List of Free Essential Books, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Maxim Balabin
Maxim Balabin
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In 1936 — perhaps the darkest year of his life — F. Scott Fitzgerald was convalescing in a hotel in Asheville, North Carolina, when he offered his nurse a list of 22 books he thought were essential reading. The list is written in the nurse’s hand.
Young country girl moves to the big city where she starts realizing her own American Dream, first as a mistress to men that she perceives as superior, and later becoming a famous actress.
Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother's draper's shop, into old age. Book covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris.
The Old Wives' Tale, Arnold Bennett
First biography of Jesus to present him as entirely human. Written by a historian.
The Life of Jesus, Ernest Renan
The play, hugely controversial when first published and performed, is about the unravelling of a family. Nora and Torvald Helmer believe they are happily married and on the brink of a blissful new phase of life: Torvald has been promoted to bank manager and their money worries are over. But Nora has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature, and with her husband's new power comes the threat of blackmail.
A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen
A cycle of short stories concerning life in a small town at the end of the nineteenth century. At the center is George Willard, a young reporter who becomes the confidant of the town's solitary figures.
Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson
"Short, completely round, fat as a pig, with puffy fingers constricted at the joints like strings of tiny sausages, taut shiny skin, and huge breasts swelling underneath her dress, her freshness was so attractive that she nonetheless remained desirable and much sought after."
One of Russia's greatest writers, Chekhov began his career writing jokes and anecdotes for popular magazines to support himself while he studied to become a doctor. Between 1888 and his death he single-handedly revolutionized both the drama and the short story.
The Short Stories, Anton Chekhov
A dark, psychological thriller. Axel Heyst, a dreamer and a restless drifter becomes involved in the operation of a coal company on a remote island in the Malay Archipelago. He rescues a young English girl and the evil innkeeper, taking her to his island retreat. The affair between Heyst and Lena begins with her release, but the relationship shifts as Lena struggles to save Heyst from the detachment and isolation that have inhibited and influenced his life.
An angel, Arcade, leaves heaven, comes to earth, uses his invisibility to steal books from a library to study science and philosophy, after which he joins a host of fallen brethren with plans to overthrow god whom he views as not understanding the true nature of the universe and thus was incapable of creating it in the first place.
Oscar Wilde took London by storm with his first comedy, Lady Windermere's Fan. The combination of dazzling wit, subtle social criticism, sumptuous settings and the theme of a guilty secret proved a winner, both here and in his next three plays, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and his undisputed masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest.
The Plays, Oscar Wilde
A powerful novel examining the nature of true evil, through the prisms of mythology, local lore, and hard-boiled detective fiction. This is the dark, at times brutal, story of the kidnapping of Mississippi debutante Temple Drake, who introduces her own form of venality into the Memphis underworld where she is being held.
Sanctuary, William Faulkner
In this second volume of Remembrance of Things Past, the narrator turns from the childhood reminiscences of Swann’s Way to memories of his adolescence.
Swann's Way, Marcel Proust
South Wind, Norman Douglas
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
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