The Library

"A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded." ~Lemony Snicket

Welcome to the Library.

My ideal library.
Photo Credit:

Here is where all my favorite books, books I'm reading, quotes and much more will go. I like to consider myself a literary person, in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I dearly wish to be part of an epic club like the Inklings someday. I'm in my school's journalism and writing clubs, and I'm very driven. I've even written two and a half novels, and countless short stories and poetry.

I learned to read at 3. Little short of a wonder I love reading!

My Favorite Authors:

Oscar Wilde
F. Scott Fitzgerald
J. D. Salinger
H. P. Lovecraft
Edgar Allan Poe
George Orwell
F. E. Higgins
Lemony Snicket

Books Worth Reading:

The Little Prince
The Great Gatsby
To Kill A Mockingbird
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Posts Related To Books:

10 Books That Changed My Life
Gatsby? What Gatsby? 
Fog, Fogg, Fog... 
The Count of Monte Cristo
Cyrano de Bergerac Quote


This is a guide to literary fiction and some regular fiction. I did a lot of reading over the summer, and have over the years. A lot of people, over those years, have come to know me as a reader. More often than not I get asked for recommendations. This is a guide to books you may or may not want to read.

The name? I've been going by the name Clerval as of last month. Frankenstein's character. Those who know me really well will get the similarities. :)

Here's my list! It may not be extremely definitive but as I read more and more I'll edit it. Novels are in BOLD. Short stories are in italics and the titles contain links to where you can read these stories for free, in most cases.

Note: The list below is not in any way supporting a hidden agenda. Lit teachers, don't berate me on skipping certain books. Other people, don't criticize me on my acerbic sense of humor (or lack of). This is for fun and recreation ONLY. My favorite 10 books from these have * in front of them.


The Odyssey by Homer
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Greek mythology, long epics, dramatic escapes,
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate poetry, don't like heroes, shun Greek mythology, sex explained in flowery language

The 1001 Nights
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Stories-inside-stories, mystical tales of adventures, murder every morning, clever women
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are a feminist, hate the word "Allah" being uttered every few sentences, long poems of dramatic uselessness

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Long-winded stories, first-person POV, weirdly funny stories
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate distractions, want the story to be told, hate weirdly funny stories

La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Hell, Paradise, and Purgatory; want to know where the idea of Hell came from, love obscure allusions, love
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Get scared easily. The Devil scene...yeah.

Paradise Lost by John Milton
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Epics, religion, Adam n' Eve, intense, dramatic scenes
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate long epics, don't like sentences that are vaguely a page long, taking 20 pages to learn what a character said

Hamlet by William Shakespeare
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Court intrigue, murder, ghosts, angsty teenagers, duels, poison, plays-inside-plays
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate incest, hate Early Modern English, hate the above

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (yes it's a political treatise but it's SATIRE. I consider it fiction for this reason. Deal with it.)
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Hypocrisy, the state of Medieval Italy city-states, politics
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate politics, roundabout ways, Machiavellian techniques and manuevers

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Little people, misanthropy, the good guy being beaten to evil guy, travelling, bellows being used as a stomach pain reliever, satire
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Take offense at Spanish curse words as place names, satire, don't like sad endings

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Witches, ghosts, prophecies, moving trees
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate rambling servants, lots of murder, evil wives

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Romance, classic romance, tragic romance, yep...oh, the Nurse and bawdy jokes.
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate romance, classic romance, tragic romance, bawdy jokes

The Tragicall Historie of Doctor Iohn Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Faust (see below),
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate devils, sins, selling your soul, Latin quotes


*The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Morals, character development, sin, witty quips, hypocrisy, British high society
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate flowery descriptions, veiled references to homosexuality, moralizing

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Monsters, reanimation, "It's alive! It's alive!", tragedy, Irish people
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Expect the movie to be better than the book, two kids partnered to marry since the age of 5

King Solomon's Mines by Ryder Haggard
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Tales in Africa, treasure hunting, discovering new worlds, safaris, grandfatherly main characters
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are anti-colonialist, hate safaris

Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Puzzles and riddles, logic, mad hatters, language puzzles, nonsense
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are ridiculously bland, humorless, moral, find offense, immorality and perversion in a little girl falling down a hole

*Dracula by Bram Stoker
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Cool vampires, long tales, repeated attempts at saving a girl's life, woman-stronger-than-man scenario
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are a misogynist, like vampires a la Edward Cullen

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Revolutions, history, different POVs, stories told over a long period of time, quotes
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Don't like sacrifice, betrayal, evil tavern wenches

*The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
READ IF YOU ENJOY: False manners, hypocrisy, disguising as other people, funny quips, quotes, foolish romances
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate all of the above. If you do, leave, you coldhearted, soulless person.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Christmas, ghosts, giant turkeys, Mr. Magoo's version
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are a Scrooge, are misanthropic (on second thought, read this story if you are.)

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Victorian London, whimsical names, prisoners in graveyards
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Long discourses on being a gentleman, the era, 80 year old women having kids play for her twisted amusement

Faust by Goethe
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Dorian Gray (see above), Ghost Rider, selling your soul to the devil, Bohemian Rhapsody, plays, monologues
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate long winded conversations, hate not understanding half the text due to symbolism and depth

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, Disguises,
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Disguises, bland field where no action happens mostly, Watson taking control

*Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Mysterious badass main characters, descriptions, The Amazing Race, hilarious sermons in trains, duels
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Take offense at colonialism and periodic racism, travelling, crazy improbable circumstances

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Dialect, anti-slavery, equality, interesting stories and adventures
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Dialect, "Pap", the Mississippi River, Mark Twain being so hillbilly-like

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Mysogyny, tragic endings, scandal and seduction, family tragedy, playboy sons of rich families
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are a misogynyist, hate tragic endings

*The Count of Monte Cristo by Auguste Maquet and Alexandre Dumas, pere
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Adventure, revenge, betrayal, revolutions, treasure, crazy priests, disguises, 1000+ page novels, multiple subplots
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: long novels, more than 10 main characters, multiple families, murder

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Short works, intense stories, anti-colonialism messages, The horror! The horror!
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Flowery descriptions, long tracts of dialogue, intense stuff

READ IF YOU ENJOY: Dialect and countryside characters, cheating on several female girlfriends
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Bland countryside, dialect, players

*Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Epicly awesome main characters, swordfighters, war scenes, romantic comedy, poets doing what they do best (aka: nothing), long noses, Ballade at the Court de Montaigne
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Tragic endings, blocks of wood, plays, romance between cousins


The Verger by W. Somerset Maugham
READ IF YOU ENJOY: The little guy winning, Church officials, cigarette shops
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Uneducated fellows, Church officials being snarky, the little guy winning

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Noir, heavily drinking, comedy of manners, not knowing what's going on
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate being lost in conversation, detectives, murders

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Language, puns, female's rights, British accents and such
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are a misogynist, hate social satire

*The Stranger by Alfred Camus
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Philosophical accounts, existentialism, despair at life, are apathetic to everything, looking at character's thoughts
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Value human life, love life

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Mark Twain quotes turned into short stories, reverse aging and the real consequences of it happening
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Liked the movie (it's nothing like it), babies that are 70 years old

Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Dramatic family tirades, family life, despair at everything
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Alcoholism, despair, tragedy

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
READ IF YOU ENJOY: The recent movie which was mostly accurate, stalkers, dramatic stories of 'Little Montenegro!', the Midwest (NOT San Francisco), high class story, the Roaring Twenties
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Believe America has no class system, failed romances, love the East

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
READ IF YOU ENJOY: The Great Gatsby (above), sad romance, The Mediterranean, duels
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate mental characters and romances with said mental character

*Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Mysterious secrets, romance in a non-cheesy way, a large estate with a mind of its own
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate seduction, a dominatrix, mysterious secrets

Black Boy by Richard Wright
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Tongue in cheek experiences, childhood, stories of racism and freedom
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are racist, hate life stories

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Migrant workers on the farm, heartwarming friendship, sacrifice
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Mentally disabled characters, murder, tragic endings, dogs

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Simple living, stories mixed into one, Doc, marine animals, hopelessness turned into hope, stores that carry everything
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Treat prostitution as immoral, raves and parties

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Murder mysteries, Harper's Island, disappearing sailor boys, being alone on an island
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Judges, colonels, and religious spinsters, murders, undertones of racism and apathy

1984 by George Orwell
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Classic dystopia, surveillance states, illegal romance, interesting POVs, exposition
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are extremely paranoid, hate violence and torture, etc.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Classic dystopia, realistic dystopia, Shakespeare quoted freely, Savage Reservations, Ford and Freud, Robert Browning's poems twisted
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Artificially made babies, caste systems, recreational drug use, the way our Western society is turning into


The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Stream-of-consciousness, teenage angst, stories with little plot, realistic portrayals, '50s slang
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are one of those annoying biddies who hates cursing of any kind, profanity, sex, drugs, and rock and roll (at least the first three)

READ IF YOU ENJOY: Time travel, hilarious comedy, stereotypical mad scientists, rewriting history, time travel through a completely new perspective
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: The above, you soulless, humorless person.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Cool vampires, long histories,
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: New Orleans, five year old little girl vampires

READ IF YOU ENJOY: Intelligent, spunky girls a la Baudelaire orphans, World War II, interesting ending, a pocket watch
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: World War II, PTSD-afflicted soldiers

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Interview with the Vampire (see above), cool vampires, rock music
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Long-winded stories, histories-within-novels, too many characters

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Stephen Sondheim (musical)
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Musicals, bloody violence, Victorian-era characters, straight razors, meat pies, catchy songs
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Seduction, rape, stabbing and violent murder, men lusting after teenage girls, Fogg's Asylum for the Insane, cannibalism

The Outsiders by SE Hinton
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Greasers, the '50s, the "other side's" POV, sunsets, Robert Frost
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Greasers/gang members of any kind, drive-in theatres, poetry

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Wills and inheritances, really clever puzzles, teams trying to solve the mystery, fireworks, eccentric men, Chinese restaurants
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: 62-year-old delivery boys, fun puzzles, explosions and robbers

Lord of the Flies by Wm Golding
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Bloodthirsty kids, worst-case scenarios, death
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Bloodthirsty kids, allegories

*The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Word puns, the dumbing down of America, Alice in Wonderland (see above), the perpetual war between math and reading, edible words, the numbers mine, the Terrible Trivium (sorry guys)
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are too inept to understand the word puns, hate illogical fallacies

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Salem witch trials, religious prudery, history
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Religion, nonsensical trials, McCarthyism, racism

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
READ IF YOU ENJOY: The pursuit of knowledge, becoming a person, feeling like you don't belong, doctors and scientists, crazy artists
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Look down on others because intelligence, explicit sex scenes 

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
READ IF YOU ENJOY: WWII, laugh-out-loud funny illogical scenarios, whimsical names, the chaplain
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Hate illogical fallacies

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Character studies, wise characters, growing-up, loss of innocence
DO NOT READ IF YOU: Are devoutly racist, hate mixed endings

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
READ IF YOU ENJOY: Time travel, Romantic poets, Egyptian gods and magic, modern millionaires, college professors, werewolves
DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE: Poetry, transvestites, deformed clowns, gypsies

Ford's in his flivver, all's right with the world!
-Clerval (Rob)

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