Recommendations based on Invisible Manby Ralph Ellison

* statistically, based on millions of data-points provided by fellow humans

  1. Native Son

    by Richard Wright
    A young African American man's exploration of his identity, facing the harsh realities of systemic racism.

    Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black ... (Goodreads)

  2. Beloved

    by Toni Morrison
    A haunting story of loss and resilience in the aftermath of slavery.

    Beloved begins in 1873 in Cincinnati, Ohio , where the protagonist Sethe, a formerly enslaved woman, has been living with her eighteen-year-old daughter Denver at 124 Bluestone Road. The book ... (Wikipedia)

  3. As I Lay Dying

    by William Faulkner
    A family's struggle to fulfill the dying wish of their mother, amidst personal and societal challenges.

    The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor, rural family's quest and motivations—noble or selfish—to honor her wish ... (Wikipedia)

  4. The Sound and the Fury

    by William Faulkner
    Tragic story of the decline of a southern family, exploring the human condition.

    The first section of the novel is narrated by Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, a source of shame to the family due to his diminished mental capacity; the only characters who show genuine care for him are ... (Wikipedia)

  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God

    by Zora Neale Hurston
    A woman's journey of self-discovery, liberation and empowerment.

    Fair and long-legged, independent and articulate, Janie Crawford sets out to be her own person – no mean feat for a black woman in the '30s. Janie's quest for identity takes her through three ... (Goodreads)

  6. Things Fall Apart

    by Chinua Achebe
    Exploration of African culture and traditions, grappling with the tension between modernity and tradition.

    The novel's protagonist , Okonkwo, is famous in the villages of Umuofia for being a wrestling champion, defeating a wrestler nicknamed "Amalinze The Cat" (because he never lands on his back). Okonkwo ... (Wikipedia)

  7. Song of Solomon

    by Toni Morrison
    A tale of family, heritage, and identity, exploring the power of memory and its impact on the present.

    Song of Solomon opens with the death of Robert Smith, an insurance agent and member of The Seven Days, an organization that kills white people in retaliation for the racial killing of black people. ... (Wikipedia)

  8. The Sun Also Rises

    by Ernest Hemingway
    A group of expatriates in 1920s Europe, struggling to come to terms with the aftermath of WWI.

    On the surface, the novel is a love story between the protagonist Jake Barnes—a man whose war wound has made him unable to have sex—and the promiscuous divorcée usually identified as Lady Brett ... (Wikipedia)

  9. Don Quixote

    by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
    An aging knight's adventures and misadventures, filled with chivalry, honor, and satire.

    Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances that he determines to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in ... (Goodreads)

  10. Absalom, Absalom!

    by William Faulkner
    A tangled web of family secrets, betrayal, and tragedy in the American South.

    Absalom, Absalom! details the rise and fall of Thomas Sutpen , a white man born into poverty in West Virginia who moves to Mississippi with the complementary aims of gaining wealth and becoming a ... (Wikipedia)

  11. The Brothers Karamazov

    by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    A philosophical exploration of morality, faith, and family dynamics among a group of brothers.

    The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich ... (Goodreads)

  12. War and Peace

    by Leo Tolstoy
    Epic tale of war, peace, and love, focusing on the lives of five aristocratic families.

    The novel begins in July 1805 in Saint Petersburg , at a soirée given by Anna Pavlovna Scherer—the maid of honour and confidante to the dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna . Many of the main characters ... (Wikipedia)

  13. Dubliners

    by James Joyce
    Collection of stories about everyday life in Dublin, exploring the Irish psyche.

    This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic realities. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the ... (Goodreads)

  14. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

    by Junot Díaz
    An exploration of love, identity, and the power of fate in a family's struggles and triumphs.

    Oscar de León (nicknamed Oscar Wao, a bastardization of Oscar Wilde ) is an overweight Dominican growing up in Paterson, New Jersey. Oscar desperately wants to be successful with women but, from a ... (Wikipedia)

  15. East of Eden

    by John Steinbeck
    Exploration of the timeless struggle between good and evil, set against a backdrop of a family saga.

    In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas ... (Goodreads)

  16. The Bluest Eye

    by Toni Morrison
    Coming of age story of a young Black girl dealing with prejudice and racism in 1940s Ohio.

    In Lorain, Ohio , nine-year-old Claudia MacTeer and her 10-year-old sister Frieda live with their parents, a tenant named Mr. Henry, and Pecola Breedlove, a temporary foster child whose house was ... (Wikipedia)

  17. Heart of Darkness

    by Joseph Conrad
    A journey into the depths of the human psyche, exploring the darkness of colonialism.

    Aboard the Nellie , anchored in the River Thames near Gravesend , Charles Marlow tells his fellow sailors how he became captain of a river steamboat for an ivory trading company. As a child, Marlow ... (Wikipedia)

  18. To the Lighthouse

    by Virginia Woolf
    Exploration of the complexities of human relationships and family life.

    The novel is set in the Ramsays' summer home in the Hebrides , on the Isle of Skye . The section begins with Mrs Ramsay assuring her son James that they should be able to visit the lighthouse on the ... (Wikipedia)

  19. Mrs. Dalloway

    by Virginia Woolf
    A day in the life of a high-society woman, delving into her inner thoughts and feelings.

    Clarissa Dalloway goes around London in the morning, getting ready to host a party that evening. The nice day reminds her of her youth spent in the countryside in Bourton and makes her wonder about ... (Wikipedia)

  20. Cat's Cradle

    by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    A satirical exploration of human folly, exposing the dangers of unchecked science and technology.

    Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ... Dr Felix Hoenikker, ... (Goodreads)

  21. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    by James Joyce
    An exploration of a young man's struggle to find his identity and place in the world.

    The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an ... (Goodreads)

  22. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

    by Michael Chabon
    Two cousins create a comic book superhero and find success and adventure in 1940s New York.

    The novel begins in 1939 with the arrival of 19-year-old Josef "Joe" Kavalier as a refugee in New York City , where he comes to live with his 17-year-old cousin, Sammy Klayman. With the help of his ... (Wikipedia)

  23. Ulysses

    by James Joyce
    Epic narrative following a day in the life of an Irishman living in Dublin.

    It is 8 a.m. Buck Mulligan , a boisterous medical student, calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer encountered as the principal subject of, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ) up to the roof of ... (Wikipedia)

  24. Go Tell It on the Mountain

    by James Baldwin
    A young boy's struggle to reconcile his faith and family with his own identity.

    “,Mountain,” Baldwin said, “is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.”, Go Tell It on the Mountain, originally published in 1953, is Baldwin’s first major work, a novel ... (Barnes & Noble)

  25. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    by Haruki Murakami
    A surreal journey of self-discovery, exploring the inner and outer worlds.

    The first part, "The Thieving Magpie", begins with the narrator, Toru Okada, a low-key and unemployed lawyer's assistant, being tasked by his wife, Kumiko, to find their missing cat. Kumiko suggests ... (Wikipedia)

  26. The Things They Carried

    by Tim O'Brien
    A collection of stories about the Vietnam War, interweaving the past and present.

    In 1979, Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato —a novel about the Vietnam War—won the National Book Award. In this, his second work of fiction about Vietnam, O'Brien's unique artistic vision is again ... (Goodreads)

  27. A Farewell to Arms

    by Ernest Hemingway
    A story of unrequited love in the midst of war.

    The novel is divided into five sections or 'books'. Frederic Henry is first person narrator of the story. Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American paramedic , is serving in the Italian Army . The novel ... (Wikipedia)

  28. All the King's Men

    by Robert Penn Warren
    A powerful political drama that follows a governor's rise and fall as he grapples with ambition, morality and power.

    All the King's Men is a 1946 novel by Robert Penn Warren. Its title is drawn from the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty". The novel tells the story of charismatic populist governor Willie Stark and his ... (Goodreads)

  29. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    by Dave Eggers
    An autobiographical account of a young man dealing with grief and responsibility.

    'When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh, then cry, then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once.' "Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided ... (Goodreads)

  30. Franny and Zooey

    by J.D. Salinger
    A brother and sister's journey towards finding spiritual understanding and inner peace.

    The short story concerns Franny's weekend date with her collegiate boyfriend, Lane Coutell. Lane takes her to a fashionable lunch room, where Franny quickly becomes exasperated when he only appears ... (Wikipedia)