name
title, author, comments
Chris
  • Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich (the film The Social Network is based on this novel which is about the founding of Facebook. The novel is interesting, and the characters are well established)
  • Freakonomics by Stephen Levitt (A very interesting book that takes an interesting spin to economics, and talks about incentives and motives of different people)
Henry
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (a gripping classic where an ill scientist gives life to an evil monster)
  • Corsair by Clive Cussler (a good adventure about Somalia pirates hijacking a ship)
  • The Analects by Confucius (a collection of quotes from the famous Chinese philosopher)
  • Zen Flesh Zen Bones compiled by Paul Reps (another collection of quotes and stories on the art of zen)
  • Ice Station by Mattew Reilly (intense nonstop action, and a generally great read)
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (nicely written and great examples, really eye-opening)
  • The Cobra by Frederick Forsyth (a well designed story on the destruction of the cocaine industry)
He Ra
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexadre Dumas (story of young man named d'Artagnan's adventures after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (classic literature novel about love story)
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (a non-fiction on one woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia)
Janita
  • Breathing Underwaterby Alex Flinn (a popular boy in school struggles and faces difficult issues in his life after physically abusing his girlfriend and being sent to counselling)
  • The Prince and the Pauperby Mark Twain (a prince and a beggar decide to switch lives and experience the difference between the two worlds in which they live)
  • Wickedby Gregory Maguire (a novel from the perspective of the not-so wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz)
  • Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin (an auto-biography of a young Chinese village boy who got selected to labour as a professional dancer for Madame Mao)
>
Jerry
  • The Roadby Cormac McCarthy (touching story of father and son's struggle to survive a barren, post-apocalyptic world)
  • Snow Falling on Cedarsby David Guterson (profound narrative of love and racism against Japanese residents of San Piedro Island during and after WWII)
  • Give a Boy a Gunby Todd Strasser (fictional yet realistic collection of voices of a school community recounting the events leading up to a school shooting)
  • Due Preparations for the Plagueby Janette Turner Hospital (gripping, suspenseful story of plane hijacking survivors to discover the secret truth behind their government's secret involvement in the incident)
  • Mudboundby Hillary Jordan (heart gripping and moving story of American family living on their farm with black workers after the second world war.)
  • The Lost Symbolby Dan Brown - Brown's famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon races against time to prevent a national security crisis concerning the occult Mason organisation and sacred rituals while trying to keep his loved ones alive.
  • Gold in the Water by P.H. Mullen Jr. ("The Story of Ordinary Men and their Extraordinary Story of [2000 Sydney] Olympic Glory") recommended for swimmers
Jocelyn
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (story of an innocent young girl living and growing up in a society filled with discrimination).
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (the story of friendship between a pilot and an extraterrestrial boy).
  • Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (a phantom's love story)
  • Super Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (economics in a whole new perspective)
  • A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron (an adventure of a dog told from his own point of view!)
  • The Reason for God by Timothy Keller (questions the ambiguities of religion versus modernization)
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (a young extraterrestrial man's battle on earth)
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks (title says it all..)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (read the book after I saw the movie trailer)
KBoyce
  • The Gravity of Sunlight by Rosa Shand (unfaithful expats in Uganda on brink of Idi Amin's rise to power)
  • The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (details from a century-old murder case revealed through letters of the surviving woman)
  • Drown by Junot Diaz ( a collection of brutal short stories on a childhood as a Dominican and immigrant)
  • Bee Season by Myla Goldberg (a family attempts to find themselves through religion, spelling, and stealing)
  • Lance Armstrong's War by Daniel Coyle (insightful and often humorous commentary on the vicious world of competitive cycling)
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (an expansive and heart-wrenching story that addresses many social issues in India in the 1970s and 1980s)
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Marukami (a trippy parallel narrative about secret places, genetically-altered workers, and clever librarians)
  • Raise the Red Lantern by Su Tong (three novellas focusing on individual and family struggles caused by cruelty, corruption, and addiction)
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (a disturbing story about racism in post WW2 rural South US told in multiple perspectives and authentic voices) Review and excerpt on http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88195380 Thanks for the recommendation, Jerry!
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (yet another romp romp through a parallel universe, complete with cats, spaghetti, ears, assassins, two moons, and a writer)
  • China High: My Fast Times in the 010 A Beijing Memoir by ZZ (starts as a relaxing day in SanLiTun ends in a Chinese prison with several thought-provoking musings)
*
Maryanne
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Alex, leader of a gang of which committed many violent acts is sentenced to jail as a murderer. He undergoes an experimental behaviour modifying program which changes his life and social views forever.)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  • The Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  • The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Art of Racing In the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
  • Almost Dead by Lisa Jackson
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (Jason, a demi-god who awakens in a reality where he knows nothing of himself and his identity, is rescued by Annabeth and taken to camp Half Blood along with demi-god's Leo and Piper. Each of them harbering unknown powers and strange dreams, their connections clue Annabeth to where her boyfriend, Percy Jackson --from the first Percy Jackson series-- who went missing the same day Jason appeared...)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (every year the Capitol organizes an event called the hunger games in order to remind the districts of the power Capitol has over the districts. This event is when two tributes, one boy and one girl, are pulled from each district to fight for their lives, where there can only be one winner. However, when Katniss's sister gets pulled as one of the tributes, she volunteers in place for her as a tribute.)
  • The Hunger Games 2 by Suzanne Collins (after surviving the first ever hunger games where two tributes won, Katniss finds herself in yet another hunger game, with a new twist.)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (The experiences of an American teenager, Charlie, through letters. He slowly reveals his exposure to drugs, alcohol and parties under the influence of his older friends Sam and Patrick, as well as his interests in music and literature.)
Michael R
  • Moby Dick, also known as the whale, is a novel by Herman Melville. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod commanded by Ahab.
  • Sun Tzu's Art of War. This book is a collection of military strategies developed by Sun in early Chinese times for general's to read and learn about.
  • Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson, ( a fantasy of epic proportions about the colonization of Mars by humans)
  • Melmoth the Wanderer - Charles Robert Maturin (Melmoth sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 150 extra years of life, and during this extended period of living he searches for one who can take over the pact for him)
  • Metro 2033 - Dmitry Glukhovsky ( a story of post-apocalyptic world; after a deadly nuclear blast, humans are forced to evacuate to the underground in order to escape radiation, and the ground above is filled with mutated creatures. Things seemed fine for 20 years, but then a new species of mutated creatures appeared, and all this changed.)
  • The Odyssey- Homer (about the hero Odysseus and his long and dangerous voyage home from Troy after the great war.)
Michael X
  • Things Fall Apartby Chinua Achebe (colonization ruining the lives of even the strongest African men)
  • Macbethby William Shakespeare (a man's greed for power and fear of others leading to catastrophic events)
  • Oscar and the Lady in PinkbyÉric-Emmanuel Schmitt (a leukemic boy living his last days to the fullest)
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (Hawking brings us to understanding the beginning of the universe and it's predicted future. Though slightly technical and not very literary in analysis, its use of language is sophisticated with proficient use of complex compound sentences.)
Oliver
  • Call of The Wildby Jack London (A tale about the gripping adventures of a sled dog called Buck)
  • The Hobbitby JRR Tolkien (About Bilbo Baggins, a peaceful hobbit, who journeys on an adventure with a group of friends)
  • White Fang by Jack London (Follows the story of a vicious and aggressive dog called White Fang that fights other dogs)
  • The Fellowship of The Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of a 3 volume series. It takes place in the fictional world of Middle-Earth where a hobbit called Frodo is entrusted on a quest to destroy an evil ring Sauron once created to dominate the world.)
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist a young boy with no father or mother spends his childhood in an orphanage until he meets a pickpocket boy on the streets who introduces him to a man called Fagin, who is in fact a career criminal teaching young boys to be pickpockets.)
Riowena
  • Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult (a family torn apart due to a member of the family who has brittle bone disease)
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (a girl watches her family fall apart and try to cope after her death)
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (the story of Greg Mortenson's promise of schools to villages in Pakistan for both genders)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (the dangerous adventure of a boy living in a fictional world where any living creature's thoughts are able to be heard)
  • The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (the sequel to the first book "the knife of never letting go", following a similar storyline and path)
  • Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney (a novel adaptation of Macbeth from the perspective of the servants and other characters in Macbeth's household)
  • The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (a mystery regarding a so called 'opera ghost' who falls in love with a singer)
  • Draculaby Bram Stoker (Gothic novel about the hunt to rid the country of the vampire Count Dracula)
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (a modern Gothic novel where the main character seeks to find out about a mysterious writer and her past as well as her own life)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory (A historical fiction novel that revolves around three women struggling to survive in the dangerous and unpredictable court of King Henry VIII - Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn)
  • Metamorphosis and other stories by Franz Kafka (A collection of short stories by Kafka. Metamorphosis, the feature story, revolves around the life of a person named Gregor after he wakes up one morning transformed into a beetle alienated from human society.)
  • Q & A by Vikas Swarup (the novel that inspired the movie "Slumdog Millionaire", revolving around a young man who participates in a talk show and wins a billion rupees at the end)
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (follows the protagonist Gogol as he struggles with his personal identity due to the oddness and hence his rejection of his name)
  • Empress Orchid by Anchee Min (story of how Orchid Yehonala rose to power in the imperial household)
  • The Last Empress by Anchee Min (continuation of Empress Orchidto the dying day of the last empress of the last chinese dynasty)
  • Four Great Comedies by Shakespeare (follows The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (an imagination of the lives of students growing up in a dark-version of England where they live to be mandatory organ donors)
  • The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King (A fantasy novel outlining the conflict between brothers under the malignant influence of their late father's magician)
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (set in India during a “state emergency” era, the story tells of the lives of different caste members as they are thrown from situation to situation)
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (see Ms. Boyce's apt description. Racism results in tragedy and pain in a post world war II era.)
  • Love in a Torn Land - Jean Sasson (biography -- true story -- of a female Iraqi freedom fighter who faces the odds to find love in her war-torn country, where every step is a risk)
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte (A classic revolving around Lucy Snowe, a young lady who leaves England to start a new life, and finds herself in Villette where she becomes a schoolteacher. Full of French words, so a minor understanding is needed of the language -- the events take place in France after all.)
  • The Sound and the Fury by WIlliam Faulkner (speaks of the tragedy of the Compson family - the structure is interesting, split up into different sections with different narrators - first three of the characters and the last an omniscient person. Its language is confusing, and the structure can be a small headache. But nonetheless this is kind of a classic-twist to contemporary literature.)
  • Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (outlines a woman's rise in society as a famous actress from very humble beginnings, using men as her stepping stones. easy to forget that the writer is male for all the mockery made of the stronger gender)
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (A boy reporter interviews a vampire named Louis and learns of his progression to and life in the world of vampires -- it seems to have been the inspiration for the Twilight saga, characteristics of vampires already contradicting those found in Dracula.)
  • Steve Jobs by William Isaacson (A biography about the visionary - allows people to understand the secret, deep, dark nature of Steve jobs which contrasts with his public image. For Apple geeks =) )
  • Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern (Describes the relationship between the protagonist Rosie and her childhood friend Alex. Composed solely of letters, notes, messages, and other forms of messaging, both modern and traditional)
  • P.S I Love You by Cecilia Ahern (Speaks of the touching attempt in letters that a husband tries to guide his wife to continuing life after his death. For the romance buff)
  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (takes after the roman gladiators where 24 children are selected to battle each other to the death in the ring - until one particularly rebellious girl shakes the tradition to its roots in her very subtle ways)
  • 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami (alternate realities are this authors specialty, and in this one, a woman - a skilled assassin - is introduced to another world paralleling the year 1984 where her fate intertwines with the boy she fell in love with when she was a little girl)
  • Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult (When a seemingly average woman becomes the wife of a super star, and faces abuse due to his unpredictability and somewhat craziness)
Robert
  • Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring By J.R.R. Tolkien ( Frodo obtains the wealth and power of his step father, after few decades he decides to set fourth a journey similar to his step father to discover more about his ring of the dark lord)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Homes: A Study in Scarlet (Watson meets Holmes as his roommate, he quickly learned the profound knowledge he instills. Holmes set out to solve four crime cases and later on deduce to Watson how he had come to his findings)
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (A collection of interesting economic articles describing economic theory through creative lenses of the world)
*
Shavonne
  • Tuesdays with Morrieby Mitch Albom (an old man teaching a young man about life's greatest lessons)
  • Water for Elephantsby Sara Gruen (Jacob, a veterinary student who almost earned his degree, jumps onto a passing train and is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie)
  • Seventeenth Summerby Maureen Daly (Angie, doesn't really date, until she saw Jack. Thus starts a summer Angie will never forget)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattooby Stieg Larsson (A novel of serial murder and corporate trickery spanning several continents, the novel takes place in complicated international fraud and the buried evil past of a wealthy Swedish industrial family)
  • Bangkok Boyby Chai Pinit (The story of a stolen childhood, lost to sexual abuse)
  • The Power of Oneby Bryce Courtenay (The novel traces the adventures of Peekay an English-speaking South African boy, whose dream is to become the welterweight champion of the world)
  • The Girl who Played with Fireby Stieg Larsson (Mikael Blomkvist, throws himself into the investigation about sex trafficking in Sweden and those in high office who abuse underage girls.)
  • The Pactby Jodi Picoult (Chris and Emily, teenagers from the same neighborhood and very close families, have been as close as siblings since birth, but as teenagers their relationship develops into a romance. When they are seniors in high school, however, both families are called to the hospital: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot to the head, and Chris says the two had intended to carry out a suicide pact.)
  • Sarah's Keyby Tatiana de Rosnay (The story surrounds two time periods: 1942 and 2002, in 1942 a girl's family was collected in the French roundup of Jews. In 2002, a journalist uncovers what happened on that day and realizes she is closer to the story than she knew.)
  • Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (A lawyer is forced to work with the hottest hollywood actor, however she would prefer not to.)
Valerie
  • Sky Burial by Xinran (Based on a true story about a woman who goes into a thirty-year search for her husband in Tibet)
  • A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller (Rising conflict between a family in an italian/american neighborhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York)
  • The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind (Fantasy novel about two parallel universes)
  • Racists by Kunal Basu (A novel about a scientific experiment in which a white girl and a black boy are raised together as savages on a small uninhabited island off the coast of Africa which is devised by the "racists" of the title, two rival scientists—one British, one French—to once and for all settle the question of racial superiority.)
  • Lies by Enrique de Heriz (A woman thought to be dead is in reality alive and hiding in a remote jungle.)
  • Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? (contains 114 other interesting questions and explanations.)
  • Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • Under The Dome by Stephen King (A small town is abruptly and gruesomely separated from the outside world by an invisible barrier of unknown origin. )
Wendy
  • Now You See Her by Jacquelyn Mitchard (A girl who seems to have a happy, satisfying life, gives it all up and fakes her own abduction, and in the end figures out that her life wasn't that perfect after all.)
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (A story put together by six drastically different people through different forms of writing, and it turns out that these six peoples' lives are all connected and intertwined in some way.)
  • Impossible by Nancy Werlin (A girl has to accomplish three seemingly impossible tasks in order to break the curse that has been put on her.)