The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008 by Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008.

  1. 1. 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...


  2. 2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling

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    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on July 8, 2000. The book attracted additional attention because of a pre...


  3. 3. Beloved by Toni Morrison

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    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...


  4. 4. 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...


  5. 5. American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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    American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour "Swede" Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov's happy and conventional upper...


  6. 6. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

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    Mystic River is a novel by Dennis Lehane that was published in 2001. It won the 2002 Dilys Award and was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 2003.


  7. 7. Maus by Art Spiegelman

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    Maus: A Survivor's Tale is an autobiography by Art Spiegelman, told using the comics form. Parts of the story were originally published in the magazine RAW between 1980 to 1991. The complete story ...


  8. 8. 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.


  9. 9. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

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    Cold Mountain is a 1997 historical fiction novel by Charles Frazier. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks...


  10. 10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

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    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...


  11. 11. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

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  12. 12. Blindness by Jose Saramago

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    Blindness is a novel by Portuguese author José Saramago. Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdo...


  13. 13. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

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    Watchmen is a graphic novel—a book-length comic book with ambitions above its station—starring a ragbag of bizarre, damaged, retired superheroes: the paunchy, melancholic Nite Owl; the raving dooms...

    - Time

  14. 14. Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates

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    Black Water is a 1992 novella by Joyce Carol Oates.


  15. 15. 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 ...


  16. 16. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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    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...


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

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    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...


  18. 18. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi...


  19. 19. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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    On Beauty is a 2005 novel by British author Zadie Smith. It takes its title from an essay by Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just). The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American f...


  20. 20. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

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    Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman l...


  21. 21. On Writing by Stephen King

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    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is an autobiography and writing guide by Stephen King, published during 2000. It is a book about the prolific author's experiences as a writer. Although he discuss...


  22. 22. 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...


  23. 23. The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

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    The Ghost Road is a novel by Pat Barker, first published in 1995 and winner of the Booker Prize. It is the third volume of a trilogy that follows the fortunes of shell-shocked British army officers...


  24. 24. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

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    Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. The story focuses on the relationship of several retire...


  25. 25. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

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    The Joy Luck Club (1989) is a best-selling novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on the game and four Chinese American immigrant families who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the C...


  26. 26. Neuromancer by William Gibson

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    The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, ...


  27. 27. Possession by A.S. Byatt

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    Part historical as well as contemporary fiction, the title Possession refers to issues of ownership and independence between lovers, the practice of collecting historically significant cultural art...


  28. 28. Naked by David Sedaris

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    Naked, published in 1997, is a collection of essays by American humorist David Sedaris. The book details Sedaris’ life, from his unusual upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, to his...


  29. 29. 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...


  30. 30. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

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    a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate.

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  31. 31. 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...


  32. 32. Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch

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    Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63

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  33. 33. 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 ...


  34. 34. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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    The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being brutally raped and murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their live...


  35. 35. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

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    The Line of Beauty is a 2004 Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. Set in the United Kingdom in the early to mid-1980s, the story surrounds the post-Oxford life of the young gay prota...


  36. 36. 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 ...


  37. 37. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi


  38. 38. Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

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  39. 39. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

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    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...


  40. 40. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

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    The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. It follows th...


  41. 41. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

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    The House on Mango Street is a coming-of-age novel by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros, published in 1984. It deals with a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, growing up in the Chicago Chi...


  42. 42. LaBrava by Elmore Leonard

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    LaBrava, the 1983 novel by author Elmore Leonard, follows the story of Joe LaBrava, former Secret Service agent. This novel won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel.


  43. 43. Borrowed Time by Paul Monette

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  44. 44. Praying for Sheetrock by Melissa Fay Greene

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  45. 45. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

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    Eva Luna is a novel written by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende in 1985 and translated from Spanish to English by Margaret Sayers Peden. Eva Luna takes us into the life of the eponymous protagonist,...


  46. 46. Sandman by Neil Gaiman


  47. 47. World's Fair by E. L. Doctorow

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    The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck ...


  48. 48. 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...


  49. 49. Clockers by Richard Price

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    Clockers is a 1992 novel by American author Richard Price.


  50. 50. 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...


  51. 51. The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm

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    The Journalist and the Murderer is a 1990 study by Janet Malcolm about the ethics of journalism. Attracting heavy criticism upon first publication, it is now regarded as a "seminal" work.


  52. 52. Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan


  53. 53. 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...


  54. 54. 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...


  55. 55. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls


  56. 56. The Night Manager by John le Carré

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    The Night Manager is an espionage/detective novel by John le Carré, published in 1993. It is his first post-Cold War novel, detailing an undercover operation to nab an international criminal.


  57. 57. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

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    Tom Wolfe’s modern American satire tells the story of Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street “Master of the Universe” who has it all — a Park Avenue apartment, a job that brings wealth, power and prestige, a...


  58. 58. Drop City by T. Coraghessan Boyle

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    Drop City is a 2003 novel by American author T. Coraghessan Boyle. The novel describes the social evolution of a group of free spirits, not unlike the inhabitants of the real Drop City in Colorado....


  59. 59. Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

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    Krik? Krak! (ISBN 0-679-76657-X) is a book written by Edwidge Danticat. It consists of nine short stories plus an epilogue. The stories are tied together by similar plots of struggle and survival w...


  60. 60. Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

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    Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the 199...


  61. 61. Money by Martin Amis

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    Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self...


  62. 62. Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick


  63. 63. Pastoralia by George Saunders

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    If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly or...


  64. 64. Underworld by Don DeLillo

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    Underworld is a postmodern novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, is one of his better-known novels, and was a best-seller.


  65. 65. 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...


  66. 66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace


  67. 67. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    Image of The Kite Runner

    The Kite Runner is a novel by the author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007.


  68. 68. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

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    Fun Home (subtitled A Family Tragicomic) is a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. It chronicles the author's childhood and youth in rural Pennsylvani...


  69. 69. 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...


  70. 70. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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    Cloud Atlas (published in the United States as Cloud Atlas: A Novel) is a 2004 novel, the third book by British author David Mitchell. It won the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the ...


  71. 71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

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    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures is a 1997 book by Anne Fadiman that chronicles the struggles of a Hmong refugee fami...


  72. 72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

    Image of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First B...


  73. 73. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

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    In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mo...


  74. 74. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger


  75. 75. Cathedral by Raymond Carver

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    Cathedral is a collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver published in 1984.


  76. 76. A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell

    Image of A Sight for Sore Eyes

    A Sight For Sore Eyes is a psychological thriller by British crime-writer Ruth Rendell.


  77. 77. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

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    The Remains of the Day (1989) is the third published novel by Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro. The Remains of The Day is one of the most highly-regarded post-war British novels. It won the B...


  78. 78. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

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    Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia is a 2006 memoir by American author and memoirist Elizabeth Gilbert. The memoir chronicles the author's trip aro...


  79. 79. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

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    Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term: "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological change...


  80. 80. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

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    Bright Lights, Big City is a novel by the American author Jay McInerney, published by Vintage on 12 August 1984.


  81. 81. Backlash by Susan Faludi

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    Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women is the title of a 1991 nonfiction book by Pulitzer Prize winner Susan Faludi, which argues for the existence of a media driven "backlash" against...


  82. 82. Atonement by Ian McEwan

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    Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis's crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob...


  83. 83. The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

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    It is the fictional autobiography about the life of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman whose life is marked by death and loss from the beginning, when her mother dies during childbirt...


  84. 84. Holes by Louis Sachar

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    Holes is a Newbery Medal-winning novel by Louis Sachar.


  85. 85. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

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    Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson and published in 2004. It won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel is the fictional auto...


  86. 86. And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts

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    And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic is a nonfiction book written by San Francisco Chronicle journalist Randy Shilts, published in 1987. It chronicles the discovery and s...


  87. 87. The Ruins by Scott Smith

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    The Ruins is the second novel by American author Scott Smith, whose first novel was A Simple Plan. The Ruins is a horror story set on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It was released on July 18, 2006 (I...


  88. 88. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

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    High Fidelity is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby. It was adapted into a 2000 film directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of...


  89. 89. Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx

    Image of Close Range: Wyoming Stories

    Close Range: Wyoming Stories is a 1999 collection of short stories written by E. Annie Proulx. The stories are set in the desolate landscape of rural Wyoming and detail the often grim lives of the ...


  90. 90. Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl


  91. 91. Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

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    Adrian Nicole LeBlanc is an American journalist whose works focus on the marginalized members of society: adolescents living in poverty, prostitutes, women in prison, etc.


  92. 92. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow

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    Presumed Innocent, published in 1987, is Scott Turow's first novel, which tells the story of a prosecutor charged with the murder of his colleague. It is told in the first person by the accused, Ru...


  93. 93. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

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    Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is...


  94. 94. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

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    Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001) is a book by investigative journalist Eric Schlosser that examines the local and global influence of the United States fast food indu...


  95. 95. Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman

    Image of Kaaterskill Falls

    Kaaterskill Falls is a 1998 novel by Allegra Goodman, set in a small Catskill Mountains, New York, USA, community of predominantly Orthodox Jews during summers in the mid-1970s.


  96. 96. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

    Image of The Da Vinci Code

    The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery-detective fiction novel written by American author Dan Brown. It follows symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris's Louv...


  97. 97. Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

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    Collection of short stories from Denis Johnson


  98. 98. The Predators' Ball by Connie Bruck

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  99. 99. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

    Image of Practical Magic

    Practical Magic is a novel by Alice Hoffman which was made into a film of the same name. The novel was published by Vintage Books in 1996.


  100. 100. America by John Stewart

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