The book list provided below is a good resource for you when doing research for homework assignments or specific class topics. The books are organized by groups for easy reference. Simply click on the book title link to view additional information.
by John Knowles Year Published:A Separate Peace displays a tale of two best friends sharing the times of their lives while at boarding school. John Knowles displays the hardships that high school boys face away from home during World War II. The lessons learned, their independence, and the security they discover can never be forgotten in a time of war and fear. Many people can relate to Knowles' central theme of friendship. I thoroughly enjoyed A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. The fact that I also attend boarding school helped me relate to the novel. Although the plot is not filled with lengthy adventures and exciting climaxes, if one can read between the lines and view the book for its real meaning, he or she is sure to enjoy it. One must be able to see through that thin barrier that blocks the emotions from leaping off the page, and look into Gene and Finny's hearts. It's difficult to be dependent on oneself at such a young age. Finny and Gene form a unique bond and help each other survive tough times. While Gene doubts Finny on occasion, deep down he relies on Finny's constant support and humor to get through troublesome times. When Finny's love for sports and competitiveness ends in an accident, Gene is left to live with the reality of that eventful night. The book's controversy deals with Gene's battle with the truth and Finny's acceptance of it. A Separate Peace proves that trust and friendship can take years to develop and an instant to destroy. by Kate Chopin Year Published:Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" is the classic novel about women that "Madame Bovary" purports to be but isn't. It's not just a "woman's" novel, though, it perfectly (and poetically) captures the inner life of a solitary person who is forced to live for the sake of others. And while this has been a distinctly female position for a large part of Western history, it is a position that can be identified with by just about anyone in our current age of employee internet-use monitoring. This is a twentieth-century tale of discomfort with and reaction to antagonistic surroundings. For those of us who don't feel the need to procreate in an overpopulated world, Edna's (and presumably Chopin's) discomfort with children will make sense. For those of us who may not always know exactly what we want out of life, this story will strike a chord. Kate Chopin's writing is deliberate but not labored. She is particularly successful at depicting ambiguity in a way which is highly descriptive and communicative. This is a skill which I can't praise highly enough, and it culminates in an ending which is absolutely perfect. While criticism could be raised against "The Awakening" as another apology for the suicidal artist, Edna's literal and symbolic escape is less pretentious than Harry's in "Steppenwolfe," nor as indecipherable as that of any of Joyce's creations. Kate Chopin's novel is truly a classic in the sense that it should be a part of any survey of American literature. The Norton Critical edition is the best way to go, too, with helpful biographical information and literary criticism. If you want a more enriching experience with this novel, I'd highly recommend this version. by Pearl Buck Year Published: AverageThis 1932 Pulitzer Prize winning novel is still a standout today. Deceptive in its simplicity, it is a story built around a flawed human being and a teetering socio-economic system, as well as one that is layered with profound themes. The cadence of the author's writing is also of note, as it rhythmically lends itself to the telling of the story, giving it a very distinct voice. No doubt the author's writing style was influenced by her own immersion in Chinese culture, as she grew up and lived in China, the daughter of missionaries. This is the story of the cyclical nature of life, of the passions and desires that motivate a human being, of good and evil, and of the desire to survive and thrive against great odds. It begins with the story of an illiterate, poor, peasant farmer, Wang Lung, who ventures from the rural countryside and goes to town to the great house of Hwang to obtain a bride from those among the rank of slave. There, he is given the slave O-lan as his bride.
by Ben Franklin Year Published:This "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" does not contain the type of finished material one has come to expect in a finished coherent autobiographical writing covering the whole life span of the individual written by single author over a continuous period of time. This is really source material partially written over distinctly separate periods of time wherein the author, Benjamin Franklin, wrote on two different continents without access to the other parts of his text. With that said, I still think that this book is a wonderful and enlightening piece of work. It should, in my opinion, be considered for placement in every high school and college library, and it should perhaps be wise to consider it for required reading in those institutions. The book tells of the life and times in which Mr. Franklin lived, the attitudes of the colonists and of the British and the ways that things were accomplished in colonial America. It is truly amazing to me to hear first hand how a single individual with only two years of formal education can educate himself as this man did and to rise to make such truly great contributions to society, science, engineering, and politics. I highly recommend this book.