january 8, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 54  

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30 Books Before 30

Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent — The definitive examination of our twisted relationship with the media.

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness — A dark and trying journey into the Belgian Congo.

Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — The story of a funny little man and his magical chocolate factory.

Robertson Davies, Fifth Business — Masterful storytelling about the lives of those in a Canadian small town.

Charles Dickens, Bleak House — Dickens’ most complete and entertaining assessment of his society.

Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank — The moving story of a young girl during World War II.

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha — Wonderfully imagined story about a young Japanese girl’s coming of age.

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time — The scientist’s non-technical analysis of the history of the world.

Joseph Heller, Catch-22 — A dark satire on the horrors of war and the power of modern society.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast — An unforgettable romp through 19th century Paris.

Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh — The principles of the ancient Chinese philosophy taught through conversations with Winnie & Co.

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables — A lyrical and romantic look at the society of 19th Century France.

John Irving, The Cider House Rules — A young man’s journey from poor to rich.

James Joyce, Dubliners — Short stories about politics and society in 20th Century Ireland.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road — Legendary beatnik novel about finding yourself through travelling.

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird — A look at racism in small town America through the eyes of a child.

Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes — Autobiography of a poor Irish Catholic boy and his family.

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon — The Nobel Prize winner’s look at the history of African Americans in the United States through fiction.

Farley Mowat, Sea of Slaughter — Social criticism on the negative effects humans have had on the environment.

Blake Nelson, Girl — A teenage girl’s story about growing up in suburbia.

George Orwell, 1984 — Orwell’s eerie look into the ‘Big Brother’ future of the world.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar — A young girl’s continuing battles with depression and suicide.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter series — A coming of age story complete with witches and wizards.

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children — A look at India’s move towards independence through the eyes of one character.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye — The definitive portrait of a young man filled with angst.

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal — A fascinating look at the effects of McDonald’s on society.

Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels — A traveller’s fantastic and satirical journeys in the lands of giants and midgets.

Colin Turnbull, The Forest People — An anthropological study of the pygmies in Africa.

Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions — A hilarious story examining the brainwashing effects of popular culture.



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