Special Collections

College Board's 100 Books for College-Bound Readers

Description: The College Board's selection of commonly assigned books gives students a great foundation of canonical literature to prepare them for college. #teens #teachers


Showing 1 through 25 of 100 results

The Adventures of Augie March

by Saul Bellow

Originally published in 1953, Saul Bellow's modern picaresque tale grandly illustrates twentieth-century man's restless pursuit of an elusive meaning.

Augie March, a young man growing up in Chicago during the Great Depression, doesn't understand success on other people's terms.

Fleeing to Mexico in search of something to fill his restless soul and soothe his hunger for adventure, Augie latches on to a wild succession of occupations until his journey brings him full circle.

Yet beneath Augie's carefree nature lies a reflective person with a strong sense of responsibility to both himself and others, who in the end achieves a success of his own making.

A modern-day Columbus, Augie March is a man searching not for land but for self and soul and, ultimately, for his place in the world.

Winner of the National Book Award

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

To escape from his abusive father, 13-year-old Huckleberry Finn fakes his own death and floats away on a raft down the Mississippi with Jim, a runaway slave.

In a series of unforgettable adventures narrated by Huck, they encounter a cross-section of characters from slave-hunters, thieves and conmen to feuding aristocrats and even some relatives of Tom Sawyer.

It is still considered by some as one of the great American novels of all-time.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


All Quiet on the Western Front

by Erich Maria Remarque and Arthur Wesley Wheen

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I.

Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers.

But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


An American Tragedy

by Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) is nothing less than what the title holds it to be; it is the story of a weak-willed young man who is both villain and victim (the victim of a valueless, materialistic society) and someone who ultimately destroys himself.

Dreiser modeled the story of Clyde Griffiths on a real-life murder that took place in 1906; a young social climber of considerable charm murdered his pregnant girlfriend to get her out of the way so that he could instead play to the affections of a rich girl who had begun to notice him.

But An American Tragedy is more than simply a powerful murder story.

Dreiser pours his own dark yearnings into his character, Clyde Griffiths, as he details the young man's course through his ambitions of wealth, power, and satisfaction.

The Indiana-born Dreiser (1871-1945) has never cut a dashing or romantic swath through American literature.

He has no Pulitzer or Nobel Prize to signify his importance. Yet he remains for myriad reasons: his novels are often larger than life, rugged, and defy the norms of conventional morality and organized religion.

They are unapologetic in their sexual candor--in fact, outrightly frank--and challenge even modern readers.

The brooding force of Dreiser's writing casts a dark shadow across American letters.

Here in An American Tragedy, Dreiser shows us the flip side of The American Dream in a gathering storm that echoes with all of the power and force of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

Inspired by the writings of Balzac and the ideas of Spenser and Freud, Dreiser went on to become one of America's best naturalist writers.

An American Tragedy is testimony to the strength of Dreiser's work: it retains all of its original intensity and force.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


Animal Farm

by George Orwell

George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture.

It is the account of the bold struggle, initiated by the animals, that transforms Mr. Jones's Manor Farm into Animal Farm--a wholly democratic society built on the credo that All Animals Are Created Equal.

Out of their cleverness, the pigs Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball emerge as leaders of the new community in a subtle evolution that proves disastrous.

The climax is the brutal betrayal of the faithful horse Boxer, when totalitarian rule is reestablished with the bloodstained postscript to the founding slogan: But some Animals Are More Equal Than Others. . . .

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Antigone

by Paul Woodruff Sophocles

Woodruff's work with Peter Meineck makes this text one that is accessible to today's students and could be staged for modern audiences. Line notes printed at the bottom of the page bring a reader further quick assistance. . . .

The choral odes as rendered here deserve special notice. After giving a succinct analysis of each in his introduction, Woodruff translates the lyrics into English that is both poetic and comprehensible. . . .

Woodruff's rendering of the dialogue moves along easily; these are lines that any contemporary Antigone, Creon or Haemon might speak. Antigone's words on the gods' unwritten laws keep close to the Greek and yet would be authentic for a modern speaker. . . .

Woodruff's introduction is a strong, clear, and clever blend of basic traditional information (to those who know Greek tragedy) and fresh insights. . . .

Date Added: 05/08/2018


As I Lay Dying

by William Faulkner

"I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall." --William Faulkner on As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother.

Narrated in turn by each of the family members--including Addie herself--as well as others the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Awakening

by Kate Chopin

When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity.

Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation.

Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work "quite uninhibited and beautifully written, which anticipates D. H. Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity."

Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening.

Now available in this inexpensive edition, it offers a powerful and provocative reading experience to modern readers.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


Babbitt

by Sinclair Lewis

Lewis scathing satire of middle-class America, Babbitt explores the social pressures of conformity and materialism.

It tells the story of George Babbitt, a middle-aged family man who becomes disillusioned with both conformity and his belated attempts at rebellion.

Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Zenith, Babbitt offers a powerful critique of the American Dream and all it entails.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Bartleby, the Scrivener

by Herman Melville

The classic tale of existential despair A Wall Street lawyer specializing in bonds and mortgages hires a respectable young man to copy legal documents by hand.

At first, the new scrivener approaches his duties with a calm efficiency.

Then comes the day when his response to a new assignment is, "I would prefer not to."

The mysterious phrase soon becomes Bartleby's reply to everything asked of him, and his surrender to inertia is both maddening and inexorable.

Torn between frustration and pity, anger and sorrow, his employer desperately tries to save Bartleby, but the cause is as doomed to disappointment as life itself.

A strange and haunting fable that continues to resonate a century and a half after it was first published, Bartleby, the Scrivener is a masterpiece of American literature.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time.

In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational--as accessible an experience as going to the movies.

A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free.

She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened.

And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Beowulf

by Anonymous

The story of one man's triumph over a legendary monster, Beowulf marks the beginning of Anglo-Saxon literature as we know it today.

This Enriched Classic includes:
• A concise introduction that gives readers important background information
• A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context
• An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations
• Detailed explanatory notes
• Critical analysis and modern perspectives on the work
• Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction

A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary.

The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. Series edited by Cynthia Brantley Johnson

Date Added: 05/07/2018


Brave New World

by Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley's tour de force, Brave New World is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future--where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order.

A powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations, it remains remarkably relevant to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying entertainment.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Call It Sleep

by Henry Roth

A sensitive boy's growing up is one strand in a complex web of his parent's tense life, their immigrant strangeness in a new land.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Call of the Wild

by Jack London and Gary Paulsen

First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London's masterpiece.

Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Candide

by Voltaire and Francois-Marie Arouet

Caustic and hilarious, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759.

It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss, who was himself a disciple of Leibniz.

In the course of his travels and adventures in Europe and South America, Candide saw and suffered such misfortune that it was difficult for him to believe this was "the best of all possible worlds" as Dr. Pangloss had assured him.

Indeed, it seemed to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naïveté, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government -- the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.

After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart.

He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss and others all retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden.

A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Canterbury Tales

by Geoffrey Chaucer

A group of pilgrims bound for Canterbury Cathedral agree to pass the weary miles by taking turns at storytelling.

The travelers - noble, coarse, jolly, and pious - offer a vibrant portrait of fourteenth-century English life.

Their narratives form English literature's greatest collection of chivalric romances, bawdy tales, fables, legends, and other stories.

The Canterbury Tales reflects a society in transition, as a middle class began to emerge from England's feudal system.

Craftsmen and laborers ride side by side with the gentry on the road to the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket, and their discussions and arguments about ethical issues mirror their changing world.

The pilgrims' conversations and stories also reveal their individual personalities, and Chaucer's vivid, realistic characterizations assured the Tales an instant and enduring success.

Each pilgrim's story can be read separately and appreciated in its own right; all appear here in a lucid translation into modern English verse by J. U. Nicolson.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


Catch-22

by Joseph Heller and Christopher Buckley

Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest--and most celebrated--novels of all time. In recent years it has been named to "best novels" lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy--it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.

Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he's assigned, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22's intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war.

This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller's masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical responses and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller's personal archive; and a selection of advertisements from the original publishing campaign that helped turn Catch-22 into a cultural phenomenon.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices--but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Ceremony

by Larry Mcmurtry and Leslie Marmon Silko

The great Native American Novel of a battered veteran returning home to heal his mind and spirit

More than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing.

Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation.

He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people.

Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him.

Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.

The Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition contains a new preface by the author and an introduction by Larry McMurtry.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Cherry Orchard

by Anton Chekhov and Laurence Senelick

Anton Chekhov is a unique force in modern drama, his works cherished for their brilliant wit and insight into the human condition.

In this stunning new translation of one of Chekhov's most popular and beloved plays, Laurence Senelick presents a fresh perspective on the master playwright and his groundbreaking dramas.

He brings this timeless trial of art and love to life as memorable characters have clashing desires and lose balance in the shifting eruptions of society and a modernizing Russia.

Supplementing the play is an account of Chekhov's life; a note on the translation; an introduction to the work; and variant lines, often removed due to government censorship, which illuminate the context in which they were written.

This edition is the perfect guide to enriching our understanding of this great dramatist or to staging a production.

Date Added: 05/07/2018


The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

by Eudora Welty

This complete collection includes all the published stories of Eudora Welty.

There are forty-one stories in all, including the earlier collections A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, The Golden Apples, and The Bride of the Innisfallen, as well as previously uncollected stories.

With a Preface written by the Author especially for this edition.

Date Added: 05/08/2018


The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

Alice Walker's masterpiece, a powerful novel of courage in the face of oppression

Celie has grown up in rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse. Not only is she poor and despised by the society around her, she's badly treated by her family. As a teenager she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through the guiding light of a few strong women and her own implacable will to find harmony with herself and her home.

The Color Purple's deeply inspirational narrative, coupled with Walker's prodigious talent as a stylist and storyteller, have made the novel a contemporary classic of American letters.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author's personal collection.

Winner of the National Book Award

Pulitzer Prize Winner

Date Added: 05/08/2018


Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Constance Garnett

The two years before he wrote Crime and Punishment (1866) had been bad ones for Dostoyevsky.

His wife and brother had died; the magazine he and his brother had started, Epoch, collapsed under its load of debt; and he was threatened with debtor's prison.

With an advance that he managed to wangle for an unwritten novel, he fled to Wiesbaden, hoping to win enough at the roulette table to get himself out of debt.

Instead, he lost all his money; he had to pawn his clothes and beg friends for loans to pay his hotel bill and get back to Russia.

One of his begging letters went to a magazine editor, asking for an advance on yet another unwritten novel -- which he described as Crime and Punishment.

One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, Crime and Punishment catapulted Dostoyevsky to the forefront of Russian writers and into the ranks of the world's greatest novelists.

Drawing upon experiences from his own prison days, the author recounts in feverish, compelling tones the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student tormented by his own nihilism, and the struggle between good and evil.

Believing that he is above the law, and convinced that humanitarian ends justify vile means, he brutally murders an old woman -- a pawnbroker whom he regards as "stupid, ailing, greedy...good for nothing."

Overwhelmed afterwards by feelings of guilt and terror, Raskolnikov confesses to the crime and goes to prison.

There he realizes that happiness and redemption can only be achieved through suffering.

Infused with forceful religious, social, and philosophical elements, the novel was an immediate success. This extraordinary, unforgettable work is reprinted here in the authoritative Constance Garnett translation.

A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Date Added: 05/07/2018



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