The 9 Favorite Novels of the Harvard Book Store Staff

shelved under Personal Favorites and Fiction

When you run a site like Flashlight Worthy you spend a lot of time puttering around in the web looking for one book site or another. Imagine my surprise when I found a list of the favorite books of the staff of the Harvard Book Store. Enjoy!

(Oh, and yes, I know I've categorized this under fiction when the first book on the list is, in fact, not fiction. But the others are fiction, so that's good enough for me.)


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

by Haruki Murakami

Ray Davis Curry from Portland, Maine says:

Even in translation, Murakami writes in a unique, piercing style of Zen crystalline prose, describing aspects of common life and things I've never experienced, like nothing i'd ever read. Mystery, love, different culture.


The New York Trilogy: City of Glass; Ghosts; The Locked Room

by Paul Auster

Ann Klefstad from Duluth, MN says:

Paul Auster is a deft writer; this series was one that I (invisibly and minimally) copy-edited and proofread when it was first published on Sun and Moon Press in Los Angeles. At the time I thought, Robbe-Grillet/Yourcenar for uncomplicated Americans. Which is praise, of a kind... Now, having seen his wonderful films, I can't help but seeing the spare sketching of this first trilogy of his as scripts. (Later novels are less tricksy, less geometric, more lived.) Incidentally, Auster is also a wonderful translator of literature in French. It's how he made his living before his own work became successful.


The Crying of Lot 49

by Thomas Pynchon

Jason Burley from London says:

It is short, but has lasting impact. The narrative and characters course along unexpected paths. The author conveys a sense of literary chaos and yet it is still a comfortable read. You will not read another novella quite like this one.



by Vladimir Nabokov

Laura Marello says:

All my life I've been surprised that people misjudged Lolita. How could you think the author wants you to sympathize with a character named Humbert Humbert? Lolita is about a sensitive subject — a man who marries a woman to get to her twelve year-old daughter, but it is literature, make no mistake. It's a disturbing, haunting, creepy and disgusting book. It's also a modern classic.



by George Orwell

Michael says:

Beautifully dark, disturbing, and thought-provoking.


One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gregory Rabassa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Penelope Trunk says:

This book was not fun to read; it was very slow going for me. I had no idea what I was reading at the beginning. Every time the magical realism popped up, I skipped it, and got excited that I was closer to the end of the book. But somewhere, toward the end, I stopped skipping, and I realized that I was able to appreciate the weirdness of the story. This was when I realized I could process big ideas on my own, without a professor to guide me.


The Catcher in the Rye

by J.D. Salinger

Tad Friend says:

You mean you haven't read it already about, like, twelve times?


The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Danielle S. says:

I have read all four of these books too many times to count. While I typically read for the sheer enjoyment of reading, these books to have a message to impart. If you've only seen the movies or listened to the songs by Zeppelin (yes, Led Zeppelin), then you should definitely read these books.


Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Bronte

Anna Claire Vollers from The South says:

Mysterious laughter, sinister servants and a brooding, passionate Mr. Rochester make it impossible for Jane to stay in her room at night. When she awakes in the dark to find a deranged woman slowly ripping her wedding veil in half. As you read, just remember to breathe.


In the spirit of full disclosure, the list was really 100 books. If you'like to see the other 90, you can visit the book store's website.