The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
This novel is, according to Ari Margolis (upon watching me type), "awesome. " I read this book on my own three or four summers ago and still frequently refer to the concepts it taught me; it has withstood my own test of time and memory and, consequently, remains one of my favorites. Crichton's plot enraptures and excites, but, more importantly, he reminds the scientist/problem-solver in me not to lose track of simple, everyday concepts; routine protocol; and common sense. Short and simple but quality of the mostest. P.S. The movie suffers in comparison.

-Jodi Weinstein

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
"Who is John Galt?"
Dagny Taggart wastes her life running Taggart Transcontinental, the largest railway in the nation, for unappreciative people who believe they deserve everything for nothing. Finally, she shrugs her shoulders, refusing to carry the world any longer. She joins her soul mate, John Galt, in a camouflaged capitalist utopia, located in a random Colorado valley, where hard-working, intelligent people idolize the sign of the dollar.
-Nina Flax
-Kush Parmar
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
An amnesiac discovers the facts of his former life as a covert operative of the government.

-Adam Kline

Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok
discusses a young girl's awakening to her heritage and discovery of her independence as a budding spirit who wishes to act freely.

-Lauren Friedman

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Sometime in the late nineteenth century, Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, is traveling to the Castle Dracula, which is located in Transylvania, in order to finalize a transfer of real estate in England to Count Dracula; a "pale, gaunt man, rather strange" who is intent on killing Harker. The Count survives by drinking the blood of human beings; each successive draught rejuvenating his youth. Harker manages to stave off the attack of the bloodthirsty Count who travels to England in hopes of leeching off of a blossoming population. Eventually, a group of those having suffered from the Count's hand band together with Jonathan and successfully plot the Count's demise.

-Judith Su

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
An extremely talented architect, Roarke, rejects the conventions of society and falls in love with a gorgeous woman, Dominique, who finds joy in his pain. Dominique marries Wynand, the man Roarke hates the most, but ultimately, after much inner-struggle and self-torture, Dominique and Roarke unite and Roarke is commissioned by Wynand to build the most magnificent building in New York.

-Lauren Wolf

The Hobbit by J.R.Tolkein
The Hobbit is a tale about a band of dwarves accompanied by Bilbo the Hobbit, who has a magic ring that makes him invisible, and Gandalf the wizard on their quest to steal a ageless dragon's treasure. On the way, they encounter many different kinds of creatures; some they battle with and some they have dinner with. The magic and heroic deeds bring out the good qualities in Bilbo and spark the imagination of the reader. The "feel good" read of the year!

-Vince DeGennaro

Life Is Elsewhere by Milan Kundera
This famed Czech writer and dissident of the former Communist regime discusses the difficult life of Jaromil, the poet, during wartime and later Communist Czechoslovakia. He effectively illustrates not only the harshness of the times but also the hardships and the pleasures of growing up and of life in general.

-Eric Kreiger

The Stranger by Albert Camus.
Through Camus' writing the reader can delve into the thoughts of one man, lonely and awaiting death for a crime which he commits almost involuntarily, in a brief, hot, fleeting moment. The novel itself is a wonderful examination of contemporary society, with all its dogmas and values, and gives the reader a wonderful introspective into the mind of one solitary man, and the conflicts which he must face before he dies. I truly recommend this brief novel, for the author's writing style is very fluent, and the context delightfully forces the reader to stop and think about society and human nature as we know it.

-Carolina Zaragovia

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The author reaches into a deep Colombian heritage rich in traditions, magic, stories, and indigenous culture to produce a virtual Bible of magical realism. The novel traces the rise and fall-- and the beautiful, tragic, and surreal moments in between-- of the Buendia family. Its literature is absolutely magnificent, the stories and the chapters are powerful, in slow motion, and undeniably complete. Because the novel is so concerned with being a breathing story, the themes are vividly approachable and lifelike, very close to the touch. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book.

-Michel DiCapua

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
This book is a touchingly entertaining story about the life of a overweight and desperate girl who overcomes pain and humiliation to discover what happiness and life is really all about.

-Catherine O'Connnor