What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 5)

What You Should Read In High School – an English Teachers List (part 5)

This post of six books completes the Fiction side of our English Teachers Reading List. Several have been featured on previous lists, which just goes to show that the best books are recommended by many. Read these to complete your education and reap the benefits of reading widely.

1. ShantaramGregory David Roberts


Shantaram is a love story from start to finish: love of mankind, love of friends, love of a woman, love of a country, love of a city, love of an adversary, love of a way of life, love of a people, love of adventure, love of a father, and, most apparent, love for the reader.

Featured in our 8 Best Books to Read in your 20’s

 

 

2. The God of Small ThingsArundhati Roy

Even though English is not the authors first language, yet she writes with breathtaking poetry and vivid imagery. Set in India, in the province of the first democratically elected communist government, she tells the story of an indian family in the 1960s. Issues such as caste and racial prejudices and biases, the abuse of women and the weight of tradition are examined through the lens of a childs perspective. But is is the small things will stick with you.

 

 

3. PushSapphire

You will probably find this to be a very blunt and confrontational story. It tells the story of a verbally and sexually abused African American teenager in the ghettos on Harlem. There is no story book ending, but you are still uplifted by the perseverance and determination of Precious and her teacher, Blue Rain.

 

 

 

4. Dirt MusicTim Winton

Dirt Music is a sweeping tale of self-doubt and self-discovery, and, like the landscape of Western Australia where it is placed, it is wild and serene, replete with a music all its own. Tim Winton is one of Australia’s most acclaimed Authors.

 

 

 

5. Mrs. DallowayVirginia Woolf

Featured on many lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The stream-of-consciousness style is demanding, and will require you to exercise a few mind muscles. The reward of rich, imaginative language, like a literary Monet, is the reason for reading. The Hours, by Michael Cunningham, featured in our first list of this series is based on this original novel.

 

 

6. The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak

Featured in more lists than we can list here, we’ll just quote the New York Times.

BRILLIANT and hugely ambitious… It’s the kind of book that can be LIFE CHANGING.

If you have read it already, then try one of his other books, like the trilogy Underdogs, written before The Book Thief. Also highly awarded, these coming of age novels are compelling and bittersweet.

Find the previous list in this series here.

8 Best Books to Read in Your 20s

8 Best Books to Read in Your 20s

The 20s. A period in your life when you think you will live forever and you have all the time in the world, and in which you don’t achieve much, most of the time. Your 20s are an incredible time, and with the right inputs, this part of your life can be highly productive and an asset for the rest of your life. As optimistic as that sounds, if you’ve stumbled onto this list, you’re probably and ambitious 20 something who wants to make the most out of this hazy and crazy decade of your life.

What are the best books to read in your 20s?

Good for you. For most people, life doesn’t really being until 30, but you, you plucky little 20 something, things are all going to be different. These books will certainly help. These are the best books to read in your 20s, if you want to make this period in your life a solid foundation on which you can build the rest of your life. We hope you remember WhytoRead when you make it.

8 Best Books to Read in Your 20s

1. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

Norwegian Wood is a quick read, drawing the reader in closer and deeper as the characters, their lives, and their deaths intertwine. There are many deaths in this book, although they take place somewhat at the outskirts of the other action. The deaths act as catalysts for characters to learn, grow, change, or in some cases, retreat, wither, and become isolated. It is this constant interplay between retreat and advancement, withering and growth, isolation and togetherness, which seems to be a theme of this novel, and a central struggle each of its characters must face.

2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

Like the layers of an onion, Diaz peels back the layers of years to reveal the back history of Oscar and his sister Lola. The Banana Curtain is lifted and the horrors of Trujillo — the raging narcissist and despoiler of women — are unflinchingly revealed, creating shudders of revulsion and flashes of understanding in this reader.

3. What She Saw… – Lucinda Rosenfeld

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

This book is well worth reading, and it may be one of those that has a long, long life. Rosenfeld has a very sharp and very sympathetic eye, and her portrait of Phoebe Fine is both appealling and later in Phoebe’s quest–troubling. While the details are fun and absolutely on target, the novel goes well beyond being a simple period piece, a bit of Gen X, coming-of-age nostalgia.

4. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

(As featured 10 Great Books That Will Make You Change Your Life)

This book will shift your focus from the worries of the future unto the beauty of the present moment.

Reading this book will put you in a state of tranquility and it will make you question your perspective on many about your life.

5. Shantaram: A Novel – Gregory David Roberts

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

Shantaram is a love story from start to finish: love of mankind, love of friends, love of a woman, love of a country, love of a city, love of an adversary, love of a way of life, love of a people, love of adventure, love of a father, and, most apparent, love for the reader.

6. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

Ayn Rand’s characters come to life as she paints very clear pictures of who they are and what they represent. In this novel, she sets forth her philosophy of “objectivism.” She exposes those, such as a character named Peter Keating, an architect, who seemingly achieves greatness by copying others but somehow gives the illusion of originality and creativity. In order to achieve “greatness,” Keating was literally willing to sell anything, including his wife. Thus, despite his wealth and apparant achievement, his life was empty. Rand begins to formulate her values that altruism is an evil because a society which seeks to achieve this must do so at someone’s expense and therefore leads to collectivism.

7. Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

(As featured in The Ultimate 10 Best Books You Must Read Before You Die)

This is a wonderful and highly original novel about a mentally challenged man named Charlie who wanted to be smart. One day, his wish was granted. A group of scientists selected him for an experimental operation which would to raise his intelligence to genius level. Suddenly, Charlie found himself transformed, and life changed.

8. The Outsider – Albert Camus

Best Books to Read in Your 20s

This 1942 classic is about a man, Meursault, who shoots an Arab eight times without premeditation because he, Meursault, is overcome by the heat of the Algerian sun. He is unable to explain what he did and is sentenced to death. Meursault is a man who is “condemned because he doesn’t play the game. In this sense, he is an outsider to the society in which he lives, wandering on the fringe, on the outskirt of life, solitary and sensual.”