Adult Book Lists
Finding the next great book to read can be as easy as scanning a bestsellers list. But sometimes, it pays to dig a little deeper. If you are searching for books in a specific genre, on a topic of interest or would like to find a hidden gem to add to your own personal favorites list, TCPL can help. We offer multiple resources to help you find the perfect book for your next reading adventure.
For more suggestions or to find shelf locations, try our Online Catalog and Novelist for suggestions. Some books may be only available as ebooks. Drop by the information desk on help using them, or to request and interlibrary loan.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) — Betty Smith
The story of an immigrant family living in Brooklyn in the first two decades of the 20th century.
The Adventures of Augie March (1953) — Saul Bellow
Born out of wedlock, brought up in the poverty of Chicago, Augie takes life as it comes and wherever he can get it.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) —Mark Twain
A Missouri boy tells of adventure on the Mississippi.
An American Tragedy (1925) —Theodore Dreiser
Ambitious Clyde Griffiths has an affair with Roberta, but her pregnancy does not fit into his plan for success…
The Awakening (1899) —Kate Chopin
Edna Pontellier, an unhappy wife and mother, discovers new qualities in herself when she visits New Orleans.
The Bell Jar (1963) —Sylvia Plath
This semi-autobiographical novel details the psychological downturn of a privileged east coast student.
Beloved (1987) —Toni Morrison
Preferring death over slavery for her children, Sethe murders her infant daughter who later mysteriously returns…
Bless Me, Ultima (1972) —Rudolfo Anaya
Ultima, a wise old mystic, helps a young Hispanic boy resolve personal dilemmas caused by his parents and society.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) —Thornton Wilder
The story of five travelers who are victims of the collapse of a bridge built over a deep chasm in Peru.
Call of the Wild (1903) —Jack London
Stolen from his life as a beloved pet, Buck learns to adapt as a Klondike sled dog, then as leader of a pack in the wild.
Catch-22 (1961) —Joseph Heller
In this satirical novel, Captain Yossarian confronts the hypocrisy of war and bureaucracy in frantic attempts to survive.
The Catcher in the Rye (1951) —J.D. Salinger
A ribald, hilarious, and touching tale of a sixteen-year-old’s wanderings in New York after he is dropped from school.
The Color Purple (1982) —Alice Walker
In a series of letters to God and her sister, Celie reveals her struggle to overcome violence and brutality.
The Complete Tales & Poems (1809-1849) —Edgar Allan Poe
Outstanding tales of mystery and suspense from the pen of one of our greatest mystery writers.
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) —Willa Cather
Bishop Latour and Father Vaillant are on a mission to New Mexico, but a death leaves their mark on the landscape.
Ender’s Game (1985) —Orson Scott Card
In a world decimated by aliens, the government trains young geniuses in military strategy with complex computer games.
Fahrenheit 451 (1953) —Ray Bradbury
Books are for burning in this future society in which thinking and reading are crimes.
A Farewell to Arms (1929) —Ernest Hemingway
World War I is the setting for this love story of an English nurse and a wounded American ambulance officer.
Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953) —James Baldwin
14 year-old John struggles against the sins of his forefathers and the sensuous evils of Harlem to attain a religious conversion that reflects man’s inner battle.
Gone With the Wind (1936) —Margaret Mitchell
Scheming, beautiful Scarlett O’Hara and unscrupulous Rhett Butler make this story of the Civil War unforgettable.
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) —John Steinbeck
An Oklahoma farmer and his family leave the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression to go to California.
The Great Gatsby (1925) —F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lives of wealthy persons in the New York are during the “roaring twenties” are carefully portrayed.
Grendel (1971) —John Gardner
In this reworking of Beowulf, the monster Grendel struggles to understand the ugliness in himself and mankind.
The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) —Margaret Atwood
In a Christian fundamentalist dystopia, fertile lower-class women serve as birthmothers for the upper class.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) —Carson McCullers
Deaf-mute John Singer becomes the talisman for the yearnings of four people in a small Southern town.
Little Women (1868) —Louisa May Alcott
This semiautobiographical novel tells the story of sisters trying to survive in New England during the Civil War.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1918) —Booth Tarkington
The declining fortunes of the Ambersons is traced through three generations .
The Maltese Falcon (1929) —Dashiell Hammett
A shopworn private eye stumbles on a mystery of a treasure, and falls for the woman who begs for his help.
Of Mice and Men (1937) —John Steinbeck
Lennie, a mentally challenged migrant worker, is protected by his friend George as they wander for work.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) —Ken Kesey
An irrepressible rebel leads fellow inmates of a mental hospital in a struggle with tyrannical Head Nurse Ratched.
On the Road (1957) —Jack Kerouac
Sal Paradise hitchhikes across the United States in a cross-country adventure that helped define the Beat Generation.
A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989) —John Irving
After a boy hits a foul ball that kills another’s mother, Owen believes he is God’s instrument.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) —James M. Cain
A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem with one grisly solution, and a tangled web.
The Scarlet Letter (1850) —Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hester Prynne and her lover feel the effects of sin in Puritan New England.
Slaughterhouse Five (1969) —Kurt Vonnegut
An optometrist from New York shuttles between Dresden cellars, smoldering from Allied bombardment, and a luxurious zoo on the planet Tralfamadore.
The Sound and the Fury (1929) —William Faulkner
The tragic life of a degenerate Southern family, as described by a thirty-three-year-old mentally challenged man.
To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) —Harper Lee
A young girl tells of her lawyer father’s defense of an African American rape suspect in 1930’s small-town Alabama.
Winesburg, Ohio (1919) —Sherwood Anderson
The denizens of Winesburg struggle to find their place in the transition from agrarianism to industrialization.
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes and his friend, Dr. Watson, put Scotland Yard to shame as they outwit the villainous Moriarty.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll
Young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground, and comes face-to-face with the strangest adventures.
Animal Farm — George Orwell
A satire on communism and totalitarianism, Orwell employs his animal species allegorically.
Brave New World — Aldous Huxley
In a chilling vision of the future, babies produced in bottles exist in a mechanized world without soul.
Brideshead Revisited — Evelyn Waugh
In the golden age before World War II, Charles Ryder is infatuated with the Marchmains and their rapidly-disappearing world of privilege.
A Clockwork Orange —Anthony Burgess
In a nightmarish vision of the future where criminals rule after dark, Alex and his friends’ social pathology rises.
Dracula — Bram Stoker
Count Dracula’s vampiric designs for England meet resistance from Professor Van Helsing and his friends.
Dubliners — James Joyce
Reflecting life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, Joyce reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality.
Frankenstein — Mary Shelley
Committed science student Victor Frankenstein bestows life upon lifeless matter with disastrous results.
Gulliver’s Travels — Jonathan Swift
Adventures of miniature inhabitants of Lilliput, giants of Brobdingnag, and more form a masterful satire on man.
Great Expectations — Charles Dickens
Young Pip comes of age among a cast of eccentric characters, and a mysterious benefactor.
Heart of Darkness — Joseph Conrad
Dark allegory describes the narrator’s journey up the Congo River to meet a mysterious personage.
Ivanhoe — Sir Walter Scott
The days of Robin Hood and of Saxon and Norman feuds come alive in this story of Medieval England.
Jane Eyre — Charlotte Bronte
An unassuming English orphan becomes a governess and falls in love with her employer.
Kidnapped — Robert Louis Stevenson
A young man is treacherously kidnapped aboard a ship in this thrilling historical romance.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover — D.H. Lawrence
Trapped in a loveless marriage, Constance Chatterley meets the new gamekeeper at her husband’s estate, and experiences true love for the first time.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — C.S. Lewis
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy step into the world behind the magic wardrobe, where adventures await.
Lord of the Flies — William Golding
Innocence ends and savagery begins when English school boys are marooned on an ocean island.
Lucky Jim — Kingsley Amis
In this send-up of academia, graduate student Jim clashes humorously with his professors and colleagues.
1984 — George Orwell
In the future, privacy is invaded as the Thought Police persuade the people that “War is Peace – Freedom is Slavery – Ignorance is Strength.”
Of Human Bondage — William Somerset Maugham
Struggling for self-realization, Philip Carey begins a destructive love affair with a waitress, highlighting the complexities of human relationships.
Oliver Twist — Charles Dickens
An orphan living on the streets of London falls into a street gang to try and flee poverty.
The Once and Future King — T.H. White
King Arthur learns from Merlin, creates Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table, and loves and loses Guinevere.
Passage to India — E.M. Forster
East and West clash in India when an English woman accuses an Indian man of attacking her.
Picture of Dorian Gray — Oscar Wilde
A handsome young man’s portrait becomes a mirror, increasingly grotesque, of his true inner self.
Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
The romances of the Bennett girls and the ardent desire of their mother to have them all well married.
The Secret Garden — Frances Hodgson Burnett
An orphan comes to a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors with an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.
Silas Marner — George Eliot
A young orphan transforms the life of a lonely, embittered man in this novel about faith and society set in nineteenth-century rural England.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr. Jekyll discovers a drug that will create a separate personality that will absorb all of his evil characteristics: Mr. Hyde.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles — Thomas Hardy
A young peasant woman discovers that she is a descendant of the noble family of d’Urbervilles.
The Time Machine — H.G. Wells
The Time Traveler journeys 800,000 years into the future and discovers two bizarre races at war on the Earth.
To the Lighthouse — Virginia Woolf
On vacation on a Scottish Isle, The Ramsay family and guests are faced with loss, conflict, and tension.
The Turn of the Screw — Henry James
A governess suspects that evil spirits have cast a hideous spell over the two innocent children in her care.
Vanity Fair — William Makepeace Thackeray
The alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder.
Wide Sargasso Sea — Jean Rhys
A Creole heiress meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty. But rumors of madness poison his mind against her.
Wuthering Heights — Emily Brontë
A story of intense and frustrated love, of hate and revenge, takes place in the wild moors of England.
The Kite Runner
Father-son story of guilt and redemption, set against the backdrop of tumultuous events in Afghanistan, from the fall of the country’s monarchy to the rise of the Taliban regime.
A Town Like Alice
Post World-War II, a young English woman emigrates to Australia to join the man she loves and generate economic prosperity.
The Book Thief
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding.
Life of Pi
Pi survives a shipwreck with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger. With intelligence, daring, and fear, Pi manages to keep his wits about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the food chain.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (ebook)
During Mao’s infamous Cultural Revolution, two boys are among thousands exiled to the countryside for “re-education.” But the boys have a violin to distract them—as well as a beautiful young tailor’s daughter and a stash of Western classics.
The Count of Monte Cristo
A thriller set in post-Bonaparte France. Edmond Dantes seeks revenge against those who wrongfully engineered his imprisonment years before.
This story explores the themes of law and grace through the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who becomes a force for good but cannot escape his criminal past.
Narrates the experiences and reactions of a respectable bank functionary after his abrupt arrest on an undisclosed charge.
All Quiet on the Western Front (ebook)
The physical and mental stress experienced by German soldiers during WWI, and their difficulty in fitting into society after the war.
This book follows the life of Saleem Sinai, who was born at the stroke of midnight when India became independent, and finds himself sharing telepathic powers with his country’s other midnight children.
A modernist novel that chronicles an ordinary day in the life of Leopold Bloom in Dublin, the book parallels Homer’s Odyssey in structure and through its characters.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
An exquisitely beautiful young man in Victorian England retains his youthful and innocent appearance over the years while his portrait reflects both his age and evil soul.
The Name of the Rose
A historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327.
Like Water for Chocolate
This tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.
The House on Mango Street
For Esperanza, a young girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, life is an endless landscape of concrete and run-down tenements, and she tries to rise above the hopelessness.
Things Fall Apart (ebook)
Pre-and post-colonial late-19th century Nigeria through the life of an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion.
The Brothers Karamazov
This masterful psychological novel shows the horror and remorse of a student after he has killed an old woman for her money.
Cry, The Beloved Country
A social protest against the structures of South African society, this novel shows many of its problems, such as the degrading of native lands, the decline of tribal communities, and the flight to urban areas.
A South African English professor loses his moral compass, and innocents suffer. This story tackles themes of political and social violence in a deeply divided country.
The House of the Spirits
Epic story of the Trueba family—their loves, ambitions, spiritual quests, relations with one another, and their participation in the history of their times that becomes destiny and overtakes them all.
Alonso Quixano has read so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and sets out to right all the wrongs of the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This classic of magical realism tells the story of the Buendia family, whose patriarch founds the town of Macondo.
Cecil, Ramona K.
Douglas, Lloyd C.
Emmons, Sherri Wood
Fowler, Karen Joy
Hall, Baynard Rush
Huston, James W.
Kauggman, Christmas Carol
Laugheed, K. B.
Lottes, David A.
McCutcheon, George Barr
McCutcheon, John T.
Moore, Edward Kelsey
Owen, Robert Dale
Phillips, David Graham
Ryan, Hank Phillippi
Thon, James Alexander
Kennedy, Deborah Elaine
Willis, Wanda Lou
Sweazy, Larry D.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Williamson, Michael Z.
Riley, James Whitcomb
Baker, Ronald L.
Baxter, Nancy Niblack
Bill, J. Brent
Blount Jr., Roy
Deam, Charles C.
Dunn, Jacob Piatt
Gugin, Linda C.
Jackson, La Toya
Klink, Angela R.
Lockridge, Ross F.
Madison, James H.
Sanders, Scott R.
Sasso, Sandy Eisenberg
Thom, Dark Rain
Thornbrough, Emma Lou
Cramer, W. Dale
Eicher, Jerry S
Fisher, Suzanne Woods
Gabhart, Ann H
Gray, Shelley Shepard
Harper, Karen S
Hoff, B J
Lodge, Hillary Manton
Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Simpson, Susan Lantz
Nonfiction Books About the Amish
289.7 – General Amish books
641.5 – Amish cookbooks
IND CIRC 977.279 P913S 2004 – Indiana Amish community
Bergren, Lisa Tawn
Bunn, T. Davis
Gray, Shelley Shepard
Hatcher, Robin Lee
Hunt, Angela Elwell
Lodge, Hillary Manton
Nichols, Phyllis Clark
Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Borntrager, Mary Christner
Everson, Eva Marie
Jenkins, Jerry B
Stokes, Penelope J
Foster, Sharon Ewell
Higgs, Liz Curtis
Smith, Jill Eileen
Thoene, Bodie and Brock
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Ingermanson, Randall Scott
Peretti, Frank E
Clark, Mindy Starns
Gray, Shelley Shepard
Roper, Gayle G
Bell, James Scott
Rosenberg, Joel C
Rubart, James L
Singer, Randy D
Yttrup, Ginny L
Bly, Stephen A
De Leon, Aya
Dickey, Eric Jerome
Hunt, La Jill
Johnson, Carrie H.
Johnson, Lisa Renee
Morrison, Mary B.
Myers, Walter Dean
Dickey, Eric Jerome
For more popular books featuring African-American characters, check out these authors:
Bowen, Michele Andrea
McFadden, Bernice L.
Roby, Kimberla Lawson