What books shall I read? I am 17.

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Since you are a senior, I am wondering what you have already read? I, too, really enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy, but so did my fifth grade neice. If you're looking for somehting more sophisticated, you may enjoy the Steg Larson books, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. They are graphic and disturbing, but nothing a mature young adult couldn't handle. There are lots of amazing new fantasy writers these days. Have you read the Ice and Fire series by George Martin, Game of Thronesis the first. Of course, as previous posters have said, you should read the classics and/or core high school literature, Catcher, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, as much Shakespeare as you can get your hands on and see it performed as well! You can always do a google search of recommended literatue for college-bound high school students. Almost all the above-mentioned show up on these lists. Good luck and keep reading and thinking!

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If you want some timeless books that have been appreciated over time, try:

  • Catcher in the Rye-J.D. Salinger
  • Of Mice and Men-John Steinbeck
  • Night-Elie Wieset
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn-Mark Twain

These books aren't too long and are written in a straightforward manner; it's not like trying to wade through Shakespeare (although he's great).

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Try looking up the new books or bestsellers for young adults. Also put into your local librarys catalog a search for topics you are interested in and see what you come up with. Ask your friends and teachers what they like and try them!

Do not feel like there is a particular list of books you NEED to read. Do not feel like the only literature worth reading is at least 50 years old. Start with what interests you and branch out.

I personally love the Twilight series, the Harry Potters, The Series of Unfortunate Events, in the young adult category. My all time favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (has a great movie version too and some sequels) My students always like Cheaper by the Dozen. I am also a fan of Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice is my favorite, but I love all her work) I also read Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Walter Mosley, Maeve Binchey, Jodi Piccoult and many others. I find wandering the library or talking to the librarians and friends the best way to find books I like and expand my reading list.

Lastly, I will say that I do like to look up the "100 best" type lists and see how many I have read and try some I haven't. Good luck! and Happy Reading!

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I have just finished the Hunger Games trilogy and I would highly recommend it.  I started the first book around 6pm one night and ended up not going to sleep and just reading throughout the night.  I planned to save the next book to read during a long car trip, but I broke down and bought the second book within the next two days.  It was by far one of the best series I have read recently. 

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There are so many good books, it's hard to know where to begin. I won't recommend any books that I think appeal mainly to males, such as Hemingway's stuff and Moby Dick. Here are some I think most women will enjoy and learn from:

The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Light in August by William Faulkner

The Snopes Trilogy by William Faulkner (if you liked Light in August; the three parts of the Snopes Trilogy are The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion)

Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger (no doubt you've read The Catcher in the Rye)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

(and if you like that, try War and Peace)

Washington Square by Henry James

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (this is the first book in his Remembrance of Things Past. If you like Swann's Way you can read all the others).

The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber

The Points of My Compass by E. B. White

Short stories of Guy de Maupassant (he wrote almost 400 of them, and was probably the best short story writer ever)

Complete Short Stories of John Collier

Complete Short Stories of John Cheever

Maybe some Dickens??? Little Dorrit, The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times, Great Expectations, David Copperfield

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon



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Let me try to help you focus on the question:  Literature, besides giving the pleasures of "living in that world" for a while, also gradually broaden your understanding of "how the world works," and, by extension, your "wisdom," your relationship with your own past and future.  We all have a list of our favorite literature, but it was formed "ex post facto" from the joy and wisdom the books gave us at a certain point in our life's journey.  Some of those books are famous and world-changing; some are more personal, more subjective.  Rather than offer my list as examples, let me suggest that you start exploring--perhaps an anthology like one of Norton's (there are many, even there--English Literature, World Literature, American Literature, etc.)  Just float through it; no preconceived conditions need exist.  Something will catch your attention--a title, a brief line, a genre, an author, a footnote, etc.  You need only pay attention, follow your instincts, and remove your "Toga mind" (logic, reason, cause-and-effect, rationalization, etc.) from the process; let serendipity and accident take your interest wherever it wants to go, with no-one to "answer to." The next step will be excitingly obvious to you.  

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