Coleman – Honors English II
Potential Choices for World Literature Independent Novel Project
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream (Paulo Coelho)
The magical story of Santiago, an Andalasian shepherd boy who travels far
in search of a worldly treasure.
All But My Life: A Memoir (Gerda Weissman Klein) -
Moving memoir of the author's three years as a slave laborer of the Nazis, a
three-month forced winter march, and her liberation
All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich M. Remarque)
A World War I anti-war novel searches human rubble produced on the
Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) -
A realistic novel of modern social criticism with two plots set in 19th-century
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijie)
At the height of Mao's Cultural Revolution, two boys are exiled to the
countryside for "reeducation." But the boys have a violin to distract them--as
well as, before long, a beautiful young tailor's daughter and a stash of
Bless Me, Ultima (Rudolfo Anaya)
The story of Antonio Marez, a young Hispanic boy living in New Mexico. With
the help of Ultima, a curandera (a healer), who comes to live with the Marez
family, Tony discovers important truths about himself and his rich heritage.
Blindness (Saramago -- Portugal)
At the novel's opening, a driver sits in traffic, waiting for the light to change.
By the time it does, his field of vision is white, a "milky sea." One by one,
each person the man encounter--the not-so-good Samaritan who drives him
home, the man's wife, the ophthalmologist, the patients waiting to see the
ophthalmologist is struck blind. Like any inexplicable contagion, this plague
of "white sickness" sets off panic.
The Bone People (Hulme -- New Zealand) 1985 Booker Prize winner
The novel centers on a strange trinity of characters, each isolated, each
spiritually adrift. Simon, a mute child surrounded by mysteries, is found on a
beach and is adopted by Joe, a Maori man embittered by the loss of his wife
and son and thwarted in his desire for family, religious, and cultural ties. The
two are bound together by "a bloody kind of love that has violence as its
The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad) -
Asne Seierstand recounts the experiences she had while staying with a
bookseller named Sultan Khan and his family in Afghanistan after the fall of
the Taliban, describing what it was like for families in Afghanistan to adjust
to a new way of life.
The Character of Rain by Amelie Nothomb
“Elegantly written, Nothomb demonstrates a shrewd understanding of the
intricate ways Japanese relationships are made and spoiled.”--The New York
Times Book Review
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
The compassionate story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
The classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil
of the Russian Revolution.
Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
A smug, conservative couple's fifth child (after four model children) inspires
fear and horror.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
(Loung Ung) -
An eyewitness account of the bloody aftermath of the Khmer Rouge's
merciless victory over the Cambodian government in 1975, seen through the
eyes of a child, now the spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free
World program. Nobel Peace Prize.
The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
A story of the tragedy that wrecks an already dysfunctional family in India in
the 1960s. The story focuses on the lives of a brother and sister who are
twins and whose childhood is further marred by the death of a cousin.
A Hero of Our Time (Lermontov)
The novel is set in the Russian Caucasus in the 1830s. Grigory Pechorin is a
bored, self-centered, and cynical young army officer who believes in nothing.
With impunity he toys with the love of women and the goodwill of men.
Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami
Less a novel than a set of finely detailed portraits, this book gives outsiders
a glimpse of some of Moroccan society's strata and the desperation that
underlies many ordinary lives.
The House of the Spirits (Isabel Allende) -
This absorbing saga of a Chilean family weaves the contemporary political
situation in South America with a story of rebellion and love covering three
generations of powerful familial ties.
I am the Messenger ( Zusak, Markus)
After capturing a bank robber, 19-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins
receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people
need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
M.L. Printz Honor Award 2006.
The Icarus Girl (Helen Oyeyemi)
Jess is an eight-year-old caught between two different worlds. The daughter
of a British father and a Nigerian mother, she has always felt like a misfit.
Believing that a change might be the perfect antidote, her parents whisk her
off to visit Nigeria.
In the Time of Butterflies (Julia Alvarez) -
Fiction about the true story of the three martyred Miraposa sisters, their
surviving sister, and events during the Dominican Revolution of 1938-1946.
Kaffir Boy (Mark Mathabane)
A unique first-person account of a black youth coming of age in Apartheid
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrrow by Faiza Guene
In the rough Paris housing projects, Doria, 15, a child of Muslim immigrant
parents, sets her soap-opera dreams against the grim daily struggle, even
as she does sometimes find the bold and the beautiful in herself and in her
Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
Pi survives a shipwreck with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger.
With intelligence, daring, and inexpressible fear, Pi manages to keep his wits
about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the food chain.
Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel) -
The creative and original fairytale bestseller about Tia, a young Mexican
woman with magical talent for both cooking and romance.
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Ishmael Beah) -
The survivor of a dirty war in starkest Africa recounts his transition from 12-
year-old orphan to killing machine. Beah emerged from Sierra Leone's
malignant civil conflict and eventually graduated from college in the United
Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)
French classic. A discontented woman has an affair and it leads to more
Midaq Alley (Nahguib Mahfouz)
Written in the 1940s, this novel by the Egyptian Nobel laureate Mahfouz
deals with the plight of impoverished classes in an old quarter of Cairo. The
lives and situations depicted create an atmosphere of sadness and tragic
realism. Protagonist Hamida, an orphan raised by a foster mother, is drawn
into prostitution. Kirsha, the owner of a cafe in the alley, is a drug addict and
a lustful homosexual. Zaita makes a living by disfiguring people so that they
can become successful beggars.
My Forbidden Face: Growing up Under the Taliban (Latifa) -
A moving, highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. Painful
honesty and clarity, as Latifa describes her ordered world falling apart, in the
name of a fanaticism she could not comprehend, replaced by a world of
terror and oppression.
Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
An unforgettable, gripping mystery both heartbreakingly tender and morally
courageous. A beautiful love story, and scathing critique of human
arrogance, and a moral examination of how we treat the vulnerable and
different in our society.
100 Years of Solitude (Marquez -- Colombia)
Tells the story of the Buendia family, set against the background of the
evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town. (Oprah
Book Club pick)
The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli)
For more than 400 years, The Prince has been the basic handbook of
politics, statesmanship, and power. Witty, informative, and devilishly
shrewd, it has long been required reading for anyone interested in politics
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel (Lisa See)
In 19th century China, girls with bound feet were often paired in lifelong
relationships. An unforgettable story of friendship as Lily and Snow Flower
communicate their hopes, dreams, joys, and tragedies through a secret
language known only to women.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
An ordinary little man living quietly in Algiers commits a pointless murder.
Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin) -
The inspiring account of one man's campaign to build schools in the most
dangerous, remote reaches of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Unbowed (Wangari Maathai) -
Hugely charismatic, humble, and possessed of preternatural luminosity of
spirit, Wangari Maathai recounts her extraordinary life as a political activist,
feminist, and environmentalist in Kenya.
When I Was a Soldier (Valerie Zenatti) -
Valerie begins her story as she finishes her exams, breaks up with her
boyfriend, and leaves for service with the Israeli army. Nothing has prepared
her for the strict routines, grueling marches, poor food, and lack of sleep