Adult Books for Young Adult Readers
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe (1958) Okonkwo's village life in Nigeria is disrupted by British colonialism.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Anita Loos (1925) A blonde and a brunette set sail to Europe in this hilarious satire.
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austin (1813) The first romantic comedy! Elizabeth Bennet's mother is determined that her daughters marry well.
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess (1962) Alex's ultraviolence is socially unacceptable, and while in prison, he agrees to test the controversial Ludovic treatment.
The Stranger Albert Camus (1942) Meursault feels no emotions- he can't grieve at his mother's funeral, and feels no remorse after killing a man.
My Ántonia Willa Cather (1918) Jim remembers his first love for immigrant farmgirl Antonia.
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad (1902) Charles Marlow becomes obsessed with finding Mr. Kurtz as he sails down the Congo river.
Great Expectations Charles Dickens (1861) Pip's life is derailed by aristocratic Miss Havisham and her beautiful niece Estella.
An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser (1925)Clyde's blind ambition leads him to tragedy.
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925) Nick tells the story of his neighbor's desperate love for his cousin, Daisy.
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert (1857) Emma is bored with her quiet life as a doctor's wife, and turns to affairs for excitement.
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden (1997) Sayuri recalls her training as a geisha in the years before WWII.
Lord of the Flies William Golding (1954) Without laws, children on a deserted island quickly turn to mob rule.
Jude The Obscure Thomas Hardy (1895) Jude has dreams of a better life but rigid class structures hold him back.
Stranger in a Strange Land Robert Heinlein (1961) Valentine Smith is the first human raised on Mars and is unable to fit in with Earthlings.
Catch-22 Joseph Heller (1961) Yossarian can't catch a break in this satirical WWII novel.
A Separate Peace John Knowles (1959) Gene and Phineas are friends at school during WWII.
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee (1960) Scout and Jem suffer when their father is appointed public defender of a black man accused of rape in the deep south.
Main Street Sinclair Lewis (1920) Carol feels trapped by the conventions of small town life.
Bright Lights Big City Jay McInerney (1984) He hates his job, his wife has left him- what else is there to do but party?
1984 George Orwell (1949) Winston breaks the law by questioning the rights of the government.
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath (1963)Pressure to succeed drives Esther to a breakdown.
The Fountainhead Ayn Rand (1943) Architect Howard refuses to compromise his beliefs to get work.
Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger (1951) Holden is expelled from school and hides out in New York for a few days before telling his parents.
Hamlet William Shakespeare (1602) Hamlet in unable to get over his mother's remarriage after his father dies.
Frankenstein Mary Shelly (1818) Victor creates a monster, and must deal with the repurcussions of playing God.
On the Beach Nevil Shute (1957) Nuclear war has obliterated the Northern Hemisphere, and Australians are waiting for the fallout clouds.
A Handful of Dust Evelyn Waugh (1934) After Tony's marriage falls apart, he sets off on an Amazon expedition.
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton (1920) Newland is married to ladylike May, but is attracted to her wild cousin Ellen.