Take a glimpse @ 101+ Great Books College Board’s 101 Great Books for college-bound students This list has been modified to include listed authors’ additional works. Note: Some titles may contain mature themes. Please discuss your choice with your parents, teachers, or librarian to find an appropriate choice.
AdventureBeowulf Beowulf, the ultimate hero, Fights the evil, “born in slime” monster seeking to avenge his monster mother’s death (written in verse)
DramaThings Fall Apart Okonkwo,local Nigerian wrestling champion, married to three wives, sharesthe impact of Christian missionaries on his community.
AdventureWatership Down Why can’t we just be friends? Oppressed, a group of rabbits struggle to live in peace
DramaA Death in the Family A sudden death destroys a family Emotional and poignant Grab your tissues
DramaI Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou’s autobiographical novel about her early years. She grows from being a victim of racism and violence to strong, independent woman.
RomanceEmma Single, not looking for love, Emma tries to be the matchmaker for all her friends… until she is drawn into the world of romance.
RomancePride and Prejudice It was not love at first sight, but will strong-willed Elisabeth and the wealthy Mr. Darcy overcome their pride and be a couple? (meanwhile mom arranged other economically advantageous marriages for the other daughters.
FamilySense and Sensibility Can sisters ever get along? When one is the practical sister and one is the emotional sister…. The two are bound to argue
Adventure… Sci-Fi StyleThe Martian Chronicles Earthlings have escaped a dying earth to come to mars to conquer space and colonize the planet. Life on mars is not like it used to be…
RomanceJane Eyre A Shy governess finds herself falling in love with her mysterious employer Edward
RomanceWuthering Heights Flashback and Follow the ups and downs of the Tempestuous love affair between heathcliff and Catherine
Historical DramaThe Good Earth Set in china, a peasant overcomes nature’s wrath to become a successful landowner
Suspense DramaThe Stranger Wrong place, wrong time A man is caught up in a murder in another country
Historical & EnlighteningDeath Comes for the Archbishop A missionary priest travels to the new Mexico territory to work with the catholic believers of that region.
Family DramaO Pioneers Alexandria encourages the family members to keep her father’s dream alive. As his dying wish, He entrusts her with their farm in Nebraska. (set in the 1890’s)
Entertaining The Canterbury Tales Are we there yet? Travelers on a trip to Canterbury entertain each other by telling stories… some funny, some with a lesson…
Western AdventureThe Ox-Bow Incident The murder of a cowboy leads to vigilantes forming a posse to hunt down the killer Worth noting… it includes a lynching
AdventureHeart of Darkness Adventurer Marlowe travels the Congo. He is greeted by savages and cannibalism as he is looking for a Kurtz, a company agent, who has gone insane
AdventureLord Jim Jim, along with fellow British crew members and the captain, abandon a sinking ship and its passengers. The passengers survive and Jim is Labeled a coward. He works to outrun and to overcome his past.
Historical AdventureThe Deerslayer Natty Bumppo is a young frontiersman in New York circa 1740’s. He has dangerous skirmishes with the Huron tribe.
AdventureThe Last of the Mohicans 1757… French and Indian war A man agrees to accompany two sisters through the dangerous, hostile Indian territory Trivia: Hawkeye from M*A*S*H* was named after the main character
WarRed Badge of Courage a young soldier experiences the confusion and horror of a civil war battlefield
Historical AdventureDon Quixote (insert Latin accent here) Oh, yes, adventures of the legendary, chivalrous, brave knight… don Quixote… 16th century Spain
AdventureRobinson Crusoe The original survivor castaway An Englishman is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. This is his story of his adventures trying to survive for almost 30 years on a deserted island. Cultural note: The phrase “My man Friday” alludes to this novel
DramaDavid Copperfield What happens when your mother dies and your stepfather kicks you out? Read to find out how David, hoping to survive and eventually find happiness, struggled through school and life in London
MysteryGreat Expectations A British mystery with an amazing cast: Pip, the orphan Magwitch, the convict Estella, the beautiful Miss Havisham, the spiteful and beautiful Mr. jaggers, the ambitious lawyer
DramaOliver Twist Again… a young kind-hearted orphan… trained for a life of crime in order to survive the desperate poverty… tries to escape that life. reminds one of a harsher, darker, depressing Annie
SuspenseA Tale of Two Cities Set during the French revolution, numerous plot twists & secrets surround Charles darney, a French aristocrat, as he fights for his life and love during violent French revolution.
DramaCrime and Punishment A moneylender (loan shark?) and her sister are murdered! An investigation ensues, And a prostitute with a heart of gold convinces the murderer to confess
DramaNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Recounts Douglass’ life as a slave and his ambition to become a free man
MysteryHound of the Baskervilles Sir Henry Baskerville has been warned. If he moves into the cursed family home that he inherited, he will die… can Sherlock Holmes help him?
DramaAn American Tragedy Clyde Griffiths’ run in with the law in Kansas city causes him to flee to new York. He reestablishes his life, but becomes Tangled in love affairs with two women. Clyde realizes that one of his loves must have an “unfortunate accident.”
AdventureCount of Monte Cristo Set in France & Italy during the early 1800’s, Edmund wants revenge… Revenge for his unjust punishment of fourteen years in prison
AdventureThe Three Musketeers 17th century France A tale of swashbuckling Four men try to outwit the enemies of the king and queen (but I thought it was the three musketeers?)
FamilyAs I Lay Dying As the family attempts to carry out Addie’s dying wish, they experience setback after tragic setback, including a fire, a washed-out bridge, a seduction, broken limbs… (not in that order )
Psychological FictionThe Sound and the Fury Four narrators share different episodes, showing the decline of the once-noble Compton family: Benjy: the 33-year-old mentally retarded man Quentin: the student who commits suicide Jason: the bitter, cynical brother Dilsey: the family’s black servant
ComicThe History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Star-crossed lovers? Tom, an abandoned child, is discovered and raised by a wealthy landowner. As a youth, he falls in love, but with a girl out of his social class. The story follows tom as he travels around the country.
FamilyDeath be not proud A lifetime network movie moment…. Young Johnny gunther has a cancerous brain tumor. This is the story of his struggle.
DramaA Raisin in the Sun “what happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?” --Langston Hughes In this play, The younger family dreams of leaving their cramped Chicago apartment to move to a better neighborhood
Romantic ComedyFar from the Madding Crowd Like any heroine of a modern soap opera, Bathsheba has the beauty and pride to toy with three men’s affections: Shepherd Gabriel, Prosperous farmer William, and Sergeant frank.
DramaTess of the D’urbervilles Tess’s fate was decided the moment she met alecd’urberville. He took her innocence and changed in life. As she attempts to move on, he continually weaves in and out of her life, causing heartache until she finally resolves the problem… permanently.
MysteryHouse of the Seven Gables Hepzibahopens a small shop in the gloomy family mansion to help support her brother just released from prison after serving 30 years for murder. A mystery unfolds about the house (filled with a history of witchcraft and fraud) .
War & Social CommentaryCatch 22 Yossarianandhis friends in the u.s. army Fighting Squadron 256 are tired of flying missions during WWII. Desperate to stop, yossarian employs a number of schemes to avoid combat flights.
War and RomanceA Farewell to Arms Lnt. Henry, an American ambulance driver during WWI, experiences battles, injury, treachery, love, and defeat on the Italian front
WarFor Whom the Bell Tolls Spanish civil war Robert Jordan is an explosives expert sent to blow up a bridge. He and the other guerrillas face death.
AdventureThe Sun Also Rises 1920’s Expatriate American Jake barns attempts to fulfill his life with distracting behavior:hardwork, drinking, and bullfighting in Europe
AnimalsAll Creatures Great and Small Herriot shares funny anecdotes and sad memories from his life as a country veterinarian.
Fantasy AdventureLost Horizon After a plane crash, the survivors stumble upon a utopia, Shangri-la, where life is eternal and everything is perfect .
Mythological AdventureThe Iliad While Heroes engage in battle, gods and goddesses interfere to help and hurt.. why? Because of the most beautiful woman in the world… Helen of troy… (The face that launched a thousand ships) (written in verse)