What books shall I read? I am 17.What books shall I read? I am 17.

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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



wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.  

catd1115 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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!

abuers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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!

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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).

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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. 

njackson07 | Student

I highly recommend the Hunger Games series. They are very good books and if you are a quick reader, you will zip right through them. :-) 

meche88 | Student

Read Jane Austen's novels

mattyploof | Student

I highly recommend Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. If you're looking for a good series to read, I suggest the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.

renoa | Student

try novels :) i love Jane Eyer , the railway children or pride and prejudice

cheoelis | Student

oh, how about the chronicals of narnia?

cheoelis | Student

If you like romance and fantasy in reality, i will suggest "Enchanted Ivy" by Sarah Beth Durst, "Fateful" by Claudia Grey and the Dragon Diaries by Deborah Cooke.

and if you like greek mythology, you have to check out the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (just saying if you havent read them...)

there is also the "once upon a time series" they are actually different fairy tales with a twist. i know my description sounds quite childish but no they are not like the movie "tangled". You should read them first. They are really quite good:)

theatreperformer | Student

I love Twenty Boy Summer.  :) 

Check it out! ^^ 


amanda-panda | Student

I would highly recommend the Gone series by Micheal Grant. There are 5 books in the series. They are Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague and Fear. The series is centered around the California town of Perdido Beach. Every human 15 and older vanishes, and the town and surrounding areas are encased within an impenetrable bubble. Many of the people and wildlife develop supernatural powers. THe story goes on about the Kids survival. 

naty94 | Student
What books shall I read? I am 17.

What books shall I read? I am 17.

Hey there!!

I am not really sure if you like paranormal type books, but if you want to give them a chance I can give you a couple of titles and authors.

A few of my favorite Authors are:

  • Melissa De La Cruz
  • Richelle Mead
  • Maureen Jhonson
  • Ellen Schreiber
  • Yann Martel

check them out, they are really good authors that will make your heart waiver with every word they have written.

satavisha | Student

Read books written by Nicholas Sparks,they are just awesome. Here i'm giving you a list:-

1)The Notebook

2)A walk to remember

3)The last song

4)The wedding

5)Dear John

6)True believer

fzil | Student

There is a book priceless. I am currently reading it. It is very great. The back of the book reads: American photojournalist Stuart Daniels has found purpose in life. After enduring the fallout of a tragic assignment. Daniels has rediscovered his faith while helping a young African orphan. Now his photo work carries a greater mission: to educate people about social injustice happening around the world.

Daniels' next assignment carries him back overseas and into the heart of Russia, where an old friend persuades him to helf save two girls form a desperate situation involving the Russian mafia. Soon, he becomes a key player in a dangerous campaign to rescue helpless firls trapped in the sex-slave industry. What Daniels encounters during his journey will shake his faith, test his courage, and even threated his life. Yet as Daniel travels deeper and the stakes become higher, he discovers that hope can be found even in the darkest of places. 

I hope that if you do read this book it impacts your life like it did mine.

melonsmasher | Student

Fo my knowledge Pride and Prejudice is excellent for your age


savannalynnx33 | Student

I am also 17.

I dont normally have the patience for reading, but when i do i tend to read books by Lurlene McDaniel. Her books are so good. You really get into them fast.

-Telling Christina Goodbye

-Six months to live

-Mother please dont die

These were my favorite!

overworked | Student

Age has little to do with what you should read i was 8 when i was reading J.R.R Tolkien, now i'm 15 and i'm reading books that are supposed to be for 8 year old (i find them amusing).

loraaa | Student

read novels...
Also, books about religions and culture of peoples... ^_*

georginger95 | Student


scorpio37 I don't really have a preference, books i liked before have been 'elsewhere', 'the boy in the striped pyjamas' and 'the notebook' thankyou x x

wordprof you're too clever for me i don't understand what you said sorry thankyou anyway! x x x

billdelaney Omg thankyou! x x 

elekzy  already read the bible! i'm an angel :) x x


elekzy | Student

You can try readinfg the books of the Bible There are very interesting stories with lessons there. Try it!!

scorpio37 | Student

It really depends on the type of personality u have. What sort of books do u like - adventurous, humorous, scary??