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5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

Accredited Online Colleges

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100 Books Every High School Student Should Read58 Like 2.8k

November 15th, 2009 By Alvina Lopez When preparing for college, one of the smartest moves a high schooler can make is to read, read, read. This is especially true of literary classics. Many of the books covered on this list also surface in university literature classes, so high school students can facilitate their college workloads by knowing the classics before they become required reading. Students should also keep in mind that classics are classics for a reason: they are good books about the nature of the human condition. They reveal something magical about the workings of the world. They are invaluable to the person attempting to become an academic. Thewww.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 1/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

following books encompass nearly every genre: the lighthearted tales of Johnathan Swifts Gullivers Travles to the dark fate of George Orwells 1984. Read one or read them all, but either way, enjoy and prepare to be enlightened. 1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien: WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a "masterpiece". 2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: A childs-eye view of racial prejudice and weird neighbours in Thirties Alabama. 3. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore: A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears. 4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Dont panic. 5. One Thousand and One Nights Anon: A Persian kings new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution. 6. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe : Werther loves Charlotte, but shes already engaged. Woe is he! 7. Midnights Children by Salman Rushdie: The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth. 8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre: Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason. 9. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons : Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. "Something nasty" has been observed in the woodshed. 10. The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki: The life and loves of an emperors son. And possibly the worlds first novel? 11. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch: A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined. 12. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing: Lessing considers communism and womens liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls "inner space fiction." 13. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin: Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love. 14. On the Road by Jack Kerouac: Beat generation boys aim to "burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles." 15. Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac: A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The antihero "Rastingnac" became a byword for ruthless social climbing. 16. The Red and the Black by Stendhal: Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his "force diame." 17. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: "One for all and all for one:" the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady. 18. Germinal by Emile Zola: Written to "germinate" social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners. 19. The Stranger by Albert Camus: Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts "the gentle indifference of the world." 20. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco: Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry. 21. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey: An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he cant move a glass church 400km. 22. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic. 23. Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: Carrolls ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast. 24. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers.www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 2/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

Isnt that crazy? The Trial by Franz Kafka: K proclaims hes innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But "innocent of what?" Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee: Protagonists "first long secret drink of golden fire" is under a hay wagon. Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan: Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque: The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler: Three siblings are differently affected by their parents unexplained separation. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin: Profound and panoramic insight into 18thcentury Chinese society. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: Garibaldis Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the "jackals" ousting the nobility, or "leopards." If On a Winters Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino: International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle. Crash by JG Ballard: Former TV scientist preaches "a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology." A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul: East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds "The world is what it is." Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak: Romantic young doctors idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution. The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz: Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: This famous novella has been adapted for movies, opera and plays. Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift: Swifts scribulous satire on travellers tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George Is). My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk: A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga. London Fields by Martin Amis: A failed novelist steals a womans trashed diaries which reveal shes plotting her own murder. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaoo: Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse: Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules. The Tin Drum by Gnter Grass: Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism. Austerlitz by WG Sebald: Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov: Scholars sexual obsession with a prepubescent "nymphet" is complicated by her mothers passion for him. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood: After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: Expelled from a "phony" prep school, adolescent antihero goes through a difficult phase.3/10

www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

50. Underworld by Don DeLillo: From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here. 51. Beloved by Toni Morrison: Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery. 52. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: "Okies" set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity. 53. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin: Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlems African-American community. 54. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera: A doctors infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it cant matter. 55. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark: A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun. 56. The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet: Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach? If so, who heard? 57. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre: A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on. 58. The Rabbit books by John Updike: A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs. 59. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum "sivilisation." 60. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors. 61. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton: Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue. 62. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe: A Nigerian yam farmers local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionarys arrival. 63. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: A mysterious millionaires love for a woman with "a voice full of money" gets him in trouble. 64. The Warden by Anthony Trollope: "Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money," said WH Auden. 65. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly. 66. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis: An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl. 67. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler: "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts" in this hardboiled crime noir. 68. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson: Epistolary adventure whose heroines bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace. 69. A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell: Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears "the wrong kind of overcoat." 70. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky: Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France. 71. Atonement by Ian McEwan: Puts the "c" word in the classic English country house novel. 72. Life: a Users Manual by Georges Perec: The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms. 73. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding : Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door. 74. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Human endeavours "to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world" have tragic consequences. 75. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell: Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 4/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

76. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: Hailed by TS Eliot as "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels." 77. Ulysses by James Joyce: Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest "sentences" in English literature: 4,391 words. 78. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert: Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctors wife to an agonising end. 79. A Passage to India by EM Forster: A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India. 80. 1984 by George Orwell: In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired. 81. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Samuel Johnson thought Sternes bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah! 82. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells: Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles. 83. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh: Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes. 84. Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy : Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy. 85. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene: A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greenes novel. 86. The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse: A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentlemans gentleman. 87. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each others "souls." Then he leaves. 88. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens: Debt and deception in Dickenss semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows. 89. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island. 90. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Every proud posh boy deserves a bratty, prejudiced girl. 91. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills. 92. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: Septimuss suicide doesnt spoil our heroines stream-ofconsciousness party. 93. Disgrace by JM Coetzee: An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student. 94. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr. Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally. 95. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust: Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literatures most celebrated lemony cake. 96. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: "The conquest of the earth," said Conrad, "is not a pretty thing." 97. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: An American heiress in Europe "affronts her destiny" by marrying an adulterous egoist. 98. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: Tolstoys doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of "a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow." 99. Moby Dick by Herman Melville: Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale that ate his leg. 100. Middlemarch by George Eliot: "One of the few English novels written for grown-up people," said Virginia Woolf.

13 Responses to 100 Books Every High School Student Shouldwww.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 5/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

Read1. Ryan Malynn Says:December 23rd, 2011 at 6:08 pm

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky should also be read! 2. Luna Moth Says:April 22nd, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I would re-title the list 100 books to try if you thought you didnt like literature. By no means do I think any high school student must read all 100 before graduation, Im only 25 and have barely hit half the list . . . and have the rest of my life to enjoy the other half. 3. roger Says:April 22nd, 2012 at 11:21 pm

The Road by Cormac McCarthy was not included? Really. A story of love from a father to his son. I dare you to read it and not shed a tear at the end. 4. Mike Says:April 23rd, 2012 at 1:07 am

As someone who has studied Literature for the last eight years I am baffled that you think a high school student can appreciate most of the books on this list. Your pursuit is noble, although I think the plethora of foreign authors, outdated texts, and even taboo subject matter may fall on deaf ears. 5. Hugh Says:April 29th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

You missed Lord of the Flies by William Golding a fascinating insight into human nature and society through the eyes of children. I daresay it belongs near the top of your list 6. Katie Sout Says:April 30th, 2012 at 2:48 am

ALL of the Harry Potter books should most DEFINITELY be on this list. 7. 01001101011010010110101101100101 Says:April 30th, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Having reached 70, Ive managed to stumble through about 70% of the list, some of which took 30 years to muster the energy. I cant imagine todays youth finding it any easier.www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 6/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

I suggest the problem and relevance of dated reading lists lies more with the challenger then the challenged. It might have something to do with why our dropout rates are so high. Our youth today need to be challenged by things they can relate to. Too bad there are no serious tomes by Lady Gaga. We can always hope. Regarding the comprehensive skills of our current crop of youngsters; if the characters of an example cant communicate by cell phone the validity and relevance of the entire project should be circumspect and thrown against the wall. Bye the way, I noticed that Hemingway and Faulkner werent included in this list. Curious. 01001101011010010110101101100101 8. Laura Says:May 1st, 2012 at 2:18 am

Why do people who study literature feel so entitled that they are so smart that no high school student would read these books. Most of these books I read in high school. Some even for school itself. It irritates me that people think they are so high and mighty just because they have gone to school for it. Lots of people read books. Stop thinking that you are special just because you had to pay to read those books. 9. John Dougan Says:May 4th, 2012 at 5:23 am

This is a very good list. I would like to add Dalton Trumbos Johnny Got His Gun, a book everyone should read and read again throughout their life. 10. Laurie Says:May 4th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I read at least half of these when I was in High School! 11. Tara Says:May 7th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I just want to say that this is a fantastic list. Rarely do I find a booklist that I am inspired to draw from consistently. 12. Janette Says:May 7th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Thats close to three books a month for four school years or close to four books a month if the high school is a three-year school. The likelihood of high school students reading 100 books over the three or four year duration is, well, highly unlikely. American kids . . . even less than unlikely. 13. Leigh Says:May 7th, 2012 at 8:39 pmwww.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2009/100-books-every-high-school-student-should-read/ 7/10

5/26/12

100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

I am a high school student and Mike, I am baffled that you think a high school student cannot appreciate most of the books on the list. Give those of us who enjoy reading and literature some credit. Our prefrontal cortices may not be fully formed yet, but we are a creative, intelligent and enthusiastic young bunch (and I have come to the conclusion that the majority of us are much more open-minded than older generationsno deaf ears here). GREAT LIST.

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100 Books Every High School Student Should Read | Accredited Online Colleges.com

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