60 Books Everyone Should Read Before They Die

Curl up with #12 this weekend.

Betsy Farrell

When you've had your fill of beach reads, broaden your horizons with a selection from this list of literary masterpieces that range from moving memoirs to hilarious essays. (And okay, okay — we have some "beach" reads in here too.)

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW: </strong>$9,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Toni-Morrison/dp/1400033411/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a>&nbsp;</p><p>Though it's a tough read for the cruelties within the&nbsp;plot, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Toni-Morrison/dp/1400033411/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Beloved</em></a>&nbsp;is also a necessary read for those exact things. A story of slavery and racism, the book also touches upon the power of a mother's love.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g3451/best-fiction-books/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">50 books to read before you turn 40&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g3451/best-fiction-books/"></a></span></p>
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison

BUY NOW: $9,  

Though it's a tough read for the cruelties within the plot,  is also a necessary read for those exact things. A story of slavery and racism, the book also touches upon the power of a mother's love. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:&nbsp;</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>$9,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Year-Magical-Thinking-Joan-Didion/dp/1400078431/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=1504034312&amp;sr=1-1&amp;tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Joan Didion's National Book Award-winning memoir, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Year-Magical-Thinking-Joan-Didion/dp/1400078431/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=1504034312&amp;sr=1-1" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Year of Magical Thinking</em></a>, recounts the sudden loss of her husband immediately after visiting the hospital where their daughter lay in coma.&nbsp;Though you'll cry plenty, it's ultimately&nbsp;a story&nbsp;of love and moving on.&nbsp;</p>
"The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion

BUY NOW:  $9, 

Joan Didion's National Book Award-winning memoir, , recounts the sudden loss of her husband immediately after visiting the hospital where their daughter lay in coma. Though you'll cry plenty, it's ultimately a story of love and moving on. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:&nbsp;</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$7,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/1984-Signet-Classics-George-Orwell/dp/0451524934/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>In what has proven to be a timeless classic, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/1984-Signet-Classics-George-Orwell/dp/0451524934/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">1984</em></a> takes a dystopian look at a future of a totalitarian government disregards facts and always has an eye on its citizens. To this day, <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">1984</em> appears on best-seller lists.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/news/a41768/toys-record-kids-talking/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">See the toys that could secretly record you&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/news/a41768/toys-record-kids-talking/"></a></span></p>
"1984" by George Orwell

BUY NOW: $7, 

In what has proven to be a timeless classic, takes a dystopian look at a future of a totalitarian government disregards facts and always has an eye on its citizens. To this day, 1984 appears on best-seller lists. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:&nbsp;</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$10,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Angelas-Ashes-Memoir-Frank-McCourt/dp/068484267X/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Frank McCourt's memoir recounts an impoverished childhood raised in the slums. Born to a father who struggled with alcoholism and couldn't make ends meet, McCourt wears rags and begs in the street. Yet it's his father's stories that keep the child going through grim circumstances. Though you'll definitely cry when reading <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Angelas-Ashes-Memoir-Frank-McCourt/dp/068484267X/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Angela's Ashes</a></em>, you'll also be inspired by McCourt's profound ability to forgive.</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a32535/ken-and-danielle-lambert-mental-illness-tragedy/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Read a shocking story of forgiveness&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a32535/ken-and-danielle-lambert-mental-illness-tragedy/"></a></span></p>
"Angela's Ashes" by Frank McCourt

BUY NOW: $10, 

Frank McCourt's memoir recounts an impoverished childhood raised in the slums. Born to a father who struggled with alcoholism and couldn't make ends meet, McCourt wears rags and begs in the street. Yet it's his father's stories that keep the child going through grim circumstances. Though you'll definitely cry when reading , you'll also be inspired by McCourt's profound ability to forgive.

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:&nbsp;</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$5,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Diary-Young-Girl-Anne-Frank/dp/819073914X/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>This book is another one you've likely read in school, but there is honestly no such thing as reading <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Diary-Young-Girl-Anne-Frank/dp/819073914X/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">The Diary of a Young Girl</a></em> "too many" times. The diary pulls you into Anne Frank's experience as she hides from Nazis and is a moving reminder of both the cruelties of humanity and the courage of spirit Anne had.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/a26896/auschwitz-gas-chamber-holocaust-survivor/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Read an inspiring story from a Holocaust survivor&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/a26896/auschwitz-gas-chamber-holocaust-survivor/"></a></span></p>
"The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank

BUY NOW: $5, 

This book is another one you've likely read in school, but there is honestly no such thing as reading "too many" times. The diary pulls you into Anne Frank's experience as she hides from Nazis and is a moving reminder of both the cruelties of humanity and the courage of spirit Anne had. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong>&nbsp;$7,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Are-You-There-God-Margaret/dp/148140993X/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Though the cover of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Are-You-There-God-Margaret/dp/148140993X/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret</em></a> has changed over time, Judy Blume's fictional-yet-relatable portrayal of a girl awaiting her period (and breasts) has provided solace for generation after generation of young women. As an adult, it's a book that keeps you from judging young people too harshly. We were all there once.&nbsp;<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a32460/judy-blume-book-excerpt/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Read an excerpt from Blume's latest book&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a32460/judy-blume-book-excerpt/"></a></span></p>
"Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" by Judy Blume

BUY NOW: $7, 

Though the cover of has changed over time, Judy Blume's fictional-yet-relatable portrayal of a girl awaiting her period (and breasts) has provided solace for generation after generation of young women. As an adult, it's a book that keeps you from judging young people too harshly. We were all there once. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $9,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bell-Jar-Modern-Classics/dp/0060837020/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Though <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bell-Jar-Modern-Classics/dp/0060837020/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">The Bell Jar</a></em>&nbsp;was the only novel written by Sylvia Plath, this semi-autobiographical work explores the struggles of finding one's path in life.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/g3541/celebrities-with-depression/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">14 celebrities speak out on depression&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/g3541/celebrities-with-depression/"></a></span></p>
"The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

BUY NOW: $9, 

Though  was the only novel written by Sylvia Plath, this semi-autobiographical work explores the struggles of finding one's path in life. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>$11,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Youll-Grow-Out-Jessi-Klein/dp/1455531200/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Jessi Klein (the award-winning head writer for <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Inside Amy Schumer</em>)&nbsp;pays hilarious tribute to the awkward moments of life, whether they occur in&nbsp;your teens or your thirties.&nbsp;<em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Youll-Grow-Out-Jessi-Klein/dp/1455531200/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">You'll Grow Out Of It</a>&nbsp;</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">is filled with real-life essays that discuss such relatable topics as the odd transition in life between being called "ma'am" and being called "miss."&nbsp;</span></span></p>
"You'll Grow Out Of It" by Jessi Klein

BUY NOW: $11, 

Jessi Klein (the award-winning head writer for Inside Amy Schumer) pays hilarious tribute to the awkward moments of life, whether they occur in your teens or your thirties.  is filled with real-life essays that discuss such relatable topics as the odd transition in life between being called "ma'am" and being called "miss." 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>$12,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Everything-Rona-Jaffe/dp/0143035290/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>When it comes to friendships, what goes unsaid is far more important than what's said. Rona Jaffe's <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Best-Everything-Rona-Jaffe/dp/0143035290/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Best of Everything</em></a> follows the highs and many lows as a group of friends as they navigate their 20s in midcentury New York. It's a book you'll want to read in one sitting, but be warned: You'll want to yell at some of the characters (especially if you have excellent radar for less-than-great romantic partners). Think of it as the 1958 version of <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Girls</em>.</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g3656/most-popular-book-year-you-were-born/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The most popular books by year&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/g3656/most-popular-book-year-you-were-born/"></a></span></p>
"The Best of Everything" by Rona Jaffe

BUY NOW: $12, 

When it comes to friendships, what goes unsaid is far more important than what's said. Rona Jaffe's follows the highs and many lows as a group of friends as they navigate their 20s in midcentury New York. It's a book you'll want to read in one sitting, but be warned: You'll want to yell at some of the characters (especially if you have excellent radar for less-than-great romantic partners). Think of it as the 1958 version of Girls.

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW: </strong>$10,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Between-World-Me-Ta-Nehisi-Coates/dp/0812993543/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>The bestselling <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Between-World-Me-Ta-Nehisi-Coates/dp/0812993543/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Between the World and Me</em></a>&nbsp;by MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellow <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the literary form of a letter (written to his teenaged son) to explore&nbsp;what it means to be black in America. The personal tone makes reading the&nbsp;</span></p>
"Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

BUY NOW: $10, 

The bestselling  by MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates uses the literary form of a letter (written to his teenaged son) to explore what it means to be black in America. The personal tone makes reading the 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $6,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-Rediscovering-America-Appalachian/dp/0307279464/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p>You'll laugh your way through this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-Rediscovering-America-Appalachian/dp/0307279464/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">A Walk in the Woods</em></a>, a memoir that follows Bryson and his quirky friend as they&nbsp;hike the Appalachian Trail. While you will learn a little bit a history and a lot about friendship, it's definitely not boring. Anecdotes of the unusual characters met on the trail will keep you entertained.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/g4313/most-epic-hikes-in-the-world/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">50 epic hikes to take around the world&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/g4313/most-epic-hikes-in-the-world/"></a></span></p>
"A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson

BUY NOW: $6, 

You'll laugh your way through this , a memoir that follows Bryson and his quirky friend as they hike the Appalachian Trail. While you will learn a little bit a history and a lot about friendship, it's definitely not boring. Anecdotes of the unusual characters met on the trail will keep you entertained. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>$2,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Know-Why-Caged-Bird-Sings/dp/086068511X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>A genuine American classic, Angelou's <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Know-Caged-Sings-Designer-Collection/dp/0349005990/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings</em></a> powerfully discusses topics such as racism, bigotry and prejudice while also serving as an empowering, coming-of-age story. <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/a15366/maya-angelou-dead/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Remembering Maya Angelou&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/a15366/maya-angelou-dead/"></a></span></span></p>
"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"

BUY NOW: $2, 

A genuine American classic, Angelou's powerfully discusses topics such as racism, bigotry and prejudice while also serving as an empowering, coming-of-age story.

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $10,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Casual-Vacancy-J-K-Rowling/dp/0316228583/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Though the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Sorcerers-Stone-Rowling/dp/059035342X/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Harry Potter</em></a> series transcends generations, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Casual-Vacancy-J-K-Rowling/dp/0316228583/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Casual Vacancy</em></a> was J.K. Rowling's first official novel for adults. The plot centers around a tumultuous election in an idyllic small town, an event that ends up pitting everyone against eachother (and bringing out unexpected revelations in the process).&nbsp;</p>
"The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling

BUY NOW: $10, 

Though the series transcends generations, was J.K. Rowling's first official novel for adults. The plot centers around a tumultuous election in an idyllic small town, an event that ends up pitting everyone against eachother (and bringing out unexpected revelations in the process). 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong>&nbsp;$12,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062363603/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>The real-life story behind the movie, <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062363603/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Hidden Figures</a>&nbsp;</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">tells the story of the mathematicians whose brilliance were key to the space race during the 1960s.&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062363603/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"></a></p>
"Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly

BUY NOW: $12, 

The real-life story behind the movie,  tells the story of the mathematicians whose brilliance were key to the space race during the 1960s. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$10, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Talk-about-Something-Pleasant/dp/1632861011/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Can a memoir that covers the final years of a writer's parents be funny? Yes, if it's written by Roz Chast. <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Talk-about-Something-Pleasant/dp/1632861011/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?</a></em> explores the anxiety, heartbreak and unusual kind of humor that comes with being a caretaker.&nbsp;</p>
"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast

BUY NOW: $10,

Can a memoir that covers the final years of a writer's parents be funny? Yes, if it's written by Roz Chast. explores the anxiety, heartbreak and unusual kind of humor that comes with being a caretaker. 

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<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>$12,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Full-Life-Reflections-Ninety/dp/1501115642/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>We could've filled a whole list with books you should read from presidents past (on both sides of the aisle), but Jimmy Carter's&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Full-Life-Reflections-Ninety/dp/1501115642/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">A Full Life</em></a> —<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span> written at age 90 —<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span> offers a glimpse into a past that can be hard to comprehend in our modern age. Carter grew up in a house without running water, electricity or insulation, an experience that informed his career.<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a45118/jimmy-and-roslynn-carter-love-story/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Read the love story between Carter and his wife&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a45118/jimmy-and-roslynn-carter-love-story/"></a></span></span></p>
"A Full Life" by Jimmy Carter

BUY NOW: $12, 

We could've filled a whole list with books you should read from presidents past (on both sides of the aisle), but Jimmy Carter's  — written at age 90 — offers a glimpse into a past that can be hard to comprehend in our modern age. Carter grew up in a house without running water, electricity or insulation, an experience that informed his career.

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17 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $10,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Catch-22-50th-Anniversary-Joseph-Heller/dp/1451626657/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>A satirical novel, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Catch-22-50th-Anniversary-Joseph-Heller/dp/1451626657/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Catch-22</em></a> blends a mixture of a comical display of incompetence by a leader while still showcasing the brutality of war. It's another book you likely read in school, but the humor comes out a bit more when reading as an adult.<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p>
"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller

BUY NOW: $10, 

A satirical novel, blends a mixture of a comical display of incompetence by a leader while still showcasing the brutality of war. It's another book you likely read in school, but the humor comes out a bit more when reading as an adult.

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18 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong>&nbsp;$9,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Color-Purple-Alice-Walker/dp/0156028352/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Alice Walker's best-known work won a slew of awards (the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award) for good reason. <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Color-Purple-Alice-Walker/dp/0156028352/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">The Color Purple</a></em> follows several African-American women as they experience violence and oppression in 1930s. Walker's unflinching portrayal of their struggles is something that stays with you.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/g3688/emma-watson-book-club/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Learn which star chose this for their book club&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/g3688/emma-watson-book-club/"></a></span></p>
"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker

BUY NOW: $9, 

Alice Walker's best-known work won a slew of awards (the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award) for good reason. follows several African-American women as they experience violence and oppression in 1930s. Walker's unflinching portrayal of their struggles is something that stays with you. 

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19 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $11,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Year-Yes-Dance-Stand-Person/dp/1476777128/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>You'll get a peek into the life and mind of the creator of your favorite TV shows in Shonda Rhimes' <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Year-Yes-Dance-Stand-Person/dp/1476777128/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Year of Yes</a>.&nbsp;</em><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">Initially, you'll be a bit surprised at what you'll learn: Rhimes is an introvert who had panic attacks at the idea of media interviews. After her sister calls her out for always saying no to things, she decides to do the exact opposite for a whole year. Interestingly, the book covers the time period before the Year of Yes and the years that followed.&nbsp;</span><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p>
"Year of Yes" Shonda Rhimes

BUY NOW: $11, 

You'll get a peek into the life and mind of the creator of your favorite TV shows in Shonda Rhimes' Initially, you'll be a bit surprised at what you'll learn: Rhimes is an introvert who had panic attacks at the idea of media interviews. After her sister calls her out for always saying no to things, she decides to do the exact opposite for a whole year. Interestingly, the book covers the time period before the Year of Yes and the years that followed. 

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20 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong" data-verified="redactor">BUY NOW:</strong> $10,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Declaration-Independence-Constitution-Penguin-Classics/dp/0143121960/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Yes, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Declaration-Independence-Constitution-Penguin-Classics/dp/0143121960/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Declaration of Independence</em></a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Declaration-Independence-Constitution-Penguin-Classics/dp/0143121960/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The United&nbsp;States Constitution</em></a> are documents&nbsp;(though&nbsp;this handy book puts them in one tome).&nbsp;But, they are important reads for everyone,&nbsp;especially in a time when political discourse so often veers towards rights and what it means to be American.&nbsp;<em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"></em></p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/g4170/weird-facts-states/"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">50 odd facts about each state&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/g4170/weird-facts-states/"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"></em></a></span></p>
"The Declaration of Independence" and "The United States Constitution"

BUY NOW: $10, 

Yes, and are documents (though this handy book puts them in one tome). But, they are important reads for everyone, especially in a time when political discourse so often veers towards rights and what it means to be American. 

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21 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$12,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Stories-Penguin-Classics-Dorothy/dp/0142437212/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>You've already heard Dorothy Parker's most famous quips, but have you sat down and read her work? If not, you're missing out on some of the sharpest (and yes, wittiest) short stories —<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space">&nbsp;</span>and conveniently enough, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Stories-Penguin-Classics-Dorothy/dp/0142437212/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Complete Stories</em></a> collects them all in one book.</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/g2957/funny-cleaning-quotes/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">11 funny quotes about cleaning&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/g2957/funny-cleaning-quotes/"></a></span></p>
"Complete Stories" by Dorothy Parker

BUY NOW: $12, 

You've already heard Dorothy Parker's most famous quips, but have you sat down and read her work? If not, you're missing out on some of the sharpest (and yes, wittiest) short stories — and conveniently enough, collects them all in one book.

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22 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$9,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fahrenheit-451-Ray-Bradbury/dp/1451673310/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Highlighting a potential timeline in which books are burned (the title alludes to the temperature of where paper from books burn), Bradbury's science fiction classic&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fahrenheit-451-Ray-Bradbury/dp/1451673310/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Fahrenheit 451</em></a> grows closer to reality as digital culture grows to dominate society.<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/news/a41138/school-sends-home-permission-slip-for-fahrenheit-451/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">See the latest controversy about this book&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/news/a41138/school-sends-home-permission-slip-for-fahrenheit-451/"></a></span></p>
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury

BUY NOW: $9, 

Highlighting a potential timeline in which books are burned (the title alludes to the temperature of where paper from books burn), Bradbury's science fiction classic  grows closer to reality as digital culture grows to dominate society.

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23 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$12,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Faith-My-Fathers-Family-Memoir-ebook/dp/B000Q9IHYQ/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>In his <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Faith-My-Fathers-Family-Memoir-ebook/dp/B000Q9IHYQ/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Faith of My Fathers</em></a>, John McCain recounts the valor of his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals. However, it's the harrowing recount of McCain's five-and-a-half year experience as a POW that will move you the most.<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p>
"Faith of My Fathers" by John McCain

BUY NOW: $12, 

In his , John McCain recounts the valor of his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals. However, it's the harrowing recount of McCain's five-and-a-half year experience as a POW that will move you the most.

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24 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$7,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Loathing-Las-Vegas-American/dp/0679785892/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Regarded lightly upon its release, <em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fear-Loathing-Las-Vegas-American/dp/0679785892/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Fear and Loathing</a>&nbsp;</em>has since earned worldwide praise for Thompson's "gonzo journalism" style that blends rugged storytelling with&nbsp;"trippy" prose. The hazy novel comments on drugs, the American dream, and 1960s society.&nbsp;</p>
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson

BUY NOW: $7, 

Regarded lightly upon its release,  has since earned worldwide praise for Thompson's "gonzo journalism" style that blends rugged storytelling with "trippy" prose. The hazy novel comments on drugs, the American dream, and 1960s society. 

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25 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$11,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Found-Pacific-Crest-Trail/dp/0307476073/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Found-Pacific-Crest-Trail/dp/0307476073/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Wild</em></a> could be considered a modern-day classic. Cheryl Strayed's story of hiking 1,000 miles of Pacific Coast Trail after a wildly difficult period in her life continues to resonate and inspire.</p>
"Wild" by Cheryl Strayed

BUY NOW: $11, 

could be considered a modern-day classic. Cheryl Strayed's story of hiking 1,000 miles of Pacific Coast Trail after a wildly difficult period in her life continues to resonate and inspire.

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26 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$15,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Feminine-Mystique-50th-Anniversary/dp/0393346781/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>Betty Friedan's honest exploration of the lives of women (and "the problem that has no name") was revolutionary when it was published, but today some regard the book as a time capsule. Not so much: When reading this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Feminine-Mystique-50th-Anniversary/dp/0393346781/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Feminine Mystique</em></a>, you'll discover that the more time passes, the more certain things stay the same.<span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span></p><p><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/career/advice/a18890/1960-betty-friedan-article/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Read Friedan's 1963 essay for Good Housekeeping&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/career/advice/a18890/1960-betty-friedan-article/"></a></span></span></p>
"The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan

BUY NOW: $15, 

Betty Friedan's honest exploration of the lives of women (and "the problem that has no name") was revolutionary when it was published, but today some regard the book as a time capsule. Not so much: When reading this , you'll discover that the more time passes, the more certain things stay the same.

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27 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$8,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Gilead-Novel-Marilynne-Robinson/dp/031242440X/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>A favorite of President Obama, this <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Gilead-Novel-Marilynne-Robinson/dp/031242440X/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Gilead</em></a> explores spirituality and religion as it tells the story of a dying man and the life lessons he wants to pass on to his son.&nbsp;</p>
"Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson

BUY NOW: $8, 

A favorite of President Obama, this explores spirituality and religion as it tells the story of a dying man and the life lessons he wants to pass on to his son. 

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28 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$11,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Before-Habits-Procrastinate/dp/0385348630/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Before-Habits-Procrastinate/dp/0385348630/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">Better Than Before</a>&nbsp;</em>is the follow-up to Gretchen Rubin's bestseller <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Project-Revised-Aristotle-Generally/dp/0062414852/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Happiness Project</em></a>&nbsp;(which is also worth a read!). Here, the happiness expert uncovers the secrets to creating habits that improve our lives -- and sticking with them.</p>
"Better Than Before" by Gretchen Rubin

BUY NOW: $11, 

 is the follow-up to Gretchen Rubin's bestseller  (which is also worth a read!). Here, the happiness expert uncovers the secrets to creating habits that improve our lives -- and sticking with them.

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29 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$11,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Gone-Wind-Margaret-Mitchell/dp/1451635621/?tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20" target="_blank" class="slide-buy--button" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>You already know the characters, so why not read the novel that inspired the epic movie? Margaret Mitchell's 1,000+ page <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Gone-Wind-Margaret-Mitchell/dp/1451635621/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Gone With the Wind</em></a>&nbsp;isn't without criticism, but it is interesting to see where the film departs from the book.</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a33107/gone-with-the-wind-banned/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Why one critic wants to ban the movie&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a33107/gone-with-the-wind-banned/"></a></span></p>
"Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell

BUY NOW: $11, 

You already know the characters, so why not read the novel that inspired the epic movie? Margaret Mitchell's 1,000+ page  isn't without criticism, but it is interesting to see where the film departs from the book.

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30 of 60
<p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">BUY NOW:</strong> <span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>$4,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/9176373908/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link">amazon.com</a></p><p>A wealthy man with a mysterious past. Decadent parties. A mega mansion. People more concerned about appearances than depth. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/9176373908/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">The Great Gatsby</em></a>&nbsp;transcends time in more ways than you considered when you first read this in high school (or when you watched the movie).</p><p><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/makeup/g3088/old-hollywood-glamour-makeup/" target="_blank" data-tracking-id="recirc-text-link"><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">How to recreate classic '20s looks&nbsp;»</em></a><span class="redactor-invisible-space" data-verified="redactor" data-redactor-tag="span" data-redactor-class="redactor-invisible-space"><a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/makeup/g3088/old-hollywood-glamour-makeup/"></a></span></p>
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

BUY NOW: $4, 

A wealthy man with a mysterious past. Decadent parties. A mega mansion. People more concerned about appearances than depth.  transcends time in more ways than you considered when you first read this in high school (or when you watched the movie).

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