7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. “Last night, I dreamed I went to Manderley again.” You will love this story of psychological obsession and immortality by one of the most underrated writers of the 20th century.
8. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. This wonderful sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy asks a poignant question. Facing the end of life as we know it, is it too much to ask to find a good cup of tea and some biscuits?
9. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Sixty-five million other readers worldwide adore the story of the Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, who goes searching for a treasure under the scornful aegis of a sorceress. I’m not going to disagree with them.
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Nathaniel Hawthorne hated the Misses Bronte, because they could do what he could not — write books that sing with authenticity and genuine suspense, and do so nearly 200 years later.
11. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s the story of one woman’s doomed love and one civilization’s doomed quest, and it’s just a helluva story, period.
12. The Magus by John Fowles. Even people who have read and loved The French Lieutenant’s Woman may not know about this crazy part romance, part horror, part Gothic book, in which nothing and no one is what it seems.
13. in our time by Ernest Hemingway. The lower case name is the correct, if affected, author’s choice of title for the first big published book of Ernest Hemingway’s heart-breaking stories. When you read this, you see just why his style was so imitated, and why it never could be copied. Ever.
14. Different Seasons by Stephen King. Speaking of great short-story stylists, this is my living favorite. While I don’t run to buy every new Stephen King novel, I would fight anyone who thinks that "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and "The Body" don’t compare favorably to just about anything.