Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (1974)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (1974)

Robert M. Pirsig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is an examination of how we live, a meditation on how to live better set around the narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest, undertaken by a father & his young son.

The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells (1904)
The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells (1904)

While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl, a fictitious mountain in Ecuador, a mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain's shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices. Unbeknown to Nunez, he has discovered the fabled Country of the Blind.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (2000)

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943)
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943)

The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Objectivism, Ayn Rand's groundbreaking philosophy, and brought her immediate worldwide acclaim. As fresh today as it was then, this provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress...

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)

Although his work has been restricted to the short story, the essay, and poetry, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina is recognized all over the world as one of the most original and significant figures in modern literature. Labyrinths is a representative selection of Borges' writing, some forty pieces drawn from various books of his published over the years.

Building Stories by Chris Ware (2012)
Building Stories by Chris Ware (2012)

Building Stories imagines the inhabitants of a three-story Chicago apartment building: a 30-something woman who has yet to find someone with whom to spend the rest of her life; a couple, possibly married, who wonder if they can bear each other's company another minute; and the building's landlady, an elderly woman who has lived alone for decades.

The Women by T.C. Boyle (2009)
The Women by T.C. Boyle (2009)

Welcome to the troubled, tempestuous world of Frank Lloyd Wright. Scandalous affairs rage behind closed doors, broken hearts are tossed aside, fires rip through the wings of the house and paparazzi lie in wait outside the front door for the latest tragedy in this never-ending saga.

A Litle Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)
A Litle Life by Hanya Yanagihara (2015)

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)

The year is 1969. In the state of Kerala, on the southernmost tip of India, a skyblue Plymouth with chrome tailfins is stranded on the highway amid a Marxist workers' demonstration. Inside the car sit two-egg twins Rahel and Esthappen, and so begins their tale…

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (2009)
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (2009)

High on a Czechoslovak hill, the Landauer House has been built for newlyweds Viktor and Liesel Landauer, a Jew married to a gentile. But, when the storm clouds of WW2 gather, the family must flee, accompanied by Viktor's lover and her child. But the house's story is far from over, as it passes from hand to hand, from Czech to Russian.

Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec (1978)
Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec (1978)

Perec's spellbinding puzzle begins in an apartment block in the XVIIth arrondissement of Paris where, chapter by chapter, room by room, like an onion being peeled, an extraordinary rich cast of characters is revealed in a series of tales that are bizarre, unlikely, moving, funny, or (sometimes) quite ordinary.

The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges (1945)
The Aleph and Other Stories by Jorge Luis Borges (1945)

Full of philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges's most fully realized human characters. This volume also contains the hauntingly brief vignettes about literary imagination and personal identity collected in The Maker, which Borges wrote as failing eyesight and public fame began to undermine his sense of self.

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (1929)

First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (2013)
The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook (2013)

Hamburg, 1946. Thousands remain displaced in what is now the British Occupied Zone. Charged with overseeing the rebuilding of this devastated city and the de-Nazification of its defeated people, Colonel Lewis Morgan is requisitioned a fine house on the banks of the Elbe, where he will be joined by his grieving wife, Rachael, and only remaining son, Edmund.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972)
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972)

In Invisible Cities Marco Polo conjures up cities of magical times for his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan - gradually, it becomes clear that he is in fact describing one city: Venice. As Gore Vidal wrote, 'Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvelous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant.'

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

Motherhood by Sheila Heti (2018)
Motherhood by Sheila Heti (2018)

In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made ‘How Should A Person Be?’ required reading for a generation.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Begin Again: Collected Poems by Grace Paley (2000)
Begin Again: Collected Poems by Grace Paley (2000)

Combining Paley’s two previous collections with unpublished work, Begin Again traces the career of a direct, attentive, and always unpredictable poet. Whether describing the vicissitudes of life in New York City or the hard beauty of rural Vermont, whether celebrating the blessings of friendship or protesting against social injustice, her poems brim with compassion and tough good humor.

Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk (2003)
Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk (2003)

A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great cities, by its foremost writer. With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning of his self-consciousness to the writers and painters–both Turkish and foreign–who would shape his consciousness of his city.

Diary of a Bad Year by John Maxwell Coetzee (2007)
Diary of a Bad Year by John Maxwell Coetzee (2007)

The latest by the Nobel Prize-winning author of Disgrace is an utterly contemporary work of fiction that addresses the profound unease of countless people in democracies across the world.

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