police, media, and Amy's devoted parents pressing in, the golden boy of the town parades a relentless stream of falsehoods, betrayals, and inappropriate conduct. Nick behaves strangely, harboring bitterness, but the question lingers—could he truly be a murderer?

Highlighted as one of the year's finest literary creations by San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Chicago Tribune, HuffPost, and Newsday.

Gone Girl   by Gillian Flynn

Buy Gone Girl book on Amazon >>

The Silence of the Lambs 

by Thomas Harris

This horror thriller tells the story of a young FBI trainee who is tasked with interviewing a cannibalistic serial killer in order to catch another killer. The Silence of the Lambs is a disturbing and suspenseful novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

A brilliantly crafted and expertly penned tale, Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs has cemented its status as a suspenseful classic that weaves an intricate narrative. It serves as the foundation for the Oscar-winning horror film, featuring Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

A serial killer who goes by the grotesque moniker "Buffalo Bill" is on the prowl, targeting specific women. Despite the gruesome evidence, his motives remain an enigma as the victims turn up in various states. Enter Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the F.B.I. Academy. Her unexpected summons by Jack Crawford, Chief of the Behavioral Science division, sets her on an unconventional path. Tasked with interviewing Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and macabre murderer confined in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Starling's mission is to tap into Lecter's unparalleled insight into the minds of killers, potentially aiding the hunt for Buffalo Bill.

Starling, an intelligent and attractive agent, finds herself in a unique and intense bond with the astute Lecter. His cryptic clues, both about Buffalo Bill and herself, propel Clarice into a search that promises to be startling, harrowing, and thoroughly riveting to every reader.

The Silence of the Lambs   by Thomas Harris

Buy The Silence of the Lambs book on Amazon >>

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

by Stieg Larsson

This Swedish crime novel tells the story of a disgraced journalist and a young female hacker who team up to investigate the disappearance of a young woman 40 years ago. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dark and suspenseful novel that will keep you hooked until the very end. 

The exhilarating inaugural installment in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, featuring the enigmatic Lisbeth Salander, claims the top spot as a national bestseller. Stepping into this captivating narrative, one encounters a mix of the chilling Swedish landscape and the brooding psychodrama reminiscent of Bergman films, blended with the gruesome intensity of a serial-killer thriller. This concoction is elevated by an edgy punk protagonist and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist, resulting in Stieg Larsson's debut novel that has left an indelible mark (as reported by The New York Times). The series is also recognized under the moniker of the Millennium series.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of Sweden's affluent elite, vanished without a trace over four decades ago. Despite the passage of time, her elderly uncle persists in his quest to uncover the truth behind her disappearance. To aid in his relentless pursuit, he enlists the services of Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist battling recent allegations of defamation. Mikael is joined by the unconventional and pierced Lisbeth Salander, a prodigious punk. Their collaboration delves deep into a realm of unfathomable wrongdoing and startling deceit.

Anticipate the forthcoming addition to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, titled The Girl in the Eagle's Talons, set to captivate readers in the near future!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo   by Stieg Larsson

Buy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book on Amazon >>

The Hound of the Baskervilles 

by Arthur Conan Doyle

This Sherlock Holmes novel tells the story of a curse that is said to haunt the Baskerville family. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic mystery novel that is full of suspense and intrigue.

The Hound of the Baskervilles stands as the third entry in the quartet of crime novels penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, showcasing the renowned detective Sherlock Holmes. Serialized in The Strand Magazine between August 1901 and April 1902, this narrative predominantly unfolds on the vast expanse of Dartmoor in Devon, situated within England's West Country. The story delves into the sinister attempt at murder, which draws inspiration from the legend of a malevolent and supernatural hound. Sherlock Holmes, in tandem with his steadfast companion Dr. Watson, embarks on an inquiry to unravel the mysteries that envelop the case. It is worth noting that this novel marked the character's reappearance following his presumed demise in "The Final Problem." The resounding success of The Hound of the Baskervilles played a pivotal role in the eventual revival of the beloved detective.

The Hound of the Baskervilles   by Arthur Conan Doyle

Buy The Hound of the Baskervilles book on Amazon >>

Murder on the Orient Express 

by Agatha Christie

This classic mystery novel tells the story of a group of people who are stranded on a train in the middle of a snowstorm, and one of them is murdered. Murder on the Orient Express is a twisty and suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.


"The assassin is in our midst—aboard the train at this very moment..."

Shortly past midnight, the renowned Orient Express is halted in its tracks by a thick blanket of snow. By daybreak, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett is discovered lifeless in his compartment, brutally stabbed multiple times, with his door securely locked from the inside. There is not an iota of uncertainty—among his fellow passengers rests the perpetrator of this heinous act.

Marooned by the blizzard, the brilliant detective Hercule Poirot is tasked with uncovering the murderer from the midst of a dozen of the deceased man's adversaries, all before the murderer chooses to strike once more.

"What more . . . could an enthusiast of mysteries hope for?" — New York Times

Murder on the Orient Express   by Agatha Christie

Buy Murder on the Orient Express book on Amazon >>

The Da Vinci Code 

by Dan Brown

This thriller novel tells the story of a symbologist who is drawn into a mystery surrounding the Holy Grail. The Da Vinci Code is a fast-paced and suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.

#1 WORLDWIDE BESTSELLER • 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. 

“Blockbuster perfection.... A gleefully erudite suspense novel.” —The New York Times

“A pulse-quickening, brain-teasing adventure.” —People

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.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.

The Da Vinci Code   by Dan Brown

Buy The Da Vinci Code book on Amazon >>

The Girl on the Train 

by Paula Hawkins

This psychological thriller tells the story of a woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees from her train window, and she becomes convinced that they are in danger. The Girl on the Train is a twisty and suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end.

The #1 bestseller on The New York Times list, awarded USA Today's Book of the Year, and now adapted into a compelling film featuring Emily Blunt.

Every morning and evening, Rachel boards the same commuter train. Each day, she speeds down the tracks, glancing past a row of cozy suburban houses and halting at a signal that grants her a daily glimpse of a content couple enjoying breakfast on their deck. She's even begun to feel a sense of familiarity with them. To her, they are Jess and Jason. From her perspective, their life seems idyllic—much like the life she's recently lost.

Then, one day, she witnesses something utterly astonishing. It's a fleeting moment before the train moves on, but it's enough to shatter her perception. Everything changes in an instant. Rachel can't keep this revelation to herself, so she turns to the police. Yet, doubts arise about her reliability. Is she truly as unstable as they claim? As events unfold, Rachel becomes deeply enmeshed not just in the inquiry, but in the lives of all those entangled. Has her involvement caused more harm than good?

The Girl on the Train   by Paula Hawkins

Buy The Girl on the Train book on Amazon >>

The Woman in the Window 

by A.J. Finn

This psychological thriller tells the story of a woman who witnesses a crime from her window, but no one believes her. The Woman in the Window is a twisty and suspenseful novel that will keep you guessing until the very end. 

An instant sensation, topping the New York Times Bestseller list right away, and soon to hit the big screen as a major motion picture.

“Stunning. Heart-pounding. Mind-blowing.” —Gillian Flynn

“A can't-put-it-down experience.” —Stephen King

“A dark, intricately woven treat.” —Ruth Ware

“Absolutely riveting.” —Louise Penny

For those who love the works of Gillian Flynn and Tana French, here comes one of the most eagerly awaited debut novels of the decade. Set to be published in thirty-six languages globally and already in the process of being adapted into a major Fox film, this gripping, Hitchcockian thriller centers around an agoraphobic woman who becomes convinced she's witnessed a crime in a nearby house.

It's not paranoia if it's reality...

Anna Fox lives in solitude, confined to her New York City home due to her fear of open spaces. She fills her days with wine, classic films, and nostalgic memories, all while keeping an eye on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move in across the street: a seemingly perfect family with a father, a mother, and their teenage son. But when Anna glimpses something she shouldn't one evening, her world crumbles, exposing shocking secrets.

What's genuine? What's imagined? Who's in peril? Who's pulling the strings? In this ingeniously suspenseful narrative, every person and situation is cloaked in deception.

With its intricate twists and powerful emotions, The Woman in the Window is a sophisticated psychological thriller that channels the spirit of Hitchcock at his finest.

The Woman in the Window   by A.J. Finn

Buy The Woman in the Window book on Amazon >>

Sharp Objects

by Gillian Flynn

This psychological thriller tells the story of a reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. Sharp Objects is a dark and suspenseful novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. 

Now an HBO® limited series featuring Amy Adams, nominated for an impressive eight Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Limited Series.

From the renowned author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl comes a new and gripping tale.

Fresh out of a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, journalist Camille Preaker is faced with a challenging assignment: she must return to her small hometown to cover the gruesome murders of two young girls. With years of estrangement from her neurotic, hypochondriac mother and her unfamiliar half-sister—a captivating thirteen-year-old with an unsettling influence over the town—Camille is forced into this disturbing situation. As she moves back into her family's Victorian mansion and settles into her old bedroom, she begins to empathize a little too intensely with the young victims. Plagued by her own inner demons, she must untangle the complex psychological web of her own past if she hopes to uncover the truth and make it out of this homecoming alive.

Critical Acclaim for Sharp Objects

“Unsettling, addictive reading.”—Chicago Tribune

“Skillful and unsettling.”—Washington Post

“Darkly innovative . . . a gripping narrative.”—People

Sharp Objects  by Gillian Flynn

Buy Sharp Objects book on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read:

 The 10 Best Books to Read in August 2023 by MGara Coin

Best historical fiction books to read so far

The Things They Carried 

by Tim O'Brien

This historical novel set during the Vietnam War tells the story of a group of American soldiers and the things they carry with them, both physically and emotionally. The Things They Carried is a powerful and moving novel about the horrors of war and the human cost of conflict. 

An enduring masterpiece of American literature, The Things They Carried has consistently influenced minds and lives since its introduction to the literary stage. It stands as a groundbreaking contemplation of war, memory, creativity, and the healing force of narrative. Through its pages, The Things They Carried paints a vivid portrayal of the men of Alpha Company—individuals like Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, and Kiowa. Central to the narrative is Tim O’Brien, the character who, having survived his stint in Vietnam, emerges as both a father and a writer at the age of forty-three. This extraordinary work has found its place not only in high school classrooms but also in graduate seminars on creative writing. It has transcended as required reading for all Americans, persistently challenging readers to reevaluate their notions of reality and fiction, conflict and harmony, bravery and trepidation, and yearning and contentment.

The Things They Carried   by Tim O'Brien

Buy The Things They Carried book on Amazon >>

The Pillars of the Earth 

by Ken Follett

This historical novel set in 12th century England tells the story of the construction of a cathedral. The Pillars of the Earth is a sweeping and engrossing novel that explores themes of love, loss, ambition, and faith. 

Renowned across the globe for his mastery of nail-biting suspense, Ken Follett delivers a captivating narrative in his most cherished and bestselling work—a tale of grandeur set in the twelfth century, following a monk's relentless pursuit of an audacious dream: the construction of the world's most extraordinary Gothic cathedral.

All the elements readers anticipate from Follett are seamlessly woven into this narrative: the allure of intrigue, the rapid pace of action, and the fervor of romance. Yet, what distinguishes The Pillars of the Earth is its temporal setting, the twelfth century, its geographic stage, feudal England, and its central focus, the construction of an awe-inspiring cathedral. Follett has meticulously recreated the raw, vibrant atmosphere of medieval England, embracing every nuance—the vast woodlands, fortified towns, imposing castles, and serene monasteries—all etching an indelible mental landscape.

Amid this richly evoked and intricately interwoven backdrop, where the echoes of warfare and the cadence of daily existence converge, the virtuoso storyteller irresistibly immerses the reader in the intricate lives of his characters. Their dreams, struggles, and affections come alive on the pages—Tom, the master architect; Aliena, the captivating and noble beauty; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the sculptor in stone; and Ellen, the enigmatic forest dweller who casts a shrouding curse. Each character, transitioning from humble stonemason to commanding ruler, is masterfully portrayed.

The heart of the tale revolves around the cathedral's construction, its details unfolding like an eerie masterpiece crafted by untrained stone artisans. Around this edifice's creation, Follett weaves a narrative of treachery, vengeance, and love, commencing with the public execution of an innocent soul and culminating in the humbling of a monarch.

The Pillars of the Earth   by Ken Follett

Buy The Pillars of the Earth book on Amazon >>

The Name of the Rose 

by Umberto Eco

This historical mystery novel set in 14th century Italy tells the story of a monk who investigates a series of murders at a Benedictine abbey. The Name of the Rose is a suspenseful and thought-provoking novel that explores themes of religion, philosophy, and the limits of knowledge. 

Earning global acclaim and garnering the prestigious Premio Strega and Prix Médicis Etranger awards, this captivating medieval whodunit "bursts forth with inventive brilliance, both literally and metaphorically" (The New York Times).

The year is 1327, and suspicions of heresy have cast a shadow over the opulent Italian abbey of the Benedictines. Amid these murmurs, Brother William of Baskerville arrives on a delicate assignment to inquire into the matter. Yet, as his mission takes an unexpected turn with the enigmatic deaths of seven individuals, Brother William evolves into an unlikely detective. Armed with the philosophical reasoning of Aristotle, the theological insights of Aquinas, and the empirical wisdom of Roger Bacon—his intellectual tools honed to a keen edge by sardonic wit and an unrelenting inquisitiveness—he embarks on a quest for answers. He combs through evidence, deciphers cryptic symbols and manuscripts, and delves into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most intriguing occurrences transpire under the cover of night."

Much like the labyrinthine library nestled within its core, this masterful novel boasts myriad intricate passages and concealed chambers. Its brilliance unfolds through a gripping narrative, unveiling a captivating tale brimming with ingenuity. A spellbinding exploration of intellect, deduction, and the human spirit, it remains an engaging and luminous achievement.

The Name of the Rose   by Umberto Eco

Buy The Name of the Rose book on Amazon >>

The Scarlet Pimpernel 

by Baroness Orczy

This historical novel set during the French Revolution tells the story of a British aristocrat who rescues French aristocrats from the guillotine. The Scarlet Pimpernel is a romantic and exciting novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of the year 1792 during the height of the French Revolution—a period marked by chaos and brutality—this enduring novel weaves together elements of adventure, suspense, and romance, all sparked by a single man's daring defiance in the face of oppressive authority.

In the heart of Paris, the revolution that initially surged with triumph has now spiraled into a brutal reign of terror. Each day, the clatter of tumbrels resonates as they traverse the cobblestone streets, carrying new victims to the dreaded guillotine. Against this backdrop, a captivating narrative unfolds, crafting one of the most riveting historical adventure novels ever penned.

Enter the enigmatic figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, a determined soul sworn to rescue the helpless—men, women, and children—from the clutches of doom. His dogged adversary, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly pursues him, setting the stage for an exhilarating game of wits. Amidst this conflict, Marguerite Blakeney emerges—a bewitching French exile married to an English nobleman, trapped in a heart-wrenching struggle of conflicting loyalties.

As the story unfolds, it traverses a landscape ranging from the squalid underbelly of Paris to the refined salons of London's aristocracy, from the intrigue-laden estates of the English countryside to the climactic resolution on the wind-swept cliffs of the French coastline.

Though many have attempted to replicate the essence of The Scarlet Pimpernel, none have successfully captured its remarkable vibrancy, theatricality, and the irresistible allure of its rich romantic escapism. As the pages turn, readers are transported into a world brimming with color, drama, and the timeless appeal of a narrative that promises adventure and respite from reality.

The Scarlet Pimpernel   by Baroness Orczy

Buy The Scarlet Pimpernel book on Amazon >>

The Count of Monte Cristo 

by Alexandre Dumas

This historical novel set in 19th century France tells the story of a man who is wrongfully imprisoned and then seeks revenge on those who wronged him. The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic tale of revenge that is full of adventure, intrigue, and romance.

"In the delicate balance of existence, both life and fortune teeter precariously." This work has been nominated as one of America's most cherished novels in PBS's The Great American Read.

Unjustly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, Edmond Dantes finds himself incarcerated within the bleak confines of the forbidding If fortress. Amidst his confinement, he stumbles upon a valuable secret: a vast treasure concealed on the Isle of Monte Cristo. Driven by a fierce determination not only to escape his captivity but also to locate the treasure, Dantes devises a plan to exact revenge on the three men responsible for his wrongful incarceration. Dumas weaves a sprawling saga of suffering and redemption, drawing inspiration from a true case of unjust punishment. The serialized publication of this epic tale in the 1840s garnered immense popularity.

Presented in Robin Buss's animated English translation, this edition remains faithful to Dumas's original style while being complete and unabridged. Alongside the text, readers will find an introduction, explanatory notes, and recommendations for further reading.

Penguin, a pioneering publisher of classic literature for over seventy years, continues to be a global authority in curating the finest works across various genres and disciplines. With a collection of over 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics stands as a testament to the best of human literary achievement. Renowned for authoritative texts complemented by introductions and annotations from esteemed scholars and contemporary writers, the series also boasts modern, award-winning translations by accomplished translators.

The Count of Monte Cristo   by Alexandre Dumas

+Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen

This historical novel set in 19th century England tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a young woman who must choose between two suitors. Pride and Prejudice is a classic romantic comedy that is full of wit, humor, and romance. 

Ever since its immediate triumph in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has maintained its status as one of the most enduringly popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen affectionately referred to this remarkable work as her "own darling child," and she portrayed its spirited heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, as "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print." The romantic clash between the spirited Elizabeth and the proud Mr. Darcy unfolds as an exquisite demonstration of cultured verbal jousting. Austen's brilliant wit radiates through her characters as they engage in a subtle dance of flirtation and intrigue, crafting this novel into an unparalleled comedy of manners that perfectly captures the Regency England era.

+Pride and Prejudice   by Jane Austen

Buy Pride and Prejudice book on Amazon >>

+To Kill a Mockingbird 

by Harper Lee

This historical novel set in the American South during the Great Depression tells the story of a young girl who witnesses the trial of a black man accused of raping a white woman. To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful and moving novel about racism, courage, and the power of the human spirit.

The indelible tale of a childhood set in a tranquil Southern town and the moral quandary that shook its foundations, "To Kill A Mockingbird" swiftly garnered both immediate commercial success and critical acclaim upon its initial release in 1960. The novel swiftly ascended to Pulitzer Prize status in 1961 and subsequently made its mark as an Academy Award-winning film that has attained classic status.

Filled with compassion, drama, and profound emotional resonance, "To Kill A Mockingbird" transports readers to the very essence of human behavior, exploring themes of innocence and experience, compassion and cruelty, love and animosity, as well as humor and tragedy. With over 18 million copies in circulation and translations into forty languages, this narrative by a young writer from Alabama possesses universal allure. Although Harper Lee regarded her work as a simple tale of love, it has now evolved into an esteemed masterpiece of American literature.

+To Kill a Mockingbird   by Harper Lee

Buy To Kill a Mockingbird book on Amazon >>

Gone with the Wind 

by Margaret Mitchell

This historical novel set during the American Civil War tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle who must learn to survive in a world that has been turned upside down. Gone with the Wind is a sweeping and epic novel that is full of romance, adventure, and tragedy.

Selected as a nominee for PBS's esteemed accolade, "The Great American Read,"

Margaret Mitchell's monumental narrative of love and conflict secured the Pulitzer Prize and went on to inspire two officially sanctioned sequels, as well as one of the most cherished and acclaimed films in history.

Numerous novels have delved into the subject of the Civil War and its aftermath. However, none immerse us as deeply into the smoldering battlefields and towns of the American South as Gone With the Wind, conjuring poignant scenes and compelling character portraits so vivid that their words resonate within us, and their emotions linger—lasting far beyond the confines of the book's pages.

Within the central figures—the captivating and determined Scarlett and the charismatic yet disdainful Rhett—Margaret Mitchell not only conveys an ageless tale of survival in the harshest circumstances, but also crafts two of the most renowned lovers in the English-speaking world, rivaling the timeless essence of Romeo and Juliet.

Gone with the Wind   by Margaret Mitchell

Buy Gone with the Wind book on Amazon >>

The Diary of Anne Frank 

by Anne Frank

This historical non-fiction novel tells the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis in an attic during World War II. The Diary of Anne Frank is a moving and inspiring account of one girl's courage in the face of adversity. 

Found within the attic where she spent her final years, Anne Frank's extraordinary diary has transcended as a global classic—an impactful reminder of the horrors of war and a poignant testament to human resilience.

In 1942, amidst the Nazi occupation of Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their Amsterdam home and sought refuge in hiding. For the subsequent two years, until their sanctuary was divulged to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family endured seclusion within the confines of the "Secret Annexe" within an aged office building. Isolated from the external world, they grappled with hunger, monotony, the relentless hardships of confined living, and the perpetual shadow of discovery and death. Anne Frank chronicled her experiences during this period in her diary, painting vibrant impressions of her trials. Her narrative, characterized by thoughtfulness, poignancy, and surprising wit, provides a compelling insight into human courage and frailty. It also offers a striking self-portrait of a perceptive and spirited young woman whose potential was tragically curtailed.

Acclaim for The Diary of a Young Girl:

"A truly exceptional book."—The New York Times

"One of the most poignant personal documents to emerge from World War II."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"As we mark the fiftieth anniversary of World War II's conclusion, there might be no finer way to commemorate it than by revisiting The Diary of a Young Girl—an illustration of an indomitable spirit confronting pure malevolence."—Chicago Tribune

"The single most gripping personal chronicle of the Holocaust... remains both astonishing and profoundly moving."—The New York Times Book Review

"Anne Frank astutely captures the self-aware detachment and unpretentious self-absorption characteristic of adolescence."—Newsday

The Diary of Anne Frank   by Anne Frank

Buy The Diary of Anne Frank book on Amazon >>

The Kite Runner 

by Khaled Hosseini

This historical novel set in Afghanistan tells the story of Amir, a young boy who must confront his past and make amends for his mistakes. The Kite Runner is a powerful and moving novel about friendship, betrayal, and redemption. 

An internationally cherished novel that has captured the hearts of countless readers around the globe.

"A compelling and immersive narrative that serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring struggle of the Afghan people for victory over the forces of violence—a struggle that persists even in our modern times." – New York Times Book Review

This indelible and heart-rending tale revolves around the improbable bond between a privileged young boy and the son of his father's servant, ensnared in the tragic sweep of history. Set against the backdrop of a tense and pivotal moment of transformation and devastation in Afghanistan, The Kite Runner transports readers to a time of upheaval. It delves into the potent dynamic of friendship while exploring the influence of reading, the cost of betrayal, and the potential for redemption. The narrative also delves into the intricate relationship between fathers and sons, encompassing their love, sacrifices, and deceptions.

Since its initial release in 2003, The Kite Runner has evolved into an adored and unparalleled contemporary classic, leaving an indelible impact on countless readers. It has marked the ascent of an esteemed American author's career, captivating the minds of millions.

The Kite Runner   by Khaled Hosseini

Buy The Kite Runner book on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read: 

The 5 Best biographies and memoirs Books of July, as chosen by MGara Coin

Best books in translation to read so far

+One Hundred Years of Solitude 

by Gabriel García Márquez

This magical realist novel tells the story of the Buendía family, a Colombian clan whose members are cursed with a hundred years of solitude. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a classic of Latin American literature that is full of magical realism, humor, and tragedy.

A dazzling and bestselling groundbreaking novel that unfolds the saga of the Buendía family, capturing the unbridgeable clash between the yearning for isolation and the necessity for affection—crafted in lush, creative language that has become synonymous with a literary genre called "magical realism."

+One Hundred Years of Solitude   by Gabriel García Márquez

Buy One Hundred Years of Solitude on Amazon >>

The Alchemist 

by Paulo Coelho

This Brazilian novel tells the story of a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of treasure buried near the Pyramids. The Alchemist is a story about following your dreams and finding your purpose in life.

Paulo Coelho's transformative work, "The Alchemist," continues to wield an enduring impact on the lives of its readers. With its global sales surpassing two million copies, this novel has securely earned its position as a contemporary classic, universally embraced and celebrated.

In this masterpiece, Paulo Coelho weaves a magical narrative around Santiago, a shepherd boy hailing from Andalusia, whose heart yearns for journeys in pursuit of a worldly treasure that rivals the most extravagant.

Through Santiago's voyage, we absorb the profound lessons he learns along the way, teaching us, as only a select few stories can, about the vital wisdom of heeding our innermost desires, deciphering the signs that fate scatters in our life's course, and, above all, ardently pursuing our aspirations.

The Alchemist   by Paulo Coelho

Buy The Alchemist on Amazon >>

The God of Small Things 

by Arundhati Roy

This Indian novel tells the story of two twins, Rahel and Estha, who are separated by tragedy and reunited as adults. The God of Small Things is a powerful novel about the caste system in India and the power of love and loss.

Recipient of the prestigious Man Booker Prize and a New York Times bestseller, this novel charts the transformative trajectory of an affluent Indian family through the pivotal day of 1969, penned by the acclaimed author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

"[The God of Small Things] possesses such an enchanting blend of enchantment, enigma, and sorrow that upon concluding its final page, this reader resolved to begin anew from the start. It wields such a haunting impact."—USA Today

Hailed with favorable comparisons to literary giants Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy's contemporary masterpiece effortlessly encompasses the potency of a familial epic, the clandestine tapestry of love against societal norms, and the profound resonance of political strife. The narrative orbits around Estha and Rahel, seven-year-old twins whose existence is forever altered by the arrival of their entrancing young cousin, Sophie. This event engenders a sequence of events that lead to a furtive liaison and a sequence of calamities both inadvertent and deliberate, laying bare the concealed truths looming large within a nation teetering on the brink of unrest.

Lavishly poetic, melodious, and unsettling, The God of Small Things stands as a celebrated benchmark, heralding the initiation of its author into a venerated vocation of fiction and socio-political commentary, which she continues to pursue ardently.

The God of Small Things   by Arundhati Roy

Buy The God of Small Things on Amazon >>

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

by Haruki Murakami

This Japanese novel tells the story of Toru Okada, a man who searches for his missing wife and becomes involved in a series of strange and mysterious events. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a complex and challenging novel that is full of Murakami's signature magical realism.

A captivating and mesmerizing feat of storytelling (Chicago Tribune), this novel stands as a remarkably imaginative detective tale, a narrative of a crumbling marital bond, and an unearthing of long-buried enigmas from Japan's overlooked engagement in Manchuria during World War II.

Set in a Tokyo suburb, the tale follows Toru Okada, a young man plunged into a quest for his wife's vanished cat, which subsequently evolves into a quest for his wife herself, leading him into a subterranean realm concealed beneath the tranquil veneer of the city. As these quests intersect, he encounters a surreal array of allies and adversaries. With its riveting fusion of prescience and foreboding, punctuated by moments of humor and forewarning, this work represents one of Haruki Murakami's most exalted and cherished novels.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle   by Haruki Murakami

Buy The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle on Amazon >>

The House of the Spirits 

by Isabel Allende

This Chilean novel tells the story of the Trueba family, a Chilean clan whose members are caught up in the political turmoil of their country. The House of the Spirits is a sweeping and epic novel that is full of love, loss, and political intrigue.

"Remarkable...a captivating and distinguished creation...The House of the Spirits...stands as an unparalleled accomplishment, both a firsthand account and a potential allegory of Latin America's past, present, and future." —Reviewed by The New York Times Book Review

The House of the Spirits, the unforgettable inaugural novel that solidified Isabel Allende's reputation as one of the world's most skilled narrators, vividly resurrects the triumphs and tragedies traversed by three generations of the Trueba family. The fiery patriarch, Esteban, possesses an unbridled and proud demeanor, driven by an insatiable thirst for political influence that finds its counterbalance only in his affection for his ethereal wife, Clara, a woman connected to the spirit realm. As their daughter, Blanca, embarks on a forbidden affair that defies her unyielding father, an unforeseen consequence emerges: the cherished gift of Esteban's granddaughter, Alba—a resolute and beautiful child destined to guide her kin and her nation toward a transformative future.

Standing as one of the most paramount novels of the twentieth century, The House of the Spirits is a captivating saga that spans generations and destinies, interweaving personal and political threads into a universal narrative of love, enchantment, and destiny.

The House of the Spirits   by Isabel Allende

Buy The House of the Spirits on Amazon >>

+The Kite Runner 

by Khaled Hosseini

This Afghan novel tells the story of Amir, a young boy who must confront his past and make amends for his mistakes. The Kite Runner is a powerful and moving novel about friendship, betrayal, and redemption.

Set in 1970s Afghanistan, the story follows twelve-year-old Amir's fervent desire to emerge victorious in the neighborhood kite-fighting competition, with the unwavering support of his faithful companion, Hassan. Yet, neither of the young friends can anticipate the tragic turn of events that will transpire that fateful afternoon, an occurrence destined to fracture the fabric of their lives. Amid the backdrop of a Russian invasion and the consequent exodus of his family to America, Amir comes to realize that a day will come when he must revisit a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in pursuit of a singular aspiration his newfound world cannot provide: redemption.

+The Kite Runner   by Khaled Hosseini

Buy The Kite Runner on Amazon >>

The Remains of the Day 

by Kazuo Ishiguro

This British novel tells the story of Stevens, a butler who reflects on his life and career as he prepares for his retirement. The Remains of the Day is a beautifully written novel about duty, loyalty, and the importance of memory.

Recipient of the Booker Prize, this novel emanates from the creative prowess of a Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Within its pages unfolds a masterful and intricate narrative, as The New York Times aptly describes, revolving around an impeccable butler named Stevens, and his gradually diminishing and insular world within post-World War II England.

In this tale crafted by Kazuo Ishiguro, readers are presented with an engrossing portrayal of Stevens, who after dedicating three decades to his role at Darlington Hall, embarks on a journey that spans both a day's country drive and an exploration of his own past. His mission is to ascertain whether his service to the distinguished Lord Darlington has contributed to the betterment of humanity. Yet, beneath the surface of his reminiscences, latent uncertainties begin to emerge—uncertainties about the true essence of Lord Darlington's "greatness," and even deeper uncertainties about the very nature of his own life.

The Remains of the Day   by Kazuo Ishiguro

Buy The Remains of the Day on Amazon >>

No Longer Human 

by Osamu Dazai

This Japanese novel tells the story of Yozo, a young man who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. No Longer Human is a dark and disturbing novel that is also a powerful and moving exploration of the human condition.

The touching and engrossing tale of a young man ensnared in the midst of the disintegration of the time-honored customs of an aristocratic family in northern Japan, while simultaneously grappling with the influx of Western ideals.

In Osamu Dazai's work titled "No Longer Human," the protagonist paints a self-portrait as someone who is mired in feelings of inadequacy. Throughout the narrative, he presents a façade of a seemingly ordinary life, even though he perceives himself as fundamentally incapable of comprehending the intricacies of human nature. Oba Yozo's quest to find his place within the world begins in his formative years, persists through his high school days where he assumes the role of a "clown" to disguise his isolation, and ultimately culminates in a thwarted suicide attempt in his adulthood. Devoid of sentimentality, he documents the everyday cruelties of existence, as well as its transient instances of human connection and tenderness.

No Longer Human   by Osamu Dazai

Buy No Longer Human on Amazon >>

+Crime and Punishment 

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

This Russian novel tells the story of Raskolnikov, a poor student who murders an old pawnbroker in order to prove that he is above the law. Crime and Punishment is a complex and challenging novel that explores themes of good and evil, guilt and redemption.

Raskolnikov, a penniless and despairing ex-student, roams the impoverished districts of St. Petersburg and carries out an arbitrary murder devoid of any sense of remorse or repentance. In his self-conceived role as a figure like Napoleon, he believes he acts with a lofty purpose that transcends conventional moral principles. However, as he becomes entangled in a perilous game of pursuit with a skeptical police investigator, Raskolnikov is hounded by the growing presence of his own moral conscience, and he discovers the grip of his own culpability tightening around him. Amidst this turmoil, only Sonya, a marginalized sex worker, holds out the promise of potential redemption.

+Crime and Punishment   by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Buy Crime and Punishment on Amazon >>

+The Catcher in the Rye 

by J.D. Salinger

This American novel tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who is expelled from his boarding school and goes on a journey around New York City. The Catcher in the Rye is a classic coming-of-age novel that explores themes of alienation, loss, and the search for meaning.

During the holiday season, Holden Caulfield finds himself expelled from yet another school...

Escaping the troubles at Pencey Prep, he bounces around the streets of New York City, seeking moments of solace in fleeting encounters—conversing with strangers in dingy hotels, meandering alone through Central Park, encountering violence from pimps and heartbreak from former girlfriends. The city appears both enchantingly beautiful and harshly terrible, with its neon loneliness, gritty allure, and a mixture of potential and emptiness. Holden navigates through it like a specter, his thoughts consistently returning to his younger sister Phoebe, the one person who truly comprehends him, and his determination to break free from phoniness and uncover a life of authentic purpose.

The Catcher in the Rye stands as a timeless classic in the realm of coming-of-age literature—a lament for teenage isolation, capturing the deep human yearning for connection and the disorienting sense of loss as we leave our childhood behind.

J.D. Salinger (1919–2010), the acclaimed author, first published this novel of teenage turmoil and rebellion in 1951. The book earned a place on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was selected by both Modern Library and its readers as one of the top 100 English-language novels of the 20th century. Its content, marked by explicit language and depictions of sexuality, led to numerous legal challenges in the courts, particularly during the 1950s and 60s, making it a sought-after read among teenage boys during that era.

+The Catcher in the Rye   by J.D. Salinger

Buy The Catcher in the Rye on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read: 

The 10 Best children's books of 2023 so far: Baby to age 2 by MGara Coin

Best dystopian books to read so far


by George Orwell

This classic novel tells the story of Winston Smith, a man who works for the Thought Police in a totalitarian state. 1984 is a powerful and disturbing novel about the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of individual freedom.

Penned over seven decades ago, George Orwell's work, 1984, served as a chilling prediction of the future. Although the year 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's dystopian portrayal of a government willing to manipulate the truth to maintain control remains more relevant than ever.

• Nominated as one of America’s most cherished novels by PBS’s The Great American Read •

“The Party instructed you to disregard the evidence of your own senses and reason. It was their ultimate, most vital command.”

Winston Smith dutifully toes the Party's line, reshaping history to meet the desires of the Ministry of Truth. With each fabricated falsehood, Winston's resentment toward the Party deepens—a Party that craves power for its own sake, persecuting those who dare to entertain rebellious thoughts. Yet, as Winston begins to formulate his own ideas, he cannot escape the omnipresent gaze of Big Brother...

A jarring and haunting tale, 1984 constructs an alternate world that is compellingly plausible from beginning to end. The novel's grip on the collective imagination of successive generations is undeniable, as is the potency of its warnings—an influence that seems to intensify, not diminish, with the passage of time.

1984   by George Orwell

Buy 1984 on Amazon >>

The Handmaid's Tale 

by Margaret Atwood

This novel tells the story of Offred, a woman who is forced to become a Handmaid in a dystopian future where women are no longer allowed to own property or have their own children. The Handmaid's Tale is a powerful and disturbing novel about the dangers of misogyny and the importance of women's rights.

Presented as a Hulu Original Series

The Handmaid's Tale possesses a narrative potency that will indelibly etch its images and predictions into the reader's memory. Unfolding in the near future, it unveils life within what was once the United States, now rechristened as the Republic of Gilead—an authoritarian state born from social unrest and a precipitous drop in birth rates. In response, it embraces and surpasses the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. Enforcing a strict monotheocracy, the regime interprets the Book of Genesis quite literally, leading to peculiar consequences for its male and female citizens.

The narrative is unveiled through the perspective of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids in this novel societal structure. In language that is at once succinct yet eloquent, she navigates the reader through various emotional realms—cool observation, tenderness, despair, passion, and wry wit. She provides insight into the shadows lurking behind the establishment's facade of serenity, revealing how certain existing tendencies are taken to their logical extremes. The Handmaid's Tale amalgamates elements of humor, unexpected twists, terror, and unwavering credibility. It stands as a cutting satire, a grave caution, and a literary triumph all at once. In this work, Margaret Atwood showcases her unparalleled storytelling prowess.

The Handmaid's Tale   by Margaret Atwood

Buy The Handmaid's Tale on Amazon >>

Brave New World 

by Aldous Huxley

This novel tells the story of a dystopian future where people are divided into castes and conditioned to be happy with their lot in life. Brave New World is a thought-provoking novel about the dangers of technology and the importance of individuality.

In our present context, the enduring masterpiece by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, assumes an even greater significance, demanding the attention and understanding of anyone who values the preservation of the human spirit.

"A work of genius... One of the most prophetic dystopian creations." —Wall Street Journal

Aldous Huxley's deeply profound contribution to world literature, Brave New World, offers a penetrating glimpse into a future characterized by technological advancement, inequality, and human manipulation. In this society, individuals are genetically engineered, socially conditioned, and chemically subdued to passively maintain an authoritarian hierarchy. This comes at the expense of personal liberty, the essence of our humanity, and perhaps even the very core of our souls. Huxley, celebrated as a "genius" who tirelessly challenged the encroachment of the Machine (The New Yorker), encompassed a rare blend of talents, including that of an artist, spiritual seeker, and astute observer of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his magnum opus, continues to captivate and terrify countless readers, retaining its pressing relevance as both a cautionary beacon guiding us into the unknown future and a thought-provoking, gratifying piece of literature.

Penned against the backdrop of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World resonates with our 21st-century landscape, dominated by mass entertainment, technology, pharmaceuticals, the art of persuasion, and the covert influence of the elite.

"Aldous Huxley stands as the preeminent English writer of the 20th century." —Chicago Tribune

Brave New World   by Aldous Huxley

Buy Brave New World on Amazon >>

+The Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins

This novel tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a young woman who volunteers to take her younger sister's place in a deadly competition in a dystopian future. The Hunger Games is a suspenseful and action-packed novel that also explores themes of oppression and resistance.

Can you endure in the wilderness, facing adversaries who want to ensure you don't live to witness another day?

In the remnants of a land once known as North America, lies the nation of Panem—a radiant Capitol encircled by twelve outer districts. The Capitol is unrelenting and merciless, enforcing control over the districts by compelling each one to send a young boy and girl, aged twelve to eighteen, to partake in the annual Hunger Games—a televised battle to the death.

Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old who resides with her mother and younger sister, considers it a death sentence when she volunteers to take her sister's place in the Games. Yet, Katniss is no stranger to the brink of death, and survival is deeply ingrained in her nature. Almost unintentionally, she becomes a contender. However, in order to secure victory, she must confront choices that pit survival against humanity, and existence against love.

+The Hunger Games   by Suzanne Collins

Buy The Hunger Games on Amazon >>

The Maze Runner 

by James Dashner

This novel tells the story of Thomas, a young man who wakes up in a giant maze with no memory of how he got there. The Maze Runner is a suspenseful and action-packed novel that also explores themes of identity and belonging.

The first installment of the Maze Runner series, which sparked a global phenomenon and was adapted into a movie franchise! And make sure not to miss The Fever Code, the highly anticipated conclusion to the series that reveals the maze's origin story!

When Thomas awakens in an elevator, his memory is a blank slate, his name being the sole recollection. Surrounding him are unfamiliar faces—boys who are also grappling with amnesia. Beyond the towering stone walls that encase them, an ever-shifting maze stretches infinitely. This labyrinth is their sole escape route, but no one has managed to survive it.

Then, an unprecedented event unfolds—a girl arrives. She's the first girl to appear. Her message is chilling: Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and Maze Runner: The Death Cure have all been adapted into major motion pictures, featuring stars like Dylan O’Brien from MTV's Teen Wolf, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Will Poulter, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Also, be sure to explore James Dashner’s electrifying MORTALITY DOCTRINE series!

Acclaim for the Maze Runner series:

- A #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

- A USA Today Bestseller

- A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of the Year

- An ALA-YASLA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book

- An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick

Passionate fans describe the series as a blend of Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, and Lost.

Action-packed writing that is both fast-paced and intelligently observed.

A nail-biting, must-read experience.

Breathless, cinematic action that unfolds.

Heart-pounding until the very last moment.

Exclamation-worthy excitement.

James Dashner’s illuminating prequel, The Kill Order, will captivate fans of the Maze Runner series and intrigue new readers.

Prepare yourself before diving into any James Dashner book—expect the unexpected.

The Maze Runner   by James Dashner

Buy The Maze Runner on Amazon >>


by Veronica Roth

This novel tells the story of Tris Prior, a young woman who must choose her faction in a dystopian future where people are divided into factions based on their personality traits. Divergent is a suspenseful and action-packed novel that also explores themes of identity and choice.

In a dystopian Chicago world, Beatrice Prior finds herself amidst a society divided into five factions, each dedicated to a specific virtue: Candor (honesty), Abnegation (selflessness), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (peacefulness), and Erudite (intelligence). As an annual ritual, all sixteen-year-olds must choose a faction to devote their lives to. For Beatrice, this choice is more complex—it involves her family and her true identity, and she makes a surprising decision that shocks everyone, including herself.

Undergoing rigorous initiation, Beatrice renames herself Tris and, alongside fellow initiates, endeavors to live out their chosen path. This journey involves physically demanding tests and psychologically intense simulations, some of which lead to devastating consequences. As Tris navigates the challenges of initiation, she must distinguish true friends from foes and come to terms with her romantic feelings for an intriguing but sometimes perplexing boy. Yet, she bears a hidden secret, one that could result in death if exposed. Amid unrest and growing conflict in her seemingly perfect society, she uncovers her secret's potential to either save her loved ones or destroy her world.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the Young Adult scene with the inaugural book in the Divergent series—a collection of dystopian thrillers packed with electrifying decisions, heart-wrenching betrayals, profound consequences, and unexpected romance.

An Interview with Author Veronica Roth

Q: For aspiring young writers hoping for a success story like yours, what advice do you offer?

Roth: My advice is this: Value something beyond success. Success is wonderful, but your identity, worth, and purpose should not hinge solely on it. Strive to be true to yourself, love the writing process, the characters, and the story, regardless of outcomes. That way, success won't define you, and challenges won't break you.

Q: Is your teenage or current adult perspective behind the faction concept? Do you think people today are more likely to fit into categories?

Roth: My age wasn't as influential as my beliefs about human nature in creating the factions. The system represents my idea that we can turn even virtue into an idol or an evil. Virtue as an end is meaningless. During my adolescence, I pursued being "good" to prove my worth to everyone, God, and myself. Now, I realize I can't truly be "good," and it's the reasons behind my pursuit that need adjustment. Divergent expresses this realization—Beatrice's society values virtue as the answer. It's a little twisted.

I think we all simultaneously love and despise categories. We enjoy defining our identities but hate constraints. This feeling is more intense during adolescence. However, adults categorize each other subtly too. It's a dangerous tendency that starts in youth.

Q: If you could introduce a new faction to Divergent's world, what would it be?

Roth: I designed factions to span various virtues. For example, Abnegation embodies five "heavenly virtues": chastity, temperance, charity, patience, and humility. Nevertheless, I'd find it interesting to add a faction centered on industriousness—hard work and diligence prized above all, with laziness forbidden. Such a faction would be in constant motion and potentially replace the factionless. Overzealousness can befall any virtue, as seen with other factions. However, I'm unsure about their attire—maybe overalls?

Q: What are the advantages of the society you've created in Divergent?

Roth: The advantages I see stem from my current society. Members focus less on factors like race, religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliation. A world where differences aren't an issue seems appealing. Yet, on deeper thought, they're simply substituting one form of categorization for another. Instead of skin color, it's shirt color or aptitude test results. Same problem, different criteria.

Q: What book are you reading, and has it impacted you?

Roth: I recently finished Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. A contemporary book with a paranormal twist, it revolves around a girl and her magnetic sister in a specific town. Their bond breaks and rebuilds relationships, revealing the gray areas in people's nature. The story prompted reflection and was beautifully written, a rare young adult book centered on sisterhood rather than romance. It demonstrated how people aren't purely good or bad, but somewhere in between. Imaginary Girls encouraged thoughtful contemplation, and its character dynamics were captivating.

Divergent   by Veronica Roth

Buy Divergent on Amazon >>

The Giver 

by Lois Lowry

This novel tells the story of Jonas, a young boy who lives in a seemingly perfect community where everyone is the same. The Giver is a thought-provoking novel about the dangers of conformity and the importance of individuality.

In Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning masterpiece, twelve-year-old Jonas resides in what appears to be a perfect world. However, it's only when he's designated as the Receiver that he begins to unravel the ominous truths concealed within his seemingly flawless society.

Jonas' community boasts an idyllic existence. Birthmothers produce newchildren, who are then assigned to appropriate families, jobs, and partners. People don't question; they conform. Uniformity reigns supreme—except for Jonas.

It's only after being chosen as the Receiver of Memory that Jonas gains insight into the complex, shadowy secrets underpinning his seemingly stable society. Slowly, he discovers the potency of emotions and their role in wielding power. However, when he must employ his newfound power to save someone he cares about, he faces a dilemma. Is he prepared? Is it the right moment? Or has it already passed?

With deceptive simplicity, this story follows a boy on an extraordinary journey, grappling with the unattainable. Through its narrative, it challenges our unquestioned values and forces us to reevaluate our core beliefs.

The Giver has evolved into one of the most influential novels in contemporary literature. Don't overlook the impactful companion novels in Lois Lowry's Giver Quartet: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

The Giver   by Lois Lowry

Buy The Giver on Amazon >>

Fahrenheit 451 

by Ray Bradbury

This novel tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman who burns books in a dystopian future where books are illegal. Fahrenheit 451 is a powerful and disturbing novel about the dangers of censorship and the importance of free thought.

After nearly seven decades since its initial publication, Ray Bradbury's globally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 remains a timeless gem of world literature, unfurling within a stark, dystopian future. In our present era, its message has gained an even more poignant relevance.

Guy Montag is a fireman, assigned to eradicate the most forbidden of commodities: printed books. His duty also involves incinerating the homes harboring these contraband items. Without question, Montag engages in destruction, leaving behind wreckage and desolation. He returns to a mundane existence and his wife, Mildred, who immerses herself in her television "family" day in and day out. Yet, when he crosses paths with an eccentric young neighbor named Clarisse, she unveils a bygone era—where fear didn't reign—and a current world where people engage with ideas from books rather than the mindless drone of television. As a result, Montag's convictions start to crumble, and he begins to scrutinize every truth he has ever held dear.

Fahrenheit 451   by Ray Bradbury

Buy Fahrenheit 451 on Amazon >>

The Road 

by Cormac McCarthy

This novel tells the story of a father and son who are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. The Road is a bleak and disturbing novel that is also a powerful and moving story about the power of love and hope.

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and a national bestseller, this searing post-apocalyptic novel revolves around the harrowing struggle for survival undertaken by a father and his son. Described as a "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness," this narrative further enhances McCarthy's reputation as a contemporary master. Described as gripping, chilling, and ultimately beautiful by the San Francisco Chronicle, it is penned by the same bestselling author who brought you The Passenger.

In a world reduced to ashes, a father and son traverse the desolate expanse of burnt America. Amidst the ruins, nothing stirs except the ash carried by the wind. The cold is enough to shatter stones, and when snow blankets the land, it assumes a gray hue. The sky remains veiled in darkness. Their journey's endpoint is the coastline, though they remain unsure of what, if anything, awaits them there. Armed solely with a pistol to ward off the lawless bands lurking on the roads, their tattered attire, a cart laden with scavenged sustenance, and each other, they continue forward.

The Road encapsulates the profoundly poignant tale of their odyssey. It dauntlessly envisions a future devoid of hope, yet in this bleak landscape, the father and son, who are "each the other's world entire," derive sustenance from their bond of love. Painting an encompassing picture of human potential, it contemplates our capacity for both absolute destruction and desperate resilience, all while exploring the tenderness that preserves the lives of two individuals amid the utter devastation.

Stay tuned for Cormac McCarthy's most recent bestselling novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris.

The Road   by Cormac McCarthy

Buy The Road on Amazon >>


by José Saramago

In the midst of an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one, a city is plunged into chaos. The authorities react by confining the afflicted individuals in an empty mental hospital. However, within this makeshift sanctuary, the dark side of humanity prevails as criminals seize control, plundering food supplies and committing heinous acts against women. Amid this horrifying ordeal, a lone witness emerges, observing the nightmare unfold. This observer becomes a guide to seven strangers who find themselves in this dire situation. Among them are a motherless boy, a girl with obscured vision, and a tearful dog. Together, they traverse the desolate streets, turning their procession into something both eerie and hauntingly reflective of their surroundings.

A compelling parable illustrating the depths of loss and disorientation, Blindness provides a vivid portrayal of the horrors that marked the twentieth century. The book's depiction of mankind's darkest desires and vulnerabilities has resonated strongly with readers, all while highlighting the indomitable spirit that can emerge even in the bleakest circumstances. This incredibly potent novel captures humanity's determination to endure against overwhelming odds, showcasing the unwavering will to survive. The author, a recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature, has crafted a narrative that stands as a testament to the human experience.

Blindness   by José Saramago

Buy Blindness Book on Amazon >>

You Also Can Read: 

The 10 Best Books to Read in July 2023 by MGara Coin