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21 Great Novels It's Worth Finding Time to Read

'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'True Grit' top the list

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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 heartbreaking 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.

15. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Often cited as sporting the best first paragraph in all prose, this story is still as paralyzingly scary as it was the day it was written.

16. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

My mother said that this novel of prewar Russia and the foolish and beautiful Anna was a story that “took all the fun out of adultery.” So true.

17. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

Having read this book before the amazing characterization of Hannibal Lecter by Anthony Hopkins, I was the only person on earth who thought that this prequel to The Silence of the Lambs was even more gruesome and terrifying.

18. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

Another Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the Civil War? Yes! This is the story of the longest days of our nation’s lives, three hot sunsets in Gettysburg, and why even the beautiful and brave can be wrong, and the glum, stubborn and foolish as right as dawn.

19. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

The story of two couples growing "up" together is as true a story about loyalty and its limits as any I’ve ever read.

20. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Often described as the chronicle of the so-called Jazz Age, this is really a story about the haves and how they think of the have-nots, because they are helpless to think of them any other way. You might call it a 1920s tale of the 1 percent.

21. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

Those who think of this small book about a gallant spider’s fight to save the life of a runt pig as a children’s story are letting children have all the fun.

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HILLARY CLINTON BOOK DEAL: Simon & Schuster told the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton is working on a memoir and policy book about her years as secretary of state. Yet to be titled, it is expected to be published in June 2014.

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