A Death in the Family
The story of the death of a man, Jay Follett, and the emotional impact on his family.
A collection of short stories, exploring the lives of the residents of a small town.
Pride and Prejudice
A witty comedy about four sisters seeking husbands in Edwardian England.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
A fourteen year-old struggles to come to terms with his identity as an African-American in 1950s' New York.
Honore de Balzac
The story of two men, one young and rising in social class, the other old and fallen on hard times, in 19th Century France.
Looking Backward : 2000-1887
A 19th Century man falls asleep and wakes in the year 2000, to discover a transformed and Utopian United States.
Hal G. Borlund
When the Legends Die
A Ute Indian man struggles with the conflict between his cultural heritage and the modern Western world.
The Martian Chronicles
A collection of short stories about human colonization of Mars and their interactions with the Martians already living there.
An impoverished orphan grows up to marry a man with a dark and secret past.
The story of a tortured love affair between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, set in the wild English moor country.
The Good Earth
A Chinese peasant farmer rises to wealth and prosperity.
The Pilgrim's Progress
The allegorical tale of man's journey through life.
The Way of All Flesh
The story of four generations of the Pontifex family in Victorian England.
The Bubonic Plague strikes a North African city.
A man faces trial for pre-meditated murder.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice falls down the rabbit hole and discovers a fantastic and bizarre world.
Death Comes for the Archbishop
A Catholic Bishop builds a mission in frontier New Mexico.
The story of the life of Antonia Shimerda, a Bohemian immigrant pionner woman living on the Nebraska prairie.
Miguel de Cervantes
Adventures of Don Quixote
A poor gentleman from La Mancha, Spain, sets off on an adventure seeking knighthood, honor and chivalry.
A detective novel about the search for a stolen yellow diamond.
Heart of Darkness
A man travels into the heart of the Belgian Congo in search of a missing trader.
A man spends his life trying to redeem his reputation and lost sense of honor.
James Fenimore Cooper
The Last of the Mohicans
A colonial scout (Hawkeye) and two Mohican Indians lead a pair of sisters through the wilderness to safety.
The Red Badge of Courage
A young Civil War soldier struggles with fear and finds courage.
An English sailor is marooned on a desert island.
Generations of the Jarndyce family await the court settlement of a disputed inheritence.
The adventures of David Copperfield, from young orphan to adulthood.
A young blacksmith, aided by an unknown benefactor, tries to become a gentleman.
An orphan tries to find his family.
A Tale of Two Cities
A story about the French Revolution.
Crime and Punishment
A young man commits murder and is consumed by guilt.
The Brothers Karamazov
The four Karamazov brothers murder their father.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Four novels and 55 short stories cover the adventures of this famous detective and his assistant, Dr. Watson.
An American Tragedy
A young man kills his lover when the relationship threatens his social position.
Daphne Du Maurier
A young woman marries a wealthy man with a mysterious past, moves to his home in Cornwall, and struggles with living in the shadow of his dead first wife's memory.
The Three Musketeers
A young country nobleman, D'Artagnan, comes to Paris to join the Musketeers. Many adventures ensue.
The Count of Monte Cristo
The young Edmund Dantes is falsely imprisoned for treason. Upon his escape 16 years later, he seeks revenge against those who imprisoned him.
Mill on the Floss
The story of the Tulliver and Dodson family in a Victorian England village.
A young black man searches for truth and self-identity.
Intruder in the Dust
An elderly black man is wrongfully accused of murdering a white woman.
The Sound and The Fury
The story of the Compson family of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, told from four different points of view.
Squire Allworthy's rowdy, womanizing adopted son is turned out of the house and makes his way to London.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby
Jay Gatsby devotes his life to gaining the love of Daisy Buchanan.
Bored with her life, and her marriage, Emma Bovary seeks to fulfill her romantic dreams.
A Passage to India
A young English woman accuses an Indian doctor of sexual assault.
Poetry of Robert Frost
Technically, this doesn't belong in the Fiction section of this list, but it fits no better in Non-Fiction or Drama. The collected poetry of Robert Frost.
The Forsyte Saga
The story of three generations of a middle-class English family at the turn of the 20th century.
The classic tale of Beowulf, told from the monster's point of view.
Lord of the Flies
A group of English school boys try to survive on an island following a plane crash
The Tin Drum
The story of Oskar Matzerath's life, during the reign of the Third Reich, who decides, at the age of three, to never grow any older.
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
A teenage girl spends three years in a mental hospital, working to overcome her mental illness.
Far from the Madding Crowd
A beautiful farm girl must choose from three disparate lovers.
The Mayor of Casterbridge
A drunken man sells his wife and daughter at a village fair. They return nineteen years later to confront him.
Return of the Native
A young man returns home and marries the one woman he shouldn't.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
A naive country girl is seduced by a wealthy man and bears a child.
The Scarlet Letter
A Puritan woman commits adultery and is publicly shamed.
A man wants to stop fighting a war, but is trapped by the illogical military bureaucracy.
A Farewell to Arms
An ambulance driver, serving on the Italian Front in World War I, falls in love with an English nurse.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
A guerilla soldier attempts to blow up a bridge during the Spanish Civil War.
The Old Man and the Sea
An elderly fisherman hooks an enormous marlin.
The Sun Also Rises
A group of American and English expatriates go to Pamplona for a week-long party.
Two ancient noble houses feud over the governship of the planet Dune.
A Bell for Adano
An American officer is placed in charge of an Italian town during World War II.
A young man seeks spiritual enlightenment and happiness.
A man embarks on a journey of self-discovery.
A Trojan prince (Paris), kidnaps Greek princess Helen. The Greeks lay seige to the city of Troy in an attempt to get her back. The Iliad is the story of the 10th year of the war.
Odysseus returns home after the Trojan War. Having angered a god, he gets lost and wanders from island to island for 10 years.
W. H. Hudson
A political fugitive hides in the jungles of Venezuela where he falls in love with a mysterious and magical woman.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The hunch-backed bellringer for the cathedral of Notre Dame falls in love with a gypsy woman.
After being released from prison, a man reforms his life...until his past catches up with him.
Brave New World
A view of a futuristic Utopian world.
An American goes to Paris to fetch his fiancee's son.
The Turn of the Screw
A governess believes that the children in her care are being haunted by evil ghosts.
A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man
A semi-autobiographical novel of a boy growing to young manhood in Ireland.
Gregor Samsa awakens one morning to find he has turned into a giant cockroach.
An insurance clerk is arrested for a crime...he has no idea what it is.
Zorba the Greek
An Englishman learns about the joy of life from his Greek employee.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
A mental patient engages in a contest of wills with a tyrannical nurse.
Flowers for Algernon
A mentally retarded man becomes a genius after having brain surgery to increase his IQ.
A British orphan raised in India becomes a spy.
A Separate Peace
Two boys become best friends at a New England boarding school, the summer before World War II begins.
The Painted Bird
An abandoned child must survive on his own during World War II.
Sons and Lovers
Paul Morel's enmeshed love for his mother complicates his romantic relationships.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Left Hand of Darkness
A human emissary is sent to the alien world of Winter to bring them into the Federation of Planets.
W.J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick
The Ugly American
A set of short stories criticizing United States policy in Southeast Asia.
To Kill a Mockingbird
A white attorney defends a black man on trial for raping a white woman.
The story of the medical career of Martin Arrowsmith.
A look at the life of a middle class real estate agent.
Carol Kennicott attempts to remake and improve her small town.
How Green Was My Valley
A boy grows to manhood in a Welsh mining town.
Call of the Wild
A dog is kidnapped and sold to be a sled dog in the Yukon.
A Jewish handyman is blamed for the brutal murder of a Russian boy in early 20th century Kiev.
Le Morte D'Arthur
The legend of King Arthur.
The Magic Mountain
A man spends seven years in a Swiss sanitarium.
Of Human Bondage
A young man with a club foot goes to Europe to study art and medicine, and begins a doomed love affair.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
An isolated deaf man becomes the confidante of the misfits in a small town.
The captain of a whaling ship hunts the whale that amputated his leg.
Gone With the Wind
The tale of a group of Atlanta residents during the U.S. Civil War.
The Cruel Sea
Two British ships try to avoid destruction during World War II.
Charles Nordhoff and James Hall
Mutiny on the Bounty
A sailor is tried for mutiny after the crew of the Bounty removes their tyrannical captain and moves to Tahiti.
Tell Me a Riddle
An old woman, realizing she's dying, examines her life.
An allegory: the animals on a farm stange an uprising, get rid of the farmer, and take over the running of the farm.
A dystopian view of a future in which the government has total control over people.
Cry the Beloved Country
A man travels to Johannesburg to search for his son.
Edgar Allan Poe
The collected short works (mystery and horror) of Edgar Allan Poe.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
A boy adopts a fawn as a pet.
Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front
A young German soldier fights in World War I.
The Sea of Grass
Farmers and ranchers clash in the American Southwest.
Robert Rogers leads an attack against an Abenaki village during the French and Indian War.
Giants in the Earth
A Norwegian pioneer family struggles with isolation on the prairie.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Little Prince
A airplane pilot crashes in the Sahara and meets a young prince.
Wind, Sand and Stars
The flying adventures of a pilot.
The Catcher in the Rye
A boy examines his life after being expelled from prep school.
The Human Comedy
A teenage boy delivers telegrams in a small California town during World War II.
Sir Walter Scott
A young nobleman helps Richard I of England regain his throne.
The Prince of Foxes
A peasant boy becomes involved in passion and intrigue in Renaissance Italy.
Pagans and Christians battle during the last days of Rome.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
One day in the life of a man living in a labor camp in Siberia.
The Grapes of Wrath
A family of Oklahoma farmers travels to California during the Depression.
Of Mice and Men
A man tries to take care of his developmentally disabled friend as they work on a farm.
Robert Louis Stevenson
A young man's uncle has him kidnapped so that he can steal the boy's inheritance.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A doctor takes a powerful medicine that releases his evil alter ego.
A young boy finds a pirate's treasure map and sets out to find the treasure.
A young attorney is sent to Transylvania to see a client, Count Dracula, and discovers that the Count has a rather unusual lifestyle.
Love Is Eternal
The story of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.
Lust For Life
A fictionalized biography of Vincent Van Gogh.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin
The story of two slaves in the American South.
A man journeys to four strange lands, including one where he is a tiny doll compared to the inhabitants and another where he is a giant.
William Makepeace Thackeray
The story of two English women in the early 1800s.
An upperclass Russian woman has an adulterous love affair.
War and Peace
An epic tale of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A boy and an escaped slave float down the Mississippi River.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tom Sawyer has many adventures and gets into many scrapes.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A 19th century mechanic is hit on the head and wakes up in the time of King Arthur.
Life on the Mississippi
The story of Samuel Clemens years as a river boat pilot.
Fathers and Sons
A young man's new Western views clash with his father's traditional ideas.
An optimistic young man travels the world seeking to be reunited with his lost love.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
A man, researching a novel on Hiroshima, discovers that the someone has developed a chemical that could destroy the world.
An American POW witnesses the firebombing of Dresden during World War II.
Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men
The rise and fall of a corrupt politician.
A lonely farmer, in a loveless marriage to an invalid, falls in love with his wife's cousin.
A man attempts to bring his war-traumatized friend back to reality by telling the story of their childhood.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
A young man's wish that his portrait will grow old while he remains young comes true.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The tale of the lives of five people who die when a bridge collapses.
Look Homeward Angel
A restless young man longs to leave his small town.
You Can't Go Home Again
A man writes a successful novel about his hometown and returns home to find angry friends and relatives.
A young black man accidentally kills a white woman in 1940s Chicago.
Outstanding Books for the College Bound
A list of recommended reading for the college-bound student.
Fat Books for Sophisticated Teen Readers
A list of good books for mature teen readers who like really thick books.
An extensive list of plays recommended for preparation for college.
An extensive list of non-fiction books recommended for preparation for college.
Essential reading for anyone who homeschools or who is considering homeschooling.
A list of homeschool magazines.
If any one finds that he never reads serious literature, if all his reading is frothy and trashy, he would do well to try to train himself to like books that the general agreement of cultivated and sound-thinking persons has placed among the classics. - Theodore Roosevelt
©2000-2013 Barbara L.M. Handley