100 Books to Read in a Lifetime by Amazon.com (USA)

A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, from Amazon Book Editors.

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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    The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie...


  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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    Great Expectations is written in the genre of "bildungsroman" or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i...


  3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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    In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th...


  4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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    A classic in children's literature The Wind in the Willow is alternately slow moving and fast paced. The book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. T...


  5. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

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    The first and most autobiographical of Maugham's masterpieces. It is the story of Philip Carey, an orphan eager for life, love and adventure. After a few months studying in Heidelberg, and a brief ...


  6. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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    The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple's impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump...


  7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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    The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age". Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roar...


  8. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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    The novel explores the lives and values of the so-called "Lost Generation," chronicling the experiences of Jake Barnes and several acquaintances on their pilgrimage to Pamplona for the annual San F...


  9. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

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    Out of Africa is a memoir by Isak Dinesen, a nom de plume used by the Danish author Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke. The book, first published in 1937, recounts events of the seventeen years when...


  10. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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    Since 1943, the wise little boy from Asteroid B-612 has led children and their adults to deeper understandings of love, friendship, and responsibility. The Little Prince is a cherished story, read ...

    - Google

  11. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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    The Diary of a Young Girl is a book based on the writings from a diary written by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The...


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

    Image of The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo...


  13. The Stranger by Albert Camus

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    Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus's extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L'Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story ...


  14. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

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    The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur...


  15. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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    The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx...


  16. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

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    The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin...


  17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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    A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit

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  18. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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    The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children'...


  19. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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    The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se...


  20. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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    On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post...


  21. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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    A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people's encounter with colonialism, the 1890's, though the white man and...

    - Time

  22. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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    As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is...


  23. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite...


  24. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    Image of A Wrinkle In Time

    A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. The book won a Newbery Medal, Sequoyah Book Award, and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was runner-up for t...


  25. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

    Image of Silent Spring

    Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1962. The book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement. When Silent Spri...


  26. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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    Maurice Bernard Sendak (born June 10, 1928) is an American writer and illustrator of children's literature. He is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963.


  27. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

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    The gates of Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory are opening at last — and only five children will be allowed inside. Roald Dahl is one of the most beloved storytellers of all time, and his book...


  28. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

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    This book describes Malcolm X's upbringing in Michigan, his maturation to adulthood in Boston and New York, his time in prison, his conversion to Islam, his ministry, his travels to Africa and to M...


  29. Dune by Frank Herbert

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    Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, published in 1965. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and also the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune was also the first bestselling h...


  30. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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    On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no appar...


  31. Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

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    Of course it's vulgar. How could it not be? The sustained cry of a ferociously perplexed, ferociously lucid New York City Jew—you expected maybe Jane Austen? Roth's barbaric yawp of a book was a li...

    - Time

  32. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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    An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.


  33. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

    Image of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

    Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a 1970 book by Judy Blume, typically categorized as a young adult novel, about a preteen girl in sixth grade who grew up with no religion. Margaret's mother...


  34. The Power Broker by Robert Caro

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    The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York is a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1974 biography of Robert Moses, "New York City's Master Builder", by Robert Caro. In the years since its publicat...


  35. The Shining by Stephen King

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    The Shining is a 1977 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The title was inspired by the John Lennon song "Instant Karma!", which contained the line "We all shine on…". It was King's third...


  36. The World According to Garp by John Irving

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    The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica...


  37. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

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    The Right Stuff is a 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar experiments with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the firs...


  38. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

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    Midnight's Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis...


  39. Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

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    Viktor Frankl's 1946 book Man's Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live. According to Fra...


  40. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

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    Love Medicine is Louise Erdrich’s first novel, published in 1984. Each chapter is narrated by a different character. These narratives are very conversational, as if the narrators were telling a st...


  41. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Image of The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985...


  42. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Image of Love in the Time of Cholera

    Love in the Time of Cholera is a novel by Nobel Prize winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that was first published in Spanish in 1985, with an English translation released in 1988 by Al...


  43. Beloved by Toni Morrison

    Image of Beloved

    Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison...


  44. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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    The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, originally published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Whil...


  45. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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    The Secret History, the first novel by Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1992. A 75,000 print order was made for the first edition (as opposed to the usual 10...


  46. The Giver by Lois Lowry

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    The Giver is a 1993 soft science fiction novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian; therefore...


  47. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    Image of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル, Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru?) is a novel by Haruki Murakami. The first published translation was by Alfred Birnbaum. The American translation and its British ad...


  48. The Liars' Club by Mary Karr

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    The Liars' Club is the childhood memoir of American author Mary Karr. Published in 1995 and a New York Times bestseller for over a year it tells the story of Mary Karr's childhood in the 1960s in a...


  49. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

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    As a boy in Brooklyn's Red Hook projects, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked about it, she'd simply say 'I'm light-skinned.' Later he wondered if he was different too, a...

    - Google

  50. Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

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    Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.


  51. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt

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    Angela’s Ashes is a memoir by Irish-American author Frank McCourt and tells the story of his childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland. It was published in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or ...


  52. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

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    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a ...


  53. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

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    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1998 it won a Pulitze...


  54. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

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    The Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling novel about a missionary family, the Prices, who in 1959 move from Georgia to the fictional village of Kilanga in the Belgian Cong...


  55. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

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    Me Talk Pretty One Day, published in 2000, is a bestselling collection of essays by American humorist David Sedaris. The book is separated into two parts. The first consists of essays about Sedaris...


  56. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

    Image of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 2000 novel by American author Michael Chabon that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. The novel follows the lives of the title characters, a C...


  57. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Image of Interpreter of Maladies

    Interpreter of Maladies is a 2000 collection of nine short stories by Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. It was also...


  58. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


  59. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

    Image of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (ISBN 0-330-48455-9) is a memoir by Dave Eggers released in 2000. It chronicles his stewardship of younger brother Christopher "Toph" Eggers following the ...


  60. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

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    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid...


  61. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

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    Bel Canto is a 2001 novel by American author Ann Patchett, published by Perennial, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. It was awarded both the Orange Prize for Fiction and PEN/Faulkner Award fo...


  62. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

    Image of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth

    Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth is a widely-acclaimed graphic novel by Chris Ware, published in 2000. The story was previously serialized in the pages of Ware's comic book Acme Novelty L...


  63. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

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    Middlesex is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. The narrator and protagonist, Calliope Stephanides (later called "Cal"), an in...


  64. The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson

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    The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was...

    - Google

  65. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

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    The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, is an account of the year following the death of the author's husband John Gregory Dunne (1932–2003). Published by Knopf in October 2005, the book was ...


  66. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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    The Book Thief is a best-selling novel by Markus Zusak published in 2005. It was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book. As of September 2009 it has been on the New York Times Children's Best Se...


  67. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

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    The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is a historical look at the way in which Al-Qaeda came into being, the background for various terrorist attacks and how they were investigated, and ...


  68. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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    The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blast...


  69. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

    Image of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is a best-selling novel written by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz. Although a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey where Díaz was raised...


  70. Born to Run by Chris McDougall

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    At the heart of Born to Run lies a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world; in 1993, one of the...

    - Google

  71. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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    What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first brea...

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  72. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

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    One of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year Winner of the James Beard Award Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules Today, buffeted by one f...

    - Google

  73. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

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    Illustrated in black-and-white. We're celebrating the thirty-fifth anniversary (1996) of this modern kids' classic with a special hardcover edition! This ingenious fantasy centeres around Milo, a b...

    - Google

  74. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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    This is a giant board book version of this well-known story, which follows the caterpillar's week as he eats through a range of foods in preparation for his hibernation. The caterpillar toy can be ...

    - Google

  75. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

    Image of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the ...

    - Google

  76. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

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    The All-Time Pop Culture Classic! Dolls: red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight--for Anne, Neely, and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottl...

    - Google

  77. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

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    If you are a dreamer, come in,If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .If you're a pretender, come sit by my fireFor we have some flax-golden tales to sp...

    - Google

  78. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

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    A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? ...

    - Google

  79. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

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    In a heart-wrenching, candid autobiography, a human rights activist offers a firsthand account of war from the perspective of a former child soldier, detailing the violent civil war that wracked hi...

    - Google

  80. A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

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    Dear Reader, I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clev...

    - Google

  81. All the President's Men by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein

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    The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency…perhaps the most influential piece of journali...

    - Google

  82. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat

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    At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child...

    - Google

  83. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

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    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound ...

    - Google

  84. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

    Image of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

    Researcher and thought leader Dr. Bren Brown offers a powerful new vision in Daring Greatly that encourages us to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly and courageously. 'I...

    - Google

  85. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

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    Boys don't keep diaries—or do they? It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner,...

    - Google

  86. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson

    Image of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that ha...

    - Google

  87. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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    THE ADDICTIVE No.1 US BESTSELLER THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wed...

    - Google

  88. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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    A little bunny bids goodnight to all the objects in his room before falling asleep.

    - Google

  89. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

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    Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine." Last summer, The New Yorker published Chef Bourdain's shocking, "Don't Eat Before...

    - Google

  90. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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    A family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, build a well, and fight a prairie fire.

    - Google

  91. Moneyball by Michael M. Lewis

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    Explains how Billy Beene, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, is using a new kind of thinking to build a successful and winning baseball team without spending enormous sums of money.

    - Google

  92. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Image of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    Winner of the Lincoln Prize Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from o...

    - Google

  93. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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    "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once." Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her fina...

    - Google

  94. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

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    Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

    - Google

  95. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne

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    The adventures of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh, and all their friends in the storied Forest around Pooh Corner. "This is an example of a sequel in which there seems to be no letdown, and from...

    - Google

  96. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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    In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, si...

    - Google

  97. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine...

    - Google

  98. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One: Lightning Thief, The by Rick Riordan

    Image of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One: Lightning Thief, The

    After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to p...

    - Google

  99. The Long Goodbye: A Novel by Raymond Chandler

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    Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he's divorced and re-married and who ends ...

    - Google

  100. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

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    ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is populated by a cast as strange as that of the most fantastic fiction. The subject of this strange and wonderful book is what happens when things go wrong ...

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