The debut novel of African-American author Toni Morrison, this book was first published in 1970. It tells the distressing tale of a young African-American girl, Pecola. She comes to believe that her life would be transformed if she had blue eyes, which she equates with "whiteness" and freedom from her inferiority complex.
The Color Purple brings forth the heart-wrenching tale of a young black girl living in rural Georgia. Celie, the protagonist, suffers from physical and sexual harassment from her father and begins to write letters to God. The novel was adapted into a film featuring Whoopi Goldberg as Celie, and also into a musical.
An autobiography published in 1969, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the first in a seven-volume series that draws light to the early life of Maya Angelou. The coming-of-age story depicts the hardships that she faced, including racism and sexual harassment, and how she overcame these to become a dignified woman.
The only piece of novel work from Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar is semi-autobiographical. It details the life of Esther Greenwood and deals with the question of socially acceptable identity. A young student uninterested in the glamorous culture and lifestyle of New York City, she is forced to find herself.
Lord of the Flies revolves around a group of British boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. It traces their disastrous attempts at governing themselves. The novel majorly brings to light the conflict due to differences in individual and group thinking and symbolizes the clash between civilization and the will to power among humans.
The second novel by Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist was first published as a serial between 1837 and 1839. The novel focuses on the life of Oliver who is born in a workhouse, while his mother dies during childbirth. This Charles Dickens's novel is a satire on the hypocrisies of the time.
Charlotte's Web is a classic children's novel by E. B. White and features illustrations by Garth Williams. It beautifully captures the story of a young little girl Fern Arable who adopts a pig named Wilbur. Wilbur befriends a barn spider named Charlotte, and when the farmer plans to slaughter him, Charlotte hatches a plan to save him.
The Wind in the Willows was first published in 1908. Aimed at young readers, this novel is acclaimed for the notable mix of adventure, morality, mysticism, and camaraderie that it brings. It revolves around four anthropomorphized animals: a mole, rat, toad, and badger. The book has also been adapted on stage.
A short adventure novel, The Call of the Wild follows the life of a powerful dog named Buck, who leads a comfortable life in California. However, trouble brews when Buck is stolen to meet the growing demand for strong dogs to pull sleds post the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Canada.
An 1886 novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge is set in a fictional rural part of England. Written by the acclaimed author Thomas Hardy, it features the story of a young migrant, Michael Henchard, who works his way up to secure the position of the mayor of the town of Casterbridge. During the events, he sells off his wife and daughter.
Midnight's Children was first published in 1981. In this novel, Salman Rushdie effectively portrays the effects of India's independence from the British. The protagonist and narrator is Saleem Sinai, a boy born exactly when the country became independent. The novel is on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's best-loved novels.
Written by English writer and poet J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings is a great piece of literary work. A magic ring that contains power and makes the wearer invisible becomes a coveted object as the story progresses. The fantasy novel has also been adapted for film, stage, and radio.
Authored by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is one of the most-loved fantasy novels. Alice, a young girl, is fascinated by the sight of a pocket watch on a rabbit. She follows the rabbit and falls through the rabbit hole, only to find herself in a hallway full of doors.
The Chronicles of Narnia comprises of a series of seven fantasy novels. Set in Narnia, a fictional world, it brings to the readers the perfect amalgamation of magic, talking animals, and mythical beasts. This series, spanning the history of Narnia from its creation to destruction, has been adapted for films, on stage, television, and even radio.
A philosophical fiction by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray is set in Victorian-era England. The story begins on a beautiful summer day, when Basil Hallward, an artist, and his muse, Dorian Gray, are being observed by Lord Henry Wotton. It is the only novel written by Oscar Wilde.
Published in 1940, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a war story set during the Spanish Civil War. It revolves around an American volunteer, Robert Jodan, fighting against the fascist forces under the Republicans. As the plot progresses, readers also witness a love story that unfolds between Robert and Maria, a young Spanish woman.
The novel Anne of Green Gables talks about Anne Shirley's ways of settling in with two middle-aged siblings Matthew Cuthbert and Marilla, in Avonlea, a fictional town. They originally wished to adopt a boy from an orphanage to help on their farm, but 11 year-old Anne is sent to them.
A popular work of Jane Austen, Emma was first published in 1815. The fictional piece is set in the fictional Highbury and revolves around the life of Emma Woodhouse. Living with her aging father, Woodhouse takes solace in the fact that she acted matchmaker to her governess Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston and takes up matchmaking.
A novella published in 1937, Of Mice and Men is a tale of two migrant ranch workers set during the Great Depression. George Milton, an uneducated but intelligent man, and Lennie Small, a mentally disabled but physically strong man, move from one place to another in California in search of job opportunities.
A comic novel, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling was published in 1749 and is one of the earliest English prose works to be classified as a novel. The plot has a romantic construction, wherein Tom Jones, the adopted child of Squire Allworthy, falls in love with a neighbor's daughter, Sophia Western.
An 1876 novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg. It revolves around the life of a young boy named Tom Sawyer, who lives with his aunt Polly. The little boy enjoys several adventures, sometimes with his friend Huckleberry Finn, as the story progresses.
Dracula is a gothic horror novel first published in 1897. It follows the life of a young English lawyer, Jonathan Harker, who comes to Transylvania to meet a client of his firm to finalize a property transaction. The story of this work has formed the basis of several plays and films.
A work of British author D. H. Lawrence, The Rainbow focuses on three generations of the Brangwen family that reside in Nottinghamshire. It brings out the theme of the pressure felt in English society and the struggle faced by individuals for growth and to find fulfillment. Lawrence also wrote a sequel to the novel, Women in Love.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was written by Hunter S. Thompson and features illustrations by Ralph Steadman. The plot revolves around journalist Raoul Duke and his attorney as they arrive in Las Vegas to report on a race. However, the effects of recreational drugs that they constantly take get in the way of this job.
A modernist novel by James Joyce, Ulysses follows the life of a middle-aged Jew, Leopold Bloom. Set in Dublin in June 1904, the novel captures the life of Bloom as an advertisement canvasser who must travel daily throughout the city due to his job. The book has been adapted for theater, film, and television.
The most well-known literary classic by Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway captures a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. In her fifties, she is married to a politician and is preparing to host a party the very evening. As she steps out, the novel brings to life the conflicts in her mind and the other characters in bustling London.
Gone with the Wind was first published in 1936 and is set in Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It is about the struggles of a young woman to claw out of poverty after Sherman's March to the Sea. The author got the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for the book, which was also adapted into a film.
First published in 1938, this murder thriller is set in the 1930s in Brighton. The novel presents a gripping storyline and follows two main characters: Ida, the amateur detective, and Pinkie, a murderous teenager. This literary work deals with the nature of sin and the basis of mortality. It was also adapted for film.
Watt was first published in English in 1953, followed by a French translation released in 1968. It was written while the author was hiding in the South of France at the time of the Second World War. The plot follows the life of Watt, who goes to work at Mr. Knott's home as a domestic servant.
An 1830 novel written by the acclaimed author James Fenimore Cooper, The Water-Witch is set in the 17th century. It relates the story of Alida de Barbérie, who is abducted by the pirate captain of the brigantine Water Witch. Captain Ludlow, Alida's suitor
The Grapes of Wrath, first published in 1939, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award. The novel follows the life of Tom Joad and his family, who set out from Oklahoma to Califonia in search of a brighter future after being trapped in the Dust Bowl.
The Shining is a horror novel that revolves around the family of Jack Torrance, the off-season caretaker of the fictional Overlook Hotel. As Jack, his wife Wendy, and son Danny move into the hotel, they realize the presence of supernatural forces. Danny is a psychic and sees the hotel's horrific past, but they are left stranded by a winter storm.
Considered to be one of the greatest literary works of the 20th century, Lolita was written by Vladimir Nabokov, a Russian-American novelist. It follows the life of a middle-aged literature professor named Humbert Humbert who is obsessed with a twelve-year-old girl named Dolores Haze. He refers to the little girl as "Lolita."
The author won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel first published in 1946. It depicts the political rise and governorship of liberal populist Willie Stark during the period of the 1930s. The narrator is a political reporter working as his right-hand man, and the title of the novel is adapted from the nursery novel, Humpty Dumpty.
A satirical novel, Catch-22 was first published in 1961. A bombardier during World War II, Captain John Yossarian is stationed on a Mediterranean island. Trapped by a "catch," which is an Army Air Forces regulation, he uses several tactics to avoid combat and documents his attempts to escape the missions and stay alive.
Based on a true story, In Cold Blood is a non-fiction work first published in 1966. The novel talks about the murders of the members of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. This book was referred to as a work of "New Journalism" and has three film adaptations to its name.
King Solomon's Mines, first published in 1885, is one the most popular novels by this author. It is the first English fictional adventure novel set in Africa, and the story has Allan Quatermain leading a group in search of wealth in the hidden mines that give the book its name.
A novel known for employing the narrative style of "stream of consciousness," The Sound and the Fury was first published in the year 1929. The novel did not attain immediate success. Set in Jefferson, Mississippi, it is based on the Southern aristocratic society and follows the life of the Compson family.
The Beginning of Spring is a work of fiction by British author Penelope Fitzgerald, first published in the year 1988. Set in 1913 Moscow, the novel relates the story of the Moscow-born son of a British emigre manufacturer. The British wife of the manufacturer suddenly abandons him and their three children.
A classic science fiction adventure novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was first published in French in 1870. It captures the adventures of Professor Pierre Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and whaler Ned Lan travel aboard the Nautilus. The Nautilus, piloted by Captain Nemo, is a submarine that was believed to be a sea monster.
First published in 1990, Amongst Women is considered a masterpiece of John McGahern. It follows the character of Michael Moran who is a respected member of his community but does not share the best relationship with his wife and kids. It is set in County Leitrim, in the Republic of Ireland.
A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian satirical black comedy novel first published in the year 1962. The protagonist, Alex, is also the narrator who talks about his violent instincts and the authorities' efforts and his experience as they intend to reform him. With time, he is convicted of the crime of murder.
First published in 2000, True History of the Kelly Gang was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize and Booker Prize in 2001. Beginning with a description of his father, it is a fictional variation of the story of Ned Kelly. There is also a film adaptation of the novel that is currently in production.
After being partially published in serial form, The Catcher in the Rye was first published as a novel in 1951 and was on number 15 on the BBC's The Big Read survey. The story is narrated by a teenager, Holden Caulfield, and deals with issues like identity, loss, belonging, and innocence.
First published in 1979, Sophie's Choice revolves around the relationships shared between three individuals who share a boarding house in Brooklyn: an aspiring young writer named Stingo, Nathan Landau who is a Jewish scientist and Sophie, his lover. The story of this book has been adapted for opera and film.
Initially published in a serial version, The Secret Garden was first published in book form in 1911. Considered a classic of children's literature, it revolves around Mary Lennox, who is left alone after a cholera epidemic kills her parents and servants. She is sent to her uncle's house, where she looks for a secret garden.
This novel was awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award for the best first novel. Set in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho, it tells the story of Ruthie, the narrator, and her sister Lucile, who are cared for by their relatives. With the girls facing abandonment several times, the novel deals with the subject of housekeeping in the broader sense.
Moby Dick; or, The Whale was written over a span of 18 months and was first published in 1851. It tells the tale of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship, the Pequod, on a voyage to pursue the great sperm whale Moby Dick, which bit off Ahab's leg on the previous voyage.
The Day of the Jackal is a thriller fiction that begins with a failed attempt to assassinate the President of France, Charles de Gaulle, in 1962. Codenamed "The Jackal", a professional assassin then sets out on the task of killing the President. The story of the book has been adapted for three films.
The Great Gatsby was first published in 1925. Told by Nick Carraway, the story is set in 1922 and tells the tale of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby, who is an eccentric millionaire living on Long Island. After being invited to one of the parties at Gatsby's mansion, Carraway soon finds out more than meets the eye about his neighbor.
English literature has numerous options to choose from, whether you are in the mood for something serious or just want to enjoy a comic read. Literature has even influenced the stories depicted on stage and on the screens. If you think you have read every notable book in the library, here's a quiz you should take.
You may know the names of many countries, their prominent landmarks, and even recognize famous personalities who hail from these places. But can you guess their capital cities? We bring you 50 countries of the world in this ultimate world capitals quiz. Play now and find out how many you can get right.
Pride yourself as a history buff who dominates trivia night at the bar every time? Or does the thought of history tests back in high school chill you to the bone? It doesn't matter whether you love or hate history, we are sure you'll be able to answer these simple questions about America's unforgettable past. Take this quiz and prove us right!
Cartoons have always defined and influenced our childhood in many ways. Some can relate to the gentle comedy of the Looney Tunes while others watched shows like Ninja Turtles and X-Men. These cartoon serials became an integral part of our lives which is why we can still recall some of the most obvious and iconic instances of our favorite shows. Take this quiz to find out exactly how well can you associate the cartoon to their iconic catchphrase.
About 50 countries in the world have English as their native language. But did you know that some of the commonly-used English words or phrases are from a foreign language? Well, you can take this test and find out how well you know your daily-used English words' origin.
Does your idea of having a good time always involve reading an amazing book? If yes, we think you will enjoy taking this quiz with us. Find out how good a bibliophile you are by guessing these best-selling books.
"Books are uniquely portable magic"- Stephen King. Books take you across time and place, while you are still sitting comfortably indoors. Although there are plenty of books for you to read throughout your lifetime, only a few will have an impact on you. These are known as the greatest books of all time. If you are a bibliophile, you will probably know the tiles of some great novels. Want to take up the challenge? Complete the titles of these novels.