40 books to read before you die, from Frankenstein to Vanity Fair | The IndependentWritten by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy , the eight-part towering work of fiction tells the story of two major characters: a tragic, disenchanted housewife, the titular Anna, who runs off with her young lover, and a lovestruck landowner named Konstantin Levin, who struggles in faith and philosophy. Tolstoy molds together thoughtful discussions on love, pain, and family in Russian society with a sizable cast of characters regarded for their realistic humanity. The novel was especially revolutionary in its treatment of women, depicting prejudices and social hardships of the time with vivid emotion. Harper Lee , believed to be one of the most influential authors to have ever existed, famously published only a single novel up until its controversial sequel was published in just before her death. Its iconic characters, most notably the sympathetic and just lawyer and father Atticus Finch, served as role models and changed perspectives in the United States at a time when tensions regarding race were high. To Kill a Mockingbird earned the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in and was made into an Academy Award-winning film in , giving the story and its characters further life and influence over the American social sphere. The novel is told from the perspective of a young man named Nick Carraway who has recently moved to New York City and is befriended by his eccentric nouveau riche neighbor with mysterious origins, Jay Gatsby.
The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
To vote on existing books from the list, beside each book there is a link vote for this book clicking it will add that book to your votes. Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. List Challenge The average Goodreads member has read 12 out of books on this list — how many have you read? All Votes. Harper Lee.
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Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift A wonderful satire that still works for all ages, despite the savagery of Swift's vision. Tom Jones Henry Fielding The adventures of a high-spirited orphan boy: an unbeatable plot and a lot of sex ending in a blissful marriage. Clarissa Samuel Richardson One of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne One of the first bestsellers, dismissed by Dr Johnson as too fashionable for its own good. But Emma never fails to fascinate and annoy. Wrongly overlooked.
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