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by Ellen Peterson | Apr 20, 2020

The Red House Mystery
by A. A. Milne

The Red House Mystery is a classic "whodunit" set in an English country house. An eclectic cast of characters are gathered in the house when the owner's brother, recently arrived from Australia, is found murdered in a locked room. Two of the house guests take the investigation upon themselves and they wade almost playfully through the abundance of evidence and theories.

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde

A beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, sits for a portrait. In the garden of the artist's house he falls into conversation with Lord Wotton, who convinces him that only beauty is worth pursuing. Gray wishes that his portrait, and not himself, might age and show the effects of time. His wish comes true, and wild, hedonistic pursuits horribly disfigure the portrait. This Faustian story caused much controversy when it was first published, as it discusses decadent art and culture, and homosexuality. It is now considered one of the great pieces of modern Western literature.

Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill

What Do You Want Most? Is It Money, Fame, Power, Contentment, Personality, Peace of Mind, Happiness? The Thirteen Steps to Riches described in this book offer the shortest dependable philosophy of individual achievement ever presented for the benefit of the man or woman who is searching for a definite goal in life.

 

The War of the Worlds
by H. G. Wells

Causing mass hysteria as listeners of its 1938 radio broadcast believed a Martian invasion of Earth really was taking place, H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds is perhaps the most famous novel of its genre. This 1898 story has spawned films, radio and television series and comic-book adaptions, and its popularity endures today.

 

Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
by Henry David Thoreau

One of the most famous non-fiction American books, Walden by Henry David Thoreau is the history of Thoreau's visit to Ralph Waldo Emerson's woodland retreat near Walden Pond. Thoreau, stirred by the philosophy of the transcendentalists, used the sojourn as an experiment in self reliance and minimalism… "so as to "live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

O Pioneers!
by Willa Cather

A Swedish family migrates to Nebraska at the turn of the 20th century. The daughter of the family inherits the land when her father dies, and the story follows her struggle to maintain it when many around her are leaving the prairie in defeat.

 

Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is Joseph Conrad's disturbing novella recounted by the itinerant captain Marlow sent to find and bring home the shadowy and inscrutable Captain Kurtz. Marlow and his men follow a river deep into a jungle, the "Heart of Darkness" of Africa looking for Kurtz, an unhinged leader of an isolated trading station. This highly symbolic psychological drama was the founding myth for Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 movie Apocalypse Now.

The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a crime novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle starring the great detective of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes. Wealthy landowner Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in the parkland surrounding his manor. It seems he died of a heart attack, but the footprints of a huge dog are found near his body, and Holmes must unravel the mystery and ensure the safety of Baskerville's heir amid rumors of an other-worldly creature haunting the moor - an enormous hound with glowing eyes and jaw.

The Art of War
by Sun Tzu

Inspiring countless business, political and military leaders (Napoleon, Mao Zedong and General MacArthur among them), The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise by Sun Tzu from the 6th century BC. Its 13 chapters are each dedicated to an aspect of warfare. Praised as a definitive work on the art of strategy and tactic, The Art of War now finds its greatest application in the world of business and management.

The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw is s ghostly Gothic tale by Henry James. A masterpiece in ambivalence and the uncanny, The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a young woman who is hired as governess to two seemingly innocent children in an isolated country house. As the tale progresses she begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor. Or does she? The story is so ambivalent and eerie, such a psychological thriller, that few can agree on exactly what takes place. James masters "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy" in this chilling Victorian classic.

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