A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark TwainA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Genres: Classics, Historical
Pages: 365

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After Hank Morgan of Hartford, Connecticut, takes a blow to the head, he inexplicably awakens in sixth-century Camelot. At first lost and confused, the time traveler soon realizes that he can use modern knowledge and his ability to foretell the future to his advantage. Consequently, he is granted a place in the king’s court as Arthur’s right-hand man. When the Catholic Church grows fearful of his power, the Connecticut Yankee aims higher and concocts a grandiose plan to bring American ideals to sixth-century England to change the future.

In his imaginative comedy, Mark Twain infuses the eternal story of King Arthur with wit and satirizes past social hierarchies as well as nineteenth-century meritocracy.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles DickensOliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Genres: Classics, Historical
Pages: 508

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Orphaned at birth to labor in a workhouse, Oliver Twist is barely ten when he flees for London. There he befriends young Jack Dawkins, who educates the innocent Oliver in the ways of survival. When Jack draws Oliver into a gang of juvenile pickpockets, tutored by the unscrupulous Fagin, Oliver’s corruptive influences grow. But for a boy taught only wrong, Oliver must hold on to what he knows is right.

In Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens furiously condemns the realities of nineteenth-century England and rewards those who can escape them still pure at heart.

Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleMoby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville
Genres: Classics, Historical
Pages: 654

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Ignoring prophecies of doom, the seafarer Ishmael joins the crew of a whaling expedition that is an obsession for the ship’s captain, Ahab. Once maimed by the White Whale, Moby Dick, Ahab has set out on a voyage of revenge. With godlike ferocity, he surges into dangerous waters—immune to the madness of his vision, refusing to be bested by the forces of nature.

An exhilarating whaling yarn, an apocalyptic theodicy, a tragic confessional, and a profound allegory, Moby Dick encompasses all that it means to be human—from the physical and metaphysical to the spiritual and emotional. Full of strange wisdom and wild digressive energy, it’s a singular literary performance universally regarded as one of the great American novels.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man by H.G. WellsThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
Genres: Classics, Science Fiction
Pages: 168

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Having devoted his studies to optics and refraction, an impulsive scientist named Griffin has rendered himself invisible. Unable to reverse the effects, his struggle to survive grows desperate until he realizes that there are benefits to living out of the public eye. Increasingly isolated, he soon spirals into a life of crime and degenerates into madness. He can’t see that he has become his own worst enemy.

Exploring the loss of identity and the willful disappearance of conscience and morality, H. G. Wells crafted one of his most suspenseful and cautionary tales, which continues to intrigue to this day.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Genres: Classics, Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 104

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Ebenezer Scrooge has no time for the poor or the wretched. And it’s “Bah, humbug!” to anyone who wishes him a Merry Christmas. But when he turns in for the night one cold, fateful Christmas Eve, his past, present, and future converge. Three haunting guests are about to show him that the time has come to change his miserly ways—before it’s too late.

Discover the everlasting spirit of the holiday season in Charles Dickens’s cherished story of hope, joy, empathy, and love.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Genres: Classics, Historical
Pages: 352

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Refusing to be civilized by Southern society or cowed by his drunken father’s lashings, young Huckleberry Finn decides he has only one option left: fake his own death and hop a raft down the Mississippi River. Instead of carrying him far from trouble, though, Huck’s raft delivers him to a place of moral uncertainty.

Mark Twain unwinds Huck’s harrowing journey to manhood with satirical wit, revealing the troubled history of the American South, where slavery held sway long after the Civil War ended. Huck’s relationship with runaway slave Jim forces him to confront his beliefs about friendship and freedom.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark TwainThe Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Genres: Classics, Historical
Pages: 226

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Poor boy Tom Canty admires the royals who seem so far out of his reach in sixteenth-century English society, but when he meets young Prince Edward, he realizes they are very much alike. They share the same birthday and the same face. And when Edward dons Tom’s rags, and Tom slips into the royal cloak, no one can tell them apart. The wrong prince will soon be crowned king, unless Edward can produce the Great Seal of England in time to prove his right to the throne.

In The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain sheds satiric light on class distinctions, personal identity, and power dynamics that seem as germane today as ever before.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book by Rudyard KiplingThe Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Genres: Classics
Pages: 138

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Orphaned as a baby, human-boy Mowgli is adopted by wolves, befriended by Baloo the bear, and educated in the wonders and dangers of the Indian jungle. But the adventures of The Jungle Book don’t end with the young man-cub and his unusual new family. Through tales of Kotick the White Seal, Rikki-tikki-tavi the mongoose, and others, readers learn about courage and survival, rules and order, principles and morals, coming-of-age, and the thrill of self-discovery.

Rudyard Kipling’s fables reflect both his childhood in India and his vivid imagination, while exploring the relationship between civilization and the wild.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules VerneJourney to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
Series: Extraordinary Voyages #3
Genres: Classics, Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 266

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A sixteenth-century cryptogram spurs modern geologist Otto Liedenbrock to embark on the most remarkable human quest ever taken. With his nephew and guide, he leads the descent from a dormant Icelandic volcano into the unexplored realm beneath their feet. There, a vast subterranean ocean, prehistoric creatures, and natural phenomena are but a few of the wonders hidden from all but the boldest eyes.

Journey to the Center of the Earth epitomizes the subterranean fiction genre. Author Jules Verne leads readers deep below the world’s surface to the core of his inventive, visionary mind.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules VerneAround the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Series: Extraordinary Voyages #11
Genres: Classics, Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 225

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Pragmatic gambler Phileas Fogg has made a gentlemanly wager to the members of his exclusive club: that he can circle the world in just eighty days, right down to the minute. Fetching his newly appointed French valet, Fogg embarks on a fabulous journey across land and sea—by steamer, rail, and elephant—to win the bet of a lifetime.

Inspired by Jules Verne’s own sea travels and his fascination with circumnavigating the globe, the avid dreamer’s picaresque voyage inspired generations of adventurers who were eager to best Verne’s challenge—from nineteenth-century journalist Nellie Bly to Monty Python’s Michael Palin.