210 Books
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George Orwell, 1949
(4.43)
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1984
George Orwell, 1949
scoupe: Most people know the story of 1984. It is set in the year 1984 where everyone and everything is controlled by Big Brother and is about Winston trying to break out of the system. It is a brilliant book and has many aspects that are a part of our everyday language and ideas most notably the concept of Big Brother. It is amazing to think that it was written back in 1949. I believe it has as much relevance today as then. Today we are controlled and manipulated, it may be more subtle but still we are controlled and manipulated. The book gives you hope that Winston will break out of the system and prevail. In the end Winston is crushed by the system and his hope snubbed out.
Rated By 44 Members
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Oscar Wilde, 1890
(4.41)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, 1890
Mehran: Arguably the best work from the ever-quotable Wilde, this novel is a guide for how to live a life of pure decadence. It is packed with impeccable wit, clever one-liners, and an excessive amount of egotistical vanity. At the very least, this book will show you the glory and the pitfalls of being the best looking chap around.
Rated By 17 Members
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Franz Kafka, 1915
(4.4)
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The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka, 1915
GIBC: When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. With this startling, bizarre, yet surprisingly funny first sentence, Kafka begins his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. It is the story of a young man who, transformed overnight into a giant beetle like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family, an outsider in his own home, a quintessentially alienated man. A harrowing -- though absurdly comic -- meditation on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation, The Metamorphosis has taken its place as one of the most widely read and influential works of twentieth-century fiction. As W.H. Auden wrote, Kafka is important to us because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.
Rated By 35 Members
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Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880
(4.29)
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The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880
GIBC: The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel that explores deep into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, reason, and modern Russia. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed all over the world by thinkers as diverse as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and Pope Benedict XVI as one of the supreme achievements in literature.
Rated By 21 Members
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Benedict Anderson, 1983
(4.29)
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Imagined Communities
Benedict Anderson, 1983
Caroline: Anderson's brilliant book on nationalism forged a new field of study when it first appeared in 1983. (...) is widely considered the most important book on the subject. (...) Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the "imagined communities" of nationality, and explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialization of religious faiths, the decline of antique kingship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of secular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time and space. This is the part of the summary figuring on the back cover of the 2006 revised edition.
Rated By 7 Members
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Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1866
(4.28)
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Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1866
GIBC: Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student from St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless parasite. He also commits this murder to test his hypothesis that some people are naturally able to and also have the right to murder. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov also his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose, only to find out he... is not a Napoleon.
Rated By 32 Members
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Mikhail Bulgakov, 1936
(4.23)
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The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, 1936
GIBC: One of the best and most highly regarded novels to come out of Russia during the Soviet era. The book weaves together satire and realism, art and religion, history and contemporary social values. It features three story lines. The main story, taking place in Russia of the 1930s, concerns a visit by the devil, referred to as Professor Woland, and four of his assistants during Holy Week; they use black magic to play tricks on those who cross their paths. Another story line features the Master, who has been languishing in an insane asylum, and his love, Margarita, who seeks Woland's help in being reunited with the Master. A third story, which is presented as a novel written by the Master, depicts the crucifixion of Yeshua Ha-Notsri, or Jesus Christ, by Pontius Pilate. Because the book derides government bureaucracy and corruption, the manuscript of The Master and Margarita was hidden for over twenty years, until the more lenient Khrushchev government allowed its publication.
Rated By 22 Members
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Miguel de Cervantes, 1863
(4.18)
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Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes, 1863
GIBC: Don Quixote, fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. It follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, who reads too many chivalric novels, and sets out to revive chivalry under the name of Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who frequently deals with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood with a unique Earthy wit. He is met by the world as it is, initiating themes like intertextuality, realism, metatheatre and literary representation.
Rated By 22 Members
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Marcus Aurelius, 170
(4.15)
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Meditations
Marcus Aurelius, 170
Vani: Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, may be the closest mankind has ever come to producing the philosopher king that Plato envisioned in The Republic. Marcus's writings reveal him to be the last and greatest of the classical Stoics. Stoicism is a school of thought that asserts we have no control over our lives, only control over our perceptions. It advocates that the best life is the life that is lived in accordance with nature (not "nature" as in grass and trees, but "nature" as in the order of the universe). By concentrating one's thoughts and choices on what is good and virtuous, and disregarding the unimportant distractions of everyday life (even life and death are said to be neither good nor bad, but "indifferent"), we can avoid negative emotions like fear, anger, grief, and frustration, and live a life of happiness and tranquility. What Marcus provides us with are the reflections of a man who studied and lived the Stoic life, and was its ultimate exemplar.
Rated By 13 Members
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Frank Herbert, 1965
(4.14)
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Dune
Frank Herbert, 1965
AndyC: Dune is a 1965 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune is frequently cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel and was the start of the Dune saga. Set in the far future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides as his family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the "spice" melange. Melange is the most important and valuable substance in the universe, increasing Arrakis's value as a fief. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its "spice".
Rated By 14 Members
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George Orwell, 1946
(4.14)
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Animal Farm
George Orwell, 1946
GIBC: The novel addresses not only the corruption of the revolution by its leaders but also how wickedness, indifference, ignorance, greed and myopia corrupt the revolution. It portrays corrupt leadership as the flaw in revolution, rather than the act of revolution itself. It also shows how potential ignorance and indifference to problems within a revolution could allow horrors to happen if a smooth transition to a people's government is not achieved.
Rated By 29 Members
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Ernest Hemingway, 1940
(4.12)
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For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway, 1940
nomad: The novel takes place in late May 1937 during the second year of the Spanish Civil War." "This novel is told primarily through the thoughts and experiences of the protagonist, Robert Jordan. The character was inspired by Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War as a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Robert Jordan is an American in the International Brigades who travels to Spain to oppose the fascist forces of Francisco Franco. (wikipedia)
Rated By 17 Members
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Murakami, 2002
(4.11)
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Kafka on the shore
Murakami, 2002
Kim: Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. The entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.
Rated By 9 Members
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Kurt Vonnegut, 1969
(4.11)
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Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut, 1969
Mehran: Through the beloved Billy Pilgrim, we see the central themes of Vonnegut’s humanism along with his satirical take on how disgusting it is when humans don’t use their (limited) free will to prevent simple atrocities. A great example of how we use humor to deal with hardship, and the conflict between the way heroism is conveyed through stories for actions in situations that perhaps could have been avoided altogether. “So then I understood. It was war that made her so angry. She didn’t want her babies or anybody else’s babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies.”
Rated By 9 Members
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Erich Maria Remarque, 1929
(4.1)
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All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque, 1929
scoupe: A group of school boys desperate to join the German army at the outbreak of the First World War for a great adventure. Spured on by their school master. They discover the horrors of war all too soon. As in many war novels the character discovers on returning home on leave that the view of war of the people back home and the reality are far removed from one another and that he does not belong there any more. The novel gives a vivid account of the physical and mental horror of war. Wriiten in 1929 between the war it is an antiwar book and written at a time when the world was starting the descent into the Second World War.
Rated By 21 Members
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Franz Kafka, 1925
(4.1)
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The Trial
Franz Kafka, 1925
GIBC: One of Kafka's best-known works, The Trial tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime never revealed either to him or the reader. Like Kafka's other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end. After his death in 1924, Kafka's friend and literary executor Max Brod edited the text for publication.
Rated By 20 Members
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Niccolò Machiavelli, 1532
(4.08)
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The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli, 1532
GIBC: The Prince has been incredibly influential since it was published 5 years after his death in 1532. It was written during the European Renaissance when intellect and the discussion of new ideas was a widespread them of the era. Machiavelli did not write The Prince to become famous but instead wrote his book to achieve a position in the new Italian government formed by the Medici family. The Prince was written as a political handbook for rulers and has been used this way for many centuries. The book has caused passionate debates and controversy since the day it was published and it appears that it will continue to do so. Machiavelli strongly believed in the requirement of a strong leader in order to maintain domination for the benefit of citizens and not for individual advancement.
Rated By 13 Members
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Harper Lee, 1960
(4.06)
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To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, 1960
GIBC: To Kill a Mockingbird was published in a time of racial segregation in the USA, as the black civil rights movement was on the rise. The book dissects racial relations in a small southern town through the eyes of a precocious young white child, whose innocence is eventually destroyed by racial injustice. The author explores issues of class and gender and their intersections with race. The book's impact includes what is called "racial heroism which was useful in building positive black role models in the USA civil rights movement. Now one of the most read books in English speaking countries, there have been calls to remove it from reading in USA schools based on its inclusion of historically accurate racial epithets.
Rated By 36 Members
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1967
(4.05)
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One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1967
GIBC: This is the sweeping, multi-generational story of the Buendía Family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia. The magical realist style and thematic substance of One Hundred Years of Solitude established it as an important, representative novel of the literary Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, that was stylistically influenced by Modernism from Europe and North America and the Cuban Vanguardia literary movement.
Rated By 38 Members
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John Steinbck, 1939
(4)
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The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbck, 1939
niryan1: John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family and a nation in search of work and human dignity. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California.
Rated By 17 Members

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