Adam Doupé

Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Director, Center for Cybersecurity and Trusted Foundations

Some Classic Literature Recommendations

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Recently, a friend asked me to recommend some classic English books for him. He’s Persian and was born in Iran, so it was fun to give him some of my favorite american books. I decided to put that list here in case you’re looking for a book to read.


One of the funniest books I’ve ever read. About WWII and it’s sad and funny at the same time.

A Confederacy of Dunces

The funniest book I’ve ever read. Captures the spirit of New Orleans and the characters are outlandish. Plus the book was published after the author committed suicide, so the whole book’s got a sad tinge.


One of my favorite authors, and this is his best book. About the WWII firebombing of Dresden, which killed more people than the A-bomb and the author lived through it. The science fiction aspects of the book and the third-story perspective almost seem like a coping mechanism on behalf of the author.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

British novel, but I’m haunted by this book. You can’t help but wonder, what would my portrait look like?

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Excellent book I read in high school. Deals with the south and slavery and love.

The Sun Also Rises

Hemmingway at his best. I also read this in high school so I don’t remember the details. But you need to read this closely and attentivly because Hemmingway doesn’t use a lot of words.

East of Eden

If you liked Grapes of Wrath you’ll like this book. It’s very long and that’s the downside. It’s a modern retelling of the story of Cain and Able from the bible.


A British novel which is excellent and about a dystopian future. Same author as Animal Farm, but this book is much better in my opinion. If you read this, you have to read Brave New World right after.

Brave New World

Also dystopian future but in a different maner than 1984. If you want to read this, read 1984 first, then read Brave New World directly after so you can compare and contrast. Personally I think this kind of world is much more likely for us than the world in 1984.

Fahrenheit 451

Similar to 1984 and Brave New World, but here books are banned. Very good.