We have always lived in the castle : Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is perhaps the crowning achievement of Shirley Jackson's brilliant career: a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the dramatic struggle that ensues when an unexpected visitor interrupts their unusual way of life.
One flew over the cuckoo's nest : Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a seminal novel of the 1960s. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants—a counterculture classic that inspired the 1975 film adaptation, widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
Twelve Years a Slave : Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. Brought to new attention by the Academy Award–winning film adaptation, it is recognized for its unusual insight and eloquence as one of the very few portraits of American slavery produced by someone as educated as Solomon Northup, or by someone with the dual perspective of having been both a free man and a slave.
On the Road : Jack Kerouac's masterpiece of the Beat era was first published in 1957 and continues to provide a vital portrait of a generation adrift, as well as inspiration for travelers, dreamers, and artists in every generation that has followed.
East of Eden : The masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a sprawling epic in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence.
The Broom of the System : The “dazzling, exhilarating” ( San Francisco Chronicle) debut novel from one of the most groundbreaking writers of his generation, The Broom of the System is an outlandishly funny and fiercely intelligent exploration of the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.