Earlier this week, we published Stifel Nicolaus Managing Director Dave Lutz’ annual list of books recommended by traders.Every year, Lutz polls his clientele and ask them what books they like. He then sends out a big list to give everyone fresh ideas.
Now, we dig a bit deeper — and go a bit more high-brow — by pulling 15 classic novels that appear on the list.
Some you probably haven’t read since high school but are always worth revisiting.
Others have maybe always been on your list.
If so, here’s a great excuse to finally get around to them.
Author: George Orwell
Amazon Description: 'George Bowling, the hero of this comic novel, is a middle-aged insurance salesman who lives in an average English suburban row house with a wife and two children. One day, after winning some money from a bet, he goes back to the village where he grew up, to fish for carp in a pool he remembers from 30 years before. The pool, alas, is gone, the village has changed beyond recognition, and the principal event of his holiday is an accidental bombing by the RAF.'
Year published: 1939
Author: David Foster Wallace
Amazon Description: 'A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the pursuit of happiness in America. Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction,Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are.'
Year published: 1996
Author: Jose Saramago
Amazon Description: 'A city is hit by an epidemic of 'white blindness' which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.'
Year published: 1997
Author: Ken Kesey
Amazon Description: 'Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls 'one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century.' This wild-spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.'
Year published: 1964
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Amazon Description: 'Barsoom is Mr Burroughs vision of Mars as an exotic world slowing sinking towards its eternal slumber. Barsoom is populated by various intelligent species, both human and non-human who vie for the dwindling resources of the dying planet. - Enter John Carter (aka Captain Jack Carter, C.S.A. and gentleman of the State of Virginia), an Earthman transported to Mars by some strange type of astral projection from his dying body on Earth. Once on Barsoom our Earthly hero quickly begins to show his physical and moral superiority by joining together groups that have been warring against one another for generations.'
Year published: 1912
Author: Larry McMurty
Amazon Description: 'A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-- winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.'
Year published: 1985
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Amazon Description: 'The premise of these novels is that the 'Flashman Papers' were discovered in a Leicestershire attic in 1965. In them, the English soldier and adventurer, Harry Flashman, recounts his adventures throughout the British Empire during the latter half of the nineteenth century. They are helpfully 'notated' by the 'editor,' George MacDonald Fraser, who occasionally comments upon the authenticity of Flashman's recollections. And what do you know! Flashman just happens to have been present at just about every single major military event in English history of these times!
Year published: 1970
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Amazon Description: 'Falsely accused during the final days of Napoleon's reign, Edmond Dantès is imprisoned in the bleak Chateau d'If. After a hair-raising escape, he launches an elaborate plot to extract a bitter revenge against those who betrayed him.'
Year published: 1844
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Description: Mild-mannered Midwesterner Nick Carraway journeys to New York and gets caught up in the decadent world of Jazz Age high society.
Year published: 1922
Author: John Steinbeck
Amazon Description: 'During World War II, a German sympathizer lures local men and the town's twelve soldiers into the forest long enough for the Germans to take the town. They occupy the home of the mayor as a sign of their power and commandeer the local coal mine. Mayor Orden has never before been a brave or very forceful man, but he is not a fool, and while he tries to keep order in the town, as the Germans demand, he refuses to use the power of his office to betray the ideals of his people.'
Year published: 1942
Author: Ayn Rand
Amazon Description: 'In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out.'
Year published: 1939
Author: James Dickey
Amazon Description: 'The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the states most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.'
Year published: 1970
Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Amazon Description: 'Goethe's Faust reworks the late-medieval myth of Dr Faust, a brilliant scholar so disillusioned he resolves to make a contract or wager with the devil, Mephistopheles. The devil will do all he asks on Earth and seek to grant him a moment in life so glorious that he will wish it to last for ever. But if Faust does bid the moment stay, he falls to Mephisto and must serve him after death.'
Year published: 1808
Author: Herman Hesse
Amazon Description: 'With parallels to the enlightenment of the Buddha, Hesse's Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's quest for the ultimate reality. Steeped in the tenets of both psychoanalysis and Eastern mysticism, Siddhartha presents an original view of man and culture, and the arduous process of self-discovery that leads to reconciliation, harmony, and peace.'
Year published: 1951
Author: John D. MacDonald
Amazon Description: 'Some of the books are better than others, but they're nearly all worth a couple of lazy summer days. They are the ultimate summer time, quick-read beach books. At their core, they're good mysteries. But Travis McGee is such a great character, with such a wry outlook on life, that often the mystery seems secondary to McGee's views on whatever topic author John D. McDonald has selected for his soap box. Most of them take place in Florida, (a Florida no one will ever see again given they were written mostly in the 60s and 70s).'
Year published: 1964
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