1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    People complain about this one, but aside from being forced to read it, it's good.
  2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    I still go back to read it. It's short enough to be a quick afternoon read. Then I spend the evening watching morose movies and drinking hot tea while contemplating life, love, and free will.
  3. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
    Read it in an American Lit class in college. Could not put it down. I neglected other school work until I finished it.
  4. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
    Classic romance tropes, forbidden love, sacrifice, what's not to love about the gut-wrenching conclusion of this satisfying novel?
  5. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
    I hated this when forced to read it in high school, but when I went back to it as an adult I finally got what the fuss was about.
  6. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    I always recommend this one, but so far no one I know likes it.
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    My favorite book of all time, though I read it with a different appreciation of Bertha now.