Why Read Fiction?

These works have stood the test of time, impacting generations of readers. We have selected these great works either because they depict what it true, good, and beautiful in a way that captures our imaginations and cultivates our love for the true, good, and beautiful; or because they provide a powerful and clarifying analysis of the human condition. Because they capture our imaginations, good novels can be an important force in cultivating our growth as a whole person. Our lives are not transformed when we merely inform our intellects of truth. Our hearts must also be directed to love what is good, and this is encouraged when our imaginations are captured by goodness and beauty in stories, whether fiction or nonfiction.

These books may not be overtly “Christian.” Many of them reflect and contribute to the formation of a Christian worldview, but some are selected simply because they have deeply impacted our culture and help us to understand the society we live in. We try to avoid books that include gratuitous or overly graphic depictions of evil, but any true analysis of the human condition or any realistic account of redemption must reckon with the reality of evil and sin. We also recognize that readers have varying levels of sensitivity, and urge you to exercise discernment as you read.

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Orwell, George

1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell's prophetic, nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. "1984" is still the great modern classic "negative Utopia" - a startling original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from the first sentence…

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Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

From the strange case of 'The Red-Headed League' to the extraordinary tale of 'The Engineer's Thumb', Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson grapple with treachery, murder, and ingenious crimes of all kinds. But no case is too challening for the immortal detective's unique power of…

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Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Meet the boy who can find trouble without even looking. At school, at home, in church and outdoors, if there's mischief afoot, Tom Sawyer will be in the thick of it! 320 pages.

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Animal Farm
Orwell, George

In this controversial classic fairy tale, a farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, setting the stage for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned. Illustrations and Orwell…

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Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ

"Ben-Hur" is the remarkable saga of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, played out in the bloodstained arenas of ancient Rome. Framed for attempting to murder a Roman official, Ben-Hur is robbed of his freedom, family, and fortune. Condemned to death as a galley slave, he lives only to avenge himself against…

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Brothers Karamazov, The-0
Dostoevsky, Fyodor M.

This novel was Dostoyevsky's last and finest work, telling the story of the four Karamazov brothers--each with his own distinct personality and desires. Driven by intense, uncontrollable emotions of rage and revenge, they all become involved in the brutal murder of their despicable father. Exploring the secret depths of…

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Michael D. O'Brien

By the Rivers of Babylon presents the early life of the prophet Ezekiel, from his childhood to his service in the Temple to the Babylonian Captivity, where he was enslaved among the exiles along the River Chebar.

Ezekiel, a bricklayer, is simple and timid. He is not yet a priest…

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Cheaper by the Dozen
Gilbreth, Frank B.

What do you get when you mix a blunt-talking, famous efficiency-expert father and a brilliant, compassionate psychologist mother with twelve rambunctious offspring of various sizes? You get one of America's all-time best- loved memoirs! The hilarious story of growing up Gilbreth has already delighted generations of readers -- and…

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Chosen, The
Chaim Potok. 9781501142468.

The Chosen is a novel written by Chaim Potok. It was first published in 1967. It follows the narrator Reuven Malter and his friend Daniel Saunders, as they grow up in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1940s. A sequel featuring Reuven's young adult years, The Promise…

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Christmas Carol, A
Dickens, Charles

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge sits in his house with not a kind word for anyone; he just wants to be left alone until the "humbug" of Christmas is over. But four ghostly visitors--his former business partner, followed by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come--show…

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Cry, The Beloved Country

Cry, the Beloved Country is a novel by Alan Paton, published in 1948. American publisher Bennett Cerf remarked at that year's meeting of the American Booksellers Association that there had been "only three novels published since the first of the year that were worth reading."

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, Robert Louis

Dr. Jekyll is a well respected medical doctor in the community. When a series of bizarre crimes are committed by a rather ugly man named Mr. Hyde, no one can imagine that they are one in the same person. But they are, because Dr. Jekyll has discovered a drug that…

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Dickens, Charles

Humbled, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman -- and one day he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." One of Dickens' finest novels, this is a gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward.

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Elizabeth Goudge
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Gullivers Travels
Swift, Jonathan

Gulliver sees life from many different perspectives during the course of his exciting voyages around the world. In Lilliput he is a giant among a race of little people only six inches high; in Brobdingnag he himself seems tiny compared to the giant inhabitants; and in the country of the…

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Hound of the Baskervilles, The
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes.

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House of the Seven Gables
Hawthorne, Nathaniel

A novel which deals with a decadent New England family and Holgrave, who rents a room in their seven-gabled house.

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Hunchback of Notre Dame, The

A gypsy girl's beauty and charm captivate a priest, a vagabond, a soldier, and a deformed bell-ringer, in a gripping tale that culminates in a riot and murder. More than simply a thrilling story, Victor Hugo's tale explores the mysteries of good and evil in the human heart…

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A gypsy girl's beauty and charm captivate a priest, a vagabond, a soldier, and a deformed bell-ringer, in a gripping tale that culminates in a riot and murder. More than simply a thrilling story, Victor Hugo's tale explores the mysteries of good and evil in the human heart…

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In His Steps
Sheldon, Charles Monroe

Deeply shaken by the appearance of a mysterious stranger in town and his impassioned pleas for the poor and downtrodden, the minister and five influential parishioners begin a year-long experience in Christianity. Each has resolved to conduct his life according to the precepts of Christ, applying His behavior to their…

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Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is Charlotte Bronte's most enduring masterpiece, the unforgettable tale of an orphan girl's ardent search for a wider and richer life. Originally published in 1847, it was an immediate popular success, but it also caused a storm of controversy. Bronte's firm insistence on the equality of…

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Kreutzer Sonata and Other Short Stories

Three great stories offer profound insights into human behavior and motivation. Title story plus "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" and "The Death of Ivan Ilych." Explanatory footnotes.

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Last of the Mohicans, The
Cooper, James Fenimore

The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and…

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Victor Hugo

Les Miserables is a classic tale of redemption, exploring the complex interplay of mercy and justice. Jean Valjean, a recently paroled criminal, encounters the life-changing power of grace through a saintly bishop's sacrificial love. His life is profoundly transformed, but his criminal past haunts him as he is pursued…

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Shakespeare, William

Unique features include an extensive overview of Shakespeare's life, world, and theater by the general editor of Signet Classic Shakespeare series, plus a special introduction to the play by the editor Sylvan Barnet, Tufts University. It also contains comprehensive stage and screen history of notable actors, directors, and productions…

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Moby-Dick: Or, the Whale
Melville, Herman

First published in 1851, Herman Melville's masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick's words, "the greatest novel in American literature." The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white whale remains a peerless adventure story but one full of mythic grandeur, poetic majesty, and symbolic power. Filtered through…

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Odyssey, The [Dover Thrift]

This excellent prose translation of Homer's epic poem of the 9th century B.C. recounts one of the most glorious tales of Western literature, a treasury of Greek folklore, and a myth that has held ageless fascination.

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Oliver Twist
Dicken, Charles

Novel by Charles Dickens, published serially from 1837 to 1839 in Bentleys Miscellany and in a three-volume book in 1838. The novel was the first of the authors works to depict realistically the impoverished London underworld and to illustrate his belief that poverty leads to crime. Written shortly after adoption of the Poor…

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Out of the Silent Planet

The first book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which continues with Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom. Here, that estimable man is abducted by aliens and taken via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra…

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Lewis, C. S.

The second book in C. S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength. Pitted against that greatest of human weaknesses, temptation, Dr. Ransom must battle evil on a new world -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by the Devil's…

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Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane

Austen's comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of 18-century drawing-room intrigues.

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Promise, The
Potok, Chaim

Reuven Malter lives in Brooklyn, he's in love, and he's studying to be a rabbi. He also keeps challenging the strict interpretations of his teachers, and if he keeps it up, his dream of becoming a rabbi may die. One day, worried about a disturbed, unhappy boy named…

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Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories-0
Irving, Washington

The legendary enchantment of Rip Van Winkle; the gruesome end of Ichabod Crane, who met the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow; the Spectre Bridegroom who turned out to be happily substantial; the pride of an English village and the come-uppance of the over-zealous Mountjoy -- these five witty, perceptive and…

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Scarlet Pimpernel, The
Orczy, Baroness Emmuska

Sir Percy Blakeney lives a double life in the England of 1792: at home he is an idle fop and a leader of fashion, but abroad he is the Scarlet Pimpernel, a master of disguise who saves aristocrats from the guillotine. When the revolutionary French state seeks to unmask him, Percy…

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Silas Marner
Eliot, George

Classic of English literature recounts the engrossing story of a lonely and embittered old man and the orphaned child who helps him find love and hope.
As a young man, Silas Marner shut himself off from the world after being wrongly accused of theft and losing the girl he loved…

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Tale of Two Cities, A
Dickens, Charles

The storming of the Bastille…the death carts with their doomed human cargo…the swift drop of the guillotine blade—this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures in his famous work A Tale of Two Cities. With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror…

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That Hideous Strength

The final book in C.S. Lewis's acclaimed Space Trilogy, which includes Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, That Hideous Strength concludes the adventures of the matchless Dr. Ransom. Finding himself in a world of superior alien beings and scientific experiments run amok, Dr. Ransom struggles with questions…

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Critic, author, and debunker extraordinaire, G. K. Chesterton (1874 1936) delighted in probing the ambiguities of Christian theology. A number of his most successful attempts at combining first-rate fiction with acute social observation appear in this compilation of detective stories featuring the priest-sleuth Father Brown.
A Chestertonian version of Sherlock Holmes, this…

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Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

In this timeless tale of two mortal princesses--one beautiful and one unattractive--C.S. Lewis reworks the classical myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction. This is the story of Orual, Psyche's embittered and ugly older sister, who possessively and harmfully loves Psyche. Much to…

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To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s beloved Pultizer Prize–winning classic, now in new hardcover edition in anticipation of her forthcoming second novel, Go Set a Watchman
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird."
A lawyer’s advice to…

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Treasure Island
Stevenson, Robert Louis

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash…

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Uncle Tom's Cabin
Stowe, Harriet Beecher

Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, little Eva: their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South. "Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its presentation of Tom, "…

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War and Peace
Tolstoy, Leo

Set in the years leading up to and culminating in Napoleon's disastrous Russian invasion, this classic novel focuses upon an entire society torn by conflict and change. Here is humanity in all its innocence and corruption, wisdom and folly, painful defeats and enduring triumphs. Here is the seemingly effortless…

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War for Mansoul
Bunyan, John and Barret, Ethel

A John Bunyan classic allegory. Long ago, the mighty king Shaddai built universe. Universe includes the town of Mansoul, which Shaddai built for his delight. But Diabolus, an angel who had rebelled against Shaddai, sees the town as a perfect opportunity for revenge. This--Shaddai's town, Diabolus' revenge, Mansoul…

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Yearling, The (Anniversary)
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan

No novel better epitomizes the love between a child and a pet than The Yearling. When young Jody Baxter adopts and orphaned fawn he calls Flag, he makes it a part of his family and his best friend. But life in the Florida backwoods is harsh, and so, as his…

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