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Published between 1950 and 2000

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
BIOGRAPHY X
This book expressed for many African Americans what the mainstream civil rights movement did not: their anger and frustration with the intractability of racial injustice. 
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
CLASSIC GARCIA MARQUEZ
This novel tells the story of the Buendia family and chronicles the conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love. 
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
TCRIME CAP
In Cold Blood is a pioneering example of both the "nonfiction novel" and the modern "true crime" story.  It retells the murders of the Clutter family in Kansas. 
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
SF PB ADAMS
Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect. 
The Catcher in the Rye by j. d. salinger
CLASSIC SALINGER
This influential story concerns three days after Holden has been expelled from prep school.  Confused and disillusioned, he wanders New York searching for truth and rails against the phoniness of the adult world. 
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
SF HEINLEIN
The story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised on Mars by Martians who then returns to Earth about twenty years later. 
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
SOCSCI FRI
In giving expression to the discontent women felt in being confined to the role of homemaker, Friedans' book helped galvanize the women's movement. 
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
SCIENCE SPACE SAG
Sagan's classic, best-selling science book of all time accompanied his wildly popular television series Cosmos.  The book offers a glimpse of his personal vision of what it means to be human. 
A Brief History of Time: And Other Essays by Stephen Hawking
SCIENCE SPACE HAW
By one of the age's great physicists, this book attempts to answer the big questions of existence, not the least how the universe got here. 
Rabbit, Run by John Updike
CLASSIC UPDIKE
Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom is a onetime high-school basketball star who on an impulse deserts his wife and son. He is twenty-six years old, a man-child caught in a struggle between instinct and thought, self and society, sexual gratification and family duty—even, in a sense, human hard-heartedness and divine grace.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
O'BRIEN
Neither a novel nor a short story collection, The Things They Carried is an arc of fictional episodes, taking place in the childhoods of its characters, in the jungles of Vietnam and back home in America two decades later.
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
IRVING
A young man is taught by the doctor at the orphanage where he was brought up. When he clashes with his mentor over the issue of abortion, he leaves  and finds work on a cider farm. There he falls in love with another man's girlfriend but starts to re-evaluate his principles when one of the farm workers becomes pregnant by her own father.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
CLASSIC WALKER
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. 
The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
WOLFE
Tom Wolfe's modern American satire tells the story of Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street "Master of the Universe" who has it all - a Park Avenue apartment, a job that brings wealth, power and prestige, a beautiful wife, an even more beautiful mistress. 
All Creatures Great and Small: The Warm and Joyful Memoirs of the Worlds Most Beloved Animal Doctor by James Herriot
BIOGRAPHY HERRIOT
Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.