- Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
- For Mr. O'Neill's class. It's a journal of Thoreau's time in the
area around Walden Pond and the town of Concord.
- Moby Dick, by Herman Melville ("The Big House")
- One of the classics of American literature (well, of all literature,
really), it's an epic tragedy packed with symbolism. Definitely
a book the MTV crowd will not appreciate.
- The Iliad, by Homer ("The Big House")
- Ancient Greek epic poem about the tenth year of the siege of Troy.
- 'In Memoriam'
by Alfred Tennyson ("The Misery Chick")
- For Mr. O'Neill's class.
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller ("Quinn the Brain")
- A book that spoofs military life (specifically, a bomber squadron
in WW2). It's got incredible characters, odd situations, and is
incredibly funny. The title has become a standard part of the language,
and comes from this: "There was only one catch, and that Catch-22,
which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face
of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational
mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was
ask; as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have
to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and
sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he
flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want
to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the
absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful
- The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Stories, by Edgar Allen Poe
- Classic Edgar Allen Poe stories.
- Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad ("Gifted")
- Daria describes it as: A young man's journey into unknown territory
brings him face-to-face with the savage brutality within his own
- War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy ("Fair Enough")
- Part of Mr. O'Neill's class. One of the Great Classics, a study
of early 19th century Russian society.
- On Moral Fiction, by John Gardener ("Write Where It
- Read for Mr. O'Neill's class. This books is about how "true
art is moral" and is more a work of literary criticism than
anything else, but it created more stir for naming names than its
- The Chess Garden, by Brooks Hansen ("Through a Lens
- It's a spiritual tale combining memoir and parable, about a Doctor's
growing up, wanderings, and experiences abroad. Deals with love
and tragic loss, and how experiencing love allows us to open up
- The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa ("The
Old and the Beautiful")
- The story is about Sicily in 1860, as the main character, a prince,
watches the class an inheritance system that disgusts him fall apart.
It has been called "one of the great lonely books."
by Allen Ginsberg ("The Old and the Beautiful")
- Notable for the numerous social conventions of the time that it
broke, this poem is full of anger and energy.
- Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre. ("Lane
- Heavy duty existentialism.
- The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli ("Fire!")
- Usually considered the handbook on politics, it's deeply rooted
in Machiavelli's time and setting (the unstable politics of early
1500s Italy) and views the state as an amoral force to be used by
Daria's copy is unusually thick, as Machiavelli's work itself is
only about a hundred pages long in paperback.
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy ("Fire!")
- Generally rated as one of (if not the) greatest novels
of all time. It's a dual story, one part about a difficult courtship
but fulfilling marriage between Kitty and Levin. The other is the
story of Anna Karenina, who has an affair with a young Count. Her
husbands finds out, and is more concerned about his public image
than the affair itself, and makes Anna promise to be discrete. Anna
eventually gives birth to the Count's son, and Anna follows him
to Italy and then Russia. She eventually becomes bitter towards
- Fifth Business, by Robertson Davies. ("Is It Fall
- Daria's reading during the lanyard making at Mr. O'Neill's camp.
It's in an autobiographical style where the protagonist, Dunsten
Ramsey, details his life. He's sensitive and passive, content to
live out life observing rather than participating. His life is contrasted
with that of his friend, Boy Staunton.
It all starts off with an important episode that changes Ramsey's
life, but isn't fully worked out till the end.
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel DeFoe ("Is
It Fall Yet?")
- Quinn takes it off Daria's bed as a cover when Helen discovers
her in Daria's room.
- A historical fiction novel recounting the Great Plague of London.
It's told as a first-hand story narrated by an "H. F." A very detailed
account that contains a bit of sly humor...
- Animal Farm by George Orwell ("Camp Fear")
- A fable of a worker's revolution gone wrong, where the animals
on a farm decide to oust their drunken human maser and take over.
Everyone willing works hard and for a while things are great. It's
not long before the pigs succumb to temptation and, by virtue of
their self-proclaimed intelligence, take over and set themselves
up as the rulers, selling out the revolution.
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner ("Lucky Strike")
- This is the story of the Bundren family's journey to bury the
matriarch of the family and the various disasters they suffer
along the way. It covers many points of view and contains one
of the shortest chapters of all time.