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Top Titles for Ages 18+


 
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Nostromo

By: Joseph Conrad
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The New Atlantis

By: Bacon, Francis

Description: Sir Francis Bacon, inventor of the scientific method, and putative author of Shakespeare's plays, wrote this utopian voyage as a proposal for a society based on scientific inquiry and research.

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Democracy in America

By: Alexis de Tocqueville; Henry Reeve
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The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen

By: Rudolph Erich Raspe

Introduction: It is a curious fact that of that class of literature to which Munchausen belongs, that namely of Voyages Imaginaires, the three great types should have all been created in England. Utopia, Robinson Crusoe, and Gulliver, illustrating respectively the philosophical, the edifying, and the satirical type of fictitious travel, were all written in England, and at the end of the eighteenth century a fourth type, the fantastically mendacious, was evolved in this c...

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Tender Buttons

By: Gertrude Stein

Excerpt: OBJECTS A CARAFE, THAT IS A BLIND GLASS. A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading. GLAZED GLITTER. Nickel, what is nickel, it is originally rid of a cover. The change in that is that red weakens an hour. The change has come. There is no search. But there is, there is that hope and that interp...

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Beyond Good and Evil

By: Friedrich Nietzsche

First published in 1886 at Nietzsche’s own expense, the book was not initially considered important. In it, Nietzsche denounced what he considered to be the moral vacuity of 19th century thinkers. He attacked philosophers for what he considered to be their lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their considerations of morality and values. Beyond Good and Evil is a comprehensive overview of Nietzsche’s mature philosophy. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Philosophy

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Bleak House

By: Charles Dickens

Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly parts between March 1852 and September 1853. It is widely held to be one of Dickens' finest and most complete novels, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon. Dickens tells all of these both through the narrative of the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and as an omniscient narrator. Memorable characters include the menaci...

Literature

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Last of the Mohicans, The

By: James Fenimore Cooper

This story is set in the British province of New York during the French and Indian War, and concerns a Huron massacre (with passive French acquiescence) of from 500 to 1,500 unarmed Anglo-American troops, who had honorably surrendered at Fort William Henry, plus some women and servants; the kidnapping of two sisters, daughters of the British commander; and their rescue by Hawkeye, the last two Mohicans, and others. Parts of the story may have been derived from the captur...

Historical Fiction

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Art of War, The

By: Sun Tzu ; Sunzi

The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise written during the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time. The Art of War is one of the oldest and most famous studies of strategy and has had a huge influence on both military planning and beyond. The Art of War has also been applied, with much success, to business and...

War stories

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Prince, The (Version 2)

By: Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince (Italian: Il Principe) is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that ends of princes, such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

Advice, Instruction, Politics

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Divine Comedy, The

By: Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened Divina by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages and the first great work of the Renaissance. A culmination of the medieval world-view of the afterlife, it establishes the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard, and is seen as one of...

Poetry

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Gulliver's Travels

By: Jonathan Swift

Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the travelers' tales literary sub-genre. It is widely considered Swift's magnum opus and is his most celebrated work, as well as one of the indisputable classics of English literature. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Satire, Fantasy, Adventure

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Vanity Fair

By: William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray that satirizes society in early 19th-century England. Like many novels of the time, Vanity Fair was published as a serial before being sold in book form; it was printed in 20 monthly parts between January 1847 and July 1848.Thackeray meant the book to be not only entertaining but also instructive; this is shown both by the narrator of the book and in Thackeray's private correspondence. The nove...

Satire

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Man in the Iron Mask, The

By: Alexandre Dumas

In this, the last of the Three Musketeers novels, Dumas builds on the true story of a mysterious prisoner held incognito in the French penal system, forced to wear a mask when seen by any but his jailer or his valet. If you have skipped the novels between The Three Musketeers and this, a few notes will bring you into the story: On one side – Aramis, now a bishop and secretly the Captain-General of the Jesuit Order, who believes he has found a path to a higher honor – the...

Adventure, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literature, Romance

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Moonfleet

By: John Meade Falkner

The novel is set in a fishing village in Dorset during the mid 18th century. The story concerns a 15 year old orphan boy, John Trenchard, who becomes friends with an older man who turns out to be the leader of a gang of smugglers. One night John chances on the smugglers' store in the crypt beneath the church. He explores but hides behind a coffin when he hears voices. He finds a locket which contains a parchment, in the coffin belonging to Colonel Mohune. Unfortunately a...

Children, Adventure

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Decameron, The

By: Giovanni Boccaccio

The Decameron (subtitle: Prencipe Galeotto) is a collection of 100 novellas by Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, probably begun in 1350 and finished in 1353. It is a medieval allegorical work best known for its bawdy tales of love, appearing in all its possibilities from the erotic to the tragic. Many notable writers such as Shakespeare and Chaucer are said to have borrowed from The Decameron. (from Wikipedia)

Fiction, Literature, Short stories

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Babbitt

By: Sinclair Lewis

(Summary by Mike Vendetti) Sinclair Lewis’ George F. Babbitt is a complicated and conflicted character. When you think you have his next move figured out he surprises you. As you begin to like him, he does something to evoke the “what a rat” response. Male menopause wasn’t a pre Great Depression term, but I would say George has all the symptoms. At a pudgy balding forty six he looks at his life, wife, family and business. He sees himself as a pretty successful business m...

Historical Fiction, Humor, Satire

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Pilgrim's Progress, The

By: John Bunyan

Translated into over 100 languages, The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the most famous classics of literature. It is an allegorical novel, describing a Christian's journey through life to reach heaven. Part 1 was written by John Bunyan in 1679 whilst he was imprisoned for conducting unauthorised religious services, whilst Part 2 was not written until 1684, and is not included in many versions of this text. This recording includes both parts, and inline scripture references. (Summary by Joy Chan)

Religion

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Nostromo

By: Joseph Conrad

Señor Gould is a native Costaguanan of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a magnet for local warlords to fight over, plu...

Fiction, Literature, Sea stories

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New Atlantis, The

By: Francis Bacon

In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas. ( Summary by Wikipedia )

Economics/Political Economy, Politics, Science, Religion, Myths/Legends

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