Oliver Twist (Centaur Classics) by Charles Dickens

The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers when it was first published. Dickens’s tale of childhood innocence beset by evil depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters — the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. Combining elements of Gothic Romance, the Newgate Novel and popular melodrama, in Oliver Twist Dickens created an entirely new kind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society, and pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery.

Author: Charles Dickens

Rating: Rating: 4.40 / 5
714 reviews

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, generally known as Frankenstein, is a novel written by the British author Mary Shelley. The title of the novel refers to a scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who learns how to create life and creates a being in the likeness of man, but larger than average and more powerful. In popular culture, people have tended to refer to the Creature as “Frankenstein”, despite this being the name of the scientist. Frankenstein is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. It was also a warning against the “over-reaching” of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. It is arguably considered the first fully realized science fiction novel.

Author: Mary Shelley

Rating: Rating: 4.20 / 5
2140 reviews

King Solomon’s Mines (Xist Classics) by H. Rider Haggard

Will the search lost diamond mine in the heart of Africa cost more than they bargained for? King Solomon’s Mine’s by H. Rider Haggard was the first British adventure novel set in Africa. In the story, three English adventures set off to find the legendary King Solomon Mine, and hopefully, a brother of one of the men who was lost in his search. When they encounter hostile natives and strenuous situations, they must use all of their wit, ingenuity and luck to survive.

Author: H. Rider Haggard

Rating: Rating: 4.40 / 5
444 reviews

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the few books that can lay claim to having actually changed the world. Although the American anti-slavery movement had existed at least as long as the nation itself, Stowe’s novel of 1852 galvanized public opinion as nothing had before. The book sold 10,000 copies in its first week and 300,000 in its first year. Its vivid dramatization of slavery’s cruelties so aroused readers that it is said Abraham Lincoln told Stowe her work had been a catalyst for the Civil War.

Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
1604 reviews

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père) 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.

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
2535 reviews

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time – #15] by Mark Twain

“All modern American literature comes from… ‘Huckleberry Finn’. It’s the best book we’ve had.” —Ernest Hemingway”Probably the most stupendous event of my whole life.” —Henry Louis Mencken”[Huck is] one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet…” —T. S. Eliot”The mark of how good ‘Huckleberry Finn’ has to be is that one can compare it to a number of our best modern American novels and it stands up page for page, awkward here, sensational there — absolutely the equal of one of those rare incredible first novels that come along once or twice in a decade.” —Norman Mailer”The first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs.” —William FaulknerMark Twain’s tale of a boy’s picaresque journey down the Mississippi on a raft conveyed the voice and experience of the American frontier as no other work has done before. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the ‘sivilizing’ Widow Douglas with the runaway slave Jim, he embarks on a series of adventures that draw him to feuding families and the trickery of the unscrupulous ‘Duke’ and ‘Daupin’. Beneath the exploits, however, are more serious undercurrents — of slavery, adult control and, above all, of Huck’s struggle between his instinctive goodness and the corrupt values of society, which threaten his deep and enduring frienship with Jim.

Author: Mark Twain

Rating: Rating: 4.40 / 5
2384 reviews

The Count of Monte Cristo (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time – #6] by Alexandre Dumas

“Began to read ‘Monte Cristo’ at six one morning and never stopped till eleven at night.” —William Makepeace Thackeray”Alexandre Dumas is more than French, he is European; he’s more than European, he is universal.” —Victor Hugo”No novelist since Dumas has been more irreverent of the conventions of well-made fiction or any more determined to tell stories without identifiable centers.” —Terrence RaffertySet against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, Alexandre Dumas’s thrilling adventure story is one of the most widely read romantic novels of all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond Dantès, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d’If — doomed to spend his life in a dank prison cell. The story of his long, intolerable years in captivity, his miraculous escape, and his carefully wrought revenge creates a dramatic tale of mystery and intrigue and paints a vision of France — a dazzling, dueling, exuberant France — that has become immortal.

Author: Alexandre Dumas

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
2535 reviews

The Call of the Wild (Xist Classics) by Jack London

The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London, originally published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel’s central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into service as sled dog in Alaska, he reverts to a wild state. Buck is forced to fight in order to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild. This book is considered an American classic and is required reading in many schools.

Author: Jack London

Rating: Rating: 4.50 / 5
2410 reviews

A Mother’s Choice: A gripping story of love, friendship, and family secrets by Kristin Noel Fischer

For thirty years, Nadine Kingsley has kept a heart-wrenching secret. When a letter arrives threatening to reveal the truth that could destroy her tight-knit family, Nadine embarks on a difficult journey to explain her painful decision, especially to her youngest daughter, Autumn.

Meanwhile, Autumn Anderson, Speech Pathologist and mother of two, is struggling in her marriage. The discovery of a troubling letter addressed to her mother disrupts her already complicated life, leading Autumn to question what she’s always believed.

When the unthinkable happens, Autumn digs deeper into her family’s past and unravels a tangled web of lies and deception surrounding her own birth. Meeting the one person her mother entrusted with her secret brings Autumn face to face with an unexpected and shocking revelation.

“A Mother’s Choice” is a fast-paced, uplifting, emotional read, full of family drama, love, hope, and forgiveness.

PRAISE FOR “A MOTHER’S CHOICE”

“New Author for Liane Moriarty Fans. This book grabbed me from the first page …. Fischer creates very real characters with struggles that are believable and heart-wrenching.” CC

“A Mother’s Choice is a gentle look at life, love and relationships involving three generations of family and friends.” JB Bolton

“It was such a page turner that I read it in one evening!” Sandy

“Page-turning family drama – loved it! Kept me turning the pages so I could find out ‘the secret’. I also enjoyed the emotional roller coaster of getting pulled into a story about love, family, and the issues married couples face.” T. Owens

“A wonderful read … a beautiful story about two young girls growing up as best friends.” Amazon Customer

“Family secrets across generations. Family secrets are at the center of this story, and they are brought to life with skill and tenderness by Fischer.” Sandra Spicher

“Loved it! This articulate and emotionally satisfying storyline reverts back and forth between the lives of a mother and daughter, hinting at and slowly revealing a past secret that will impact their present and future. The book depicts a relatable family with all its flaws…” Jacqueline Floyd.

Romantic Women’s Fiction

Author: Kristin Noel Fischer

Rating: Rating: 4.70 / 5
237 reviews