100 Must-Have Books For Your Library: Part II

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Here’s the second part of our book list for you to have the perfect library!  In this list, you’ll find the must-have and must-read novels of world literature and other philosophical works of well-known thinkers. Some were written in the last century and others are from ancient times.

For Part I, click here!

The list is not in any kind of rank order, and all book summaries were taken from Wikipedia.

1. The Idiot (1868), Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The novel's protagonist, the 26-year-old Prince Myshkin, returns to Russia after several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by Saint Petersburg society for his trusting nature and naivety, he finds himself at the center of a struggle between a beautiful kept woman, (Nastasya), and a jealous but pretty young girl, (Aglaja), both of whom win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin's goodness precipitates disaster, leaving the impression that, in a world obsessed with money, power and sexual conquest, a sanatorium may be the only place for a saint. Myshkin is the personification of a "relatively beautiful man", namely Christ. Coming "from above" (the Swiss mountains), he physically resembles common depictions of Jesus Christ: slightly larger than average, with thick, blond hair, sunken cheeks and a thin, almost entirely white goatee. Like Christ, Myshkin is a teacher, confessor and mysterious outsider. Passions such as greed and jealousy are alien to him. In contrast to those around him, he puts no value on money and power. He feels compassion and love, sincerely, without judgment. His relationship with the immoral Nastasya is obviously inspired by Christ's relationship with Mary Magdalene. He is called "Idiot" because of such differences.

2. The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy's late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.

Ivan Ilyich lives a carefree life that is "most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible". Like everyone he knows, he spends his life climbing the social ladder. Enduring marriage to a woman whom he often finds too demanding, he works his way up to be a magistrate, thanks to the influence he has over a friend who has just been promoted, focusing more on his work as his family life becomes less tolerable.

While hanging curtains for his new home one day, he falls awkwardly and hurts his side. Though he does not think much of it at first, he begins to suffer from a pain in his side. As his discomfort grows, his behavior towards his family becomes more irritable. His wife finally insists that he visit a physician. The physician cannot pinpoint the source of his malady, but soon it becomes clear that his condition is terminal...

3. Candide (1759), Voltaire

Candide: or, Optimism (1947) begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply "optimism") by his mentor, Professor Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best" in the "best of all possible worlds".

Candide is characterised by its sarcastic tone as well as by its erratic, fantastical and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a story similar to that of a more serious Bildungsroman, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.

4. Ulysses, (1922) James Joyce

Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach in February 1922, in Paris. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature, and has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement". According to Declan Kiberd, "Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking."

Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic poem Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between the poem and the novel, with structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early twentieth century context of modernism, Dublin, and Ireland's relationship to Britain. The novel imitates registers of centuries of English literature and is highly allusive.

5. On the Road (1957) Jack Kerouac

On the Road is based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use. The novel, published in 1957, is a roman à clef, with many key figures in the Beat movement, such as William S. Burroughs (Old Bull Lee), Allen Ginsberg (Carlo Marx) and Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty) represented by characters in the book, including Kerouac himself as the narrator Sal Paradise.

The idea for On the Road, Kerouac's second novel, was formed during the late 1940s in a series of notebooks, and then typed out on a continuous reel of paper during three weeks in April 1951. It was first published by Viking Press in 1957. After several film proposals dating from 1957, the book was finally made into a film, On the Road (2012), produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Walter Salles.

6. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a comedy science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, including stage shows, novels, comic books, a 1981 TV series, a 1984 computer game, and 2005 feature film. A prominent series in British popular culture, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has become an international multi-media phenomenon; the novels are the most widely distributed, having been translated into more than 30 languages by 2005.

The broad narrative follows the misadventures of the last surviving man, Arthur Dent, following the demolition of the planet Earth by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Dent is rescued from Earth's destruction by Ford Prefect, a human-like alien writer for the eccentric, electronic travel guide The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by hitchhiking onto a passing spacecraft. Following his rescue, Dent explores the galaxy with Prefect and encounters Trillian, another human that had been taken from Earth prior to its destruction by the President of the Galaxy, the two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the depressed Marvin, the Paranoid Android. Certain narrative details were changed between the various adaptations.

7. The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807) is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's most important and widely discussed philosophical work. Hegel's first book, it describes the three-stage dialectical life of Spirit. The title can be translated as either The Phenomenology of Spirit or The Phenomenology of Mind, because the German word Geist has both meanings. The book's working title, which also appeared in the first edition, was Science of the Experience of Consciousness. On its initial publication, it was identified as Part One of a projected "System of Science", of which the Science of Logic was the second part. A smaller work, titled Philosophy of Spirit (also translated as "Philosophy of Mind"), appears in Hegel's Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, and recounts in briefer and somewhat altered form the major themes of the original Phenomenology.

Phenomenology was the basis of Hegel's later philosophy and marked a significant development in German idealism after Kant. Focusing on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, physics, ethics, history, religion, perception, consciousness, and political philosophy, The Phenomenology is where Hegel develops his concepts of dialectic(including the Master-slave dialectic), absolute idealism, ethical life, and Aufhebung. The book had a profound effect in Western philosophy, and "has been praised and blamed for the development of existentialism, communism, fascism, death of God theology, and historicist nihilism.

8. Being and Time (1927), Martin Heidegger

Being and Time (German: Sein und Zeit) is a 1927 book by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, in which Heidegger seeks to analyse the concept of Being. This has fundamental importance for philosophy, he thought, because since the time of the Ancient Greeks, philosophy has avoided this question, turning instead to the analysis of particular beings. Heidegger seeks a more fundamental ontology through understanding being itself. He approaches this through seeking understanding of beings to whom the question of being is important, i.e. 'Dasein', or the human being in the abstract. Although written quickly, and though Heidegger did not complete the project outlined in the introduction, Being and Time remains his most important work.

Being and Time has profoundly influenced 20th-century philosophy, particularly existentialism, hermeneutics, deconstruction, and the enactivist approach to cognition. The book is dedicated to Edmund Husserl "in friendship and admiration".

9. Being and Nothingness (1943), Jean-Paul Sartre

Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology (French: L'Être et le néant : Essai d'ontologie phénoménologique), sometimes subtitled A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, is a 1943 book by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre's main purpose is to assert the individual's existence as prior to the individual's essence ("existence precedes essence"). His overriding concern in writing the book was to demonstrate that free will exists. While a prisoner of war in 1940 and 1941, Sartre read Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, an ontological investigation through the lens and method of Husserlian phenomenology (Edmund Husserl was Heidegger's teacher). Reading Being and Time initiated Sartre's own philosophical enquiry.

Though influenced by Heidegger, Sartre was profoundly sceptical of any measure by which humanity could achieve a kind of personal state of fulfilment comparable to the hypothetical Heideggerian re-encounter with Being. In Sartre's account, man is a creature haunted by a vision of "completion", what Sartre calls the ens causa sui, literally "a being that causes itself", which many religions and philosophers identify as God. Born into the material reality of one's body, in a material universe, one finds oneself inserted into being. Consciousness has the ability to conceptualize possibilities, and to make them appear, or to annihilate them.

10. Moby Dick (1851), Herman Melville

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Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance. Sailor Ishmael tells the story of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler the Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that on the previous whaling voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. The novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, but during the 20th century, its reputation as a Great American Novel was established. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written it himself, and D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world", and "the greatest book of the sea ever written". "Call me Ishmael" is among world literature's most famous opening sentences.

The product of a year and a half of writing, the book draws on Melville's experience at sea, on his reading in whaling literature, and on literary inspirations such as Shakespeare and the Bible. The white whale is modeled on the notoriously hard to catch actual albino whale Mocha Dick, and the ending is based on the sinking of the whaler Essex by a whale. The detailed and realistic descriptions of whale hunting and of extracting whale oil, as well as life aboard ship among a culturally diverse crew, are mixed with exploration of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God. In addition to narrative prose, Melville uses styles and literary devices ranging from songs, poetry, and catalogs to Shakespearean stage directions, soliloquies, and asides.

11. Macbeth (1606), William Shakespeare

Macbeth (full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, who was patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is his shortest tragedy.

A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland, Macduff, and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. The events of the tragedy are usually associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

12. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Mary Wollstonecraft

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), written by the 18th-century British proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. In it, Wollstonecraft responds to those educational and political theorists of the 18th century who did not believe women should have an education. She argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society, claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be "companions" to their husbands, rather than mere wives. Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage, Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men.

Wollstonecraft was prompted to write the Rights of Woman after reading Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord's 1791 report to the French National Assembly, which stated that women should only receive a domestic education; she used her commentary on this specific event to launch a broad attack against sexual double standards and to indict men for encouraging women to indulge in excessive emotion. Wollstonecraft wrote the Rights of Woman hurriedly to respond directly to ongoing events; she intended to write a more thoughtful second volume but died before completing it.

While Wollstonecraft does call for equality between the sexes in particular areas of life, such as morality, she does not explicitly state that men and women are equal. Her ambiguous statements regarding the equality of the sexes have since made it difficult to classify Wollstonecraft as a modern feminist, particularly since the word and the concept were unavailable to her.

13. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The magazine's editor feared the story was indecent, and without Wilde's knowledge, deleted roughly five hundred words before publication. Despite that censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers, some of whom said that Oscar Wilde merited prosecution for violating the laws guarding the public morality. In response, Wilde aggressively defended his novel and art in correspondence with the British press, although he personally made excisions of some of the most controversial material when revising and lengthening the story for book publication the following year.

The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful summer day in Victorian era England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil's ultimate muse. While sitting for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry espousing his hedonistic world view, and begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth pursuing. This prompts Dorian to wish that the painted image of himself would age instead of himself.

Under the hedonist influence of Lord Henry, Dorian fully explores his sensuality. He discovers the actress Sibyl Vane, who performs Shakespeare plays in a dingy, working-class theatre. Dorian approaches and courts her, and soon proposes marriage. The enamoured Sibyl calls him "Prince Charming", and swoons with the happiness of being loved, but her protective brother, James warns that if "Prince Charming" harms her, he will murder Dorian Gray.

14. The Alchemist (1988), Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (Portuguese: O Alquimista) is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho which was first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it has been translated into at least 67 languages as of October 2009. An allegorical novel, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

The book is an international bestseller. According to AFP, it has sold more than 65 million copies in 56 different languages, becoming one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author

15. Martin Eden (1909), Jack London

Martin Eden is a 1909 novel by American author Jack London about a young proletarian autodidact struggling to become a writer. It was first serialized in The Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909 and published in book form by Macmillan in September 1909.

Eden represents writers' frustration with publishers by speculating that when he mails off a manuscript, a "cunning arrangement of cogs" immediately puts it in a new envelope and returns it automatically with a rejection slip.[citation needed] The central theme of Eden's developing artistic sensibilities places the novel in the tradition of the Künstlerroman, in which is narrated the formation and development of an artist.

Eden differs from London in that Eden rejects socialism, attacking it as "slave morality", and relies on a Nietzschean individualism. In a note to Upton Sinclair, London wrote, "One of my motifs, in this book, was an attack on individualism (in the person of the hero). I must have bungled, for not a single reviewer has discovered it."

16. The Count of Monte Cristo (1845), Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.

The story takes place in France, Italy, and islands in the Mediterranean during the historical events of 1815–1839: the era of the Bourbon Restoration through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France. It begins just before the Hundred Days period (when Napoleon returned to power after his exile). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book, an adventure story primarily concerned with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness. It centres around a man who is wrongfully imprisoned, escapes from jail, acquires a fortune, and sets about getting revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. However, his plans have devastating consequences for the innocent as well as the guilty. In addition, it is a story that involves romance, loyalty, betrayal, and selfishness, shown throughout the story as characters slowly reveal their true inner nature.

The book is considered a literary classic today. According to Luc Sante, "The Count of Monte Cristo has become a fixture of Western civilization's literature, as inescapable and immediately identifiable as Mickey Mouse, Noah's flood, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood."

17. Germinal (1885), Émile Zola

Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola's twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel – an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 1860s – has been published and translated in over one hundred countries and has additionally inspired five film adaptations and two television productions.

Germinal was written between April 1884 and January 1885. It was first serialized between November 1884 and February 1885 in the periodical Gil Blas, then in March 1885 published as a book.

The title refers to the name of a month of the French Republican Calendar, a spring month. Germen is a Latin word which means "seed"; the novel describes the hope for a better future that seeds amongst the miners. As the final lines of the novel read:

Des hommes poussaient, une armée noire, vengeresse, qui germait lentement dans les sillons, grandissant pour les récoltes du siècle futur, et dont la germination allait faire bientôt éclater la terre.
Men were springing forth, a black avenging army, germinating slowly in the furrows, growing towards the harvests of the next century, and their germination would soon overturn the earth.

18. Fathers and Sons (1862), Ivan Turgenev

Arkady Kirsanov has just graduated from the University of Petersburg and returns with a friend, Bazarov, to his father's modest estate in an outlying province of Russia. His father, Nikolai, gladly receives the two young men at his estate, called Maryino, but Nikolai's brother, Pavel, soon becomes upset by the strange new philosophy called "nihilism" which the young men, especially Bazarov advocate.

Nikolai, initially delighted to have his son return home, slowly begins to feel uneasy, and a certain awkwardness in his regard, as it emerges that Arkady's views, much influenced by Bazarov, are radical and make his own beliefs feel dated. Nikolai has always tried to stay as current as possible, by doing things such as visiting his son at school so the two can stay as close as they are, but this in Nikolai's eyes has failed. To complicate this, the father has taken a servant, Fenechka, into his house to live with him and has already had a son by her. Arkady however is not troubled by the relationship: to the contrary, he openly celebrates the acquisition of a younger brother.

The two young men stay over at Maryino for some weeks, then decide to visit a relative of Arkady's in a neighboring province. There, they observe the local gentry and meet Madame Anna Sergevna Odintsova, an elegant woman of independent means, who cuts a seductively different figure from the pretentious or humdrum types of her surrounding provincial society of gentry. Both are attracted to her, and she, intrigued by Bazarov's singular manner, invites them to spend a few days at her estate, Nikolskoe. While Bazarov at first feels nothing for Anna, Arkady fall head over heels in love with her.

19. The Book of Disquiet (1984), Fernando Pessoa

The Book of Disquiet , published posthumously, is a work by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935), signed under the semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares. With a preface by Fernando Pessoa, orthonym, the book is a fragmentary lifetime project, left unedited by the author, who introduced it as a "factless autobiography."

20. Oedipus Rex (429 BC) Sophocles

Oedipus Rex, also known by its Greek title, Oedipus Tyrannus or Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed around 429 BC. Originally, to the ancient Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus (Οἰδίπους), as it is referred to by Aristotle in the Poetics. It is thought to have been renamed Oedipus Tyrannus to distinguish it from Oedipus at Colonus. In antiquity, the term “tyrant” referred to a ruler, but it did not necessarily have a negative connotation.

Prior to the start of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus has become the king of Thebes while unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would kill his father, Laius (the previous king), and marry his mother, Jocasta (whom Oedipus took as his queen after solving the riddle of the Sphinx). The action of Sophocles' play concerns Oedipus' search for the murderer of Laius in order to end a plague ravaging Thebes, unaware that the killer he is looking for is none other than himself. At the end of the play, after the truth finally comes to light, Jocasta hangs herself while Oedipus, horrified at his patricide and incest, proceeds to gouge out his own eyes in despair.

In his Poetics Aristotle refers several times to Oedipus Rex in order to exemplify aspects of Greek tragedy.

21. Le Père Goriot (1835), Honoré de Balzac

Le Père Goriot is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac.

Originally published in serial form during the winter of 1834/35, Le Père Goriot is widely considered Balzac's most important novel. It marks the first serious use by the author of characters who had appeared in other books, a technique that distinguishes Balzac's fiction. The novel is also noted as an example of his realist style, using minute details to create character and subtext.

The novel takes place during the Bourbon Restoration, which brought profound changes to French society; the struggle by individuals to secure a higher social status is a major theme in the book. The city of Paris also impresses itself on the characters – especially young Rastignac, who grew up in the provinces of southern France. Balzac analyzes, through Goriot and others, the nature of family and marriage, providing a pessimistic view of these institutions.

22. Auto da Fé (1935), Elias Canetti

The protagonist is Herr Doktor Peter Kien, a middle-aged philologist and Sinologist, uninterested in human interaction or sex, content with his monkish, highly disciplined life in his book-lined apartment in Vienna.

Kien is absorbed in his studies of Chinese and shuns social and physical contacts. He is almost obsessive-compulsive in his efforts to avoid contamination, and much of the book is a comedy of his being thrown into close contact with a world that he fears, and doesn't wholly understand: "You draw closer to truth by shutting yourself off from mankind"...

23. Buddenbrooks (1901), Thomas Mann

Buddenbrooks is a 1901 novel by Thomas Mann, chronicling the decline of a wealthy north German merchant family over the course of four generations, incidentally portraying the manner of life and mores of the Hanseatic bourgeoisie in the years from 1835 to 1877. Mann drew deeply from the history of his own family, the Mann family of Lübeck, and their milieu.

It was Mann's first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. With the publication of the 2nd edition in 1903, Buddenbrooks became a major literary success. The work led to a Nobel Prize in Literature for Mann in 1929; although the Nobel award generally recognises an author's body of work, the Swedish Academy's citation for Mann identified "his great novel Buddenbrooks" as the principal reason for his prize.

24. The Black Book (1990), Orhan Pamuk

The protagonist, an Istanbul lawyer named Galip, finds one day that his wife Rüya (the name means "dream" in Turkish) has mysteriously left him with very little explanation. He wanders around the city looking for his clues to her whereabouts. He suspects that his wife has taken up with her half-brother, a columnist for Milliyet named Celal, and it happens that he is also missing. The story of Galip's search is interspersed with reprints of Celal's columns, which are lengthy, highly literate meditations on the city and its history. Galip thinks that by living as Celal he can figure out how Celal thinks and locate both him and his wife, so he takes up residence in Celal's apartment, wearing his clothes and eventually writing his column.

Galip starts getting mysterious phone calls from one of Celal's obsessed fans, who displays an astonishing familiarity with the columnist's writings. After Galip's columns under Celal's name start to take the form of impassioned pleas to Rüya, a woman from Celal's past misinterprets the articles and calls Galip, thinking they are actually Celal's attempts to win her back...

25. Oliver Twist (1838), Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, and was first published as a serial 1837–39. The story is of the orphan Oliver Twist, who starts his life in a workhouse and is then sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker. He escapes from there and travels to London, where he meets the Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin.

Oliver Twist is notable for its unromantic portrayal by Dickens of criminals and their sordid lives, as well as for exposing the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London in the mid-19th century. The alternate title, The Parish Boy's Progress, alludes to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, A Rake's Progress and A Harlot's Progress.

In this early example of the social novel, Dickens satirizes the hypocrisies of his time, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of working as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own youthful experiences contributed as well.

26. Memed, My Hawk (1955) Yaşar Kemal

Memed, a young boy from a village in Anatolia, is abused and beaten by the villainous local landowner Abdi Agha. Having endured great cruelty towards himself and his mother, Memed finally escapes with his beloved, a girl named Hatche. Abdi Agha catches up with the young couple, but only manages to capture Hatche, while Memed is able to avoid his pursuers and runs into the mountains. There he joins a band of brigands and exacts revenge against his old adversary. Hatche was then imprisoned and later dies. When Memed returns to the town, Hatche's mother tells him he has a "women's heart" if he surrenders himself. He instead rides into town to find his enemy, on a horse given to him by the townspeople. He finds Agha in the south-east corner of his house and shoots him in the breast. The local authorities hear the gunshots, but Memed gets away. Before Hatche dies she gives birth to Memed's son, who is also named Memed. The protagonist then must take care of his son.

27. Oblomov (1859), Ivan Goncharov

Oblomov is the second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Ilya Ilych Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed. In the first 50 pages, he manages only to move from his bed to a chair. The book was considered a satire of Russian nobility whose social and economic function was increasingly questioned in mid-nineteenth century Russia. It has been said that no other novel has been used to describe the ever-so-elusive “Russian mentality” or “Russian soul” as frequently as Oblomov.

The novel was popular when it came out, and some of its characters and devices have imprinted on Russian culture and language.

28. Seeing (2004), José Saramago

Published in Portuguese in 2004 and in English in 2006, Seeing  is a sequel to one of Saramago's most famous works, Blindness.Seeing is a story set in the same country featured in Blindness and begins with a parliamentary election in which the majority of the populace casts blank ballots. The story revolves around the struggles of the government and its various members as they try to simultaneously understand and destroy the amorphous non-movement of blank-voters. Characters from Blindness appear in the second half of the novel, including 'the doctor' and 'the doctor's wife'.

29. The Man Without Qualities (1940) Robert Musil

The Man Without Qualities (1930–43; German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is an unfinished modernist novel in three volumes and various drafts, by the late Austrian writer Robert Musil, typically considered to be one of the most significant European novels of the twentieth century.

The novel is a "story of ideas", which takes place in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy's last days, and the plot often veers into allegorical dissections on a wide range of existential themes concerning humanity and feelings. It has a particular concern with the values of truth and opinion and how society organizes ideas about life and society, though the book is well over a thousand pages long in its entirety, and so no one single theme dominates.

30. The Fall (1956), Camus

The Fall (French: La Chute) is a philosophical novel by Albert Camus. First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction. Set in Amsterdam, The Fall consists of a series of dramatic monologues by the self-proclaimed "judge-penitent" Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life to a stranger. In what amounts to a confession, Clamence tells of his success as a wealthy Parisian defense lawyer who was highly respected by his colleagues; his crisis, and his ultimate "fall" from grace, was meant to invoke, in secular terms, The Fall of Manin the Garden of Eden. The Fall explores themes of innocence, imprisonment, non-existence, and truth. In a eulogy to Albert Camus, existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre described the novel as "perhaps the most beautiful and the least understood" of Camus' books.

31. Hunger (1890), Knut Hamsun

Hunger portrays the irrationality of the human mind in an intriguing and sometimes humorous manner. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th-century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as 'a series of analyses.'

In many ways, the protagonist of the novel displays traits reminiscent of Raskolnikov, whose creator, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was one of Hamsun's main influences. The influence of naturalist authors such as Émile Zola is apparent in the novel, as is his rejection of the realist tradition.

32. The Sound and the Fury (1929), William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury is a novel written by the American author William Faulkner. It employs a number of narrative styles, including the technique known as stream of consciousness, pioneered by 20th-century European novelists such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful. In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later claimed was written only for money—The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and Faulkner began to receive critical attention.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. Over the course of the 30 years or so related in the novel, the family falls into financial ruin, loses its religious faith and the respect of the town of Jefferson, and many of them die tragically.

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