The Way of All Flesh. Samuel Butler. Novel. Through three generations, sons in the family Pontifex lived in fear of their fathers and then treated their sons in the same way. Ernest breaks the chain.
Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain. Novel. A combination of hilarious scenes and a deep, deep understanding of the tragedy of slavery.
Mr. Blue. Myles Connolly. Novel. Mr. Blue is an unusual character. He is a Christian who loves life, who can sacrifice his own personal interests to help others with no promise of reward other than alleviating the plight of others. He is, in short, a replication of Christ in the modern world.
Memento Mori. Muriel Spark. If, as a young person, you think old people (over 70) live out their old age serenely, reflecting comfortably on their positive experiences over the years, this novel depicts a very different existence—fretful, self-absorbed, worried about trivial circumstances, hyper-critical of other old people, noting their mental instability, reflecting on affairs and embarrassments during the years, using their wills to retain influence over people looking for an inheritance, problems with their bladders, taking pills, no longer valued for their knowledge or viewed as important individuals, wildly suspicious and swiftly dying off because of medical and other causes, including violence and car collisions. Spark writes with a dead-pan, blank expression as she states matter-of-factly what the characters think, say and do. The result is hilarious—and irreverent—and true to life.
The Once and Future King. TH White. Delightful story of the education for leadership of King Arthur by Merlyn. Part of his training was in learning to live with the animals and gain their perspective. His purpose in founding the Round Table was to channel the natural aggressiveness of men into fighting for good causes.