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Booklist-World Literature

Things fall apart. Chinua Achebe.
The impact of the arrival of white men to Africa is examined through the experiences of Okonkwo, a member of the Obi tribe who goes from a position of power to one of disgrace.

Inferno. Dante Alighieri.
Dante's journey through hell introduces him to a wide variety of historical and mythical characters who are being tortured in various ways for their sins.

The baron in the trees. Italo Calvino.
Cosimo is a young future baron who decides to live freely in the trees rather than participate in high society. Cosimo's decision doesn't remove him entirely from the world and he devises cunning plans for getting what he wants out of life.

The stranger. Albert Camus.
Mersault, a nondescript young man, finds himself on trial for a murder that he did commit but for which he feels no remorse.

Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes.
Don Quixote is a delusional knight who ends up battling windmills each time he tries to right wrongs and save damsels.

Crime and punishment. Fyodor Dostoevsky.
After murding an elderly woman in an act of desperation, Raskolnikov finds himself grappling with guilt and unable to reconcile his actions with his understanding of himself.

The three musketeers. Alexandre Dumas.
Gascon, Athos, Porthos and Aramis use cunning and swordplay to defend France’s Queen.

Foucault's pendulum. Umberto Ecco.
Casaubon and two close friends try to uncover the secrets of the Knights Templar -- and are met with startling resistance. The three friends invent an absurd theory and then set out to prove the theory correct. Their investigations put their lives and the lives of their loved ones in jeopardy even though they often cannot understand what exactly they've found out! A mystery for fans of conspiracy theories, secret societies, and medieval history.

Madame Bovary. Gustave Flaubert.
After marrying Dr. Bovary, Emma Bovary finds herself overwhelmed by boredom and discontent. Neither having a child nor affairs of the heart lessen the Emma’s depression.

The Tin Drum. Gunther Grass.
At the story’s start, the narrator, Oskar Matzerath, is a precocious three year old with a drum. As Oskar grows older, he grows no larger and keeps up with the drumming. Oskar’s experiences are a vehicle for examining the changes in Germany in the early 20th century.

Siddhartha. Herman Hesse.
Siddhartha is a Brahmin searching for enlightenment and encountering the trials of humanity along the way.

Les miserables. Victor Hugo.
Against a backdrop of political unrest in France during the nineteenth century, the four individuals with varied backgrounds cross paths. A tale of revolution filled with hope.

The hunchback of Notre Dame. Victor Hugo.
Quasimodo, a deaf hunchback who rings the church bells at Notre Dame, falls in love with a beautiful Gypsy girl, Esmerelda. But Quasimodo is not the only man after Esmerela, who’s love is sought after and fought over by many.

Dubliners. James Joyce.
A taste of Irish culture is presented with through a series of short stories set in Dublin.

The trial. Franz Kafka.
In this surreal tale, Josef K. is on trial and cannot figure out how to clear his name-in fact, no-one will inform him of the charges against him!

The unbearable lightness of being. Milan Kundera.
The relationships of four people with one another serve as the focal point for this work that examines what it means to be human.

The magic mountain. Thomas Mann.
When Hans Castorp visits a Swiss sanatorium where his cousin, sick with tuberculosis, is staying. Hans, who realizes he, too, has symptoms of TB, decides to stay on at the sanatorium.

Nectar in a sieve. Kamala Markandaya.
Rukmani, Nathan, and their family struggle to survive in a rural village in India.

All quiet on the western front. Erich Marie Remarque.
The story of a young soldier who survived the first World War physically but not emotionally.

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Ivan Denisovich endures the hardships of a Siberian prison during Stalin's regime.

Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy.
After falling in love with and conceiving a child by Count Vronsky, Anna leaves her husband and son. Meanwhile, Levin falls in love with a woman who, unaware of Anna, believes that Count Vronsky loves her.

Around the world in eighty days. Verne, Jules.
Phineas Fogg and his cohorts Passeportout, Aouda, and Detective Fix, attempt to win a bet that they can circle the globe in eighty days. By train, by boat, by hot air balloon!

Candide. Voltaire.
Candide travels the world attempting to reunite with his love, Lady Cunegonde. Candide meets defeat after defeat but his tutor, Dr. Pangloss insists that this is the best possible world.

Night. Wiesel, Ellie.
A young survivor of the Nazi concentration camps is horrified when he looks back at what he and his family endured.

 

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