Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 1 decade ago

What BOOKS should I read before COLLEGE?

I am only a Freshman in high school, but I've been hearing about this list of books that all college freshmen should have read before college. Since the list is probably pretty lengthy, I think that it would probably be a good idea to start to read them early. I am an above average reader for my age and I really like science fiction. My favorite book of all time is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury...and that is saying a lot because I have grown up in the Harry Potter era. Don't get me wrong, I love Harry Potter (I've read each of them 4 times, except the last one only once). So what do you think are some of the best books that I should read before College? Or if you can give me a link to a website with a "generic" list of books to read before college.

Classics I have far

-Romeo and Juliet


-Fahrenheit 451

-Animal Farm

-Oedipus the King


-A Seperate Peace

-To Kill A Mockingbird

-Julius Ceaser

-The Hound of the Baskervilles

-Of Mice and Men

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I am currently a senior in high school and am reading a lot of books in my AP literature class, as well as in my spare time. Some books I would recommend (from personal like of the books, as well as what I have heard is brought up often in college) are:

    -Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (the third well-known dystopic book; it would be good to read since you have already read 1984 and Fahrenheit 451)

    -Moby Dick by Herman Melville(though i hear it is very tedious and dull, i have also heard that it is brought up very often in college classes)

    -Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky explores the psychological process of a murderer. good for its acute existentialism and psychological exploration)

    -Mythology by Edith Hamilton(isn't so much something that will be discussed in college, but will help you understand mythological sybolism in various books)

    -Poetry by any major poet; poets such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.

    -Walden by Henry David Thoreau (i absoloutely hated this book, but it is widely acclaimed for its transcendental thought and, from personal notice, it is very often referred to in college level classes and psychology, etc.)

    -The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (not my favorite, but, once again, it is greatly and often spoken of)

    -Candide by Voltaire (i haven't yet read it, but Voltaire is known as one of the great philosophers of the Enlightenment era, which will be studied as you go on in school)

    -Animal Farm by George Orwell (you may read this in a government class. has to deal with communism and creation of government)

    -The Stranger by Albert Camus (learn your "-isms" early on. this is a very existenialist book mixed with the absurd, not to mention this is probably one of my favorite books ever)

    -Jane Austen books should be read for understanding of various styles and control of diction.

    -Shakespeare, of course, will always be brought up. Practice your understanding of his language, as well as understand his types of plays (i.e. tragedy, comedy)

    -Books by Kurt Vonnegut.

    -Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (on my list of books to read. my teacher recommended it for me, and i trust his opinions of literature)

    -The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (i wouldn't read this if you are easily disturbed or become depressed after reading depressing literature, but i loved this book and it is on a list of books to read that i was given a few years ago)

    -Books by Ernest Hemingway, though most people I know that have read his books are easily irritated by the author.

    -Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (a short book, but has to deal with eastern philosophy, and all serious readers should know different cultures)

    -Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    -The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    -Any works by major philosophers. They created all of the "-isms," such as modernism, romanticism, existentialism, transcendentalism, and so on.

    -Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    -The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

    -Charles Dickens books.

    I could go on and on for another few hours, but hopefully this has helped for now.

    Source(s): I have been enrolled in AP and honors classes since sophomore year, and am an avid reader.
  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago


    The Xenogenesis series by Octavia E. Butler

    Sprawl Trilogy by William Gibson

    The Border Trilogy: (All the Pretty Horses, the Crossing, Cities of the Plain) by Cormac McCarthy.

    Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R Tolkien

    Non Series:

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    The Cider House Rules by John Irving

    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

    Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    The Postman by David Brin

    Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    Vision Quest by Terry Davis

    On Writing by Stepehen King

    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

    Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

  • 4 years ago

    The Truth About the Drug Companies By Marcia Angell # An Accidental Woman by Barbara Delinsky (Simon and Schuster) # American Gods by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins) # The Blue Piano and Other Stories by Carol Montparker (Amadeus Press) # Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith (Atria Books) # Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (Author), Edith Grossman (Translator), Harold Bloom (Introduction) (Ecco) # The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce (Atria Books) # The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco) # Hadrian's Wall by William Dietrich (HarperCollins)

  • 1 decade ago

    101 outstanding books for the college bound from

    -- Beowulf

    Achebe, Chinua Things Fall Apart

    Agee, James A Death in the Family

    Austen, Jane Pride and Prejudice

    Baldwin, James Go Tell It on the Mountain

    Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot

    Bellow, Saul The Adventures of Augie March

    Brontë, Charlotte Jane Eyre

    Brontë, Emily Wuthering Heights

    Camus, Albert The Stranger

    Cather, Willa Death Comes for the Archbishop

    Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales

    Chekhov, Anton The Cherry Orchard

    Chopin, Kate The Awakening

    Conrad, Joseph Heart of Darkness

    Cooper, James Fenimore The Last of the Mohicans

    Crane, Stephen The Red Badge of Courage

    Dante Inferno

    de Cervantes, Miguel Don Quixote

    Defoe, Daniel Robinson Crusoe

    Dickens, Charles A Tale of Two Cities

    Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Crime and Punishment

    Douglass, Frederick Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

    Dreiser, Theodore An American Tragedy

    Dumas, Alexandre The Three Musketeers

    Eliot, George The Mill on the Floss

    Ellison, Ralph Invisible Man

    Emerson, Ralph Waldo Selected Essays

    Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying

    Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury

    Fielding, Henry Tom Jones

    Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby

    Flaubert, Gustave Madame Bovary

    Ford, Ford Madox The Good Soldier

    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Faust

    Golding, William Lord of the Flies

    Hardy, Thomas Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    Hawthorne, Nathaniel The Scarlet Letter

    Heller, Joseph Catch 22

    Hemingway, Ernest A Farewell to Arms

    Homer The Iliad

    Homer The Odyssey

    Hugo, Victor The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Hurston, Zora Neale Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Huxley, Aldous Brave New World

    Ibsen, Henrik A Doll's House

    James, Henry The Portrait of a Lady

    James, Henry The Turn of the Screw

    Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    Kafka, Franz The Metamorphosis

    Kingston, Maxine Hong The Woman Warrior

    Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird

    Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt

    London, Jack The Call of the Wild

    Mann, Thomas The Magic Mountain

    Marquez, Gabriel García One Hundred Years of Solitude

    Melville, Herman Bartleby the Scrivener

    Melville, Herman Moby Dick

    Miller, Arthur The Crucible

    Morrison, Toni Beloved

    O'Connor, Flannery A Good Man is Hard to Find

    O'Neill, Eugene Long Day's Journey into Night

    Orwell, George Animal Farm

    Pasternak, Boris Doctor Zhivago

    Plath, Sylvia The Bell Jar

    Poe, Edgar Allan Selected Tales

    Proust, Marcel Swann's Way

    Pynchon, Thomas The Crying of Lot 49

    Remarque, Erich Maria All Quiet on the Western Front

    Rostand, Edmond Cyrano de Bergerac

    Roth, Henry Call It Sleep

    Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye

    Shakespeare, William Hamlet

    Shakespeare, William Macbeth

    Shakespeare, William A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Shakespeare, William Romeo and Juliet

    Shaw, George Bernard Pygmalion

    Shelley, Mary Frankenstein

    Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony

    Solzhenitsyn, Alexander One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

    Sophocles Antigone

    Sophocles Oedipus Rex

    Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath

    Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island

    Stowe, Harriet Beecher Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Swift, Jonathan Gulliver's Travels

    Thackeray, William Vanity Fair

    Thoreau, Henry David Walden

    Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace

    Turgenev, Ivan Fathers and Sons

    Twain, Mark The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Voltaire Candide

    Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five

    Walker, Alice The Color Purple

    Wharton, Edith The House of Mirth

    Welty, Eudora Collected Stories

    Whitman, Walt Leaves of Grass

    Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Williams, Tennessee The Glass Menagerie

    Woolf, Virginia To the Lighthouse

    Wright, Richard Native Son

    Other resources:

    I hope this helps. Enjoy reading!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Alternatively let books come to you

    random book reading gives you a much wider field of reading experiences

    Some Suggestions:

    Ask a friend or family member to recommend a book

    Pick up the next book you come across

    Walk into a second hand book store and randomly pick a book and read it

    ditto Library

    Have run reading dont make it into work...

  • Smarty
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    these websites has a pretty extensive list of classics that are usually discussed in all classes and are good to know.

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