Libraries Rock!—Classic Rock

Libraries Rock!—Classic Rock

Classic rock is music that has stood the test of time, that many generations love. Classic literature is the same deal: stories that transcend fashion and explain an era, often long past.


Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
Twain

Although considered uncivilized by polite society, Huckleberry Finn seems to be a boy of conscience and loyalty who questions everything. After escaping the clutches of his abusive father he sets off on an adventure to help runaway slave Jim. The pair abscond on a raft drifting along the Mississippi on a voyage of adventure and self-discovery.


Animal Farm

George Orwell
Orwell

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.


Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger
Salinge

Check out the original emo teen in Salinger’s classic coming of age story. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, journey with Holden Caulfield as he ditches his private school three days before officially being kicked out and roams New York City. He reconnects with old friends, meets new (sometimes questionable) characters, grieves his dead brother and worries about the ducks of Central Park.


Great Expectations

Charles Dickens
Dickens

Great Expectations charts the course of orphan Pip Pirrip's life as it is transformed by a vast, mysterious inheritance. A terrifying encounter with escaped convict Abel Magwitch in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decrepit Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella at Satis House; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - these form a series of events that change the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble station as an apprentice to blacksmith Joe Gargery, beginning a new life as a gentleman.


The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzger

If you skipped this one in school you missed one of the most beautifully tragic love stories ever written, as well as an indictment of the American Dream. Young Nick Carraway gets swept up in the glitz and glamour of Jay Gatsby who had once loved beautiful, spoiled Daisy Buchanan, then lost her to a rich boy. Now, mysteriously wealthy, he is ready to risk everything to woo her back.


Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte
Bronte

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?


Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov
Nabokov

Awe and exhilaration--along with heartbreak and mordant wit--abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love--love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.


The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins
MYS Collins

Generally considered as the first full length detective novel in the English language The Moonstone concerns a large valuable diamond plundered from India by Colonel Herncastle during the Siege of Seringapatam. Herncastle, who has been shunned by his own family, decides to bequeath the diamond to his niece Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. At her birthday party, Rachel wears the Moonstone for all to see. Later that night the diamond goes missing from her room and quickly an investigation ensues to discover the identity of the thief and recover the jewel.


Slaughterhouse-Five

Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegu

Vonnegut's absurdist classic introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. We follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy-and humor.


The Stranger

Albert Camus
Camus

A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so much the arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficient character. In the story of an ordinary man who unwittingly gets drawn into a senseless murder on a sun-drenched Algerian beach, Camus was exploring what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.”