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Pratt Picks

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Nonfiction - Groundbreaking Reads: Fiction and Nonfiction

"Groundbreaking," according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means "markedly innovative," and that's what the books on this list are: they made startling leaps in their genres. This is just a small sampling, of course; the total number of groundbreaking books is huge!

To help you find a groundbreaker that's right for you and to sketch some literary history, we've created a longer list here. For even more suggestions, see your librarian.

Biography and Memoir

A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway
Call Number: PS3515.E37 Z475 1996
 
The Liars' Club
The Liars' Club
(1)
Mary Karr
Call Number: PS3561.A6929Z4681995
 
Walden
Walden
Henry David Thoreau
Call Number: PS3048 .A1 2004BQ
 

Fantasy

The Blade Itself
The Blade Itself
Joe Abercrombie
 
A Wizard of Earthsea
A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula Le Guin
 
The Hobbit
The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien
 

Food and Cooking

Four Fish
Four Fish
Paul Greenberg
Call Number: SH167 .S17 G74 2010
 
The Omnivore's Dilemma
The Omnivore's Dilemma
(1)
Michael Pollan
Call Number: GT2850 .P65 2007
 
The Making of a Chef
The Making of a Chef
Michael Ruhlman
Call Number: TX649 .R8 A3 1997
 

Historical Fiction

Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
Hilary Mantel
 
Beloved
Beloved
Toni Morrison
 
Ivanhoe
Ivanhoe
Sir Walter Scott
 

Horror

The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House
(1)
Shirley Jackson
 
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
 
The Terror
The Terror
Dan Simmons
 

Mysteries

The Big Sleep
The Big Sleep
(2)
Raymond Chandler
 
The Moonstone
The Moonstone
Wilkie Collins
 
Devil in a Blue Dress
Devil in a Blue Dress
Walter Mosley
 

Paranormal

UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities
UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities
John B. Alexander
Call Number: TL789.4 .A44 2011
 
The Mothman Prophecies
The Mothman Prophecies
John A. Keel
Call Number: TL789 .K37 2002
 
The Big Book of the Unexplained
The Big Book of the Unexplained
Doug Moench
Call Number: DS374 .H5 N47 1998
 

Romance

Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
(2)
Jane Austen
 
I Don't Know How She Does It
I Don't Know How She Does It
Allison Pearson
 
The Flame and the Flower
The Flame and the Flower
Kathleen Woodiwiss
 

Science Fiction

Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein
 
Old Man's War
Old Man's War
John Scalzi
 
The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds
(1)
H. G. Wells
 

Travel

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
Eric Newby
Call Number: DS374 .H5 N47 1998
 
The Places in Between
The Places in Between
Rory Stewart
Call Number: DS352 .S74 2006
 
The Innocents Abroad;  Roughing It
The Innocents Abroad; Roughing It
Mark Twain
Call Number: PS1312 .A13 1984
 
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