My updated to-read list as well as some personal favorites – because, of course, all writers must read!
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (I can’t believe I still haven’t read this)
How We Are Hungry, by Dave Eggers
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – because Atwood defines my goals as both a writer and a human being. The characters and images in this book are rich and memorable, just as in every other one of her works.
Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury – for the nostalgic who misses the sweet innocence of childhood, or s/he who seeks a warm splash of summer no matter the season.
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini – because Hosseini writes like a god who understands human emotion, and every one of his three books should be read by everybody inhabiting this earth.
Poetry 180, selected by Billy Collins – for the high school poet (or any aged poet, really) looking a light, refreshing collection of poetry.
1984, by George Orwell – because everyone needs to read this book, preferably multiple times. If you haven’t glanced at it since freshman year, it’s time to give it another read.
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss – because the characters and storyline are one of a kind, and she came up with them first (looking at you, Jonathon Safran Foer.)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathon Safran Foer – because even though Foer may have stolen his ex-wife’s plot, this book made me feel things unlike any other book before and I need you to feel them too.
Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainier Maria Rilke – for the lost or confused (so essentially every teenager and millennial.) Although, aren’t we all pretty lost? The world’s a big and confusing place, and this book will make it a little bit less so. Trust me, you need this book in your life.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry – for anyone at any age. Because who even are you if you haven’t read this book?
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne – because I actually enjoyed this book in AP Language. There are drama and gossip, and Hester Prynne is low-key my hero(ine.)
Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf – because who doesn’t love a party. Really, though; Woolf writes beautifully and in a style unlike any author before or after her. While you’re at it, you should read The Hours, by Michael Cunningham. Thought-provoking and poignant. These two books are quick but heavy reads; you may get through through them fast, but they stick with you for a while afterward.