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The top 20 (in no order) by a very picky reader!

"katzkatz"
 
Roots
Roots
"An amazing novel chronicling the generations of the author's family"
Blackbird: A Childhood Lost
Blackbird: A Childhood Lost
"A recent read that I could hardly put down. Sad, moving, but a tale of endurance that anyone would love."
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
"The lives of a grandmother, mother, and daughter in 20th century China."
The House of Mirth
The House of Mirth
"One of the best Wharton novels. I read this for my course and loved it. The recent film version is also very good."
The Bell Jar (Faber Paper Covered Editions)
The Bell Jar (Faber Paper Covered Editions)
"Well worth reading. Plath had a talent that shines in this book, (roughly) based on her own life."
The Color Purple
The Color Purple
"I loved this book because it was so well written and remained with me for weeks."
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Penguin Modern Classics)
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (Penguin Modern Classics)
"You know those books you REALLY should get round to reading? Well this was one of mine. Much shorter than I thought it would be, but much better than the talk about it."
The Catcher in the Rye
The Catcher in the Rye
"Although not my favourite book, I really don't think you can get by without taking a look."
East of Eden (Penguin Modern Classics)
East of Eden (Penguin Modern Classics)
"I looked at this book and went 'no way!'.  While it's true that 640 pages of Steinbeck is no picnic, every page was gripping once you got started."
To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird
"Very well written. A classic that deserves the title."
The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)
The Turn of the Screw (Penguin Popular Classics)
"A classic ghost story that works because of the author's skill."
Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
"A Chinese child who is not loved by her parents and faces a difficult childhood."
No Great Mischief
No Great Mischief
"A great author who needs more people talking about him!!"
The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
"Funny and well written. Another great example of the talent of the author."
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials")
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials")
"I wasn't really interested in Steinbeck until I had to read one of his books for my course. This is a great introduction to newcomers."
Ten Thousand Sorrows
Ten Thousand Sorrows
"One Korean womans struggle through life."
Empire Falls
Empire Falls
"Another great writer I found by accident. His ability to flesh out his many characters makes this novel a gripping read."
White Oleander
White Oleander
"I was drawn into this book from the first few pages. Watch out for the film version."
Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
"Not many people haven't read this book."
What Katya Did Next: The Chronicles of a Sociopathic Social Climber
What Katya Did Next: The Chronicles of a Sociopathic Social Climber
"I'll end with a very funny novel that makes you laugh out loud... in public! (Much better than Bridget Jone's Diary)"