Book picks similar to
The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey - 1912
It is the story of Lassiter, a gunslinging avenger in black, who shows up in a remote Utah town just in time to save the young and beautiful rancher Jane Withersteen from having to marry a Mormon elder against her will. Lassiter is on his own quest, one that ends when he discovers a secret grave on Jane’s grounds. “[Zane Grey’s] popularity was neither accidental nor undeserved,” wrote Nye. “Few popular novelists have possessed such a grasp of what the public wanted and few have developed Grey’s skill at supplying it.”
A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Irving - 1989
Owen doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul is both extraordinary and terrifying. At moments a comic, self-deluded victim, but in the end the principal, tragic actor in a divine plan, Owen Meany is the most heartbreaking hero John Irving has yet created.
Johnny Got His Gun
Dalton Trumbo - 1939
This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered - not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives... This is no ordinary novel. This is a novel that never takes the easy way out: it is shocking, violent, terrifying, horrible, uncompromising, brutal, remorseless and gruesome... but so is war. Winner of the National Book Award.
Walker Percy - 1961
The Moviegoer is Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with the detached gaze of a Bourbon Street dandy even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments" absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans' French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.
A Good School
Richard Yates - 1978
At once a meditation on the twilight of youth and an examination of America's entry into World War II, A Good School tells the stories of William Grove, the quiet boy who becomes an editor of the school newspaper; Jack Draper, a crippled chemistry teacher; and Edith Stone, the schoolmaster's young daughter, who falls in love with most celebrated boy in the class of 1943.
Theodore Dreiser - 1900
Dreiser's unsparing story of a country girl's rise to riches as the mistress of a wealthy man marked the beginning of the naturalist movement in America. Both its subject matter and Dreiser's objective, nonmoralizing approach made it highly controversial, and only a heavily edited version could be published in 1900. In this restored version, the truly revolutionary nature of Sister Carrie is made fully evident.
The Other Side of the Sun
Madeleine L'Engle - 1971
Soon after their arrival at Illyria, the Reniers’ rambling beachside home, Theron is sent on a diplomatic mission, leaving Stella alone with his family. As she tries to settle into her new life, Stella quickly discovers that the Reniers are not what they seem. Trapped in a world unlike anything she’s ever known, vulnerable Stella attempts to uncover her new family’s dangerous secrets—and stirs up a darkness that was meant to stay buried.
William Styron - 1979
Three stories are told: a young Southerner wants to become a writer; a turbulent love-hate affair between a brilliant Jew and a beautiful Polish woman; and of an awful wound in that woman's past--one that impels both Sophie and Nathan toward destruction.
Bright Lights, Big City
Jay McInerney - 1984
The novel follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With nothing but goodwill, controlled substances, and wit to sustain him in this anti-quest, he runs until he reaches his reckoning point, where he is forced to acknowledge loss and, possibly, to rediscover his better instincts. This remarkable novel of youth and New York remains one of the most beloved, imitated, and iconic novels in America.
The Sea Wolf
Jack London - 1904
He is set adrift in the Bay, eventually being picked up by Wolf Larsen.Larsen is the captain of a seal-hunting schooner, the Ghost. Brutal and cynical, yet also highly intelligent and intellectual, he rules over his ship and terrorizes the crew with the aid of his exceptionally great physical strength.
Ethan Canin - 2008
Soon, through the family’s generosity, he is a student at a private boarding school and an aide to the great New York senator Henry Bonwiller, who is running for president of the United States. Before long, Corey finds himself involved with one of the Metarey daughters as well, and he begins to leave behind the world of his upbringing. As the Bonwiller campaign gains momentum, Corey finds himself caught up in a complex web of events in which loyalty, politics, sex, and gratitude conflict with morality, love, and the truth. America America is a beautiful novel about America as it was and is, a remarkable exploration of how vanity, greatness, and tragedy combine to change history and fate.
Edith Wharton - 1917
Despite her pride, independence, and honesty, Charity Royall feels shadowed by her past--especially in her ardent relationship with the educated and refined Lucius Harney. Can passion overcome the effects of heredity and environment?With its frank treatment of a woman's sexual awakening, Summer created a sensation upon its 1917 publication. Edith Wharton — the author of Ethan Frome and a peerless observer and chronicler of society — completely shattered the standards of conventional love stories with this novel's candor and realism. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author declared Summer a personal favorite among her works, and liked to refer to it as "the Hot Ethan." Over a century later, it remains fresh and relevant.