What Is A Novel and
Which Novels Should I Read?

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What Is A Novel?

What Is A Novel? 

A Novel, such as the one shown above, is a book-length prose story of roughly 30,000 words or more. 

Books of the works of William Shakespeare, for instance, are not considered novels, because Shakespeare wrote plays, not stories.

Similarly, books of poetry and reference books are also not considered novels.

Basically, there are three types of Novel: Fiction, Non Fiction, and Creative Non Fiction. 

Fiction novels are stories whose details are partially (or fully) invented by the writer. Fiction can be based on true facts, anticipated future occurrences, or nothing more than the writer's imagination. Probably the most logical genre for fiction writing is Science Fiction. 

Non Fiction stories are true stories. Journalism is one example of Non Fiction writing. Journalists are obligated to only quote exact statements from checked sources. Certain biographies also qualify as Non Fiction novels.

Creative Non Fiction usually involves realistically inferring events and dialogue from factual events.

Remember, dialogue is in quotes, but we most often don't know EXACTLY what anyone said.  So if, for instance, you use dialogue for an historical biography, it isn't technically non fiction. However, if all inferences are sensible and realistic, it's close enough. 

An excellent recent novel of biographical Creative Non Fiction is Crazy Horse Appearing, by Judee Shipman. 

A stunning novel of journalistic Creative Non Fiction is In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote.

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Which Novels Are the Best?

what is a novel 

Top Novels of All Time

It's easy enough to say What Is A Novel, but who can really say which novels are the best? It's largely a question of taste. However, here's a list of 10 undisputed classics that have stood the test of time.

Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

The Lord of the Rings by JJR Tolkien 

1984 by George Orwell 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Robinson Crusoe by Robert Louis Stevenson

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 


Printable Literature

Hit this link for a Classic Short Story from the public domain:

Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London

Go here for selected Moral Stories.  

Visit here for Lion Tales.

See this page for more Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.

Visit these links for two original contemporary short stories by Judee Shipman:

Sunflower Summer

The Problem With People

Printable Poetry

SHORT SWEET LOVE POEMS This little poetry collection is short, funny and maybe even a little bit naughty, but sweet nevertheless.

VALENTINE POEMS This page features a collection of short verses that alternate between charming, funny and downright absurd.

FRIENDSHIP POEMS Hit this link for poems about friendship that actually don't suck.

FUNNY POEMS Who doesn't enjoy a touch of humor here and there? And while you're at it, why not make it rhyme?

SPANISH POEM (with translation) This page contains a rhymed verse composed in Spanish, with an English translation.

AQUARIUS POETRY Poems from the Western Zodiac.

ARIES POETRY Poems from the Western Zodiac.

GEMINI POETRY Poems of the Western Zodiac.

LIBRA POETRY More Zodiac poetry.

PISCES POETRY Poems pertaining to the Pisces personality.

VIRGO POETRY A short, well-chosen selection of Virgo verse.

POETRY FROM EVERY STATE Read poems about the state you live in. This collection really capture the mood of geographically themed poetry.

Useful Links to More Free Printables

Go here for all sorts of Free Printable Resume Formats.

Printable list of Amtrak Train Stations in All 50 States.

Printable list of Greyhound Bus Stations in All 50 States.

Free Printable Car Insurance Stats for All 50 States and Washington DC.

Free Printable Reusable Monthly Calendars

Free Printable Maps

Free Printable Charts and Tables

Free Printable Tattoo Designs

Free Printable Tarot Cards

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Free Printable Trivia Games