Top ten books

Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

I am a lover of books. There is just something about leaving the real world and delving deep into the imagined world.

This week I decided to make a list of the top ten books, in my opinion, that everyone should read before turning 25. I prefer the classics but I tried to make a combination of different types of genres.

1. “The Great Gatsby”—F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is one of my all-time favorite books. It is the best work of F. Scott Fitzgerald aside from his short stories. Filled with tragic love, life lessons and a scathing look at the lives of the wealthy in the 1920’s, “The Great Gatsby” will never bore you.

2. The entire “Harry Potter” series—J.K. Rowling

The series has been so engrained into pop culture over the last decade. The books were made into movies which really spawned the “Harry Potter” movement.

If you have seen the movies then you must read the books. Trust me, while the movies are fantastic, the books are even better.

To answer your question, I am a huge “Harry Potter” nerd and I don’t think I could live without the books.

3. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”—Mark Twain

Huck Finn is probably one of the best satires ever written. Even though Mark Twain said the book is to be read as a satire, every time I talk to someone who has read it, he or she has taken it seriously.

Again, the book is a satire. If you read it in high school and didn’t like it, then I encourage you to read it again. It took me a couple of times to read through it before I could appreciate the humor entwined with the judgmental look at society at the time.

4. “How to Read Literature like a Professor”—Thomas C. Foster

This non-fiction book teaches readers how to read literature correctly. I thought the book would take the fun out of reading but it taught me how to find clues authors leave.

I don’t think this book will help you find symbolism in books like “50 Shades of Grey” but rather help you find themes, motifs and other literary patterns in classic and modern literature alike.

5. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (and literally everything else Margaret Atwood has ever written)

Described as realistic fiction, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a dystopian novel that rivals the classic 1984. The genius writing of Margaret Atwood will drive you insane in a good way.

She makes the readers ask questions without giving any solid answers. Both infuriating and entertaining.

Warning: for those who expect a book to be super exciting right away, you should cut this one some slack.

The main action doesn’t happen until the last 100 pages or so. However, there is enough action throughout to keep you interested.

6. Grimms’ Fairy Tales—the Grimm Brothers

Sold as an anthology, the fairytales that everyone knows are told in the original context. The stories are a lot darker than what Disney portrayed them as.

These probably shouldn’t be read to kids or to anyone who doesn’t want “Cinderella” ruined.

7. “The Diary of a Young Girl”—Anne Frank

This is another book that a lot of people have read in high school. I think it is important to continue to read the book during your lifetime because the perspective you read it from will change and you will find new and sobering ideas from Anne Frank’s diary.

8. Various religious texts

It is of the upmost importance to read texts of different religions. Texts include Buddhist Scriptures, the Qu’ran, the Bible, Hindu Scriptures and any other text relating to religion.

The reason why it is so important is so you can really learn about different religions rather than just learning from secondary sources (i.e. the media, teachers).

To get a first-hand knowledge about what religions from around the world is priceless. It can open your mind to new ideas and help you understand more about the world around you.

9. “The Book Thief”—Markus Zusak

I know this book is meant more for children but it is one of my favorite books. It is written so beautifully and no other book has made me cry more than this one has.

10. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”—Betty Smith

The plot follows Francie Nolan throughout her years growing up in Brooklyn. It seems basic and dull but it is far from it.

After reading this book, I have never been more inspired to follow my dreams regardless of fears or failures. I have read this book so many times I am surprised it hasn’t fallen apart.

If there are any books I have left off the list that you think I should add or read, email me at [email protected] and I may update or change my list.

Happy reading.