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CLASSICS: Thin Classics

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The Stranger

Camus, Albert, 1913-1960.


A young man becomes mixed in the business of a local pimp and ends up killing a man.

117 pages.

The house on Mango Street

Cisneros, Sandra.


This book tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong, not to her run-down neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Capturing her thoughts and emotions in poems and stories, she is able to rise above hopelessness and create a quiet space for herself in the midst of her oppressive surroundings. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.

Heart of darkness

Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924.


In a novella which remains highly controversial to this day, Conrad explores the relations between Africa and Europe. On the surface, this is a horrifying tale of colonial exploitation. The narrator, Marlowe journeys on business deep into the heart of Africa. But there he encounters Kurtz, an idealist apparently crazed and depraved by his power over the natives, and the meeting prompts Marlowe to reflect on the darkness at the heart of all men.

A Christmas carol and other stories

Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870


An immediate bestseller when it was first published in December 1843, A Christmas Carol has endured ever since as a perennial Yuletide favorite. Charles Dickens's beloved tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill through a haunting Christmas Eve encounter with four ghosts, is a heartwarming celebration of the spirit of Christmas.

Chronicle of a death foretold

García Márquez, Gabriel, 1927-2014.


A mysterious and haunting tale of romance and murder, that begins with the marriage of a man and a woman in love. But when he inexplicably mistreats his beloved on the night of the wedding, he is in turn murdered by her brothers, and we are left with a strange sense of inevitability and passions gone terribly awry.

The miracle worker : [a play]

Gibson, William, 1914-2008.

812.54 GIBSON

Text of the play of the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

The Old Man and the Sea

Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.


The story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.

117 pages.


Hersey, John, 1914-1993.

940.5425 HERSEY

Hiroshima is the story of six human beings who lived through the greatest single manmade disaster in history.

152 pages.


Hesse, Hermann, 1877-1962.


Classic novel that has inspired generations of seekers. Blending Eastern mysticism and psychoanalysis, Hesse presents a strikingly original view of man and culture and the arduous process of self-discovery, reconciliation, harmony, and peace.

119 pages.

Farewell to Manzanar : a true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki.


During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.

Inherit the wind

Lawrence, Jerome, 1915-2004.

812.54 LAWRENC

The accused was a slight, frightened man who had deliberately broken the law. His trial was a Roman circus. The chief gladiators were two great legal giants of the century. Like two bull elephants locked in mortal combat, they bellowed and roared imprecations and abuse. The spectators sat uneasily in the sweltering heat with murder in their hearts, barely able to restrain themselves. At stake was the freedom of every American. One of the most moving and meaningful plays of our generation.

The lathe of heaven : a novel

Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-


A classic science fiction novel by one of the greatest writers of the genre, set in a future world where one man's dreams control the fate of humanity. In a future world racked by violence and environmental catastrophes, George Orr wakes up one day to discover that his dreams have the ability to alter reality. He seeks help from Dr. William Haber, a psychiatrist who immediately grasps the power George wields. Soon George must preserve reality itself as Dr. Haber becomes adept at manipulating George's dreams for his own purposes. The Lathe of Heaven is an eerily prescient novel from award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin that masterfully addresses the dangers of power and humanity's self-destructiveness, questioning the nature of reality itself. It is a classic of the science fiction genre.

A wizard of Earthsea

Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-


The greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea was once a reckless youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.

The Call of the Wild

London, Jack, 1876-1916.


One of the most popular and exciting adventure stories is now being reissued with vibrant, realistic paintings by a highly acclaimed artist and an introduction by award-winning author, Gary Paulsen.

102 pages.

The Prince

Machiavelli, Niccolo, 1469-1527.


Machiavelli, whose name has become synonymous with expedient exercises of will, reveals nothing less than the secrets of power: how to gain it, how to wield it, and how to keep it. But curiously, this work of outspoken clarity has, for centuries, inspired myriad interpretations as to its author's true message.

126 pages.

Animal Farm

Orwell, George, 1903-1950.


"Animal Farm" is the account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama.

113 pages.

The Little Prince

Saint-Exupery, Antoine de, 1900-1944.


An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.

83 pages.


Schaefer, Jack, 1907-1991.


In the summer of 1889, a mysterious and charismatic man rides into a small Wyoming valley, where he joins homesteaders who take a stand against a bullying cattle rancher, and where he changes the lives of a young boy and his parents.

135 pages.

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich

Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008.


One of the most chilling novels about the oppression of totalitarian regimes and the first to open Western eyes to the terrors of Stalin's prison camps; if Solzhenitsyn later became Russia's conscience in exile, this is the book with which he first challenged the brutal might of the Soviet Union.

The Pearl

Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.


For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot stem the events leading to tragedy.

97 pages.

Of Mice and Men

Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.


Tells a story about the strange relationship of two migrant workers, who are able to realize their dreams of an easy life until one of them succumbs to his weakness for soft, helpless creatures and strangles the farmer's wife.

105 pages.

The red pony

Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.


Ownership of a red pony teaches ten-year-old Jody about life and death.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories

Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894.


Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, a kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted evil self, Mr. Hyde.

94 pages.

Candide, or, Optimism

Voltaire, 1694-1778.


Candide is a brilliant satire of the theory that our world is "the best of all possible worlds." The book traces the adventures of the guileless Candide, who is forced into the army, flogged, shipwrecked, betrayed, robbed, separated from his beloved Cunegonde, tortured by the Inquisition, et cetera, all without losing his resilience and will to live and pursue a happy life.

119 pages.

Ethan Frome

Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937.


Ethan Frome works his unproductive farm and struggles to maintain a bearable existence with his difficult, suspicious, and hypochondriac wife, Zeenie. But when Zeenie's vivacious cousin enters their household as a hired girl, Ethan finds himself obsessed with her and with the possibilities for happiness she comes to represent.

99 pages.

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