A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
A deeply religious woman, O’Connor wrote about morally flawed characters with humor, compassion, and a razor-sharp mind. She was a master storyteller, as evidenced in her best known and most-loved collection, A Good Man is Hard to Find. Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia home is one of the stops on our American literary road trip.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Disaffected teenage narrator Holden Caulfield—thrown out of prep school, surrounded by “phonies”—has touched millions of readers. For decades, almost every good book to read about alienated adolescents was invariably compared to The Catcher in the Rye, but none has matched the original. Salinger had his finger on the pulse of a generation in a way that few writers can match, and he broke with tradition by writing in a colloquial voice, which had everyone wanting to talk like Holden. If you’re a fan of memorable covers like this one, check out these classic book covers that got gorgeous redesigns.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Yes, The Chronicles of Narnia are children’s books and no, they don’t age. These complex fantasy novels, which have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide (and clearly influenced, among others, J.K. Rowling), have been praised and criticized for their Christian themes, but there’s a lot more going on here than simple allegory. Read them again. Better yet, find a child to read them to. You’ll be amazed by the richness of storytelling. Here are some more “kids’ books” that both kids and adults will appreciate.