Unless otherwise noted, all annotations are from Ingram Library Services.

 

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You'll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue.” – Amazon.com

 

Adams, Richard. Watership Down

 

Taking readers into the world of a band of Berkshire rabbits, this classic fantasy novel presents the epic saga of Hazel and his rabbit family and friends who flee the destruction of their fragile community and face extraordinary adversity in pursuing their dream of "home".

 

Albom, Mitch. Five People You Meet in Heaven

 

From the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Tuesdays with Morrie" comes a novel that explores the unexpected connections of readers' lives and the idea that heaven is more than a place--it's an answer.

 

Alexie, Sherman. Reservation Blues

 

The life of Spokane Indian Thomas Builds-the-Fire irrevocably changes when blues legend Robert Johnson miraculously appears on his reservation and passes the misfit storyteller his enchanted guitar. Inspired by this gift, Thomas forms Coyote Springs, an all-Indian Catholic band who find themselves on a magical tour that leads from reservation bars to Seattle and New York--and deep within their own souls.

 

Ambrose, Stephen. Band of Brothers

Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignment. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

"Band of Brothers" is the account of the men of this remarkable unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals and letters. Stephen Ambrose tells the stories -- often in the men's own words -- of these American heroes.

Armstrong, Lance. It’s Not About the Bike

 

World-class hero Lance Armstrong tells his inspiring story, from the dark night of advanced testicular cancer through his dramatic victory in the 1999 Tour de France.

 

Bellow, Saul. Seize the Day.

 

This is Bellow's paean to failure, the slow slide of a good-hearted though dumb and self-destructive man. – Amazon.com

 

Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights

 

The bestselling story of life in the football-driven town of Odessa, Texas, explores how the town's passion for the team inspires--and sometimes shatters--the young men who wear the Panther uniform.

 

Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down.

 

This account describes the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. On October 3, 1993, a band of U.S. soldiers on a mission in Somalia to capture two lieutenants of a Somali warlord spent a long and terrible night fighting thousands of armed Somalis. By morning, 18 Americans were dead, and more than 70 badly injured.


Bradbury, Ray.  The Illustrated Man

 

Classic Bradbury, this collection of tales offers images that are as keen as a tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that stain the body. Featuring a new Introduction, "The Illustrated Man" presents 18 startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin.

 

Bradley, James.  Flags of our Fathers

 

The beloved bestseller that honors not only one battle and one achievement, but the stories of six heroes and one indelible image: the photograph of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. "The best battle book I ever read".--Stephen E. Ambrose.

 

Bretholz, Leo. Leap Into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe

 

A harrowing, action-packed account of the author's series of audacious escapes from the Nazis' final solution

 

Brown, Claude.  Manchild in the Promised Land

 

This autobiographic novel, in print for more than 30 years, portrays the "lost" generation of African-Americans whose parents left the sharecropping lifestyle of the South for the inner cities of the North.

 

Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code

 

What if Christ had a tryst with Mary Magdalene, and the interlude produced a child? Such a possibility provides the framework for Brown's latest thriller (after "Angels and Demons"), an exhaustively researched page-turner about secret religious societies, ancient coverups and savage vengeance.

 

Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita

 

Written during the darkest, most repressive period of Stalin's reign, this novel gives substance to the notion of artistic and religious freedom. Despite its devastating satire of Soviet life and its audacious portrayals of Christ and Satan, the manuscript had somehow eluded Russian censors, and the enthusiasm of its readers assured the novel immediate and enduring success. "The New York Times Book Review" calls this "one of the truly great Russian novels of this century".

 

Callanan, Liam. The Cloud Atlas

 

In a richly inspired debut reminiscent of "Snow Falling on Cedars" and "The English Patient," this stirring novel, set against a magnificent Alaskan backdrop, reveals one of the most closely guarded secrets of World War II in a tale that is both a heart-quickening mystery and a unique love story.

 

Ceroni, Andrew. Meridian

How in the early 1980s did the United States achieve the dual technological coups of Stealth black airships and the Star Wars space-based defense program, bringing the Soviet Union to its knees in less than a decade?

The answer: MeridianAmazon.com

Chabon, Michael.  The Final Solution: A Story of Detection

 

In deep retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year-old man, vaguely recollected by the locals as a former detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African grey parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of numbers the bird spews out--a top secret SS code? A Swiss bank account? Or do they hold a far more sinister significance? Though the solution to this case may be beyond the reach of the once-famed sleuth, the true story of the boy and his parrot is revealed in a wrenching resolution.

 

Chbosky, Stephen.  The Perks of Being A Wallflower

 

Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is navigating through the strange worlds of love, drugs, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", and dealing with the loss of a good friend and his favorite aunt.

Coehlo, Paul. The Alchemist

 

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation", This quotation taken from "The Alchemist" sums up the focus of the book. The journey that life should be, is lived by a simple shepherd who finds that life's gifts lie within us all.

 

Coetzee, J.M. Disgrace

 

Set in post-apartheid Cape Town, Professor David Laurie attempts to relate to his daughter, Lucy, and to a society with new racial complexities. But that is disrupted by an afternoon of violence that changes him and his daughter in ways he could never have foreseen. Coetzee is the only writer awarded the Booker Prize twice, and this work is a finalist for the National Book Critic Circle Awards.

 

Conroy, Pat. Great Santini

 

Moving drama of a family torn apart by a headstrong father-- Bull Meecham, a Marine fighter pilot-- who demands loyalty, courage and obedience from his wife and children.

 

Chrichton, Michael. Timeline

 

In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival-six hundred years ago. . . .

 


Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek

 

From the author of the widely acclaimed The House on Mango Street comes a story collection of breathtaking range and authority, whose characters give voice to the vibrant and varied life on both sides of the Mexican border. The women in these stories offer tales of pure discovery, filled with moments of infinite and intimate wisdom.

 

Crane, Stephen. The Red Badge of Courage

 

Although he never witnessed warfare before writing this story, Stephen Crane penned this realistic and terrifying account of the Civil War, describing the fear that a young soldier must face on the battlefield as well as within himself.

 

Cunningham, Michael. The Hours

 

On a gray morning in 1923, Virginia Woolf is awakened by a dream which will become Mrs. Dalloway. In present-day Greenwich Village, Clarissa Vaughan is planning a party for her dearest love, a poet dying of AIDS. And in Los Angeles in 1949, Laura Brown -- pregnant and feeling stifled by her life -- is compulsively reading the works of Virginia Woolf. Cunningham moves seamlessly between the three women in passionate, profound and deeply moving ode to consciousness.

 

Dalai Lama. Ethics for the New Milennium

The Dalai Lama presents an ethical system that not only is based on common sense and reason, as opposed to religious dogma or punitive legislation, but has as its goal ultimate happiness for every individual. He demonstrates that we human beings are better than we think we are, and that a society and a life that cultivate love and compassion are completely within our reach.


Deford, Frank.  The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball

Deford, expanding on an article he wrote for Sports Illustrated, provides an entertaining string of anecdotes peppered with his own observations, focusing on one player and then looping back to address the other. An NPR Morning Edition weekly commentator, Deford has a thoughtful eye for the details of a century past, but he also points out how much early 1900s baseball culture shares with today's, as when he compares early gambling scandals to the contemporary steroids controversy … this lively volume offers great diversion for any baseball fan.” – Publisher’s Weekly

DeMille, Nelson. The Lion’s Game

Detective John Corey, last seen in "Plum Island", now faces his toughest assignment yet: catching the world's most dangerous terrorist--a young Arab known as "The Lion", whose family was killed by American pilots.

Descartes, Rene. Meditations on First Philosophy

By calling everything into doubt, Descartes laid the foundations of modern philosophy. He deduced that human beings consist of minds and bodies; that these are totally distinct "substances"; that God exists and that He ensures we can trust the evidence of our senses. Ushering in the "scientific revolution" of Galileo and Newton, Descartes' ideas swept aside ancient and medieval traditions of philosophical methods and investigation. -Amazon.com

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment

Struggling to survive in abject poverty, former university student Rodion Raskolnikov finds an outlet in his thoughts and dreams. Over time a particular theory takes shape that leads him to murder an old woman moneylender and her meek sister. His abundant intellect enables him to rationalize the brutal crime to himself, but his conscience dictates otherwise and all-too-soon he is overwhelmed by torturous guilt. In an atmosphere of increasing tension and fear, Raskolnikov desperately struggles to conceal his secret from his friends and family. But there is one man he cannot escape, a man he is convinced knows of his guilt, the cunningly clever policeman Porfiry Petrovich...

Dunant, Sarah. The Birth of Venus

"The Birth of Venus" is a tour de force from one of Britain's most innovative thriller writers. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a remarkable heroine with the same vibrancy as her beloved city.

Duncan, Dave. Impossible Odds

The Blades are back and facing their biggest challenge yet in the newest adventure of magic, intrigue, sword fights and romance from Dave Duncan, "one of the leading masters of epic fantasy" ("Publishers Weekly").

Eggers, Dave. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

The literary bestseller that redefines both family and narrative for the 21st century, this moving memoir is the story of a college senior who, in the space of five weeks, loses both of his parents to cancer and inherits his eight-year-old brother. This is an exhilarating debut that manages to be simultaneously hilarious and wildly inventive as well as a deeply heartfelt story of the love that holds a family together.

Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickle and Dimed

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages. Social critic Barbara Ehrenreich joined them, moving into a trailer and working as a waitress, hotel maid, and Wal-Mart sales clerk. "Nickel and Dimed" reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and duality.


Esquivel, Laura. Swift as Desire

Esquivel's bestselling story of a telegraph operator who is born with the ability to "hear" people's true feelings and respond to their unspoken desires. When a terrible event shatters his marriage, Jbilo loses his power just when he needs it most.

Feinstein, John. Season on the Brink

Feinstein's profile of Indiana University coach Bob Knight is the biggest-selling hardcover sports book of all time. A vivid portrait of a complex, brilliant coach walking a fine line between genius and madness.

Feynman, Richard.  Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums--and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.

Fitzgerald, Penelope. Means of Escape

In her final book--published posthumously--Fitzgerald presents several very strange pasts, her narratives ranging from the 17th century to the late 20th century. The title tale, set in New Zealand in 1852, resembles a cautionary fable about a spinster and an escaped con. But in Fitzgerald's hands, it is infinitely more.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. This Side of Paradise

The story of the privileged, aimless and self-absorbed Amory Blaine and his journey from prep school to Princeton to the First World War is an exuberant pastiche of literary styles that intimates Fitzgerald's lyrical genius while calling attention to his breathtaking social insight.


Flagg, Fanny. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

A detailed and hilarious look at life in the South during the fifties, from the bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Foley, Mick. Tietam Brown

Wild, galvanizing energy and raw, authentic language give extraordinary life to Foley's debut novel. Antietam (Andy) Brown, after seven years in reform school, is presumably free to make a new start at Conestoga High School. But he is immediately thrust into the violent and debased life of his real father.

Follett, Ken. Hornet Flight

An extraordinary novel of the early days of World War II. In June, 1941, the war is not going well for England. Somehow, the Germans are anticipating the RAFUs flight paths, and shooting down British bombers with impunity.

Forsyth, Fredrick. Day of the Jackal

The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man.
One man with a rifle who can change the course of history. One man whose mission is so secretive not even his employers know his name. And as the minutes count down to the final act of execution, it seems that there is no power on earth that can stop the Jackal.

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections

A comic, tragic masterpiece of an American family breaking down in an age of easy fixes, Franzen's third novel brings an old-time America into wild collision with the era of home surveillance and New Economy speculation. Winner of the National Book Award.


Frey, Darcy. The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams

It ought to be just a game, but basketball on the playgrounds of Coney Island is much more than that -- for many young men it represents their only hope of escape from a life of crime, poverty, and despair. In The Last Shot, Darcy Frey chronicles the aspirations of four of the neighborhood"s most promising players. What they have going for them is athletic talent, grace, and years of dedication. But working against them are woefully inadequate schooling, family circumstances that are often desperate, and the slick, brutal world of college athletic recruitment. Incisively and compassionately written, The Last Shot introduces us to unforgettable characters and takes us into their world with an intimacy seldom seen in contemporary journalism. The result is a startling and poignant expose of inner-city life and the big business of college basketball.

Fuller, Alexandra. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Critics applaud this unflinching memoir of a child growing up during the 1970s Rhodesian Civil War. Keenly and evocatively written, it is the remarkable story of a family clinging to a harsh landscape and the dying tenets of colonialism. The daughter of hardworking, yet strikingly unconventional, English-bred immigrants, white Alexandra arrives in black Africa at the tender age of two. Shaped by the uncompromising surroundings, she learns to move through life with a hardy resilience. As Rhodesia slowly becomes Zimbabwe, Alexandra survives harrowing family tragedies, including the deaths of siblings, and outbursts of bloody revolution. Sometimes humorous, sometimes painful, always emotional, this idiosyncratic story is propelled by the sheer, raw humanity it describes.


Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point

A "New Yorker" writer advances the concept of focused marketing by introducing the "tipping point" theory. The strategy capitalizes on the phenomenon of a small group of consumers tipping the scales by buying a product considered "cool, " thereby triggering national buying trends.

Glassner, Barry. The Culture of Fear

Three out of four Americans say they feel more fearful today than they did 20 years ago. "The Culture of Fear" is about the high costs of living in such a fear-ridden environment where realism has become rarer than doors without deadbolts.

Goldstein, Michael. The Struggle for Modern Tibet

This autobiography of a Tibetan nationalist with a burning desire to reform and modernize the "old society" presents for the first time a personal portrait of Tibet that is realistic -- neither a feudal hell, as Beijing would have it, nor Shangrila, as many sympathetic outsiders would have it.

Goss, Pete. Close to the Wind

In an incredible true-life adventure, one man's heroism during a yacht race shines through in the face of overwhelming odds. This is the story of a former Royal Marine who risked his life in hurricane-force winds to rescue a near-dead man on a raft.

Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars

On San Piedro, an island of spectacular beauty, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with murder. Ishmael Chambers is among the journalists covering the trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyamoto, the wife of the accused and Ishmael's never-forgotten first love. As a heavy snowfall impedes the trial, the whole community is faced with the ambiguities of justice.


Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Narrated by a 15-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.

Hardy, G.H. A Mathematician’s Apology

G. H. Hardy was one of this century's finest mathematical thinkers, renowned among his contemporaries as a 'real mathematician ... the purest of the pure'. He was also, as C. P. Snow recounts in his Foreword, 'unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything'. This 'apology', written in 1940 as his mathematical powers were declining, offers a brilliant and engaging account of mathematics as very much more than a science; when it was first published, Graham Greene hailed it alongside Henry James's notebooks as 'the best account of what it was like to be a creative artist'. C. P. Snow's Foreword gives sympathetic and witty insights into Hardy's life, with its rich store of anecdotes concerning his collaboration with the brilliant Indian mathematician Ramanujan, his aphorisms and idiosyncrasies, and his passion for cricket. This is a unique account of the fascination of mathematics and of one of its most compelling exponents in modern times.

Heinlein, Robert. Stranger in a Strange Land

One of the greatest science fiction novels ever published, Stranger in a Strange Land's original manuscript had 50,000 words cut. Now they have been reinstated for this special 30th anniversary trade edition. A Mars-born earthling arrives on this planet for the first time as an adult, and the sensation he creates teaches Earth some unforgettable lessons. "A brilliant mind-bender".--Kurt Vonnegut.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22

A broad comedy about a bombardier based in Italy and his efforts to avoid bombing missions.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway's first bestselling novel, set in the cafes of Paris and bullrings of Spain, is a brilliant depiction of the Lost Generation that established him as one of the great prose stylists of all time.

Herbert, Frank. Dune

Paul Atreides moves with his family to the planet Dune and is forced into exile when his father's government is overthrown.

Hickam, Homer. October Sky

Originally published as "Rocket Boys", this bestseller--based on a true story--follows a group of boys in a small West Virginia town in 1957 as they light up the skies with their flaming rockets and dreams of glory.

Hoffman, Paul. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

Based on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's most startling mathematical discoveries.

Hornby, Nick. About a Boy

Inventing a son got Will into a single parents support group, but rather than a fabulous new sex life, he found someone else's very real son--a 12-year-old with a lot to teach about being a grown up.

Hoseeini, Khaled. The Kite Runner

Privileged young narrator Amir comes of age during the last peaceful days of the monarchy in Afghanistan, then must endure revolution, invasion and a country's long struggle to triumph over violent forces.


Hunter, Molly. A Stranger Came Ashore

Twelve-year-old Robbie becomes convinced that the stranger befriended by his family is one of the Selkie Folk and tries to get help against his magical powers from the local wizard.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World

Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future "Utopian" society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug abuse.

Iggulden, Conn. Emperor: The Gates of Rome

“This critically acclaimed novel takes the reader on a breathtaking journey from the grandeur of Rome to the savagery of its most far-flung provinces, as one of history's greatest narratives unfolds.”

Irving, John. A Prayer for Owen Meany

In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys--best friends--are playing in a Little League baseball game in New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills his best friend's mother. Owen Meany believes he didn't hit the ball by accident. He believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after 1953 is extraordinary and terrifying. He is Irving's most heartbreaking hero.

Joyce, James. Dubliners

 

This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.

 

Kanigel, Robert. The Man Who Knew Infinity

 

This is an inspiring tale of a scholarly pursuit that reads like an adventurous thriller. In 1913 a young, unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G.H. Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers and setting in motion one of the most productive collaborations ever chronicled.

 

King, Stephen. The Dead Zone

 

A supernatural thriller that plunges the reader into the fate awaiting all mankind.

 

 

Kinsella, W.P. Shoeless Joe

 

The soul-stirring novel on which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based, Shoeless Joe was published to critical acclaim and won several prestigious literary awards.

 

Knowles, John. A Separate Peace

 

John Knowles' beloved classic has been a bestseller for more than 30 years and is one of the most moving and accurate novels about the trials and confusions of adolescence ever written. Set at an elite boarding school for boys during World War II, A Separate Peace is the story of friendship and treachery, and how a tragic accident involving two young men forever tarnishes their innocence.

 

Krakauer, Jon. Into Thin Air

 

From the author of "Into the Wild" comes the story of the headline-making and worst disaster on Mt. Everest, that took the life of eight climbers, including seasoned guides, Scott Fischer and Rob Hall.

 

Kurson, Robert. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

 

Two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery surrounding the wreckage of a World War II German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones.

 


Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce

 

C.S. Lewis employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory, exploring the question of heaven and hell. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, the theologian introduces readers to supernatural beings who will change the way they think about good and evil.

 

Lightman, Alan. Einstein’s Dreams

 

An imaginary re-creation of Einstein's discovery of the nature of time, this novel takes us through the young patent clerk's many dreams depicting compelling conceptions of time.

 

London, Jack. Call of the Wild

 

For 100 years, no other book has shown so well the fragile separation between tame and wild and between man and beast in the wilds of Alaska.

 

Lowry, Lois. The Giver

 

Winner of the Newbery Award and named as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and ALA Notable Book for Children, Lowry's unforgettable tale introduces 12-year-old Jonas, who is singled out by the Community to be trained by The Giver.

 

Maguire, Gregory. Wicked

 

Maguire travels back to Frank L. Baum's land of Oz for this absorbing fantasy that delves into the background if the famed Wicked Witch of the West, a misunderstood creature who challenges the preconceived notions of good and evil.

 

Martel, Yan. Life of Pi

 

This brilliant fabulist novel combines the delight of Kipling's "Just So Stories" with the metaphysical adventure of "Jonah and the Whale," as Pi, the son of a zookeeper, is marooned aboard a lifeboat with a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger.

 


McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes

 

Born in depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants, Frank McCourt experienced a childhood fraught with poverty and occasional cruelty. When the family moves back to Limerick, Frank endures the most miserable of childhoods. An astonishing, glorious debut, Angela's Ashes recounts McCourt's existence with remarkable exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

 

McDonell, Nick. Twelve

 

Sold to 14 publishers around the world and receiving tremendous critical acclaim, "Twelve" was one of the most significant literary debuts of the year. A chilling novel of urban adolescence that is "both an indictment of excess and a cry of teenage loneliness" ("People"), it has appeared on multiple bestseller lists.

 

Mlodinow, Leonard. Euclid’s Window

 

Even the numerically challenged will be entranced by this clear and clever chronicle revealing the role of geometry in scientific revolutions and in the advancement of civilization itself.

 

Moore, Michael. Stupid White Men

 

Michael Moore, the award-winning provocateur behind "Roger & Me" and the bestseller "Downsize This!," now returns to size up the new century--and that big, ugly special-interest group that's laying waste to the world as we know it: stupid white men.

 

Morrison, Toni. Beloved

 

Toni Morrison's magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel--first published in 1987--brings the unimaginable experience of slavery into the literature of today and into the reader's comprehension.

 

Murakami, Haruki. Norwegian Wood

 

"Norwegian Wood" is the story of a young Japanese student devoted to a beautiful young woman, but their mutual passions are marred by the tragic death of their best friend.

 

Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels

 

The critically acclaimed story of one young man's tour of duty in Vietnam and a testament to the thousands of young people who lived and died during the war. This generation's most powerful Vietnam story. 1989 Coretta Scott King Author Award Book; ALA Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies.

 

Naipaul, V.S. Half a Life

 

“Half a Life" finds the veteran Booker and Nobel Prize-winning author Naipaul on familiar territory, blending autobiography and fiction in an exploration of the "half lives" of individuals brought up in the English colonies and educated in metropolitan cities.

 

O’Brien, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods

 

The author of The Things They Carried offers a riveting novel of love and mystery. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.

 

O’Connor, Flannery. Everything that Rises Must Converge

 

Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else. – Amazon.com

 

Orwell, George. Animal Farm

 

George Orwell's famous satire of the Soviet Union, in which "all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

 


Paterniti, Michael. Driving Mr. Albert: A Journey Across America with Einstein’s Brain

 

A journalist, an 84-year-old pathologist, and Albert Einstein's brain rocket across the country through the palpable zeitgeist of contemporary America. Part travelogue, part memoir, part history, part biography, "Driving Mr. Albert" is one of the most unique road trips in modern literature.

 

Payne, C.D. Youth in Revolt

 

The adventures of angst-ridden teen protagonist Nick Twisp--who starts out an honor student and ends up a fugitive--are chronicled in this uproariously funny epic. Here are the journals of this most precocious diarist, whose ongoing struggles to make sense out of high school, deal with his divorced parents, and lose his virginity result in his transformation from unassuming 14-year-old to modern youth in open revolt.

 

Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

 

One of the most influential and provocative books of its generation, "Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" continues to attract and inspire readers of all ages with its intriguing blend of ancient and Eastern philosophy, cultural criticism, and scientific inquiry.

 

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar

 

This extraordinary work--echoing Plath's own experiences as a rising writer/editor in the early 1950s--chronicles the nervous breakdown of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful, but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time.

 

Plato. The Republic

 

Plato employed his theory of Forms not only in metaphysical speculation about the creation of the everyday world in which people live, but also in showing the way human society should be construed.

 

Powers, Charles. In the Memory of the Forest

 

This haunting, evocative novel explores the impact of a murder on a community, and the grim tragedy of history and the fate of Jews in Poland during World War II.

 

Pressfield, Steven. Gates of Fire

 

In 480 B.C., two million Persian invaders come to the mountain pass of Thermopylae in eastern Greece, where they are met by 300 of Sparta's finest warriors. The Greek loyalists battle for six days in a prelude to their ultimate victory. "Pressfield brings the battle of Thermopylae to brilliant life, and he does for that war what Charles Frazier did for the Civil War in "Cold Mountain.""--Pat Conroy.

 

Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass

 

In a world as convincing as Narnia, Earthsea, and Redwall, a half-wild, half-civilized girl named Lyra Belacqua lives a carefree life among the scholars of Jordan College until her life is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors.

 

Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael

 

Ishmael is the winner of the Turner Tomorrow Award--a prize for fiction that offers solutions to global problems. When a man in search of truth answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious students, he finds himself alone in an abandoned office with a gorilla named Ishmael.

 

Ralston, Aron. Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 

"Icebound" meets "Into Thin Air" in this astonishing, day-by-day account of Ralston's terrible accident, self-amputation, and subsequent rescue and recovery.

 

Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead

 

Howard Roark is an architect whose genius and integrity will not be comprised. He has ideas that work against conventional standards.

 


Reilly, Rick.  The Life of Reilly

 

In the last 15 years as a senior writer for "Sports Illustrated, " Reilly has covered every aspect of the sporting life, from tennis moms to Lakers-obsessed Jack Nicholson. This collection presents the best of Reilly: unforgettable sporting moments, favorite columns, and unpublished pieces.

 

Rose, Reginald. Undelivered Mail

 

The year: 1937. The setting: New York City's turbulent Upper West Side. It is the author's sixteenth year, remembered vividly, from his last months in high school to his first overwhelmingly monotonous full-time job, to his seventeenth birthday. One dazzling, sometimes frightening year. His friends, his loves, his coming of age are recreated here hilariously, intimately, shockingly. There were exciting adventures to be had in New York every day, among them the stunning revelation that more girls than the author believed possible were willing (sometimes eager) to take him to bed. Or vice versa. Life was rich and full and funny in 1937, and the author lived it with ravenous appetite. –Amazon.com

 

Rowell, John. The Music of Your Life

 

Moving and insightful, these nine related stories present characters caught at the crossroads of painful crisis and defining experience. While life is often harsh in these tales, it is the bold determination with which Rowell's characters persevere that compels and entertains.

Mr. Rowell is the Tickner Writing Fellow in the Upper School.

 

Roy, Travis. Eleven Seconds

 

In this heartfelt testament to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit, Travis Roy, who suffered a devastating injury eleven seconds into his first college hockey game, reveals how he has managed to cope after the accident and, with the help of family and friends, overcome tremendous barriers to begin a new life.

 

Sachs, Jessica Snyder. Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death

 

How the hot new science of forensic ecology is cracking some of the world's toughest criminal cases. – Amazon.com

 

Salinger, J.D. Nine Stories

 

A collection of nine classic Salinger short stories.

 

Saul, John. Manhattan Hunt Club

 

College student Jeff Converse, falsely convicted of a brutal crime, finds himself beneath the streets of Manhattan. Here, a population of invisible homeless is the prey of someone who makes this forsaken civilization a private killing ground. Now Jeff must move heaven and earth to escape a living hell.

 

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation

 

To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Schlosser, a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, charts the fast food industry's enormous impact on our health, landscape, economy, politics and culture as he transforms the way America thinks about what it eats.

 

Scott Card, Orson. Ender’s Shadow

 

Welcome to Battleschool. Growing up is never easy. But try living on the mean streets as a child begging for food and fighting like a dog with ruthless gangs of starving kids who wouldn't hesitate to pound your skull into pulp for a scrap of apple. If Bean has learned anything on the streets, it's how to survive. And not with fists. He is way too small for that. But with brains.
Bean is a genius with a magician's ability to zero in on his enemy and exploit his weakness.
What better quality for a future general to lead the Earth in a final climactic battle against a hostile alien race, known as Buggers. At Battleschool Bean meets and befriends another future commander - Ender Wiggins - perhaps his only true rival.  Only one problem: for Bean and Ender, the future is now.

Sebald, W.G. Austerlitz

 

In this story of an orphan's quest for his heritage after World War II, Sebald embodies in Austerlitz the universal human search for identity, the struggle to impose coherence on memory, and a struggle complicated by the mind's defenses against trauma.

 

Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones

 

From the author of the stunning memoir, "Lucky, " comes a fiction debut narrated from heaven. Starting with the first chapter, 14-year-old Susie Salmon recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief.

 

Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day

 

Compared by the New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, David Sedaris has become one of the best-loved humorists of our time, writing with perfect pitch about the ludicrousness of our age. His new collection features his strongest work yet. His recent move to Paris inspired several classic tales, including the title story, "Me Talk Pretty One Day", about his hilarious attempts to learn French. His family is another source of humor, inspiring "You Can't Kill the Rooster", a portrait of a brother who talks incessant hip-hop to his bewildered father. Featuring some pieces that have never been published and many that have appeared on National Public Radio, in The New Yorker, and Esquire.

 

Simon, David. The Corner

 

From the prize-winning author of "Homicide" and a former police detective comes the searing true story of one of America's most crime-ridden neighborhoods, located in Baltimore, and a family struggling to survive there.

 

Simpson, Joe. Touching the Void

 

While climbing in the Peruvian Andes, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates came face to face with disaster. Simpson fell and broke his leg and then was lost. As his partner Yates was starting to break camp four days later, Simpson crawled in through a blizzard. How both men overcame those four harrowing days is an epic chronicle of fear and friendship.

 

Singh, Simon. The Code Book

 

It's known as the science of secrecy: cryptography, the encoding and decoding of private information. Singh follows the evolution of secret writing with a clarity that lets the reader enjoy the captivating story while easily absorbing the details of cryptography.

 

Slater, Kelly. Pipe Dreams

 

Six-time world surfing champion, actor, and American heartthrob Kelly Slater tells his inspiring story of triumph over adversity.

 

Smith, Zadie. White Teeth

 

At the center of this invigorating and hilarious novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal, hapless veterans of World War II. Set against London's racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire's past as it barrels toward the future, "White Teeth" is an international bestseller.

 

Steinbeck, John. Travels with Charley

 

With his dog Charley, John Steinbeck set out in his truck to explore and experience America in the 1960s. As he talked with all kinds of people, he sadly noted the passing of region speech, fell in love with Montana, and was appalled by racism in New Orleans.

 

Suskind, Ron. A Hope in the Unseen

 

As an honor student walking the gauntlet of sneers and threats at his crime-infested high school in Washington, D.C., Cedric Jennings achieved the impossible: a 4.02 grade-point average and acceptance into Brown University.

 

Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels

 

Swift writes, "I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back." Thus we center new worlds in which the very small and the very large both conclude that our hero, Captain Lemuel Gulliver, is a complete moron. Swift's outrageous comedy keeps us superbly entertained while he satirizes civilization.

 

Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

 

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

 

Tolkein, J.R.R. The Hobbit

 

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit", begins J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classic, introducing readers to the world of Middle-earth, an enchanting land of elves, goblins, trolls and an endearing race of little people called hobbits. From his comfortable hobbit hole, Bilbo Baggins embarks on a great adventure with 13 dwarves and a powerful wizard. It is a journey that takes Bilbo over snowy mountains and through darks forests. Before he can return home again, Bilbo will face down a dragon and fight epic battles. And he will come into possession of a very magical ring ...

 

Toole, John Kennedy. A Confederacy of Dunces

 

A spectacular, Pultizer Prize-winning novel by a master of comedy, beloved by readers and critics alike. The place is the French Quarter, the characters, denizens of New Orleans's lower depths.

 

Sun-Tzu. The Art of War

 

Sun Tzu's incisive blueprint for battlefield strategy is as relevant to today's combatants in business, politics, and everyday life as it once was to the warlords of ancient China. "The Art of War is one of the most useful books ever written on leading with wisdom, an essential tool for modern corporate warriors battling to gain the advantage in the boardroom, and for anyone struggling to gain the upper hand in confrontations and competitions.

Unger, Zac. Working Fire

 

This remarkable memoir, by turns funny and deeply moving, explores one man's coming into his calling and his transformation from ambivalent Ivy League grad to skilled and dedicated firefighter.

 

Verne, Jules. Journey to the Center of the Earth

 

An adventurous geology professor mounts an expedition that descends into a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic marine life--a living past that holds the secrets to the origins of human existence. In addition to the excitement of an action novel, Jules Verne's 19th-century classic has the added appeal of a psychological quest, in which the journey is as significant as the destination.

 

Wallace, David Foster. The Girl With Curious Hair

 

This collection could possibly represent the first flowering of post-postmoderism: visions of the world that re-imagine reality as more realistic than we can imagine. A compelling presence of a holograph and the up-to-the-second feeling of the most advanced art.

 

Weiner, Jonathan.  The Beak of the Finch

 

On a remote outpost of the Galapagos, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent 20 years measuring the beaks of generations of finches--to prove that Darwin did not know the strength of this own theory. "Spark(s) not just the intellect, but the imagination".--Washington Post Book World.

 

Whitney, Craig. All the Stops

 

A distinguished "New York Times" editor explores the history of the pipe organ in America in a book that will intrigue and delight anyone interested in classical music and culture.

 


Whyte, Jack. The Skystone

 

The first book in the Chronicles of Camulod series that retells Arthurian legends as they actually may have happened.

 

Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest

 

Wilde's witty and buoyant comedy of manners, filled with some of literature's most famous epigrams.

 

Will, George. Men at Work

 

Published to the accolades of critics and sportswriters and the raves of thousands of readers everywhere, this phenomenal coast-to-coast bestseller is an incisive, intelligent and always fascinating analysis of America's favorite pastime. Will gives a unique look at this intricate sport, including in-depth profiles of Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripkin, Jr., Tony LaRussa, and Orel Hershiser.

 

Wodehouse, P.G. Code of the Woosters

 

P.G.Wodehouse's best-loved creation by far is the master-servant team of Bertie Wooster, the likable nitwit, and Jeeves, his effortlessly superior valet and protector. This unlikely duo is as famous as Holmes and Watson, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and Tracy and Hepburn, but they have their own very special inimitable charm. According to Walter Clemons, Newsweek, "They are at their best in The Code of the Woosters," in which Bertie is rescued from his bumbling escapades time and time again by that gentleman's gentleman: Jeeves.

 

Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

 

Wolfe takes a walk on the wild side with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters and writes about the 60s hippie culture.

 

Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse

 

The Ramsay family and their friends spend the summer at their holiday home in Scotland. Offshore stands the lighthouse, remote, inaccessible, an eternal presence in a changing world.

Yates, Richard. A Good School

 

Set in a New England boarding school on the cusp of America's entry into World War II, "A Good School" tells the story of a student, a crippled chemistry teacher, and the schoolmaster's young daughter, who falls in love with the most celebrated boy in the class of 1943.

 

Yourcenar, Marguerite. Memoirs of Hadrian

 

Written in the form of a testamentary letter from the Emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius, this work is as extraordinary for its psychological depth as for its accurate reconstruction of the second century of our era. The author describes the book as a meditation upon history, but this meditation is built upon intensive study of the personal and political life of a great and complex character as seen by himself and his contemporaries, both friends and enemies. Marguerite Yourcenar reconstructs Hadrian's arduous early years, his triumphs and reversals, and his gradual reordering of a war-torn world.