Recommended Reading

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Recommended Reading and Classic Novels

Often students will ask for recommendations for reading to enhance their literary experience. There are many sources from which we can find novels that many people would consider to be literary classics. Here are a few sources for quality novels:

In 1999 The Modern Library, a division of Random House, brought a council of literary experts together to select the best novels of the 20th Century. After this council came up with their list of the best 100 Novels from the last 100 years, the Modern Library opened up their web site and asked readers to vote for the books that they believed to be the top 100 of the 20th Century. If you click on the link, you can see the two lists that the Modern Library put together:

The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century

Reading List of Classics

The list of classics which may be reached by the link below comes from college professors and high school teachers. Many of the texts have appeared on the Advanced Placement English Examination over the years. Other texts on this list represent important works in our literary heritage. This is in no way a complete list of classics; however, this list is very extensive. You may reach this list by clicking on the following link:

Reading List of Classics

A.P. English Exam Titles

The link below will lead to a file of all of the titles of plays and novels that have been referenced on the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Examination as suggested texts for answering the open-ended questions since 1971. This is a long list, and it includes texts that have been published within the last ten years and texts that were published more than 100 years ago. This list includes well over 300 different titles, and all of the titles in this file would be considered to have entered our current cannon of works of high literary merit.

Titles Used in the A.P. Literature Exam's Open-ended Response

Learner Reading Choices

The link below will give you a list of many different titles that are designed to appeal to many different tastes. It will give books that are recommended by multiple sources and the choices are designed for the tastes of a younger reader through the very experienced reader.

Learner Reading Choices 


Novel Cover Images from Paperbacks and BMI Bound Books. Dayton, NJ: BMI Educational Services, 2002.


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