5. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
Because no one else will, Iím going to make a case for D. H. Lawrence. I think he is unsurpassed when it comes to his insight into human feelings and his ability to describe them. His pagan-agrarian-egalitarian ideals are very much like those of Thomas Hardy.
49. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
This is one of those novels that has become part of our cultural vocabulary. You have to know Kurtz like you know Emma Bovary or Dr Jekyll. Itís very short, not much more than a short story.
53. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
If you havenít read any of Hemingwayís novels, then this is the best place to start. It is an anti-war love story set in Italy during WWI. I read it a long time ago, so when you read this one let me know and Iíll read it with you.
Other highly recommended novels that I think you would like and/or should read:
8. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
11. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
These two novels are very similar, dealing respectively with class and race, with plots that are very reminiscent of Crime and Punishment.
9. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
15. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
These are also quite similar, both being a series of linked short stories about life in a small American town.
14. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
This is a sweeping story of American life during the first three decades of the 20th century. There are multiple narrative threads following characters from all walks of life, interspersed with historical sketches and contemporary news reports.
54. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
44. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
These are quite simply the two funniest novels I have ever read.
27. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
51. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
These are both rather frightening stories about the dark inner workings of those sweet-looking little children. Lord of the Flies is so much a cultural icon that I almost put it in the must-read category for that reason. I wouldnít call A High Wind in Jamaica an important book at all; Iím just listing these together because of their similarities.
25. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
This isnít Forsterís most famous novel, but I liked it the best of the three on this list. Itís a romance set in London and deals with class prejudices and womenís issues.
65. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
Yet another story that itís assumed everyone knows. Itís generally read as a kidís adventure story (I was about 10 when I read it) but the theme of manís inner wildness compares with Heart of Darkness and Lord of the Flies. I need to read it again.
59. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
This is a family saga set in the American west and Mexico that provides a very realistic, undramatized view of the frontier, largely from a womanís perspective. If you liked Main Street by Sinclair Lewis, then I think youíll like this one because the protagonists are very much alike.
Many of the remaining books on the list are either by authors you've read before, like Faulkner, or that are already listed above, so you should know what to expect from them.
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