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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz –by: L. Frank Baum

One of the greatest American novels and a popular culture sensation, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz depicts the adventures of the young Dorothy Gale, who is swept away from her colorless farm home in Kansas by a cyclone, and winds up in the magical Land of Oz. Trapped in an unknown land, Dorothy must find a way back home and subsequently embarks on an adventure and meets a group of colorful characters along the way. Serving as an inspiration throughout generations, the children’s novel has been represented through various cinema adaptations and musicals.

The novel commences with th...

Little Women –by: Louisa May Alcott

Set in nineteenth century New England, Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters-Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg. The novel is a classic rites of passage story, that has often split literature critics but has been adored by many over the years. Intended as a book for young girls, the book is too sentimental for some but plenty of adults and young men have Little Women firmly featured in their best books of all time. The pace of the novel can be slow at times and the language almost too perfect but the overall sympathetic tone of Alcott wins over the reader.

The book is semi-autobiog...

David Copperfield –by: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the most appreciated Victorian writers, his novels gaining worldwide recognition by both critics and readers. First published in 1850, David Copperfield begins with avid the tragedy of David's brother dying when David is just a boy. After this episode he is sent by his step-father to work in London for a wine merchant. When conditions worsen he decides to run away and embarks on a journey by foot from London to Dover. On his arrival he finds his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood who becomes his new guardian.

Being witness to the formation of David's charact...

The Mysterious Island –by: Jules Verne

The Mysterious Island is another exquisite novel written by the master of adventure writing, Jules Verne. The novel has been seen as the sequel to two other famous novels written by the same author: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaway.

The story revolves around five Americans who live in a dark and harsh environment as prisoners of the American Civil War. Depleted by famine and death all around them, the five war prisoners take a big risk and escape by hijacking a hot air balloon. The five fugitives, an engineer, a servant, a former sl...

Alexander the Great –by: Jacob Abbott

Tutored by Aristotle, compelled to ascend the throne at the age of 20 when his illustrious father was assassinated, driven by a passion for expanding the borders of his tiny kingdom, Alexander of Macedon was one of the most towering figures of ancient history. He is brought to vivid life in this gripping volume by the American children's writer Jacob Abbott.

In his short but eventful life, the young Macedonian king went on to rule over one of the most powerful and largest empires in the ancient world, breaking the hegemony of the powerful Persian dynasty of Darius. Alexander's sudd...

The War of the Worlds –by: H. G. Wells

Extraterrestrial invasion, the earth taken over by omniscient intelligences from Mars, the whole of humanity under siege and a nameless narrator who seems to be the lone survivor of the complete devastation of human civilization – scenes from a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster? Far from it! The War of the Worlds by HG Wells was written more than a century ago and went on to become an iconic work in the science fiction genre, spawning a whole new genre of literature featuring alien invaders. It was in fact the first book to present the idea of conflict between inhabitants of different planets.

King Solomon s Mines –by: H. Rider Haggard

King Solomon’s Mines is the story of the leader Allan Quatermain and his adventurous group of followers on their mission to find the lost brother of an aristocrat, Sir Henry Curtis. Considered similar to Robert Louise Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, Haggard’s book proved to be another must-read adventure novel in the international literary world.

The African desert hides underneath its sands myths and legends that lasted for centuries in the minds of the locals. Quatermain has a mysterious map that could lead to the ancient mines of the wise King Solomon. The road to disco...

Don Quixote –by: Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

This is volume 1 of 2.

One of the most quirky, eccentric and endearing heroes to ever be depicted in fiction, the chivalrous Don Quixote is sure to capture hearts while bringing tears of laughter to your eyes. If you've never encountered the Knight from La Mancha before, get set for a delightful sojourn through the Spanish countryside, across the fertile countryside of Central Spain. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was an immediate success when it was first published in 1605 and won huge financial and literary success for its creator, an impoverished writer and poet...

Oliver Twist –by: Charles Dickens

Set in the first half of the 19th century, the classic novel presents the story of young orphan Oliver Twist, who endures tumultuous events in a society burdened by poverty, crime and malice. After being poorly treated in a workhouse, Oliver escapes to London where instead of finding a better life he ends up tangled in a web of criminal activities.

The novel opens with the introduction of Oliver, a waif who has spent his short life living in miserable conditions in a workhouse. Along with other fellow orphans, he is regularly beaten and underfed. One day the young, hungry orphans...

War and Peace –by: Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace chronicles the lives of five Russian aristocratic families during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Many considered this book to be the best Russian work of literature of all time and it is massive in scale. The book is divided in four volumes and the chapters don't just contain the narrative of the plot to the novel but philosophical discussions as well. This may be intimidating to average book readers but they shouldn't be discouraged to try reading War and Peace. After all, this book was written for all and not just for intellectuals.

The five wealthy families f...

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