Top Ten Tuesday – Books that should be required reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Given the time of year, this weeks topic is Back To School Freebie: anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, etc. I have decided to pick ten books that I think should be required reading.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – I know that everyone is saying this but given the current political climate, this really is the most apt dystopian novel. Not only that, it makes you think about reproduction and women’s body’s in a new way.
  2. The History of the World in 10 and a 1/2 Chapters – Julian Barnes – This really explores the idea of what the novel can be. There are stories, histories and discussions about art, as well as the story of Noah’s Ark from the point of view of a woodworm.
  3. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle – Doyle successfully captures the thought process and speech of a young boy perfectly. A joy to read.
  4. If This is a Man – Primo Levi – Levi describes his time in the concentration camp in unflinching detail and without once ever showing any hatred or anger.
  5. The Life of Pi – Yann Martel – At the beginning of this text, Pi Patel claims that his story will make you believe in God. The following novel explores spirituality and psychology as he tells about his journey with the Bengal Tiger, Richard Parker.
  6. Like People in History – Felice Picano – A history of the gay movement from the 70s to the present day, told through the relationships of the narrator, Roger.
  7. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – A feminist classic which shows the difficulties of depression.
  8. Jingo – Terry Pratchett. This is one of my favourite Pratchetts. A very clever satire about political assassinations and cleverly pointing the finger at who you would like to be to blame.
  9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman – A much better series than Harry Potter. This explores spirituality and science as well as being a superb adventure story.
  10. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak – The narrator of this novel is death. He offers a different perspective on the second world war. It is about fascism and the difficulties ordinary citizens faced during that time. It might be aimed at children but it never once feels like it.

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