—Submitted by Los Gatos Librarian Henry Bankhead
1. The great Gatsby, Scott F. Fitzgerald
A classic novel portrays the Jazz Age and all its decadence and excess as it follows the life of Jay Gatsby, a newly rich man obsessed with money, power, and glamour.
2. On the road, Jack Kerouac
Follows the counterculture escapades of members of the Beat generation as they seek pleasure and meaning while traveling coast to coast.
3. Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup
Twelve Years A Slave" is the story of Solomon Northup, an African American who was born free in New York in the early 1800s. In 1841, Solomon Northup was captured and forced into slavery for a period of 12 years. (amazon)
4. Four quartets, T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets is a rich composition that expands the spiritual vision introduced in “The Waste Land.” Here, in four linked poems (“Burnt Norton,” “East Coker,” “The Dry Salvages,” and “Little Gidding”), spiritual, philosophical, and personal themes emerge through symbolic allusions and literary and religious references from both Eastern and Western thought.
5. Little women, Louisa May Alcott
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in mid-nineteenth-century New England.
6. The yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.
7. Fight Club: a novel, Chuck Palahniuk
The rise of a terrorist organization, led by a waiter who enjoys spitting in people's soup. He starts a fighting club, where men bash each other, and the club quickly gains in popularity. It becomes the springboard for a movement devoted to destruction for destruction's sake.
8. For whom the bell tolls, Ernest Hemingway
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight".
9. The winter of our discontent, John Steinbeck
Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards. (amazon)
10. Invisible man, Ralph Ellison
An African-American man's search for success and the American dream leads him out of college to Harlem and a growing sense of personal rejection and social invisibility.