The true use of Shakespeare or of Cervantes, of Homer or of Dante, of Chaucer or of Rabelais, is to augment one’s own growing inner self…The mind’s dialogue with itself is not primarily a social reality. All that the Western Canon can bring one is the proper use of one’s own solitude, that solitude whose final form is one’s confrontation with one’s own mortality. — Harold Bloom, American Literary Critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University

The following page contains a list of books that meet one or more of the criterion listed below:

  1. For one reason or another left a huge impression on I, your resident gloomy book reader.
  2. Favorites that I would recommend or deem a “must-read”.


…without further ado…

Native Son by Richard Wright

# The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Horla by Guy de Maupassant

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Anthem by Ayn Rand

The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato

King Lear by William Shakespeare

*# On the Beach by Nevil Shute

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

*# The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Giver by Lois Lowry

# The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

# The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

* Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

* Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

1984 by George Orwell

* The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

* The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

# Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

* The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilio Jose Celas

# The Awakening by Kate Chopin

*# Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas

* The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa

# Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

# The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

–to be continued.

Keep in mind:

  • Books are placed in the order my memory recalled them.
  • Unfortunately, not every book will have been discussed/reviewed on this site.
  • * = discussed on this site, # = nonpareil.

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