Adult -- books of special note

Fiction | Mysteries | Science Fiction | Poetry | Drama | Non-Fiction

The titles that follow were selected by the "Books That Matter" Committee on the basis of popularity, as reflected in the balloting of the community, but consideration was also given to such matters as special merit and enduring value.


Atwood, Margaret, The Handmaid’s Tale

Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice

Buck, Pearl S., The Good Earth

Camus, Albert, The Stranger

Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness

Dickens, Charles, A Tale of Two Cities

Dostoyesvsky, Fyodor, Crime and Punishment

Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man

Esquivel, Laura, Like Water for Chocolate

Faulkner, William, The Sound and the Fury

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby

Flaubert, Gustave, Madame Bovary

Gaines, Ernest, A Lesson Before Dying

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel , One Hundred Years of Solitude

Golding, William, Lord of the Flies

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Scarlet Letter

Heller, Joseph, Catch-22

Hemingway, Ernest, A Farewell to Arms

Hugo, Victor, Les Miserables

Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World

Jackson, Shirley, The Lottery and Other Stories

Joyce, James, Ulysses

Knowles, John, A Separate Peace

Lee, Harper, To Kill a Mockingbird

Mann, Thomas, The Magic Mountain

Melville, Herman, Moby Dick

Mitchell, Margaret, Gone With the Wind

Morrison, Toni, Beloved

O’Brien, Tim, The Things They Carried

Orwell, George, 1984

Potok, Chaim, The Chosen

Remarque, Erich Maria, All Quiet on the Western Front

Salinger, J.D., The Catcher in the Rye

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein

Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle

Smith, Betty, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Solzhenitzen, Aleksandr I., One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Steinbeck, John, The Grapes of Wrath

Stevenson, Robert Louis, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Twain, Mark, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Voltaire, Candide

Vonnegut, Kurt, Slaughterhouse Five

Walker, Alice, The Color Purple


Christie, Agatha, And Then There Were None

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Grisham, John, A Time to Kill

James, P.D., Devices and Desires

Le Carre, John, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; Smiley’s People

Peters, Ellis, Brother Cadfael’s Penance

Poe, Edgar Allen, Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Sayers, Dorothy, Murder Must Advertise

Science Fiction

Asimov, Isaac, Foundation; Foundation and Empire; Second Foundation

Bradbury, Ray, Fahrenheit 451

Clarke, Arthur C., Childhood’s End

Gibson, William, Neuromancer

Heinlein, Robert A., Stranger in a Strange Land

Le Guin, Ursula, The Lathe of Heaven

Tolkein, J.R.R., The Hobbit

Verne, Jules, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Wells, H.G., The Time Machine


Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Dickinson, Emily, Complete Poems

Homer, The Iliad

Homer, Odyssey

Neruda, Pablo, Selected Poems

Shakespeare, William, Sonnets

Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass

Yeats, William Butler, "Among School Children"


Beckett, Samuel, Waiting for Godot

Brecht, Bertolt, The Threepenny Opera

Ibsen, Henrik, A Doll’s House

Miller, Arthur, Death of a Salesman

O’Neill, Eugene, Long Day’s Journey into Night

Pirandello, Luigi, Six Characters in Search of an Author

Shakespeare, William, Othello


Angelou, Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring

Churchill, Winston, The Second World War

Frank, Anne, The Diary of a Young Girl

Freud, Sigmund, The Interpretation of Dreams

Gleick, James, Chaos: Making a New Science

Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time

Keller, Helen, The Story of My Life

Kovic, Ron, Born on the Fourth of July

Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth, On Death and Dying

Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince

McCourt, Frank, Angela’s Ashes

Merton, Thomas, The Seven Storey Mountain

Norris, Kathleen, The Cloister Walk

Paine, Thomas, Common Sense; The Rights of Man

Pirsig, Robert M., Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

Sandburg, Carl, Abraham Lincoln; The War Years

Thoreau, Henry David, Walden

Wiesel, Elie, Night

X, Malcolm, The Autobiography of Malcolm X