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10 Books Turning 100 This Year

Some of the Best Books from 1923

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 15, 2023

The popular culture of an era often says something about the character of the time it inhabits. In the past weeks, we've considered books and movies that came out fifty years ago. Today, we’re revisiting some of the most notable books turning 100 this year. Some of these titles tapped into the cultural zeitgeist of that moment in history. Others offer something universal that speaks to us all. Whatever the reason, they still have a place on our shelves.

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

A poet, artist, and mystic, Gibran was born to a poor family in Lebanon in 1883 and emigrated to the United States as an adolescent, where he began studying art. The 28 poetic essays in this collection cover such essential subjects as marriage, children, friendship, work, and pleasure. They are illustrated with his full-page drawings.

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

We love Anne of Green Gables, but many of us would name Emily Starr as our favorite of Montgomery's creations. Orphaned at thirteen, she's sent to live with her austere aunts at New Moon Farm on Prince Edward Island. Like Anne, she's a budding author with a quick wit and lively imagination, but Montgomery said that Emily's characteristics and circumstances more closely resembled her own.

New Hampshire by Robert Frost

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." This Pulitzer Prize-winning collection includes several of Frost's most well-known poems including Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, also available as a beautiful picture book. Illustrations for the poems were provided by Frost's friend, woodcut artist J. J. Lankes.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre

This roman à clef is a first-person account told in the voice of renowned stock trader Jesse Livermore. It is said to be the most widely read, highly recommended investment book ever. Generations of readers have found that it still has much to teach them about markets and people. It is described as  a timeless tale that will enrich your life—and your portfolio.

Bambi by Felix Salten

This coming-of-age novel is more somber than the adorable Disney film that followed. Life in the forest is dangerous and precarious, and Bambi learns important lessons about survival as he grows to become a strong, heroic stag. The story explores the tensions that Salten experienced in his own life—as an animal-loving hunter and an Austrian Jew seeking acceptance.

The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (#2 in the Jeeves series)

This is the second book in the beloved series featuring Bertie Wooster and his highly competent valet Jeeves. The hilarious stories feature the charmingly foppish Bertie and his friends being rescued from tedious social obligations, annoying relatives, scrapes with the law, and romantic problems by the quiet interventions of Jeeves.

Whose Body? (#1 in the Lord Peter Wimsey series) by Dorothy L. Sayers

There's a corpse in the bathtub, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez spectacles. Enter Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth. Urged to investigate by his mother, the Dowager Duchess of Denver, Lord Pete quickly ascertains that the sudden disappearance of a well-known financier is connected. But discovering how leads the amateur detective on a merry chase.

Cane by Jean Toomer

This pioneering work of the Harlem Renaissance era—described as part drama, part poetry, part fiction—intertwines the stories of six women. The impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic, sketches of Southern rural and urban life are permeated by visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and fire; the northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets.

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather

Like much of Cather's work, this novel recalls Nebraska's early history and contrasts those days with an unsentimental portrait of the materialistic world that supplanted life on the frontier. In her subtle portrait of Marian Forrester, whose life unfolds in the midst of this disquieting transition, Cather created one of her most memorable and finely drawn characters.

The Murder on the Links (#2 in the Hercule Poirot series) by Agatha Christie

In detective Hercule Poirot's second appearance, he rushes to France in response to an urgent and cryptic plea from a client. But the beloved Belgian detective arrives just too late: the man who had summoned him is found dead on a golf course, stabbed in the back with a letter opener and wearing an ill-fitting coat with a mysterious love letter in its pocket.

Whether these books are new to you or favorites from your past, please join us in celebrating their continued relevance and resonance after fifty years! How many have you read?

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