The 100 Must-Read Books of 2021

The fiction, nonfiction and poetry that shifted our perspectives, uncovered essential truths and encouraged us forward Annabel Gutterman, Cady Lang, Arianna Rebolini and Lucas Wittmann

ten books everyone should read

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Acts of desperation, afterparties, aftershocks, all that she carried, all the frequent troubles of our days, america on fire, beautiful world, where are you, the book of form and emptiness, call us what we carry, the chosen and the beautiful, chronicles from the land of the happiest people on earth, cloud cuckoo land, the code breaker, the committed, the copenhagen trilogy, covered with night, crying in h mart, dear senthuran, detransition, baby, empire of pain, everyone knows your mother is a witch, the family roe, the final girl support group, finding the mother tree, four thousand weeks, the free world, great circle, harlem shuffle, hell of a book, how the word is passed, invisible child, the kissing bug, klara and the sun, the life of the mind, the lincoln highway, a little devil in america, the loneliest americans, the love songs of w.e.b. du bois, malibu rising, the man who lived underground, mike nichols: a life, milk blood heat, my darling from the lions, my monticello, my year abroad, no one is talking about this, oh william, on juneteenth, one friday in april, one last stop, orwell's roses, the other black girl, our country friends, a passage north, pilgrim bell, poet warrior, the promise, the prophets, razorblade tears, real estate, the removed, remote control, the rib king, second place, seeing ghosts, somebody's daughter, something new under the sun, the sum of us, the sunflower cast a spell to save us from the void, the sweetness of water, a swim in a pond in the rain, tastes like war, there’s no such thing as an easy job, under a white sky, until proven safe, while we were dating, white magic, who is maud dixon, who they was, who will pay reparations on my soul, you got anything stronger, you're history, best books 2021.

ten books everyone should read

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Project credits.

This project is led by Lucy Feldman and Annabel Gutterman, with writing, reporting and additional editing by Eliza Berman, Kelly Conniff, Mariah Espada, Lori Fradkin, Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath, Cady Lang, Nik Popli, Arianna Rebolini, Lucas Wittmann and Julia Zorthian; art and photography editing by Whitney Matewe and Jennifer Prandato; and production by Paulina Cachero and Nadia Suleman.

ten books everyone should read

37 Best Books of All Time You Must Read

In life, there are things you could do, things you should do, and things you must do. These same categories apply to the choice of book you read next. You could read any number of books, for reasons ranging from guilty pleasure to the fact that your book club meets in two days. You should probably read any number of classic novels that will expand your literary palate or teach you a thing or two. And then, there are the books you must read, best books of all time we daresay, no matter who you are. There are a lot of reasons books becomes must-reads, and it’s not necessarily just their literary quality or fame. This list of 37 books to read have much to offer anyone who picks them up.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera

Paperback $14.00 $17.00

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Gabriel García Márquez , Edith Grossman

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Featuring a main protagonist whose methods and motives may be seen as somewhat controversial by today’s standards, this is one of those beautifully written, classic stories that keeps us hopeful about the possibility of love finding us in whatever stage of life we’re in. First translated to English in 1988,  Love in the Time of Cholera  was written by the Nobel Prize-winning author of  One Hundred Years of Solitude   Gabriel Garcia Marquez and is a romance that  Newsweek  calls “[a] love story of astonishing power.”

The Talented Mr. Ripley (B&N Exclusive Edition)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Paperback $12.95 $15.95

Patricia Highsmith

Many of us dream of winning the lottery and changing our lives. Some of us fantasize about being another person; losing one’s identity to someone else “better.” And then, there are very, very few people who will risk life and limb (their own or another’s) to make such a change. Have ANY of those thoughts ever entered your mind? If so, then we introduce you to  The Talented Mr. Ripley .

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Paperback $7.99 $8.99

E. L. Konigsburg

Who hasn’t dreamt of spending the night in their favorite museum, surrounded by a vast collection of ancient artifacts and beautiful artwork?  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler  follows siblings Claudia and Jamie as they run away from their suburban Connecticut home to the revered Metropolitan Museum of Art in bustling New York City. This clever and charming tale is equal parts adventure, mystery, wisdom and wit, and is just as enjoyable today as it was when it was originally published in 1967.


Paperback $8.99

Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel Rebecca is about a woman unraveling the truth about her new husband’s dead first wife. Du Maurier deftly blurs the line between dreams and reality in this haunting, unforgettable tale.  


Louis Sachar

Quirky, fun, and mysterious all at once,  Holes  is a modern classic worthy of a spot on every young reader’s bookshelf. Louis Sachar deftly weaves together stories from the past and present, creating a brilliant and thought-provoking tale about Stanley Yelnats, Camp Green Lake, and the power of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. A must-read at any age.


When an intimate moment is misinterpreted by a young girl, the consequences are tragic. Ian McEwan’s novel of two lovers separated by an imagined crime, explores the redemptive nature of storytelling.


Hardcover $26.95

Octavia E. Butler

While many early Black classics center around slavery or its aftermath, Octavia Butler took a unique approach with her 1979 novel,  Kindred . A neo-slave narrative that crosses genre lines mixing in Butler’s usual science fiction elements left many people scratching their heads about how to classify it. Her unique perspective to a largely white genre is one that  Essence  calls “truly terrifying . . . a book you’ll find hard to put down.” 

Play It As It Lays

Play It As It Lays

Paperback $15.49 $17.00

Joan Didion , David Thomson

Told in flashbacks as the story cuts between Hollywood, Las Vegas and a film shoot in the Mojave Desert,  Play It As It Lays  is the indelible story of Maria Wyeth, a woman whose marriage and acting career are both failing. She’s become an alien in her own world, endlessly driving the freeways of Los Angeles (and cracking hard-boiled eggs on the steering wheel) because that’s the only true comfort she can find. Is her world the problem? Or is she?

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster , Jules Feiffer

“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.” Generations of readers discovered that life is full of adventure as they journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Published 60 years ago, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is a beguiling read ― whether it’s your first or your 50th.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Paperback $14.99 $17.00

Shirley Jackson , Jonathan Lethem , Thomas Ott

Written from the point of view of 18-year-old Mary Katherine “Merricat” Blackwood who lives in isolation with her older sister, Constance, and uncle, Julian,  We Have Always Lived in the Castle  is a timeless story about feeling unwelcome in the world and finding solace in the confines of one’s home. For those of us coming out of quarantine and those of us weary to return to normalcy, this is the perfect and timely read. If you’ve read Shirley Jackson’s psychological horror novel,  The Haunting of Hill House , you already know you’re in for a treat with this one.

The Westing Game

The Westing Game

Paperback $7.99

Ellen Raskin

For over thirty-five years, Ellen Raskin’s Newbery Medal-winning The Westing Game has been an enduring favorite. Samuel W. Westing’s vast fortune is up for grabs. How to acquire it? Play the mysterious and dangerous games laid out in his will. The winner walks away a millionaire.

Address Unknown

Address Unknown

Paperback $13.99 $16.99

Kathrine Kressmann Taylor , Margot Livesey

A searing, heartbreaking tale told in letters; author Kathrine Kressmann Taylor chronicles the catastrophic destruction of a friendship through pernicious ideologies. A slim novel originally written in the 1930s,  Address Unknown  cautioned readers to the splintering of humanity and the rise of hateful moralities ahead of World War II. A tale of vengeance, a classic and a literary triumph.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

Christopher Paul Curtis

In  The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 , Christopher Paul Curtis has expertly crafted a story that stands the test of time. Though originally published in 1995, its nuanced depiction of a Black family at the height of the civil rights movement gives young readers important insight into a period they typically only read about in history books.

The Hustler

The Hustler

Paperback $14.00 $16.00

Walter Tevis

A taut novel full of suspense, smoke, and pool sharks. “Fast” Eddie Felson is ready to make it in the big times of competitive pool playing but needs to best top player Minnesota Fats to do it. From the author of  The Queen’s Gambit ,  The Hustler  ruminates once again on the importance, and cost, of winning it big.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley Series)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (George Smiley Series)

Paperback $16.99 $19.00

John le Carré

John le Carré’s brilliant 1974 novel ratchets up tension so deliberately and subtly it’s almost supernatural. The hunt for a Soviet spy deeply embedded in a position of influence in the British secret service and the retired spy, George Smiley, charged with identifying him. This is not a spy thriller composed of fisticuffs and gun fights, but rather meticulous spycraft and the quietly fascinating work of piecing together a puzzle.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Series #1)

Paperback $9.99

Diana Wynne Jones

An irresistible character who comes to town, stealing hearts? That’s pretty much a spot-on description of Wizard Howl — at least in his heart-stealing days, before he runs into Sophie Hatter.

Beloved (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Beloved (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Toni Morrison

A lot of classic writers lived in an age before many of us existed. But not Toni Morrison; her death was monumental for generations of readers. She wrote for Black people, specifically Black women, and she was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.   Inspired by a true story,  Beloved  is about an enslaved woman who believes that killing her child would be a better life than having them grow up as a slave. Many different themes are explored when the ghost of her baby comes back to her 18 years later. In 1988,  Beloved  won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. 

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things

Paperback $15.99 $18.00

Arundhati Roy

With nearly 800,000 copies sold and 40 different language translations, winner of the the Man Booker Prize for fiction, The God of Small Things tells the story of fraternal twins that explored how even the smallest of instances can affect our lives and change us forever.

The Bell Jar (P.S. Series)

The Bell Jar (P.S. Series)

Paperback $18.00 $20.00

Sylvia Plath

This novel, which explores the pangs of teenage love and rejection, along with the pressures to achieve perfection in a competitive world, is a timeless story.

Life of Pi: A Novel

Life of Pi: A Novel

Paperback $15.99 $17.99

Yann Martel

A tiger, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a boy named Pi are the lone survivors of a shipwreck. In time, only the boy and the tiger remain. The two survive for months at sea before landing in Mexico. Pi is eager to tell his story, but will anyone believe him?

Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy #1)

Things Fall Apart (African Trilogy #1)

Paperback $12.49 $14.00

Chinua Achebe

One of the first African novels to be widely studied and read in the English-speaking world, Achebe’s book remains a must-read for the uniqueness of its literary vision and characters. Focused on a fictional village in Nigeria, the book’s epic scope traces how life changes from pre-colonial times to post-colonial modernity (for the time; the novel was published in 1958).

The Color Purple: A Novel

The Color Purple: A Novel

Alice Walker

Brutal, harsh, yet somehow raggedly beautiful, Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a must read because its subject matter, focused on the grim lives of African-American women in 1930s rural Georgia, shouldn’t be turned away from. Exploring the long ragged scars of racism, slavery, and class inequality, it’s one of those novels people are always trying to get banned—and you know what? Any novel certain people don’t want you to read is a novel you must read.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou , Oprah Winfrey

Maya Angelou’s autobiography is, in a word, breathtaking. In several words, it’s poignant, brutal, honest, warm, funny, devastating, and powerful. Drawing from her experiences growing up largely in Stamps, Arkansas, poet and civil rights activist Angelou has woven together a narrative about the loneliness of childhood and her subsequent search for identity all while having to navigate the injustices of racism and segregation.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Paperback $15.49 $17.99

Zora Neale Hurston

With hauntingly lyrical prose and characters so real they practically leap off the page, this Zora Neale Hurston novel about love and independence has no business languishing unread on your shelf. Published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God went largely unappreciated until author Alice Walker revived public interest in Hurston in the 1970s, giving both the book and its author the acclaim they dearly deserved.


Paperback $8.99 $9.99

George Orwell , Erich Fromm

Orwell’s imagination of what a future society might look like at its worst has some shocking similarities to modern times. In this dystopian tale, mindless obedience rules, and as the main character finds himself straying, the regime crushes in. Although written in 1949, Orwell makes indirect references to “fake news,” “facetime,” “social media,” and more. Big Brother is watching!

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Paperback $12.99 $14.99

Markus Zusak

For a novel narrated by Death (yes, you read that right), this book sure has a lot of heart. Published in 2003 but set in Germany during World War II, Zusak’s historical novel follows young Liesel as her world is expanded by two things: the books she steals and loves, and the connection she forms with Max, the Jewish man her family hides from the Nazis. Due to its wholly original style and themes of the power of kindness and sacrificial love, The Book Thief has quickly become an enduring classic.

The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary Edition)

The Kite Runner (10th Anniversary Edition)

Paperback $14.49 $17.00

Khaled Hosseini

While the title of this one holds promise of childhood whimsy, Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel actually tells a heartbreaking tale of betrayal, devastation, and—ultimately—redemption. Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history, The Kite Runner centers on Amir, the main character who wrestles in the aftermath of witnessing and allowing the sexual assault of his friend. Because of its universal themes of friendship, guilt, and atonement, The Kite Runner has deeply resonated with readers of varying cultural backgrounds, as evidenced by the seven-million-plus copies that have been sold in the United States alone.

Invisible Man

Invisible Man

Paperback $13.99 $16.00

Ralph Ellison

Ellison combines a fluid, compelling writing style with a robust exploration of life as a black man in mid-century America. The unnamed narrator tells his story from his youth in a small Southern town, where he wins a scholarship to college that he can secure only after taking part in a brutal fight for the amusement of rich white sponsors, to his engagement with rising black nationalism and his realization that his color renders him, for all practical purposes, invisible to society at large.

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Jane Eyre (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Paperback $14.99

Charlotte Bronte

A coming-of-age story, a mystery, a romance, and a Gothic horror novel all rolled into one, this darkly atmospheric Charlotte Brontë classic is a timeless tale of twisted love that’s full of passion, drama, and things that go bump in the night. Jean Rhys’ last novel, The Wide Sargasso Sea , is a feminist and anti-colonial response to Charlotte Brontë’s  Jane Eyre , telling the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who is sold into a marriage to Mr. Rochester. Rhys highlights the oppression of women and people of color under the white supremacist patriarchy of the mid-1800s.


Paperback $19.99

Alan Moore , Dave Gibbons

Watchmen  a graphic novel that demonstrates the true potential of the format. If you think comic books are just for kids, this is the book that will change your mind. Even better, if you have a vast collection of comics and graphic novels, it can be appreciated as a story that simultaneously celebrates and deconstructs superhero tropes.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Paperback $8.99 $11.00

William Golding , Lois Lowry , Jennifer Buehler

What happens when a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island have to learn how to survive? With politics, clashing personalities, and strong survival instincts comes a story of morality and immorality. Golding’s account of children stranded on an island without supplies or adult supervision is absolutely terrifying for one simple reason: there’s nothing supernatural going on. It’s a story about insufficiently socialized humans descending into savagery because that’s our fundamental nature. You look into the abyss at the center of this novel and the abyss looks back.

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Classics)

Mary Shelley

Surely you know the story of Frankenstein by now, or at least the concept. Whether you’ve never read the book or it’s been too long to remember the details, this classic horror story is one to add to your to-be-read list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

Douglas Adams

. This hilarious sci-fi is the perfect novel for some light reading, despite its lengthy size. Featuring a sarcastic man from Earth, a depressed robot, and some wacky interstellar travelers who hitchhike through space, this slightly absurd comedy is one that will have you asking, “what is the answer to the universe?” Already read it? Start the 2nd book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe .

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death

Kurt Vonnegut

It’s strange to call a critically acclaimed science fiction, anti-war novel  quirky , but Kurt Vonnegut’s  Slaughterhouse-Five  is definitely quirky. Published in 1969, the story follows the life and experiences of an American Veteran, Billy Pilgrim, his life as a prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII and his life postwar as a successful optometrist. With non-linear order, time travel, and an unreliable narrator, Vonnegut tells his readers important messages on the brutality of war, illusion of free will, and existentialism in a disorganized, yet straightforward way.

Giovanni's Room

Giovanni's Room

Paperback $13.49 $15.00

James Baldwin

The list of mainstream fiction that deals with homosexuality in a sincere and powerful way remains woefully short, but at the top of it is this remarkable novel by Baldwin, one of the most complex examinations of a gay character (now more accurately considered a bisexual character) of its era. The story of an American’s affair with a Parisian man who is eventually executed for murder is a fantastic story and a crucial example of representation.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Paperback $9.00

Jane Austen , Vivien Jones , Tony Tanner

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular novels in English literature to illustrate social issues. Featuring a strong female character, Lizzy’s intelligence, charm, and resilience shows off a feminist perspective and social class deconstruction that was rare in the 19th century. If that isn’t enough to want to read this popular classic, how about an enchanting romance story and comedy, too?

ten books everyone should read

ten books everyone should read

40 Books Everyone Should Read: Must Read Books of All Time

Must-read books: There are so many out there – so don’t waste your time on average books!

Still, it can take time to find books worth reading. That’s why we’ve compiled this epic must-read book list to make your life easier . It features 40 top books to read in popular categories, such as fiction, business, personal development, travel, and more.

So, if you’re wondering, “what book should I read next?” we’ve got you covered. This list is jam-packed with great books to read!

Now, let’s get into it. Just use the contents to jump to the section you’re most interested in, or start scrolling.

ten books everyone should read

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ten books everyone should read

Classic Novels to Read

1. 1984 by george orwell.

1984 – George Orwell

1984 tells the futuristic story of a dystopian, totalitarian world where free will and love are forbidden. Although the year 1984 has long since passed, the prophecy of a society controlled by fear and lies is arguably more relevant now than ever.

2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R.Tolkien

Tolkien’s fantasy epic is one of the top must-read books out there. Set in Middle Earth – a world full of hobbits, elves, orcs, goblins, and wizards – The Lord of the Rings will take you on an unbelievable adventure.

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is a moving story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. Set in Afghanistan during a time of tragedy and destruction, this unforgettable novel will have you hooked from start to finish.

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – J.K. Rowling

This global bestseller took the world by storm. So, if you haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, now may be the time. Join Harry Potter and his schoolmates as this must-read book transports you deep into a world of magic and monsters.

5. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five is arguably one of the greatest anti-war books ever written. This rich and amusing tale follows the life of Billy Pilgrim as he experiences World War II from a peculiar perspective.

6. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S.Lewis

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is undoubtedly one of the great books of all time. This renowned fantasy novel is set in Narnia, home to mythical beasts, talking animals, and warring kingdoms. The story follows a group of school children as they become entangled in this incredible world’s fate.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the top must-read books of all time. Published in 1960, the story explores life in the Deep South during the early 20th century through the story of a man accused of a terrible crime. It’s poignant, humorous, and gripping.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a story of bravery, hope, and friendship in a time of Nazi tyranny. Narrated by Death itself, this novel will have you holding your breath for chapters at a time.

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights is a classic novel published way back in 1847. This harrowing story, set on a lonely English moorland, follows Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff’s struggle with love, betrayal, and revenge. If you love dramatic novels, add this to your must-read book list.

10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is the classic coming-of-age story. It follows sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield’s adolescent journey of angst and alienation as he leaves his prep school and moves to New York City.

11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is often considered one of the must-read books of all time. It follows the emotions and experiences of a strong, unbroken woman who continued to grow morally and spiritually despite a troubled childhood and a sexist, repressed Victorian society.

12. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm – George Orwell

Orwell tells a fairy tale of a revolution against tyranny that ends in even more unjust totalitarianism. The animals on the farm are rife with idealism and desire to create a world of justice, equality, and progress. However, the new regimen attempts to control every aspect of the animals’ lives.

13. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world shines a light on Western societies’ dependence on the media. The main character’s job is to find and burn any books he can find – until he begins to question everything. Considering the state of current politics and world affairs, this is one of the absolute must-read books in life.

14. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women – Louise May Alcott

This is a tale of four sisters with their own very different and very prominent personalities. The novel draws the reader deep into their lives as we get to know each of their flaws, joys, struggles, and fears.

15. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web – E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web is a great reminder to be kind to all living creatures. This magical story takes place on a farm where a little girl tries to save her piglet from slaughter. Fern, the little girl, enlists the help of her farm friends to execute her clever plan. 

16. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

English author Mary Shelley tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a monster and brings it to life. This gripping novel evokes questions about what makes us human and what love and kindness truly mean. 

17. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men should be on every must-read book list. Set in the Great Depression, this is a controversial tale of friendship between two migrant workers in California. Filled with hope and tragedy, the two work towards the dream of owning land and pets.

18. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Arthur Dent sets off on a hilarious and fantastic adventure across the stars. He learns not to take the universe seriously as he meets all kinds of interesting characters.

19. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is said to be the quintessential novel of the Jazz Age. Set in 1922 amongst unfathomable indulgence and decadence, the novel highlights a man’s struggle to earn the love of the woman he’s obsessed with.

Business and Money Must-Read Books

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20. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich is a classic bestseller that has sold millions of copies worldwide. It’s packed full of money-making tips, techniques, and strategies. If you want to improve your mindset around money, this book can potentially change your life completely.

21. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad explains how wealthy people and poorer people think differently. It challenges commonly held beliefs about money and explains how you don’t need to have a high income to become rich.

22. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham

If you want to learn how to invest, add this to your list of must-read books. Author Benjamin Graham is considered one of the greatest investment advisors of the twentieth century. In The Intelligent Investor , you’ll learn about Graham’s philosophy of ‘value investing’ and how to develop long-term strategies that are used by the most successful investors in the world.

23. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Principles – Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio’s investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in history. In Principles , Dalio shares everything he’s learned about investing, business, and life over the years.

24. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence – Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D

In this New York Times bestseller, DR. Robert B. Cialdini reveals the psychology behind influence – and how to apply the principles of persuasion in business and everyday life.

Personal Development Books Everyone Should Read

25. how to win friends and influence people by dale carnegie.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

First published in 1936, Dale Carnegie’s classic self-help book has stood the test of time. How to Win Friends and Influence People will teach you straightforward methods to improve your relationships – and as a result, your business and personal lives.

26. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

If you’ve ever tried to change a habit unsuccessfully, this should be one of your must-read books. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg reveals the empowering nature of how habits are formed and – crucially – how you can change them.

27. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now has sold more than two million copies and has been translated into over 30 languages. This groundbreaking book has the potential to completely revolutionize how you experience life – making life far more joyous and prosperous in the process.

28. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma – something that virtually everyone experiences to some degree. The Body Keeps the Score unravels the science behind emotional and psychological trauma and offers new paths to recovery.

Science and Technology Books You Must-Read

29. a brief history of time by stephen hawking.

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time is one of the most famous books in science. It discusses the history of cosmology and its development from Ancient Greece through to the 1980s.

30. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

Freakonomics – Steven D. Levit and Stephen J. Dubner

If you’re interested in the truth behind controversial social issues, this book should be on your must-read book list. The authors reveal the facts behind issues, such as crime, shopping, and drugs. 

31. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff

The age of Surveillance Capitalism – Shoshana Zuboff

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is one of the top must-read books on technology. The author gives us a look at how personal data has become a new form of capital.

32. Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

Uncanny Valley – Anna Weiner

Anna Wiener writes about the frantic, self-important, and often delusional work culture in Silicon Valley, and how millennials in tech are consumed by living a productive life. The Uncanny Valley is one of those books everyone should read. 

Travel and Adventure Books You Must-Read Before You Die

33. on the road by jack kerouac.

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

Inspired by Kerouac’s real-life adventures, On the Road tells the tale of two friends searching for meaning and rich experiences on a cross-country road trip.

34. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Notes from a Small Island – Bill Bryson

In Notes From a Small Island, Bill Bryson shares a hilarious commentary of his jaunt through the United Kingdom – from the center of government at Downing Street, London, to the Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.

35. Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding – Rolf Potts

Vagabonding is perhaps the only travel guide you’ll ever need. This must-read book provides practical tips on how to travel safely and spontaneously – and the philosophies you’ll need to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

36. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed thought she’d lost everything at 22. Then, her mother’s passing, family trouble, and divorce drove her to an impulsive decision – to walk more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Wild will inspire you to see your true self-worth and capabilities.

History and Biography Books Worth Reading

37. sapiens: a brief history of humankind by yuval noah harari.

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

If you’re looking for interesting books to read, Sapiens should be on your list. It details the development of human beings from the earliest stages until now. The author also shows how our current world systems will banish natural selection and adaptation. 

38. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela

Lists of must-read biographies almost always include this wonderful book. Mandela started writing this autobiography in prison and finished it right before becoming the president of South Africa. This inspiring story provides a glimpse into the end of apartheid and the blatant inequality in the country.

39. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World by Steve Brusatte

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs – Steve Brusatte

Do you find dinosaurs fascinating? If so, this is one of the must-read books on the subject. Steve Brusatte reveals the different dinosaurs that roamed the planet – and the different worlds in which they lived.

40. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bryson attempts to summarize the history of the Earth. He talks about nearly every aspect of the planet – how it formed, how much it weighs, it’s size, the stages it went through, the dangers inherent to it, and how humans have evolved. If you love science and history, this is a must-read book for you.

What Should I Read Next? 

If you’re wondering “what book should I read next,” look no further. In summary, here are 40 must-read books of all time:

Must-Read Biographies and History Books

Have we missed any must-read books? If so, leave a comment below to recommend some top books to read!

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Personal Development

30 books everyone should read at least once in their lives.

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The wonders of books are endless – they can eliminate your stress, increase your happiness, and boost your intelligence. Whether you’ve crossed out some best books to read or you’re just starting out to broaden your literary horizons, you should be familiar with the books to read before you die.

The greatest books are not called classics for nothing. Written by the best literary minds, these books have a universal theme, interesting characters, experiences, perspective, and emotions that are still relevant until today. Some of the ultimate and best interesting books to read have inspired modern fiction in many ways.

If you love reading, here’s a perfect reading list for you that contains books that everyone should read. Even if you are not the biggest fan of reading, here’re 10 reasons to love reading .

Everyone should read at least once for these 30 books to read before you die — some are well known classics, others are modern giants.  All are well worth reading at least once in your life!

Your Must-Reads: 30 Best Books to Read

We’ve rounded up some of the books that everyone should read below.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird

This book is a timeless classic that discusses human behavior and the collective conscience of The Deep South during the 20th century. This book discusses hypocrisy, prejudice, hatred, love and innocence with humor to create an amazing novel that you are bound to love.

2. 1984, by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four [1984]

1984 is George Orwell’s dystopian and totalitarian world where fear, control and lies take over the lives of people. Look into the life of Winston Smith who struggles with his nature in a world where free will, individuality, and love are not allowed.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Chances are, you’ve heard about this book. Harry Potter is an integral part of the childhood of millions of people. In this book, you can join Harry as he journeys into the Wizarding World and he triumphs over Lord Voldemort. Throughout these books, you’ll get to know characters such as Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and many more.

4. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: The classic fantasy masterpiece

In this book, you will get to know the characters of Middle Earth, a beautiful and very expansive fantasy world that although it is filled with innocence, can also be ridden with turmoil. Follow the protagonist Frodo Baggins as the embarks on a challenging quest. This trilogy will definitely leave you at the edge of your seat.

5. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is one of the most exciting yet sorrowful books you will ever read. The novel was published in 1925 and perfectly shows how decadent the Jazz Age was. It will teach you a valuable lesson that not everyone is fortunate in love.

6. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)

This book is dubbed as one of the most interesting books to read and most famous novels of all time. Pride And Prejudice tells the story of the courtship of two very opposite characters in a world where courtesy and manners are integral.

7. The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl

One of the most influential books ever published, the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank tells the raw account of her life as she hides from the Nazi soldiers. Despite the circumstances she is facing, she still believes that naturally, people have a good heart and the world is still full of beauty. It’s truly a book that will change your perspective.

8. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

This book is set in Germany in 1939. It follows Liesel as she tries to rescue books from Nazi rule. At the same time, her family has hidden a Jewish fighter living in their home’s basement. When you read this book, you’ll get to experience courage that is rarely found in the world today, as well as the friendship that is formed even in the most challenging situations.

9. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again

You may be wondering now: what book should I read? Well, you may have heard or even watched the film, but reading The Hobbit is a must for every Lord of the Rings fan. It follows the courageous Bilbo Baggins as he travels in the harsh Middle Earth to contest a dragon.

10. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

In this book, you will get to join four sisters, each boasting their own personality, as they grow up during 19th Century New England. You will get to bask in their unique struggles and understand their flaws as they turn into strong women.

11. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451: The gripping and inspiring classic of dystopian science fiction

This book has an unlikely plot. Here, books are not allowed, and it is Guy Montag’s job to burn all the books he comes across. This book is usually compared to 1984 by George Orwell. Here, author Ray Bradbury’s dystopian world can be seen as his commentary on the addiction and dependence of Western society on the media.

12. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre (Wordsworth Classics)

When it comes to the books that everyone should read, Jane Eyre is always part of the list. It introduces you to arguably one of the most influential and likable fictional heroines of all time. Jane Eyre is not only a strong, but also an unbroken woman despite experiencing a troubled childhood in a repressed Victorian society.

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

Animal Farm: 75th Anniversary Edition

Animal Farm is definitely one of the books to read before you die. This satire was published in 1945. In many ways, this book was truly ahead of its time. The book uniquely examines some of the realistic risks associated with revolution, as well as the dynamics animals are bound to give in to.

14. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind

This book has been turned into one of the most successful films of all time. It is set in The Civil War in the charming south. The main character lives in an immensely challenging situation, and she tries to navigate how to love amidst the brewing war.

15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

A charming yet cynical novel, The Catcher In The Rye will let you in on the challenges of adolescence. In this book, you get to follow sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield, and as you read his experiences, you will make up your mind about the character.

16. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

When it comes to the most interesting books to read ever written, this book takes the case. Here, you will meet Charlotte, an adorable spider, as well as Fern, a farmer’s daughter. Watch the two try to save Wilbur the piglet from being killed. This book is such a compelling reminder to marvel at the simple wonders of life and to love all living creatures.

17. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)

This is another renowned fantasy world, especially for children. Narnia is the home of magnificent and interesting creatures that have their own morals. As you read this book, don’t forget to let your imagination run wild, especially as you get to meet the characters.

18. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath

This book was published in 1939, and it is set during The Great Depression. The Grapes of Wrath centers on an Oklahoma family who is forced to travel to California. Here, you will get to see America as it is divided into the haves and have-nots, as well as the powerful and the powerless.

19. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies is a classic novel that follows boys that are marooned on an island. Here, they regress into becoming savages, and their joyful island existence turns into a cruel nightmare.

20. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner tells the story of a one-of-a-kind friendship. It centers on Amir who tries to find the only friend he’s ever had who previously abandoned him because of the ethnic and religious differences that happened in Kabul, Afghanistan.

21. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice And Men tells the complex story of a friendship between George Milton and Lennie Small, two migrant workers in California. Here, their bond strengthens as their work towards their dreams of owning their land and pets.

22. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities (Illustrated)

In this novel, you will get to know Dr Manette, an eighteen years political prisoner as he is released and returns to England with Lucie, his daughter. Here, two men fall in love with Lucie and they become entwined in a story of love and sacrifice.

23. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet (Dover Thrift Editions: Plays)

The most interesting books to read do not always have a happy ending. This is probably the most famous love story ever written. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is a tragedy that centers on the joy of young love, and the complexity of revenge.

24. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Illustrated Edition

Join human Arthur Dent on a great adventure across the galaxy in this book. Here, you will learn not to take the universe seriously and forget all the meanings you have in your life because everyone knows the real meaning of life is simply 42.

25. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights (Wordsworth Classics)

Wuthering Heights is a book you shouldn’t miss to read. It is ridden with passion. This book was published in 1847 and it showcases great storytelling packed with rivalry and revenge as it follows Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw.

26. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

The Color Purple: The classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel

This book has reaped multiple awards. The Color Purple is a sorrowful story that discusses the lives of colored women in the USA during the 1930s. Challenged and censored, the harsh reality in The Color Purple will truly leave you shaken.

27. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)

Alice In Wonderland proves that the potential of imagination is endless. If you’re not a fan of the real world and like to imagine your own reality, Alice in Wonderland is definitely the ultimate book to read.

28. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein (The Original 1818 'Uncensored' Edition)

This book showcases a combination of gothic thriller, romance novel, and a cautionary tale. Frankenstein is definitely a story like no other. It was written by Mary Shelley when she was just eighteen and it inspires readers to ask themselves shattering questions such as what makes us human.

29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Often dubbed as The Great American Novel, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is a book you shouldn’t miss. It is both deep and complex, and shows friendship and shifting societal norms.

30. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)

Dubbed as one of the best books to read, the impact of his novel cannot be denied. In this book, readers travel through life with Billy Pilgrim as he experiences World War II. He has been abducted from Tralfamadore. Both rich and funny, this book hopes to discourage people from war.

Final Thoughts

You may have heard of the adage “so many books, so little time.” While that is unfortunately true, reading the books to read before you die listed above will help you ensure you don’t miss the classics. Every now and then, you may ask yourself “what book should I read?” Now is the time to get started. Who knows, some of these interesting books to read may have a profound impact on your life.

Featured photo credit: Prasanna Kumar via

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10 Books Everyone Should Read

These books are rites of passage.

books everyone should read

While literary tastes are subjective, some books transcend time and language to become universally beloved (or at least, universally read). These are the novels that become part of our collective conscious, shaping the way we understand the world.

Some of these books are among the most popular books of all time; some are perennial favorites on high school reading lists; some are popular bucket list books ; some were banned when they were first published. But they're all worth reading. 

The Color Purple

The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

Only a handful of books have managed to win both the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award—that should give you a sense of how much this book has resonated with readers. The Color Purple is written from the point of view of Celie, a young black woman living in the early 1900s. Though she suffers horrible abuse, Celie somehow perseveres. 

The Color Purple has since been adapted into an Academy Award-nominated movie and a musical, but the story is still most powerful in its original form.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

By Mark Twain

Mark Twain is known as the "father of American literature," and anyone who's read his work can see why. Twain's prose is simple yet mesmerizing, and his storytelling abilities are still unparalleled more than a century later.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has the distinction of being both one of the most banned books of all time and one of the top contenders for the Great American Novel . 

Mark Twain Books That Everyone Should Read


One Hundred Years of Solitude

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This novel was written by a winner of the Nobel Prize, is one of the most famous examples of magical realism, and has been listed by Joan Didion as one of the books that changed her life . 

Though some readers complain the story is a little hard to follow (admittedly, there are many, many members of the Buendía family to keep track of), this fantastical story is more than worth the effort.


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Don Quixote

Don Quixote

By Miguel de Cervantes

If you don't know what it means to tilt at windmills, then you owe it to yourself to cross Don Quixote off your reading bucket list. This 17th century treasure follows a nobleman who has lost his mind and proceeds to have insane adventures in the name of chivalry. 

Though its age and length (about 1000 pages) make the novel feel a bit intimidating, trust us—there's a reason it's one of the most popular books of all time .

The 25 Best Don Quixote Books That Stand the Test of Time


Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White

If you somehow made it through childhood without reading Charlotte's Web —or if you did, but no longer remember it—stop what you're doing and pick up a copy of this book. A regular essayist for the New Yorker and the co-author of The Elements of Style , a guide that will likely never leave syllabi for college writing courses, no one writes like E.B. White. 

Few authors have been able to match his talent for telling a children's story in a tone that's equally compelling to adults—and we'd argue that no one has pulled it off with the same amount of whimsy or charm. 


Things Fall Apart

By Chinua Achebe

History is (usually) written by the victors—but every once in a while, a novel like Things Fall Apart breaks through and lets us see the past from another angle. Set in the late 1800s, this historical fiction novel is told from the point of view of Igbo, an African villager who is helpless to stop the colonization of his culture by British forces. 

According to Toni Morrison, “African literature is incomplete and unthinkable without the works of Chinua Achebe.”

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the city and the pillar by gore vidal, a modern classic

The City and the Pillar

By Gore Vidal

One of the first openly queer writers of the 20th century, Gore Vidal was known for his impeccable style and wit. This landmark novel in gay literature takes place in the first half of the century, and follows Jim, a man who struggles to accept his own attraction to men. 

Jim travels around the country and has affairs with men in New York, New Orleans and Hollywood—but cannot bring himself to openly live as a gay man in WWII-era America.

the city and the pillar by gore vidal, a modern classic

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Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë

Often credited as the first feminist novel, this classic book about a plain, principled governess has captivated readers since it was published in 1847. After a childhood of neglect, Jane falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester—but when she find out he's been keeping a distressing secret from her, she must choose between her happiness and her morals.

Featuring a twist that's still shocking more than 150 years later (if you don't know what it is, we won't spoil it for you), this exceedingly well-crafted novel also inspired Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea .

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The God of Small Things

By Arundhati Roy

Widely considered a modern classic , Arundhati Roy’s Man Booker Prize–winning book is set in 1960s India. The family saga and political drama opens with the funeral of a young girl, the cousin of protagonists and fraternal twins Estha and Rahel. 

At just seven years old, the twins observe the tense interactions of adults with a wide-eyed innocence. Meanwhile, the political upheaval in 1969 Kerala, India—where Communism clashes with the caste system—reaches new heights. 

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The Master & Margarita

By Mikhail Bulgakov

An example of both Russian literature and fantasy, The Master & Margarita is a twisting, dark comedy that explores good and evil, intellectualism, and love. Satan arrives in 1930s Moscow, and immediately predicts the death of the atheist leader of a literary group before going on to wreak havoc around the city. 

This story is intertwined with the relationship between the Master, who was committed to a psychiatric hospital after finishing his novel about Pontius Pilate and Jesus, and his lover, Margarita.

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10 Books That Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime

Blog post illustration

There are novels and then there are great novels. Here we look at the 10 books everyone should read in their lifetime. Great novels are those that leave an indelible mark on your mind and a lasting effect on your heart and if you don’t enjoy them at some point in your life, then you truly are missing out on a world of adventure, drama, and excitement. Some may disagree with the titles we’ve included or omitted, but what can be denied is that these are ten of the most captivating and enthralling tales that have ever been written.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the Great Gatsby, a native of the US Midwest and aspiring writer Nick Carraway arrives in New York during the roaring twenties in his own personal quest for the American dream. He finds himself lodging next door to a noted millionaire, Jay Gatsby and in the same neighbourhood as his cousin Daisy and his cheating husband.

Experiencing the heady world of life in the fast lane, Nick bears witness to all the deceits and apparent illusions that it offers in a story of dreams, love and tragedy. A true page-turner!

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The Phantom of the Opera

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Moving briefly into the world of non-fiction, we look at Cold Blood which features real-life American author Truman Capote. First published back in 1966, the main driver of the book concerns itself with the murder of four members of the Clutter family in rural Holcomb in Kansas.

Capote travels to Kansas to write about the nationally-covered crime accompanied by fellow author and lifelong friend Harper Lee. They interview investigators and residents alike, taking thousands of pages worth of notes and it’s a truly gripping book that took Capote six years to write. This literary classic from the true crime genre is one that we’d recommend dedicating a day to!


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

With dystopian future film books existing aplenty in the modern world, we now look at a seminal piece from the popular category that comes in the form of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Focusing on a futuristic society referred to as ‘the World State’, it centres around efficiency and science.

In this harsh world, individuality and emotion are conditioned out of citizens from an early age, with relationships as we know them today not being possible. If you’re a fan of the apocalyptic visions of the future, this is a must-read classic.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a book by noted 19th-century novelist Charlotte Bronte of the famous Bronte Sisters and it’s one that follows an orphan who’s treated horribly by her aunt and then banished to a charity school. She continues to receive abuse at this seat of learning, however, whilst there she educates herself and eventually finds a job as a governess on Edward Rochester’s estate.

Rochester and Miss Eyre spend time together and form a close bond, however, it allows her to see a darker side to him and a terrible secret that he’s hiding. A wonderful tale that will keep you captivated from the first page to the last.

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Once Tess Durbyfield’s poor and impoverished family finds out about her noble heritage, she is sent by her lazy father and ill-mannered mother to the home of a nearby family known as the d’Urbervilles. This innocent, yet attractive young lady becomes seduced by the overbearing Alec d’Urberville, which leads her to bear a secret child that dies whilst still in its infancy.

Later, Tess marries a distinguished gentleman named Angel Clare who rejects her on the night of the wedding after finding out about her past. Readers of this novel follow her as she returns, destitute to the d’Urberville household leading to treachery and murder when Angel re-enters the scene. Don’t miss this one or you really are missing out!​

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Randle McMurphy is moved from a prison farm to a mental facility in a bid to prove his insanity and live a more comfortable life – he assumes. Nurse Ratched does not suffer fools and what ensues is a battle of wills that the convict appears to be winning. That is, at first at least until she uses abuse, electro-therapy and medication on McMurphy, who is clearly not mentally ill at all. 

This battle continues through this fantastic book, with bonds created between McMurphy and his fellow patients, leaving a lasting mark on everyone concerned. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a great book from the mind of Ken Kesey that simply demands to be read.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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50 Classic Books Everyone Should Read in Their Lifetime

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We've already recommended our picks for the 50 best books of the past 50 years, but now we're diving deeper into our literary history, temporally speaking. These are our picks for the 50 most essential classic books. You know, the ones that everyone should get around to reading sooner, rather than later. These books have meant a great deal to readers throughout the centuries, and they distinguish themselves as firsts and bests, sure, but also unexpected, astonishing, and boundary-breaking additions to the canon. That's why we're still reading them. Everyone has his or her own definition of a literary classic, and our choices span the centuries, from the 8th century B.C. to the English Renaissance to the mid-20th century. (We've even included a book from the 1990s, as we're convinced it's going to go down in history as a classic.) No matter your definition of classic literature, you'll see that these books have stood—and are standing—the test of time, which is why we think they should be on your must-read list. We're betting a few of them already are.

Add These to Your Bookshelf—And Your Reading List

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George Orwell's dystopian classic blends political and science fiction into a chilling panorama of high-level surveillance and manipulation.

A House for Mr. Biswas

A struggle for independence is at the heart of V.S. Naipaul's darkly comic and very moving 1961 novel.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith's 1943 classic is a coming-of-age tale about a second-generation Irish-American girl named Francie who lives in Williamsburg with her family.

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy's masterful epic—or one of them, at least—is about one woman's scandals, passions, and ultimate tragedy, all set amid the tumult of late-19th century Russia.

Jean Toomer's hard-to-categorize work emerged in 1923 as an astonishing blend of genres, a brilliant composite of vignettes giving voice to facets of African-American life in the United States.

Emma Woodhouse entertains herself by meddling in the romantic affairs of her neighbors. As with so many of Jane Austen's classic comedies of manners, Emma is as relevant as ever.


Dr. Frankenstein and his monster embark on an unearthly, and ultimately tragic game of creation and rejection in Mary Shelley's haunting story.

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Rooted in raw reality but told through poetic fiction, James Baldwin's masterwork attends a day in the life of 14-year-old John Grimes and the awakenings, histories, and stories that shape his life.

Great Expectations

You may have skipped this one in high school, but it's never too late to read Charles Dickens' classic about a young boy called Pip coming of age in 19th-century England.

Heart of Darkness

Narrated by Charles Marlow, Heart of Darkness follows Marlow's journey up the Congo River, captaining a ship into the heart of the African continent while searching for a trader called Kurtz.

Howards End

Set in England at the turn of the century, Howards End immortalizes the pursuits, missteps, encounters, and conflicts of three families—the Wilcoxes, the Schlegels, and the Basts.

Invisible Man

Racism as an erasing force, a force that renders human beings invisible to society and to themselves, is at the center of this powerful bildungsroman by Ralph Ellison.

Charlotte Bronte brings to life Jane Eyre 's titular heroine through a vivid internal world, one as dynamic as the wild English landscape, but one often at odds with the social strictures of the novel's early-19th century setting.

Little Women

The bonds of the four March sisters and their mother are at the heart of this classic novel, which unfolds the courses of their lives and imaginations across Civil War-era Massachusetts.


George Eliot's unconventional Victorian novel upends expectations while crafting a complex portrait of family and individual life in fictional Middlemarch, North Loamshire.

Moby-Dick; or The Whale

Herman Melville's oceanic epic begins "Call me Ishmael," and is based on the true story of the whaler Essex and its tragic encounter with a whale.

The last installment in Willa Cather's Prairie Trilogy, My Antonia immortalizes the American Midwest and the lives of neighbors settling on the frontier.

Richard Wright's powerfulnovelof race, racism, poverty, and despair is set in 1930s Chicago, where a man named Bigger Thomas struggles against the dangerous expectations thrust on him.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass tells his life story in this work, from the years he was enslaved in the pre-Civil War South to his escape, his freedom, his work, and his dedication to the abolitionist movement.

Elie Wiesel's memoir chronicles the harrowing period he spent in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, the inhumanity he encountered there, and his ultimate survival.

This novel comes to readers in the form of a poem—one written by a fictional poet and accompanied by annotations from the poet's (also fictional) colleague. The story, non-linear as it is, emerges line by line and note by note, however differently it's read each time.

Paradise Lost

Milton's 17th-century biblical epic traces the story of the Fall of Man and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

In Gothic style as haunting as it is thrilling, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca conjures secrets and suspense from the landscape, the architecture, even the air in which the story exists.

At the heart of this novel, which is told in simple, sincere prose, is the spiritual journey of a man named Siddhartha who searches for self-discovery throughout the years of his life.

Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon is a transformative bildungsroman of one Milkman Dead, who spends his life captivated by the possibility of flight in all its many forms.

The Age of Innocence

Gilded Age New York plays host to this lauded work, a novel published in 1920 that concerns itself with family strife and social scandal amid looming nuptials.

The Awakening

Set on the Louisiana Gulf coast at the turn of the century, The Awakening plunges into the life of Edna Pontellier and the dissonance she feels between the era's social expectations and her own emerging beliefs.

The Bell Jar

Tracing the tangle of a new job in New York City and the simultaneous onrush of clinical depression, The Bell Jar brings the interior world of central character Esther Greenwood into stunning relief.

The Brothers Karamazov

Dostoevsky's final novel is also one of his most beloved. The Brothers Karamazov unfurls drama, philosophy, and morality against a vision of 19th-century Russia.

The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

Published in 1980, this collection brings together Mississippi writer Eudora Welty's celebrated short stories, all teeming with her sensitive eye for details and landscapes.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

It wouldn't be a classics list without a Shakespearean listing. The Complete Works is a must read at any stage of life, not just for a semester of English 101.

The Complete Stories

Published in 1971 but written much earlier, Flannery O'Connor's sharp, Southern Gothic short stories cement her place in the American literary canon.

The Glass Menagerie

Arguably the most personal of Tennessee Williams' dramas, The Glass Menagerie is also his first major work. It presents the lives of the Wingfield family—Amanda, Tom, and Laura—and the disturbance they feel when a gentleman caller enters their lives.

The God of Small Things

By far the most recently published novel on this list, we're going out on a limb to call this a classic in the making. Twenty years after it was first published, Arundhati Roy's luminous The God of Small Things is still a must-read and just gets better with time .

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved Jazz Age novel captures the desires and decadence of the 1920s through the pursuits and parties of Jay Gatsby and his West Egg neighbor Nick Carraway.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCullers' remarkable debut novel tells a story of the American South, one set in Georgia and peopled with a cast of characters that exist in a rich, layered, and challenging reality.

The Last of the Mohicans

Set in 1757 during the Seven Years' War, this historical novel follows the escapades of wayfaring Natty Bumppo and his Mohican companions, Chingachgook and Uncas.


While Roman poet Ovid originally wrote the Metamorphoses in Latin, readers now widely enjoy the translations, which offer nuanced lyrics on hundreds of classical myths.

The Moviegoer

Walker Percy's first novel is set in New Orleans, where young stockbroker Binx Bolling goes about his days reflecting, and eventually embarking on, an unexpected search.

The Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic detailing the adventures of Odysseus and his crew as they attempt to reach the shores of Ithaca, their home, in the decade after the Trojan War.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

An enchanted portrait and a life of debauchery are at the core of this lavish literary horror by Oscar Wilde.

The Sound and the Fury

The Compson family, their struggles, and their haunting legacies are at the center of this shattering, stream-of-consciousness marvel by William Faulkner.

The Sun Also Rises

A quintessential post-World War I novel, The Sun Also Rises follows Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, and their lost generation compatriots through 1920s Europe.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston's early-20th century masterpiece follows the journey of a young woman named Janie Crawford as she navigates life, passion, independence, and understanding across the American South.

Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe's story explores the life of a man, Okonkwo, and his home in Nigeria, which is forever changed when outside forces begin to encroach.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Courtesy of Amazon

While Scout Finch and her father, Atticus, have become beloved characters of American literature, this novel's true power lies in its heartbreaking account of race and injustice in the American South.

To the Lighthouse

Of conceiving this book, Virginia Woolf wrote, "Then one day walking round Tavistock Square I made up, as I sometimes make up my books, To the Lighthouse ; in a great, apparently involuntary, rush." The 1927 novel brings to life a family and their visits to Scotland's Isle of Skye.

James Joyce's modernist classic unpacks a day in the lives of two men, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, who live in Dublin and encounter neighbors, strangers, and friends, all the while unspooling a stream-of-consciousness narrative from their minds and onto the page.

Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys reimagines the life of Jane Eyre 's madwoman in the attic by building an account of the life of Antoinette Cosway amid the madness-inducing social and gender hierarchies in which she lives.

Wuthering Heights

In Wuthering Heights , Emily Bronte presents a world of conflicts, frictions between families, passions, and attachments—especially those of Catherine Earnshaw and the tortured Heathcliff—across an untamed landscape.

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Oxford Summer School 2023 – Final Places Left

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10 Psychology Books Everyone Should Read

Nov 8, 2021

Psychology is a wide-reaching field, covering everything from social attachments to disorders of the brain and nervous system (neurology). We’ve put together a list of ten Psychology books that we think every student should read, whether you’re set on studying the subject at university or just beginning to explore you interest in it.

1.   The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales  – Oliver Sacks

In this classic book, Sacks documents a number of fascinating and strange cases that he came across in his work as a neurologist.

The book is named after one of these cases: the man who mistook his wife for a hat had visual agnosia. This is a condition where people are unable to interpret visual information so cannot recognise objects or faces. From this to a case about a patient who couldn’t recognise his own leg, Sacks deals with the most extraordinary conditions.

It is an engaging and easy to read book, which will make you appreciate that a lot can go wrong in our brains.

Book cover for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks

2.   The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry – Jon Ronson

In The Psychopath Test,  Ronson describes his quest to determine whether it is true that many high up CEOs and politicians are psychopaths.

He tells the story of his visits to psychopaths, as well as to the psychologists and psychiatrists who study them. The book also looks at how psychopaths are diagnosed and explores The Psychopath Test  developed by Bob Hare.

Ronson offers intriguing insights into the minds of psychopaths, as well as some very interesting stories, making this book well worth a read.

Book cover for The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

3.   Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind  – V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee

Phantoms in the Brain  is an engaging book which explores various neurological disorders, such as phantom limbs.

A phantom limb is a condition where amputees can feel their amputated limb after it is gone (and in some cases even feel pain in it which is very difficult to treat). The book describes the cause of this phenomenon, among many other conditions. The authors explain how these can inform our understanding of the brain and also present many interesting cases of patients with these conditions.

Reading this will give you an understanding of how the brain forms our perception of both the world and ourselves.

Book cover for Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee

4.   50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior  – Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio & Barry Beyerstein

As the title suggests, this book dispels 50 popular misconceptions in psychology. These are claims that are not scientifically true but still continue to be spread by the general public.

The authors aim to show that common sense can actually mislead people. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology  encourages us to think critically and evaluate these claims, rather than simply taking them to be true.

This is an interesting book, and definitely worth reading – most of us probably didn’t realise that many of these are misconceptions.

Book cover for 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions About Human Behavior by Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio & Barry Beyerstein

5.   The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language – Steven Pinker

Throughout this book, Pinker explores the idea that language is innate to humans, a phenomenon that he describes as ‘the language instinct’.

Pinker makes the case for language as an ability unique to humans: we evolved this to be able to communicate. The book explores many cases that support this idea that language and grammar are in-built (an idea that was first proposed by the linguist Noam Chomsky).

This is a perfect introduction to the psychology of language and linguistics. It is filled with intriguing cases and ideas that will give you a different perspective on how your brain works.

Book cover for The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker

6.   Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

In Predictably Irrational,  Ariely, who is a behavioural economist, rejects the widely held belief that humans make rational decisions. Rather, he makes the case for the idea that we behave irrationally. For example, we will eat another plate at an unlimited buffet even though we are already full.

The book examines many factors which contribute to these behaviours: expectations, emotions, social norms, among other forces. It uncovers the irrational mistakes that we consistently make – mistakes that are predictable. Ariely also offers advice on breaking these behaviours.

Reading this will challenge what you think you know about your own behaviour, and help you to stop making the same irrational mistakes.

Book cover for Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

7.   Thinking, Fast and Slow  – Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow is an entertaining description of the research that Kahneman has conducted over his career.

In it, Kahneman explores the relationship between two modes of thought that he proposes us to have. System 1 is impulsive, automatic and intuitive: this happens without our conscious thought. However, System 2 is thoughtful, deliberate and calculating. The book describes how the interactions between these systems determine how we think and act.

Kahneman has written an enjoyable summary of recent work in social and cognitive psychology – which will almost certainly make you think differently about how you think.

Book cover for Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

8.   Bad science – Ben Goldacre

This is not just a psychology book, but rather it is about science in general – specifically bad science, as the title suggests.

Bad Science  implores readers to be aware of the poor understanding of scientific evidence and statistics in our society. For example, Goldacre explores how science reporting in the media tends to produce very untrue accounts of real research and data. He also describes how pharmaceutical companies misuse statistics for their own benefits, and how homeopathy tricks so many people into thinking it is a cure.

This book is both witty and easy to read – and will make you question everything you’ve ever been told is true.

Book cover for Bad science by Ben Goldacre

9.   The Invisible Gorilla – Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

The Invisible Gorilla  describes how, when we are focused on one thing, we tend to overlook everything else.

The title of the book refers to earlier research in this area: when participants are told to count how many times players passed the ball in a basketball game, they do not even notice someone dressed as a gorilla walking through the game!

Chabris and Simmons do a good job of demonstrating that, really, we don’t notice as much as we think we do in this entertaining book.

Book cover for The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

10.   Influence: Science and Practice – Robert Cialdini

Cialdini’s eye-opening book explores the topics of influence and persuasion. It teaches us both how to be more persuasive, and how to stop ourselves being persuaded to do things we don’t actually want to.

Cialdini explains that there are six psychological principles that drive us to comply to the influence of others, which he goes through in detail.

Influence  is not only interesting, but will also help you to be more aware of the power of how you talk to people – even just in your everyday life.

Book cover for Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini

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Strange Answers to The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, TED


Predictably Irrational – Basic Human Motivations  by Dan Ariely, TEDxMidwest


Selective Attention Test by Daniel Simons, YouTube

Rachel Delahay

Rachel Delahay

Psychology Editor

Rachel is an undergraduate Psychology student at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, with a particular interest in perception. She believes that Psychology is an important science, as much of the human brain remains a mystery that we have yet to solve. She is excited to keep you up to date with the latest research in this field! In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and cooking all sorts of pasta dishes.


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ten books everyone should read

The 10 Best Books Through Time

Each fall, the editors of the Times Book Review select the best fiction and nonfiction titles of the year. Our editors read, nominate, discuss, and debate the merits of each year’s books, working together to land upon our list. The practice of editors sharing their picks of the year dates nearly back to the beginning of the Book Review in October 1896. But over the years, that list has taken many different names and forms. Now, we call this list the “Ten Best Books” and have done so since 2004. We hope you’ll enjoy, and perhaps find inspiration in, the Best Books of years past.

THE CANDY HOUSE By Jennifer Egan . CHECKOUT 19 By Claire-Louise Bennett . DEMON COPPERHEAD By Barbara Kingsolver . THE FURROWS By Namwali Serpell . TRUST By Hernan Diaz .


HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE By Imbolo Mbue. INTIMACIES By Katie Kitamura. THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DUBOIS By Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS By Patricia Lockwood. WHEN WE CEASE TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD By Benjamín Labatut. Translated by Adrian Nathan West.

THE COPENHAGEN TRILOGY: Childhood; Youth; Dependency By Tove Ditlevsen. Translated by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman. HOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America By Clint Smith . INVISIBLE CHILD: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City By Andrea Elliott . ON JUNETEENTH By Annette Gordon-Reed. RED COMET: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath By Heather Clark.

A CHILDREN’S BIBLE By Lydia Millet. DEACON KING KONG By James McBride. HAMNET By Maggie O’Farrell. HOMELAND ELEGIES By Ayad Akhtar. THE VANISHING HALF By Brit Bennett.

HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD By Robert Kolker. A PROMISED LAND By Barack Obama. SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA By James Shapiro. UNCANNY VALLEY By Rachel Anna Wiener. WAR By Margaret MacMillan


SAY NOTHING By Patrick Radden Keefe. THE CLUB By Leo Damrosch. THE YELLOW HOUSE By Sarah M. Broom. NO VISIBLE BRUISES By Rachel Louise Snyder. MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL By Adam Higginbotham.

ASYMMETRY By Lisa Halliday. THE GREAT BELIEVERS By Rebecca Makkai. THE PERFECT NANNY By Leila Slimani. Translated by Sam Taylor. THERE THERE By Tommy Orange. WASHINGTON BLACK By Esi Edugyan.

AMERICAN PRISON: A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment By Shane Bauer. EDUCATED: A Memoir By Tara Westover. FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Prophet of Freedom By David W. Blight. HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence By Michael Pollan . SMALL FRY: A Memoir By Lisa Brennan-Jobs.

AUTUMN By Ali Smith. EXIT WEST By Mohsin Hamid. PACHINKO By Min Jin Lee. THE POWER By Naomi Alderman. SING, UNBURIED, SING By Jesmyn Ward.

THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us By Richard O. Prum. GRANT By Ron Chernow. LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America By James Forman Jr. PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder By Caroline Fraser. PRIESTDADDY By Patricia Lockwood.

THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS By Karan Mahajan. THE NORTH WATER By Ian McGuire. THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD By Colson Whitehead. THE VEGETARIAN By Han Kang. Translated by Deborah Smith. WAR AND TURPENTINE By Stefan Hertmans. Translated by David McKay.

AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFÉ: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails By Sarah Bakewell. DARK MONEY: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Righ t By Jane Mayer. EVICTED: Poverty and Profit in the American City By Matthew Desmond. IN THE DARKROOM By Susan Faludi. THE RETURN: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between By Hisham Matar.

THE DOOR By Magda Szabo. Translated by Len Rix. A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories By Lucia Berlin. Edited by Stephen Emerson. OUTLINE By Rachel Cusk. THE SELLOUT By Paul Beatty. T HE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD: Book 4, The Neapolitan Novels: “Maturity, Old Age ” By Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein.

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME By Ta-Nehisi Coates. EMPIRE OF COTTON: A Global History By Sven Beckert . H IS FOR HAWK By Helen Macdonald. THE INVENTION OF NATURE: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World By Andrea Wulf. ONE OF US: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway By Asne Seierstad. Translated by Sarah Death.


CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? By Roz Chast. ON IMMUNITY: An Inoculation By Eula Biss. PENELOPE FITZGERALD: A Life By Hermione Lee. THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: An Unnatural History By Elizabeth Kolbert. THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David By Lawrence Wright.

AMERICANAH By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. THE FLAMETHROWERS By Rachel Kushner. THE GOLDFINCH By Donna Tartt. LIFE AFTER LIFE By Kate Atkinson. TENTH OF DECEMBER: Stories By George Saunders.

AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead By Alan S. Blinder. DAYS OF FIRE: Bush and Cheney in the White House By Peter Baker. FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital By Sheri Fink. THE SLEEPWALKERS: How Europe Went to War in 1914 By Christopher Clark. WAVE By Sonali Deraniyagala.

BRING UP THE BODIES By Hilary Mantel. BUILDING STORIES By Chris Ware. A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING By Dave Eggers. NW By Zadie Smith. THE YELLOW BIRDS By Kevin Powers.

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity By Katherine Boo. FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity By Andrew Solomon. THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon Johnson By Robert A. Caro. THE PATRIARCH: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy By David Nasaw. WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective Story By Jim Holt.

THE ART OF FIELDING By Chad Harbach . 11/22/63 By Stephen King . SWAMPLANDIA! By Karen Russell . TEN THOUSAND SAINTS By Eleanor Henderson. THE TIGER’S WIFE By Téa Obreht.

ARGUABLY: Essays By Christopher Hitchens . THE BOY IN THE MOON: A Father’s Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son By Ian Brown . MALCOLM X: A Life of Reinvention By Manning Marable . THINKING, FAST AND SLOW By Daniel Kahneman. A WORLD ON FIRE:Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War By Amanda Foreman.

ten books everyone should read

FREEDOM By Jonathan Franzen. THE NEW YORKER STORIES By Ann Beattie. ROOM By Emma Donoghue. SELECTED STORIES By William Trevor. A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD By Jennifer Egan.

APOLLO’S ANGELS: A History of Ballet By Jennifer Homans. CLEOPATRA: A Life By Stacy Schiff. THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A Biography of Cancer By Siddhartha Mukherjee. FINISHING THE HAT: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, ­Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes By Stephen Sondheim. THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration By Isabel Wilkerson.

BOTH WAYS IS THE ONLY WAY I WANT IT By Maile Meloy. CHRONIC CITY By Jonathan Lethem. A GATE AT THE STAIRS By Lorrie Moore. HALF BROKE HORSES: A True-Life Novel By Jeannette Walls. A SHORT HISTORY OF WOMEN By Kate Walbert.

THE AGE OF WONDER: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science By Richard Holmes. THE GOOD SOLDIERS By David Finkel. LIT: A Memoir By Mary Karr. LORDS OF FINANCE: The Bankers Who Broke the World By Liaquat Ahamed . RAYMOND CARVER: A Writer’s Life By Carol Sklenicka

DANGEROUS LAUGHTER: Thirteen Stories By Steven Millhauser . A MERCY By Toni Morrison . NETHERLAND By Joseph O’Neill. 2666 By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer. UNACCUSTOMED EARTH By Jhumpa Lahiri.

THE DARK SIDE: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals By Jane Mayer. THE FOREVER WAR By Dexter Filkins. NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF By Julian Barnes. THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING:Death and the American Civil War By Drew Gilpin Faust. THE WORLD IS WHAT IT IS: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul By Patrick French.

MAN GONE DOWN By Michael Thomas. OUT STEALING HORSES By Per Petterson. Translated by Anne Born. THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer. THEN WE CAME TO THE END By Joshua Ferris. TREE OF SMOKE By Denis Johnson.

IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone. By Rajiv Chandrasekaran . LITTLE HEATHENS: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. By Mildred Armstrong Kalish . THE NINE: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. By Jeffrey Toobin . THE ORDEAL OF ELIZABETH MARSH: A Woman in World History. By Linda Colley. THE REST IS NOISE: Listening to the Twentieth Century By Alex Ross.


FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH: A Memoir By Danielle Trussoni. THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 By Lawrence Wright. MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War By Nathaniel Philbrick. THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A Natural History of Four Meals By Michael Pollan. THE PLACES IN BETWEEN By Rory Stewart.

KAFKA ON THE SHORE By Haruki Murakami. ON BEAUTY By Zadie Smith. PREP By Curtis Sittenfeld. SATURDAY By Ian McEwan. VERONICA By Mary Gaitskill.

THE ASSASSINS’ GATE: America in Iraq By George Packer. DE KOONING:An American Master By Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan. THE LOST PAINTING By Jonathan Harr. POSTWAR: A History of Europe Since 1945 By Tony Judt. THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING By Joan Didion.

GILEAD By Marilynne Robinson. THE MASTER By Colm Toibin. THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA By Philip Roth. RUNAWAY By Alice Munro. SNOW By Orhan Pamuk. WAR TRASH By Ha Jin.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON By Ron Chernow. CHRONICLES: Volume One By Bob Dylan. WASHINGTON’S CROSSING By David Hackett Fischer. WILL IN THE WORLD: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare By Stephen Greenblatt.

Top 10 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once in Their Lives

Top 10 Books Eric Trueman

This is my list of the 10 most influential books that have shaped my life like no other. I have read way too many books about self-development, finance, psychology and many more. These are my Top 10. Every book mentioned here will have a great impact on your life and also will change your life for the better. If 10 books are too much for you, my advice is to read at least the top 3 . I have also linked a short animated video that summarizes each book, you can watch it to have a better idea about the book.

#10 The 4 Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek

The new edition of  The 4-Hour Workweek  includes. a step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle . How to to go from 40,000 per year and 80 hours per weak to 40,000 per month and 4 hours per week. How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want. How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist and how to trade a long-houl career for short work bursts and frequent "mini retirements".

Watch The Animated Book Summary 

#9 no more nice guy.

No More Mr. Nice Guy

If you are single and are frequently told you are "too nice" and end up in the friend zone, if you are married and frustrated with conflicts or lack of sex, or if you are rotting in middle management in the workplace, No More Nice Guy is the book for you.

#8 Thinking Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow

In his mega bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow , Daniel Kahneman, world famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes you on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower more deliberative, and more logical. He offers the reader practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

#7 Unscripted


Unscripted is for you if you want to become an successful entrepreneur in todays timer. 

"Life is waking up in the morning and pinching yourself black-and-blue that OMG. That is my life, and it is freaking awesome. You live in your dream house, but there's no mortgage. No alarm clock, no boss, no bills. No claims on on the day's time other than you choose. It is making more money before breakfast than you made for an entire week at your last job. It is a crazy expensive car parked in your garage, a victorious symbol that your dreams no longer sleep in fantasies, but are awake with reality. 

Make no Mistake. this life exists. And in a few short years, it can be yours as well." - MJ DeMarco

#6 The Social Animal

The Social Animal

"A classic work has brought into the modern age, and the result if both timely and timeless. Expertly weaving sage wisdom and contemporary science, personal stories and hard-won facts. The Social Animal remains the single best book ever written about the field of social psychology."

-Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

#5 I Know You Are Lying

I Know You Are lying

The Autor is a retired United States Marshal who spend 26 Years in active Federal Law Enforcement duty.  He will teach you the world best technique to discover deception used by Law Enforcement all over the world called "Statement Analysis". It is the process of analyzing words to see if a person is being truthful or deceptive. People will word their statement based on all their knowledge. Therefore, their statement will include information they did not intend to share. This book will give you the code to uncrack what someone is really saying.

I Know You Are Lying will show you what to look for in a verbal and written statement to determine if that person is telling the truth. A great skill in our modern dating & business environment.

#4 Influence The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence , explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. 

You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of   Influence   will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

"For marketer, this book is among the most important books written in the last ten years." - Journal of Marketing Research

#3 How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, this book will teach you:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential

#2 How To Be A 3% Man

How to be a 3% Man

This book teaches you the hidden secrets to completely understand women. How you can meet and date the type of women you've always wanted and have effortless relationships! How to get a girlfriend. How to date multiple women. How to get your wife or ex back. Turn your girl "friend" into your girlfriend. Live the life of your dreams & accomplish your goals. How to get women to pursue you and approach you first, etc.

It is the single most important book about dating advice for men out there.

Watch The Animated Book Summary

#1 the millionaire fastlane.

The Millionaire Fastlane

I have read way to many financial books in my life. The Millionaire Fastlane is by far the best one I came across. If you would never read any other book then this one you do just fine. It covers all aspects you need to know to be fiancial successful. 

Should I read all these books even when I'm only interested in dating?  

The answer is no. If you came here for dating & relationship advice then you'll only need 3 books. You'll need  3% Men ,  I Know Your Lying , and  Millionaire Fastlane . Yes, even a business book in dating because you will have to work on your sexual market value as well. 

ten books everyone should read

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Classic Books: 10 Classic Books Everyone Should Read

Posted by Why Read | Jun 9, 2015 | Classic Books

Which books in history can be classed as classic books? A classic book is defined as:

“A classic is a book accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy, for example through an imprimatur such as being listed in a list of great books” – Source

The books on this list are considered some of the greatest books ever written, and having stood the test of time, they are still essential reading for any lover of books. As classics, these books have laid the foundations for many books, movies and art, as well as entertaining millions of people around the world. Here at WhytoRead , we’re fans of great books and these classics deserve a read.

Here are some of the greatest classic books of all time.

1. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Classic Books

(As featured in  10 Great Books That Will Make You Change Your Life )

This is both a great philosophical book and a great work of fiction .

The story follows the lives of old man Karamazov, a filthy penny-pinching lech and his three sons. Each son represents a different side to the Russian character: Dimitri the spoiled lout, Ivan the tortured intellect, and Alyosha the spiritual searcher.

2.  The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

Classic Books

(As featured in  8 Books That Will Make You Proud And Satisfied To Have Read )

This book is a great example of perfect fiction writing. Its length is 5 times the average book and it still was not long enough! The story, the characters, the settings and the emotions will enthrall you for days. You’ll be left with a total feeling of astonishment as you finish the book.

3.  To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Classic Books

(As featured in  14 Powerful and Mind Blowing Quotes From The Best Books )

From the opening line of the book, “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…” Lee hooks the reader with a deceptively simple story of a Southern family and a Southern town caught up in a cataclysmic moral crisis, and keeps us enthralled till the very last word.

4.  The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

Classic Books

There is absolutely no way to produce a fantasy books list without J.R.R. Tolkiens  fantasy epic  The Lord of the Rings .

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them” .

This book will be the only fantasy book you’ll ever need to read, if you only read one.

5.  Wuthering Heights –   Emily Bronte

Classic Books

6.  Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Classic Books

7.  Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Classic Books

8.  Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Classic Books

9.  Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Classic Books

10.  The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Best Books of the 20th Century

The book is beautifully written. Steinbeck’s style flows so smoothly and is accessible as well as being challenging. The book follows the Joad family for about nine months as they are driven from the place they’ve called home for generations and travel to California, only to find out that it is not the land of opportunity they expected.

11.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

Best Books of the 20th Century

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia , a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

12. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

ten books everyone should read

(Featured in 8 Outstanding Classic Books Which Are Easy To Read)

Slaughterhouse Five follows a young man, Billy Pilgrim through his life. Billy believes aliens have abducted him. We assume that it’s through these aliens that he learns to time travel, a skill he frequently uses. The book changes the very way you think about time, life and death.

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21 Classic Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once

Robyn Moreno

Classic books have stood the test of time for a reason. They're groundbreaking, have wide appeal, and are worth a second (and third) read.

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Classic Books Opener

Read your way through these classic books

Storytelling has existed since the beginning of time, and through it all, humans have woven tales of love, hate, morality, and culture. With the advent of book printing—historians point to first-millennium China as the origin of the first printed text—people have been able to not only read entertaining and moving tales, but also revisit them again and again, rendering them classic books.

So what exactly qualifies a work as classic literature? Broadly speaking, classic books are groundbreaking for their era, have broad appeal beyond one community or country, and have withstood the test of time—their stories and messages remain relevant today. For our list, we chose classic books written in the 20th century or earlier, and every book on this list is more than 25 years old. We combed through best-seller lists of old to dig up books that have been well-reviewed and won awards. But more importantly, we’ve rounded up books that broke ground, kept us thinking, and even created new literary genres.

Many of these novels have graced high school reading lists for generations, while others have been spotlighted and elevated in recent decades, particularly  books about racism and those by female authors . All have earned a place among the b est fiction books and best books of all time . In an increasingly fast-moving, technology-centered world, with attention spans shrinking by the minute, we offer you this list of classic books in the hopes that you slow down, dive in, and delight in the warm comfort a great book can bring. When you’ve had your fill of classic literature, dive in to these historical fiction and mystery books .

Join the free Reader’s Digest Book Club for great reads, monthly discussions, author Q&As and a community of book lovers.

The Color Purple Walker

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Set in rural Georgia at the turn of the last century, Alice Walker’s epic novel weaves the heartbreaking and hopeful tale of Celie, an uneducated Black teen fighting for her dignity and freedom while leaning on the sisterhood of the women that surround her. The novel bravely and honestly addresses issues like sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and women’s struggles and ultimate resilience. Published in 1982, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the National Book Award. Three years later, the story was made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom garnered Oscar nominations for their portrayals.

Looking for your next great book? Read four of today’s bestselling novels in the time it takes to read one with  Reader’s Digest Select Editions . And be sure to follow the Select Editions page on Facebook !

The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Published almost a century ago in 1925, the story of the striving Jay Gatsby is still profoundly relevant in its exploration of class, society, and the false promise that money can buy happiness. Gatsby’s misguided chase for his first love is a sad tale that spans the ages. At the time, the book was considered a commercial flop, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a high school curriculum today that didn’t include it.

Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston

3. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

“There is no book more important to me than this one,” said Alice Walker, herself the author of what many believe to be one of the most important pieces of literature in history. Written in 1937, Zora Neale Hurston’s novel centers on the life, loves, and losses of Janie Crawford, a middle-aged woman who recounts her transformation from a blossoming teen to a self-possessed woman. The novel was way ahead of its time in the depiction of a strong Black female protagonist, and it had a great influence on women’s literature as well as on  Black authors  and literature.

One Hundred Years Of Solitude Marquez

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

The 1967 masterpiece from Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez introduced the world to magical realism, a literary style marked by fantastical elements amid realistic fiction that’s become synonymous with Latin American authors. It spins a poignant and often humorous tale of the Buendía family that spans seven generations and 100 years in the fictional town of Macondo. When you’re done, pick up one of these other books by Latinx authors .

Pride And Prejudice Austen

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The complicated love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is a classic that has been retold countless times in countless genres. Yep, both Bridget Jones’s Diary and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are modern takes on the timeless tale. Austen’s descriptions, dialogue, and plot are as fresh and charming today as they were when the book published in 1813. Literary scholars don’t just consider this one of the all-time greatest romance novels ; they also consider it one of the best-loved and best-selling books of all time (and all genres).

The Catcher In The Rye Salinger

6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Sarcastic, poetic, and heartfelt, angsty protagonist Holden Caulfield is one of the most famous literary characters of all time. Written in 1951, Catcher in the Rye brilliantly captures the lonely teen experience of having to grow up and leave the tenderness and innocence of childhood behind. Though young adult fiction didn’t exist in its current form when J.D. Salinger wrote the novel, it’s considered one of the first  teen books and consistently appears on high school reading lists.

Frankenstein The 1818 Shelley

7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Written in 1818, this Gothic classic from Mary Shelley tells the tale of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates. The themes of creation and responsibility have deep resonance today, as technology and science yield more possibilities and power than ever before. When you’re done, follow it up with more scariest books of all time —then sleep with the lights on.

Go Tell It On The Mountain Baldwin

8. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s coming-of-age tale about a queer 14-year-old and his religious family in Harlem deftly intertwines tales of race, sex, identity, and spirituality in prose that is riveting and unforgettable. Written in 1953, it was a controversial book at the time. But it’s an LGBTQ story worth reading again and again.

The House Of The Spirits Allende

9. T he House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

The 1982 novel from famed Chilean author Isabel Allende—the best-selling Spanish-language novelist of all time—revolves around the Trueba clan and three generations of women, including an enchanting matriarch, Clara, who communes with spirits. Themes of ancestors, feminism , and class struggle are pervasive, as is magic; no surprise since this work of magical realism was influenced by Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude .

1984 Orwell

10. 1984 by George Orwell

One of the most influential books of the past 100 years, George Orwell’s dystopian novel about the dangers of authoritarianism has held up decade after decade. Introducing phrases like “thought police” and “Big Brother,” the 1949 novel was eerily prescient. Indeed, it reads more like a work of modern fiction. Glimpse more of the future with these standout sci-fi books .

Beloved Morrison

11. Beloved by Toni Morrison

The most popular of Toni Morrison’s works, Beloved is an anguishing novel about a slave named Sethe, haunted by the death of her infant daughter, whose grave is marked with the word “Beloved.” Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for this 1987 novel, which was made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey in 1998, and quickly joined the ranks of other must-read classic books of the 20th century.

Anne Frank The Diary Of A Young Girl

12. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Young Anne Frank’s diary, one of the most hopeful and heartrending Holocaust books , was discovered by her father, Otto, after her death in a concentration camp. The only surviving member of the Frank family, he published her writing as a powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. The book recounts the two years the Franks hid in an attic in Amsterdam during World War II. In the moving account, the teenage Frank writes about her hopes of becoming a writer; sadly, the family was captured three days after her very last entry.

Things Fall Apart Achebe

13. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Described by Barack Obama as a masterpiece, this 1958 book provides a lens through which readers get a glimpse of life in precolonial Nigeria. The first of three classic books in Chinua Achebe’s acclaimed African Trilogy centers on Okonkwo, a fierce Igbo warrior who fights against (and despairs at) the loss of his culture as Europeans settle across the continent.

The House On Mango Street Cisneros

14. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

“In English, my name means hope. In Spanish, it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting.” So says the title character, 12-year-old Esperanza, whose life in Chicago is told over a series of vignettes. Written in 1987, this instant classic, which showcases the lives of Mexican Americans, is considered a seminal work for Latin Americans and beyond. The novel is geared toward adults and teens, but you can teach young readers to appreciate differences by reading these children’s books about diversity to them.

The Bell Jar Plath

15. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Among these classic books, The Bell Jar stands out as a realistic portrayal of mental illness. And for good reason: The 1963 novel is a semi- autobiographical tale written by an author who herself dealt with mental health issues. The titular bell jar is a metaphor for feeling suffocated and trapped, and it’s how college student Esther Greenwood feels as she struggles in the story to find joy and peace in post-college life. Though it’s a dark novel, the themes of depression and trauma are real, important, and resonate more than ever today,

To Kill A Mockingbird Lee

16. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This classic book from 1960 won the Pulitzer Prize and was voted America’s Favorite Novel in a poll by PBS. Many of us read in high school this coming-of-age story about young Scout, her lawyer father, the falsely accused Black man he’s defending, and the pervasiveness of prejudice in America. While the book has long been applauded for its take on race relations and gender roles, modern readers point out that the story is told through the white lens of the Finch family, while the Black characters don’t  have much voice or agency. Still, it is a powerful tale and worth a reread, especially with a modern eye.

The God Of Small Things Roy

17. T he God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Winner of the Booker Prize and a New York Times best seller, the 1997 novel surrounds an Indian family in decline. From the beginning, the reader has a sense of foreboding, and Arundhati Roy’s language and rhythm reveal a heart-wrenching story readers won’t soon forget. Considered a modern classic, it’s as page-turning today as when it was adroitly written 25 years ago.

The Joy Luck Club Tan

18. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

This 1989 classic book explores four Chinese American families who gather to play mah-jongg and eventually recount their pasts in China and struggles as immigrants in the United States. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and a delight to read, The Joy Luck Club is one of the classic books that influenced a generation of Chinese Americans creators, from comedian Margaret Cho to Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan, both of whom have said they felt seen in Amy Tan’s iconic work. Love hearing what others have to say about your most loved (and most hated) books? Join one of these online book clubs .

No No Boy Okada

19. No-No Boy by John Okada

“It is not enough to be only half an American and know that it is an empty half. I am not your son and I am not Japanese and I am not American,” writes John Okada in this powerful novel. Identity struggles lie at the heart of this story, written by a Japanese American man about his time in an internment camp and his refusal to fight for the United States—hence his being deemed a “no-no boy.” Written in 1957 at the height of the Cold War and before Vietnam, the book was way ahead of its time in questioning one’s identity and loyalty to a country. Sixty-five years after its publication, No-No Boy has finally been recognized as a classic work of literature.

Anna Karenina Tolstoy

20. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Published in 1878 and considered by many—including acclaimed novelists Fyodor Dostoevsky and William Faulkner—to be the best novel ever written, Leo Tolstoy’s work of classic literature unfolds the tempestuous love affair between a married woman and a dashing count, and the impact it has on the lives of their friends in Imperial Russia. Tolstoy’s character development and emotional detail are masterful. At over 800 pages, we recommend taking your time to enjoy this classic. Not up for something quite so long? These short books pack a lot of emotion into relatively few pages.

Little Woman Alcott

21. Little Women by Louis May Alcott

The story of the March sisters is a true American classic, and one of the most enduring books written by a woman . Published in 1868 and set in the time of the Civil War, the book has endured because of its portrayal of strong women and sisterly love. Not only is the novel a classic, but its film adaptations (of which there have been many) became classics in their own right.

Robyn Moreno

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100 Books Everyone Should Read

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ten books everyone should read

Humanity, Biology, Culture

The 10 books everyone should read.

10 books that every educated person should read.

The 10 books that everyone should read all depends on your definition of ‘well educated’.

Unread Books

The television show Two and a Half Men was largely trash. But it was clever, hilarious trash, and occasionally its cutting humor cut a little too close to truth.  In one episode, ‘That Special Tug’, Alan has a breakdown in a bookstore over all of the books he has not read, and probably will never get around to reading.

Indeed, why doesn’t anyone speak Sumerian any more?

I mention this clip because when I was a kid, a news magazine polled various writers and other thinkers, and asked “What are the 10 books that everyone should read?”  It made me feel like Alan.  Giving us books we ‘should’ have read, but probably will never have the time to read, is just intellectual abuse .  But still, if I ever have the time… I like the Jorge Luis Borges quote, “I have always imagined Paradise will be a kind of library.”  It gives me something to shoot for.

Anyway, over the years I have thought about the question. Books are critical ; so what are the 10 books everyone should read?

Various Lists of the 10 Books Everyone Should Read

I looked around the Internet for some ideas. Most of the lists I found are dominated by novels, and even more by recent novels.  There is this list from The Independent , from Powells , and from Publishers Weekly .  HuffPo has this list , but it only has one book beyond classical antiquity, and nothing more recent than Shakespeare’s The Tempest .  I also found this clever word cloud , but overwhelmingly, the books are novels, and mostly from the past few decades (unfortunately, the click-through on the page to the larger image doesn’t work).

Books the Well-Educated Should Read

Previously I invited friends to contribute their suggestions of the books we should read in the comments, below, and on my facebook page . Feel free to weigh in with the books you think are important, below. But I would like to add to all of these my own suggestions of the 10 books everyone should read, particularly the books the well-educated should read.

Which calls into question the words ‘well-educated.’  What does that mean?  What is the product?  Our educational traditions say becoming ‘a well-rounded person’ is a major goal of education.  What is the value of a ‘well-rounded person’?

Elitism vs Democracy

I argue that our traditional approaches to education are partly designed around exclusion .  A ‘good education’ is designed to separate the narcissists in the upper classe s from the rest of us.  If we are ‘well-educated’, we should be able to quote Shakespeare and Homer so that others will recognize us as part of that elite , well-educated upper class.

In this approach knowledge becomes a static thing, a badge that marks your place in a hierarchy:  the gentleman should know how to eat a pear with a knife and fork; he should wear bespoke suits; he should know how to ride, to fence, to play the lute, and to dance.  And the proof that he is well-educated is that he matriculated from the finest schools, which should teach little of practical value .

In contrast, my thoughts are that education should produce citizens for the democracy , who must be life-long learners .  And thinkers .  And contributors .  Education should not be a static thing, not a repository of books, subjects, and proficiencies, but a set of intellectual tools for analysis, synthesis, and innovation .

Cover of the book 'Kings, Conqurors, Psychopaths.' The 3 words are stacked so that the tail of the Q becomes a bloody sword, and the 'O' of 'Psychopaths' is a bleeding, severed head. 8 medals are displayed at the top margin.

14 AWARDS: The history of civilization is not at all what we were taught in school.  Click image for more information.

Given that, I submit a very different list of the 10 books everyone should read. Please note that the last one should be the result of the first nine; it is really the one book that every educated reader should read .

For the last one, my latest is to the right. (Or, you could subscribe and get a free copy of my first book: see below.)

But this is the really important one: in a democracy, citizens should not only be consumers of information about social and governmental affairs, and all manner of intellectual work. We should all be analysts, and synthesizers of new ideas as well.

‘Old Books’ courtesy of Gellinger on Pixabay.

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2017.12.14 at 09:41

1. The Bible 2. The Tao Te Ching 3. The Brothers Karamazov 4. The Color Purple 5. One Hundred Years of Solitude 6. Madame Bovary 7. Meditations 8. Moby Dick 9. The Origins of Totalitarianism 10. Brave New World

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2018.11.18 at 17:26

An interesting look at what we should read and why. With so much debate now on what constitutes the canon, this list allows each person to add a unique selection of books. I also found an interesting presentation at

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2018.11.19 at 06:44

These are good ideas. I struggle over the value of a cannon all the time. To be able to converse, there needs to be a background of mutually understood ideas. But innovation cannot occur if there is an authority dictating what knowledge looks like. So each person has to be able to decide for herself what works are most important. At the same time, as the edges of knowledge become more frayed, and as the corpus of knowledge becomes too much for anyone to even grasp in summary, we each retreat into smaller specializations, each which requires its own cannon.

I cannot see an easy way to reconcile all of this.

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2020.06.07 at 20:13

2019.01.26 at 17:29

1. A book of major works by the dominant writer of one’s language: Perhaps, the Norton Anthology of American Literature? A collection of Mark Twain’s writings.

2. Dominant religious text of one’s culture: the Bible but perhaps one should include an annotated version. Or one in the modern idiom for clarity. King James is elegant, but at times, a bit round about.

3. An overview of world history: One example would be the series that includes Bauer_ Susan Wise The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade and also this overview, Fernandez-Armesto,_Felipe-Millennium-A-History-of-the_Last-Thousand-Years.

4. An introduction to statistics: I need to work on this one, but suspect one of those Dummies Guide® might be a good starting place.

5. Any book of musical études: I actually learned more by spending years listening to the Beethoven Satellite Network when WRKF used to carry it and an afternoon classics show hosted by Lisa Richards of KRVS. Neither exists today. I learned quite a bit and researched composers — some not so well known — such as Jacob Van Eyck, composer of the massive Der Fluyten Lust–hof (The Flute’s Pleasure Garden, 1644) for soprano recorder, who was blind.

6. Any book in a second language: My Spanish is not quite up to this beyond children’s books. If it were, I’d read Don Quixote or Lazarillo de Tormes.

7. An intro to physics: Well the NY Times has that book by the Italian Carlo Rovella, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. One might read anything by Stephen Hawking. There is one out now on the NY Times bestseller list by the late Hawking.

8. An introduction to biology: Anything by Yuval Harari or Lance Grande. I took six hours of biology courses at LSU so think I might be okay here.

9. An anthology of literature and poetry: See any Norton anthology. Poetry is a bit complicated. I prefer the rhyming kind; yes, I know that is bizarre today.

10. Any book the reader has written: I am not sure I have understood this correctly. I wrote Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile and will soon have the abridgement out. It is Selections from Across Two Novembers: A Bibliographic Year. It’s not amazing like Educated by T. Westover, but it’s my life lived here in Lafayette in mostly 2014.

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The Sandman's Bookshelf

ten books everyone should read

The 10 Books Everyone Should Read

We all have our favorite books. Ones we return to year after year. I’m sure you’ll agree that whenever you revisit your favorite book, you feel a sense of comfort. A sense of home.

The books listed here are universally loved. They’re great books to read for adults. Yes, they’re the stories that you’ll carry with you. That you’ll hold in your heart long after you finish the last page.

The books below will take you to magical worlds and by-gone eras. They’re interesting books to read and you’ll definitely learn about history and culture.

So, check out the books listed below. Readers the world over have chosen them as the best fiction books to read. And the list also includes one of the most widely translated non-fiction works ever.

But I’ve been reading and re-reading the same books from the same authors forever; I know what I like so why change?

I encourage you to spread your wings and read new authors. There are plenty of masterpieces out there just waiting to be enjoyed.

The books below include a look at pre-colonial Nigeria from a Nigerian point of view. It’s not your usual European narrative. It’ll expand your horizons and change your perspective.

Or, think of what you can learn by looking through the eyes of a young girl as she experiences Nazi-era Netherlands or the bigotry of the American south.

You may be surprised. You’ll experience new writing styles. You’ll travel to new worlds. And you may even find a new favorite author! So, go ahead and give it a try.

I see some children’s books on the list. Will I like them?

Yes!  These children’s books are timeless classics. From ages 9 to 90, I promise you’ll love them.

Reading expand kids’ minds. It opens their eyes to new possibilities. To new ideas.

I’m sure you remember reading those special books from your childhood. The ones that made you sit up and take notice. They expanded your world. They taught you about life.

The children’s books on this list frankly aren’t light-hearted. They explore class inequality and political oppression. Yes, heavy subjects for kids. But they’re written in a way that entertains, gives hope and makes the reader, young and old, feel less alone.

I only read a specific genre.

I’m guilty of this too. I read way too many biographies. And I ignore well-loved and popular books in other genres, like sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and others.

But I’m trying. I’ve read my way down the list below. And, I’ve got to tell you. I never thought I’d be recommending a 17 th century adventure novel. But, I’m here to tell you that I loved it!

And, how can anyone resist their heart being tugged by the tale of a fighter pilot caught in an endless cycle of war and violence.

Or what about reading of the despair of a young man torn between the two loves of his life, one a man and one a woman.

It may be scary to reach outside of your comfort zone. But give it a chance. You may find something you like in a different genre. Think of it as expanding your literary knowledge.

Books everyone should read.

The following are 10 of the best-loved novels, not just in the U.S., but worldwide. There is something here for everyone. They’re treasured by readers, studied in schools and discussed in book groups. You’re sure to find a novel that you’ll soon treasure.

Or, maybe you’ve already read the books on this list. Well, I invite you to read them again with fresh eyes. You never know what you’ll notice on a second read. You might even go away with a completely different point of view.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

One of America’s best-loved books, according to a PBS poll, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart takes the reader into pre-colonial Nigeria. We look through proud farmer Okonkwo’s eyes to see how the arrival of missionaries and British colonial representatives disrupts tribal life in this west African nation and upturns traditions and ritual life. Achebe shows us an entire culture destroyed and opens our eyes to the dark history of colonization. Yet, the trick to Achebe’s writing is that he doesn’t portray the Nigerian villagers as saints, but instead as regular people. I highly recommend this book.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

It’s one of the best novels of the 20 th century. It was made into an award-winning movie. And it’s loved by readers around the world. To Kill a Mockingbird looks at the American south of the mid-1900s through the eyes of a young girl, Scout. We’re confronted with prejudice and inequality in this coming-of-age tale. It’s heart-breaking to watch Scout as she begins to understand the savage world around her. Scout sees her father in a new light as he defends an African American man accused of a terrible crime in court. I’ve read this book over and over and I still want more.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

German-Jewish Anne Frank details her family’s life as they hide from Nazis in an attic in the Netherlands during WWII. Anne is coming of age, thinking about boys and her future, while at the same time she is in a life and death situation. This is one of the best-known books in the world, translated into numerous languages.  It’s a stark reminder of the inequality and persecution that humans have subjected each other to. Anne never gives up hope and she’s taught generations since to have hope and fight for goodness.

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Giovanni’s Room is a thoughtful, short post-WWII novel of a young expat living in France, struggling with his sexual identity. He’s drawn both to his female fiancé and a male Italian bartender with whom he’s having an affair. This controversial and complex story explores the ideas of love, passion and death.  And the author, James Baldwin, handles this serious book with candor and dignity. Baldwin make a mark on American literally scene with his candid novels and short stories. And Giovanni’s Room is the jewel in Baldwin’s crown.

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

Man Booker Prize Winner, Roy’s family drama about an affluent Indian family dazzles the reader with an illicit liaison, tragedy and mystery as India moves towards unrest. Two young twin girls, Estha and Rahel, experience upheaval after their young cousin Sophie arrives. Their lives are forever changed. Roy is compared to William Faulkner and Charles Dickens in her intricate telling of a family saga.

Critics call The God of Small Things “landmark” and “powerful.” It’s a book you’ll want to reread as soon as you finish it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Timeless classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a delightful fantasy novel for children that touches on childhood justice, revenge and candy. Poor and hungry, Charlie wins a golden ticket to tour the mysterious Willie Wonka’s infamous chocolate factory. There he comes across other tour winners, children exhibiting gluttony, greed, addiction (to TV), etc. Charlie wins over Wonka, overcomes his limitations and becomes the hero of the story.

Dahl’s books for young readers are classics and favorites the world over. I encourage you to explore all of Dahl’s books. They’re heart-warming and imaginative. Just the thing for curious young readers!

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

One of America’s funniest and most celebrated novels, war satire Catch-22 is set in WWII Italy. Our protagonist, Yossarian is a fighter pilot fed up with the war. He’s a capable and skilled flier. But he’s very bothered by the fact that the enemy keeps trying to kill him. Catch-22 is filled with bizarre bureaucracy, seemingly soulless soldiers and a desperate people, both civilians and servicemen. Yossarian is trapped in an endless cycle of war and violence and surrounded by madness. I’ve reread Catch-22 numerous times. It’s sad and funny and heart-wrenching.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Haunting and brutal, Beloved chronicles slavery and the aftermath. It’s an important achievement in the retelling of the horrors of slavery. Morrison traces the life of a young woman who escaped enslavement and is haunted by terrible memories. Secret after secret are given the light of day. Morrison dazzles with her brilliant plot and lyrical prose. This novel grips your emotions and doesn’t let go. Morrison is a powerful writer, celebrated the world over.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Believe it or not, there was a time before people read novels. Said to be the first known full-length novel, Don Quixote is as relevant today is it was in 1605 when it was published. Published in two volumes, this monumentally genius novel follows along as Don Quixote, who believes himself to be a noble knight, travels the Spanish countryside with his loyal sidekick, looking for adventure. The novel is mind-bending, time-bending and breaks the fourth wall. Yet, the attitudes and actions of the 17 th century characters are equally as familiar to us as they’d be to those first Don Quixote readers.

Cervantes writes as if he was looking through a crystal ball. A 21 st century reader will not feel like they are reading a dusty old tome. Don Quixote feels fresh and new, and is a funny and eye-opening read.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice, one of the most recognizable heroines in English literature, tumbles down a rabbit hole and enters a dreamy world that may be a satire on Victorian life, language and politics. I loved this book as a child. It’s a charming a fairy tale and features eccentric characters that we all recognize, such as the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Tweedledee ad Tweedledum. Alice’s Adventures are timeless and loved by readers young and old. 

More favorite books.

If you’re curious, here is a list of the 10 most read books in the world. Maybe you’ll see your favorite book on the list, or you’ll find a new favorite!

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho  The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan           

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry          

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin   

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Embark on a reading adventure!

I hope you enjoy the books I’ve discussed. It’s a profound experience to find that novel that touches your very soul. I love that feeling when a book when a book surprises me. When I realize that what I have in front of me is something very special. When I don’t want a book to end.

Not every book discussed above will be right for every reader. It may take a few tries to find what you like.  But millions of readers can’t be wrong.

I encourage all readers to step out their comfort zones and begin reading books that they wouldn’t normally choose. We need to break out of those boxes we’ve put ourselves in. You never know what you’re going to like until you try.

Take a look; you never know when you’re going to find your new favorite read!

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Mar 15, 2023, 06:53 PM IST

10 life-changing books to read in your 20s

Anuj Tiwari

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho's book is a modern classic that encourages readers to pursue their dreams and passions.

Man's Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl - This memoir explores the author's experiences in a Nazi concentration camp and how he found meaning and purpose in life despite extreme adversity.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen Covey - Through seven essential habits, this self-help book teaches readers how to improve their personal and professional lives.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

By Susan Cain - This book challenges the idea that extroverts are always more successful than introverts and encourages readers to embrace their introverted qualities

The Power of Now

By Eckhart Tolle - This spiritual guide teaches readers how to live in the present moment and let go of negative thoughts and emotions

How to Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie- This classic self-help book teaches readers how to form strong relationships and communicate effectively.

The Defining Decade

By Meg Jay - This book offers practical advice for navigating adulthood's challenges and making the most of your twenties.

The Artist's Way

This book will help you unleash your creativity and live a more fulfilling life which is written by Julia Cameron

The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin - This memoir details the author's year-long quest to become happier and offers practical tips for readers to do the same.

The Four Agreement

This book outlines four principles for living a fulfilling life: be truthful, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best which is written by Don Miguel Ruiz


Oct 11, 2022

10 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once 📚

I’ve read easily over 300 books in the last 6+yrs, many multiple times, and here are 10 of my favorites that I think everyone should read/listen to at least once in their lives 📚 ________________________________

Top 10 Books

_____________________ 1. The Alchemist — Paulo Coelho (Teaches you to listen to the omens(spirit) and helps you see the signs that are always in this extremely great story)

2. Think & Grow Rich — Napoleon Hill (Written over multiple decades, my favorite human here teaches the secret to success is TRULY started with a thought. Everything ever created started with thought first)

3. The Tao Of Pooh — Benjamin Hoff (A fun, story-form, short book aimed at westerners to understand the ways of Taoism, a philosophy of life that teaches us to be happy/content in every scenerio, situated in the land of Winnie The Pooh)

4. Walden — Henry David Thoreau (A great philosophy book written in the 1800’s where one man ventures into the wilderness for multiple years and lives off the land and writes down his recordings as he questions life itself)

5. Walden 2 — B.F. Skinner (This storybook is about learning to think differently about how a culture/society/civilization should properly function, outside the “mainstream” way of thinking about how society should operate. Living in a created off-grid community, this philosopher gets questioned in every which way by his old colleagues)

6. Mans Search For Meaning — Viktor Frankyl (This true story of a psychologist who goes through the concentration camps during WW2 as a survivor who accounts for his experiences and notices how the psyche evolves. Frankyl gives us his best synthesis of how one should go about living the best life one can)

7. Ishmael — Daniel Quinn (This storybook is about a man and a talking, wise, ape who tells the story of humanity to the human from his point of view. Really makes you feel angry/sad at the way humans feel as the conquerors of Earth. Well worth the short read from a humanitarian standpoint)

8. Sapiens — Yuval Noah Harari (Although some may scrutinize the author for aiding Klaus Schwabb and his globalist elites, he is an extremely smart man. This book helps go over our evolutionary past from a very logical/scientific standpoint and makes you really think of things about ourselves (humans) that you may have never thought of before.)

9. Anything from ALAN WATTS (Alan Watts is one of the first, and arguably the best ever, philosopher entertainer. He speaks in such a charismatic/funny/romantic/engaging manor that makes the listener want to continue listening for hours on end. He speaks about truths of humanity, world religions, and how one should act in this mere existence we call life.)

10. How To Win Friends & Influence People — Andrew Carnegie (Carnegie was the steel industry mogul who started from nothing and became one of the world's 1st billionaires. This book written in the early-mid 1900’s is his account of how anyone can be liked, trusted, and counted on in business and in life)

Honorable mentions: The Emerald Tablets of Thoth , The Kybalion , The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari


Education starts after schooling ends.

Don’t forget to practice what you learn ☯️

Enjoy the day! 🙏🏼

What book(s) would you add to this list?

______________________________ ______________________________


I can’t stress this enough! Be extremely vigilant and aware of every link you click, every transaction you make, and every person you interact with, as scammers are plentiful in the space, and rugs get pulled from even the best-looking of projects.

Triple-check all links before you click them and make sure they’re the official link you’re seeking. Also, triple-check all wallet address’s before sending anything valuable to yourself or someone else.

Twitter Discord YouTube TikTok Instagram Spotify Podcast LinkedIn Email: [email protected] Please support me and my growing family by sending Polygon Matic to this Eth address, or Eth Tokens 🙏🏼 0xB53B3978333e11C382ab619F02f469a8C70750aF


Thanks for reading :]

Cheers, Ty, aka “The Dude”

Some Other Blog Posts By Me: 5 Downfalls of Web3 5 + 5 Tactics For A Better Discord Crypto 101: A Beginners Guide Top 5 NFT Best Practices (Marketing & Community Growth) Web3 Basics Alternative Utility Cases For NFT’s

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Used, New, and Out of Print Books - We Buy and Sell - Powell's Books

A few months back, one of our customers sent us a special request for a list of 10 books we felt everyone absolutely must read in his or her lifetime. The question intrigued us and we immediately launched into a heated debate. Should the Bible be on the list? No text has influenced Western culture more, but might it be equally important to read the Koran or the Torah for a more enlightened worldview? Shakespeare seemed like a given, but how to choose between Hamlet and The Sonnets , between A Midsummer Night's Dream and King Lear ? And what of lesser-known works — things like The Rings of Saturn or Bluets or No-No Boy or The Book of Disquiet ? How could we whittle down our list to just 10 books? As it turns out, we couldn't. We posed the question to our fellow book-savvy colleagues and, after receiving some 1,400 nominations(!) and putting it to a vote, we ultimately settled on 25 titles. Instead of worrying so much about what had to be included, we opted to present a collection of books that has the ability to change the way you think and feel and reflects our diverse interests here at Powell's. We hope you enjoy our suggestions.

2666 Book by Roberto Bolaño

by Roberto Bolaño

Completed in 2003 shortly before his death, 2666 is not only Roberto Bolaño's masterpiece but also one of the finest and most important novels of the 21st century. It's an entire world unto itself, one — not unlike our own — filled with horror, neglect, depravity, brilliance, and beauty. Epic in scope and epitomizing the "total novel," 2666 fuses many different genres and styles to create a singular and unforgettable work of contemporary fiction. While Bolaño's swan song marked the pinnacle of a sadly truncated literary career, his immense talent, creativity, and vision endure. – Jeremy G.

All about Love Book by bell hooks

All About Love

by bell hooks

We're taught to think of love as something that happens to us. It's a magical but altogether passive experience. In her deeply personal and emphatic All About Love , renowned social activist and feminist bell hooks asserts that, in fact, love is a choice we must all make and it's not nearly as abstract or elusive as many of us have come to believe. The book not only explores the role of love in our lives and the ways our culture has distorted its meaning, but guides us — with clear definitions and examples — toward a better understanding of how to cultivate it. If you've ever wondered why some relationships stand the test of time while others crumble, you should read this book. – Renee P.

Desert Solitaire Book by Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire

by Edward Abbey

No author encapsulated and celebrated the American Southwest more engagingly than iconoclast and raconteur Edward Abbey. Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness — now nearly a half-century old — is a classic of environmental writing. In this autobiographical work, Abbey chronicles his time as a park ranger and reflects on landscape, culture, politics, tourism, environmental disregard, and degradation — doing so with a unique blend of ornery charm and breathtaking description. Though set in his beloved Southwest, Desert Solitaire beautifully and brashly captures the essence of the American outdoors, replete with disdain for those who'd seek to spoil its natural wonder. – Jeremy G.

Disgrace Book by J. M. Coetzee

by J. M. Coetzee

One afternoon while talking with a friend about books, I wondered how to best describe my experience of reading Disgrace , and this is what I came up with: it's like a finely crafted, very sharp knife resting gently against your skin. The uneasiness and suspense are there from the beginning, made all the more powerful by Coetzee's control and use of spare language, and you never really take a deep breath until it's all over. Set in modern South Africa, the book explores what it's like to personally confront deep prejudices. Prejudices of gender, sexuality, class, and race. Far from being a politically correct diatribe, this novel is about how we cope, how we survive as humans, and it forces the reader to reflect upon what seems at first a very twisted reality. For each of the characters in this astonishing novel, redemption is attained through what becomes the very reshaping of their souls. – Rebecca

Geek Love Book by Katherine Dunn

by Katherine Dunn

This is the book I recommend more than any other — I can barely hold onto a copy of it because I am always giving it away to anyone who I think needs something that will blow the top of their skull off. On one level, it is the engaging, creepy, and extraordinary story of a family of purposely designed circus freaks, as told by the hunchback albino dwarf sister. On another level, it is a story about identity and belonging: How do you define yourself in terms of your family? Your culture? Your body? Your religion? How do you know what or who you really are? – Lizzy A.

Gilead Book by Marilynne Robinson

by Marilynne Robinson

Set in 1956, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead is a letter from the elderly Reverend John Ames to his very young son. Ames has lived all of his life in Gilead, Iowa, and the novel delves into the history of the area through the characters of Ames's father and grandfather — also ministers, but deeply divided on ideas such as pacifism, duty, and the abolitionist movement. And eventually, when John Ames Boughton, Ames's namesake and godson, returns to Gilead, he brings up old tensions and sets events in motion that disturb Ames's formerly peaceful last days. Gilead is one of the most beautifully written books of the new century thus far, and Robinson's incredibly insightful grappling with faith, mortality, and what constitutes a meaningful life will resonate with readers across every spectrum. – Jill O.

Giovanni's Room Book by James Baldwin

Giovanni's Room

by James Baldwin

It would be difficult to talk about James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room and not touch on the simple fact that this slim novel, published in 1956, is mainly a love story between two men. It seems impossible to think such a thing could be published pre-Stonewall, but such is the genius of Baldwin and the way he captures the complexities of desire, love, and the tragic cost that comes from not following your heart. "Somebody…should have told us that not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished…for the lack of it." This emotional wonder of a book comes down to two things: love and death. And really, what else is there in life? – Kate F.

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories Book by Flannery O'Connor

A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories

by Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor's first short story collection, written in 1955, will knock you off your feet. Ruthless, penetrating, and loaded with subtext, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories was brave for its time and feels just as consequential today. Writing in the Southern Gothic tradition in a style wholly her own, O'Connor creates characters that are misguided, stunted curiosities, but she manages to capture what's human in even the most despicable of people — which makes their doomed trajectories feel all the more tragic. And despite the disturbing events that unfold, the stories are a pleasure to read — they're infused with suspense, dark humor, and some of the most evocative imagery you'll encounter in literature. All this makes for a collection that never ceases to amaze — and begs to be reread. – Renee P.

The Handmaid's Tale Book by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Atwood's classic dystopian novel of a terrifying (and terrifyingly plausible) future America has rewarded rereading like no other book; I've probably read it 30 times by now. The world of the narrator, Offred (from "Of Fred" — women no longer have their own names), is chilling, but she is a magnificent survivor and chronicler, and the details of everything from mundane daily life to ritualized sex and violence to her reminiscences of the time before (our contemporary reality, as seen in the '80s) are absolutely realistic. The novel is as relevant today as ever; feminist backlashes continue to wax and wane, but women's rights remain in the spotlight. And despite its scenarios of great despair, The Handmaid's Tale is ultimately a hopeful book — Offred, and others, simply cannot be human without the possibility of hope, and therein lies the strength of the resistance. All of Atwood is worth reading, but this book best exemplifies the cultural and psychological impact that a work of fiction can create. – Jill O.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Book by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

Parodying practically every well-worn sci-fi plot device in existence, Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has become a classic in its own right. A hapless hero with astonishing luck? Ill-tempered aliens hell-bent on destroying Earth? Pithy advice (e.g., "DON'T PANIC")? Check, check, and check — and so much more. Even non–sci-fi geeks will be charmed by this hilarious and endlessly entertaining read, with (of course) sequels following. – Jen C.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Book by Italo Calvino

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

by Italo Calvino

For those with an amorous affair with books, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler may well be the ultimate love letter to the reader. Calvino's novel is a masterfully created, startlingly unique work of fiction. Told alternately in second- and third-person narratives, the book is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the author and the reader — weaving together seemingly unrelated tales, all of which relate directly to you, the reader. At its core is an ingenious concept the likes of which could have only come from the unparalleled imagination of Calvino. By the time you reach its dazzling conclusion, you'll be wishing you could somehow read it again for the very first time. – Jeremy G.

Infinite Jest Book by David Foster Wallace

Infinite Jest

by David Foster Wallace

Infinite Jest is unique; it was bred in the optimism and new frontiersmanship of the dot-com 1990s but was simultaneously an early omen of where we are today. It looks into our present beyond what were only horizons when it was written: the tensions of a global economy, the opiate of on-demand entertainment, the near-impossible pursuit of greatness in a winner-take-all society. Tennis phenoms struggle in an absurdly demanding academy and recovering addicts search for something strong enough to help them through, all while a cadre of legless Quebecois assassins search for a movie so entertaining that they plan to use it as a weapon. At turns madcap and heart-wrenching, this is the tour-de-force novel of the forces that have shaped our new millennium and will likely continue shaping it for decades to come. – Tye P.

The Left Hand of Darkness Book by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Not only is The Left Hand of Darkness a masterpiece of ideas, invention, and language, but it takes conventional assumptions about gender and grinds them into a fine, powdery dust. Published in 1969, the book won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards and went on to become one of the keystones of science fiction. It tells the story of an ethnologist sent to another planet, but it is Le Guin's powers of imagination that turn The Left Hand of Darkness into something truly transcendent. – Mary Jo S.

Lolita Book by Vladimir Nabokov

by Vladimir Nabokov

Why should everyone read a book about a pedophile's obsessive and frankly gross relationship with a little girl? Because if you are a reader — a lover of words, puns, witticisms, metaphors, and allusions — Lolita is a literary masterpiece that can't be passed over in a fit of queasy morality. Humbert Humbert, the novel's unreliable narrator, knows that he's a despicable pervert and yet the reader can't help enjoying him as he surveys post-war America and little Lolita with the droll, cynical eye of a European expat adrift in a tawdry nation, and stuck irrevocably — and irredeemably — in the memory of an adolescent love affair. Please, ignore the critics: Lolita isn't a morality tale and it isn't a love story. It's an unabashed look at a deviant mind written in some of the most deft and beautiful English ever published. – Rhianna W.

Man's Search for Meaning Book by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning

by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning is like nothing you've ever read before. The first half of the book depicts Dr. Frankl's four years losing everything in concentration camps — a description so hellish, it leaves you desolate. Shattered by his Holocaust experiences, Frankl struggles to survive after he is freed. In the second half of the book, Frankl shows how that period of his life informs and develops his theory of "logotherapy" — he asserts that life is about finding meaning, what is meaningful to each individual. As excruciating as his experiences are, Frankl's theory is full of love; he is able to find redemption for himself and others. This book is beautifully life-changing. – Dianah H.

Maus Book by Art Spiegelman

by Art Spiegelman

The twofold brilliance of Art Spiegelman's groundbreaking, autobiographical Maus is the graphic novel's lack of sentimentality and Spiegelman's self-portrait as a secondhand Holocaust survivor. The Holocaust is a widely used trope in Jewish American writing and although Spiegelman treats the subject with the compassion and historical sensitivity it merits, Maus avoids the themes of victimization and historical exceptionalism that render much Holocaust literature precious and insulated from the present. Instead, Spiegelman gives his characters the dignity of fully fleshed, complicated personalities and shows — in sometimes painful and unappealing ways — how his parents' Holocaust seeped into his childhood and haunts his being. – Rhianna W.

Never Let Me Go Book by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is the kind of book that captures you so completely you find yourself reading it at work with the book covering your keyboard, hoping no one notices but also not really caring if you get fired. It's a subtle sci-fi story about youth, freedom, and a lot of other good stuff — too much more about the plot might take something away from the magical, transformative experience of reading it. Instead, I will say that the honest way Never Let Me Go deals with love and disappointment makes it a book that anyone who ever plans to love another person should probably read immediately. – Lizzy A.

A People's History of the United States Book by Howard Zinn

A People's History of the United States

by Howard Zinn

While some of the revelations contained within this classic by Howard Zinn have become familiar since the nearly 35 years after it was published (thanks in part to this book), it is to this day an astonishing and eye-opening read. Several revisions later, it remains a seminal work, in stark contrast to the whitewashed (pun intended) American history most of us learned by rote in school. It's regretful with Zinn's passing in 2010 that new revisions have ceased for future generations to discover. – Jen C.

The Phantom Tollbooth Book by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of Milo, a very bored boy who comes home one day to find a magical tollbooth in his room. When Milo drives his car through the tollbooth gate, he finds himself in the Lands Beyond, a country inhabited by living language in the forms of animals, magicians, royalty, mountains, seas, and cities. From Tock the Watchdog to the listless region of The Doldrums, Milo shakes off boredom as he pursues the kidnapped Princesses Rhyme and Reason and restores peace to the Lands (currently in the clutches of the warring princes, Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis, along with a pack of demons). What sets The Phantom Tollbooth apart from other wonderful swashbuckling middle-readers is that it's also about the transformative power of language: open a book (or drive through a "tollbooth") and even the dreariest day dissolves into the din and glory of adventure. – Rhianna W.

Poems Book by Elizabeth Bishop

by Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop's poetry is dearly loved amongst her fans but perhaps not as well-known as it should be; for one of America's towering talents of the 20th century, she is not read nearly as much as Eliot or Whitman, or even cummings. That may be in part because of her relatively slim output — this volume of all her poetic works clocks in at only 368 pages. But the care she took with her poetry is evident; every word is perfectly chosen, none wasted or missing. Her work is fiercely intelligent, poignant, surprising, plainspoken, and wrought from imagery both familiar and extraordinary. A must-read for anyone who is interested in poetry, language, or indeed literature at all, Bishop's Poems speaks deeply to what makes us human. – Jill O.

Slaughterhouse-Five Book by Kurt Vonnegut


by Kurt Vonnegut

What Kurt Vonnegut set out to do was write a book about war, and in particular the firebombing of Dresden in World War II. What he ended up doing was writing clean around it — traveling in and out of time warps, bouncing on and off the earth, sometimes setting down on the planet Tralfamadore, millions of miles away from Dresden and millions of miles away from war. What he created was a masterpiece of satire in which every crazy, clever moment, every whimsical line, no matter how deceptively light, is imbued with the sorrow and the starkness of the atrocity Vonnegut himself witnessed in that very real war. – Gigi L.

Things Fall Apart Book by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe

Before Things Fall Apart was published in 1958, few novels existed in English that depicted African life from the African perspective. And while the book has paved the way for countless authors since, Chinua Achebe's illuminating work remains a classic of modern African literature. Drawing on the history and customs passed down to him, Achebe tells the tale Okonkwo, a strong-willed member of a late-19th-century Nigerian village. As we follow Okonkwo's story, we get a glimpse of the intricacies of village life and the complex social structures that come into play. We then see the devastating effects of European colonization on the region and on Okonkwo himself, whose rise and fall become intertwined with the changing power dynamics. Things Fall Apart is essential reading for anyone who wants a more nuanced understanding of other ways of life, of culture clashes, of what being civilized really entails. – Renee P.

To Kill a Mockingbird Book by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

While To Kill a Mockingbird is a favorite book of pretty much everyone who has read it, it's important to remember that it continues to be subversive and challenging to the status quo. The protagonist is a young girl named Scout and except for her father, all the main characters in the book are marginalized by the power structure of their town — a structure that still exists nearly everywhere — where wealthy white men control the lives of everyone else, and even the members of that group who want to use their status for something honorable, like Scout's father Atticus, cannot win against the flattening wave of that power. Until something about that structure really changes, this book will remain required reading for every person in America. – Lizzy A.

Where the Wild Things Are Book by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

We all hold our favorite childhood books dear, but there's a reason Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most beloved picture books of all time. Of course it's about Maurice Sendak's whimsy, his spare poetry, his imagination. Of course it's about his impeccably detailed illustrations, depicting the beauty of a night of wild rumpus and the elegant fiendishness of wild things who gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes. But mostly I think it's because underneath the boundless (yet beautifully bounded) inventiveness of Sendak's world, we see — and remember — exactly what it is to be a child. – Gigi L.

Where the Wild Things Are Book by Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

by Haruki Murakami

Known for his beautiful, haunting, lyrical, and — at times — funny surrealistic stylings, Haruki Murakami is one of the most beloved Japanese authors in the Western world. Although infused with the pop culture of the West, his writing remains at its core firmly rooted in Japan. And as modern as his style is, his work draws upon the country's past while delving deep into the Japanese psyche. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is pure Murakami — a vast, enchanting mystery filled with dreamlike surrealism. Considered by many to be his best work, the novel tackles themes as varied as the nature of consciousness, romantic disappointment, and the lingering wounds of World War II. Readers will eagerly want to unravel this intricate, multi-layered tale. – Jen C.

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Best Nonfiction Books

ten books everyone should read

New and Notable

This section features recently released books that are worth your attention.

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday Print  |  eBook  |  Audiobook

Ultralearning by Scott Young Print  |  eBook  |  Audiobook

10 Best Nonfiction Books of All-Time

This is my list of the 10 best nonfiction books. These are the pillar books that have helped shape my thinking and approach to life. In my opinion, these are 10 nonfiction books everyone should read. They are listed here in no particular order.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Print  |  eBook  |  Audiobook Read my summary of this book »

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari Print | eBook | Audiobook Read my summary of this book »

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer Print | eBook | Audiobook

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman Print | Audiobook

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond Print  |  eBook  |  Audiobook Read my summary of this book »

Manual for Living by Epictetus Print | Audiobook Read my summary of this book »

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini Print | eBook

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Print | eBook | Audiobook

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking Print | Audiobook

The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield Print | Audiobook

This is Water by David Foster Wallace Print | eBook | Audiobook Read my summary of this book »

The Best Nonfiction Books by Category

In addition to the top 10 nonfiction books listed above, I have put together more specific book recommendations by category. The top one or two books in each category are listed at the beginning of each page. Simply click the links below to check them out.

Or, browse all book recommendations .

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The 29 best business books to read in 2023, ranked by Goodreads members

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Whether you're a small business owner , entrepreneur, or just someone seeking useful career advice, there are many great books to turn to. Business books can provide psychological concepts for better negotiation skills , personal anecdotes to avoid repeating mistakes, or self-help tips to improve productivity. 

To find the best ones, we turned to Goodreads, the world's largest platform to rate and review books. Among the highest ranking are classics like " How to Win Friends and Influence People " as well as newer memoirs like " Shoe Dog ." From fascinating leadership reads to analytical management books, here are the best business books to read in 2023.

29. "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.29

This productivity book is a necessary business read as it teaches readers how to transform the way we work by de-stressing and organizing. Believing that a relaxed mind is most effective, David Allen presents realistic productivity systems and the ways in which we can implement them.

28. "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.29

Originally published in 1949 by the "father of value investing," "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham delivers realistic financial advice for individuals and businesses looking to grow their wealth. Far from principles that guarantee you'll become a millionaire, this book encourages readers to create practical goals and find success in any size a victory.

27. "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg

ten books everyone should read

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $12.60

"Lean In" sparked global conversation after its publication in 2013 because of its honesty about the experiences of women in business. This book encourages women to be voracious, courageous, and strong-willed at work in order to not only help themselves but improve the future for upcoming businesswomen.

26. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.94

With over one million ratings on Goodreads, this book is a biography of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. Walter Isaacson conducted more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs and 100 interviews with family, friends, and colleagues to create an all-encompassing portrait of a man who revolutionized technology with his inventiveness.

25. "The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business" by Josh Kaufman

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.99

Written for those who cannot or don't intend to go to business school, "The Personal MBA" outlines the fundamental principles of business for people at any stage of their business career. With lessons on sales, marketing, negotiation, and strategy, this self-help read offers an overview of many business school topics to help readers master the MBA basics. 

24. "Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed Catmull

ten books everyone should read

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.69

Drawing on his experiences as a co-founder and president of Pixar Animation, Ed Catmull unveils some deeply ingrained processes and beliefs that have made Pixar so successful. His teams' philosophies can be applied to any business, creatively driven or otherwise.

23. "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable" by Patrick Lencioni

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $15

In this leadership fable, a CEO attempts to unite a team under high stakes discovering along the way why even the greatest teams struggle. If this style of business book interests you, Patrick Lencioni also wrote "The Five Temptations of a CEO" and "Death by Meeting" in the same form.

22. "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.99

Brothers Chip and Dan Heath use different business theories in this book to analyze the "stickiness" of an idea, or what makes some ideas work so well. They draw from successful and unsuccessful business ventures to help readers discover the principles within great ideas and therefore how to make their own ideas stick.

21. "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

ten books everyone should read

Available at Bookshop , from $18.59

In this business book, authors Kim and Mauborgne assert that lasting success does not come from fighting direct competition in a small pool but rather from creating "blue oceans" or untapped market spaces where new growth can bloom. They outline strategic principles and tools that readers can translate to nearly any market and master their niche. 

20. "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.49

Over a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, authors Collins and Porras studied the habits of 18 successful and long-lasting companies in direct comparison to their competitors. "Built to Last" lays out the tactics, habits, and ideas from these successful businesses that managers and entrepreneurs can apply to their own and inspire new success. 

19. "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $16.99

"Influence" is a psychology book about persuasion, dubbed a business read by Goodreads reviewers for its usefulness in management, marketing, and communications. This book teaches the readers six principles of persuasion, how to apply them, and how to know when they're being used against you.

18. "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

"The Power of Habit" argues that habits are the key to success in business, communities, and our personal lives. Through an analysis of human nature and examples from successful business people, athletes, and leaders, this book demonstrates how mastering powerful habits can change our entire lives. 

17. "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.99

"Freakonomics" is a fascinating read that questions the ways we've conventionally understood the world functions and offers a way to question what we've assumed is conventional wisdom. Loved for its thought-provoking nature, this economics and business read separates morality from economics and asserts such as a system of incentives to get people what they want or need. 

16. "Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike" by Phil Knight

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.08

"Shoe Dog" might be a memoir, but Goodreads users love Phil Knight's focus on his success in business as he grew his company from $50 into the Nike empire. Knight's story brings readers into the details of the company's growth, the challenges he faced as a leader, and the breakthroughs he experienced.

15. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.71

Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author best known for his nonfiction writing on psychology and sociology. In this psychology read, Gladwell analyses the "outliers" of the world — the best, the highest-achieving, the most famous people — to find what made them different and, thus, so successful. If you enjoy Gladwell's clear writing style and fascinating perspectives, you can check out his other popular books here . 

14. "Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It" by Chris Voss

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.97

Written by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, this business book transforms the psychology of interrogation into civilian-applicable negotiation tactics, such as skills you might need while discussing a raise or navigating interpersonal conflict . Using emotional and behavioral sciences, this book is about gaining trust, discovering motives, and understanding those around us. Voss also teaches a MasterClass on the same subject .

13. "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.99

12. "The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It" by Michael E. Gerber

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $15.29

The "e-myth" is the entrepreneurial idea that people who start small businesses are entrepreneurs and anyone with technical business understanding can start one. In this book, Michael E. Gerber analyzes assumptions, expectations, and misconceptions around starting a small business in the hope that readers can succeed on their own.

11. "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don't" by James C. Collins

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.49

In this business book, James C. Collins analyzes what makes a company "great" and how good companies can achieve enduring success. He used a team of 21 researchers to develop his theories and back each principle with grounded statistics.

10. "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.99

With over 735,000 ratings, "The Tipping Point" is a business favorite of Goodreads members, helping readers understand when a good idea crosses the threshold to becoming a business or a product. Beloved for Malcolm Gladwell's concise and digestible writing style, this book uses sociology to analyze the personality types of business leaders, indicators that past trends would become massive, and interviews with great business people to find the traits of the next great idea.

9. "Rework" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

ten books everyone should read

"Rework" strives to be different from any other business book on the market by taking traditional business advice and analyzing how to work smarter for faster results. It approaches standard business principles from a new angle, highlighting the typical challenges and helping readers stay one step ahead.

8. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert T. Kiyoskai

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $6.82

Robert T. Kiyosaki is a millionaire businessman who grew up with two dads — his own, and his best friend's father (the "rich dad"). In this business and finance book, Kiyosaki explains how his two dads shaped his view of money and investing and gives the readers advice on how to invest and grow their money.

7. "The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben Horowitz

ten books everyone should read

Filled with personal anecdotes and advice "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" analyzes some of the most challenging issues entrepreneurs may face while building a business such as firing a friend, managing bad employees, deciding whether or not to sell your company, and managing your own mind as a leader. Readers love this book for Horowitz's brutal honesty and his perspective as he writes to current and future CEOs as a CEO himself. 

6. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen R. Covey

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $12.26

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" is a self-help book that uses seven principles to help readers streamline their personal and professional lives toward success. Inspirational and practical, these habits use psychological reasoning to determine our goals, focus on reaching them, and maintain positive thinking throughout the process.

5. "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action" by Simon Sinek

ten books everyone should read

Simon Sinek is an inspirational speaker whose book encourages leaders to articulate why their business exists, their idea is great, and their movement is necessary. When people lead with "why," it is easier to lead and inspire.

4. "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.99

Based on a series of lectures given at Princeton University on entrepreneurship, Timothy Ferriss' business book is essentially about how to life-hack your business and when it is the appropriate time to make these moves, from outsourcing certain tasks to implementing new management principles. He also encourages entrepreneurs to break out of the 9-5 mold in order to become more well-rounded business people.

3. "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

ten books everyone should read

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.60

This 1936 psychology book has become a business staple, necessary in understanding how to lead or manage a team. With principles on how to get people to like you, win people to your way of thinking, and change people without making them hate you, this popular book has sold over 15 million copies. 

2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries

ten books everyone should read

Written to help more budding entrepreneurs create successful start-ups, "The Lean Startup" introduces a clear and dynamic approach for businesses to test, analyze, and continually adapt their vision and goals rather than fail by sticking to an original business plan. Both inspirational and validating for readers, this business book demonstrates first why conventional business plans can cause start-ups to fail and then offers advice and wisdom that can be applied to nearly any new business.  

1. "Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" by Peter Thiel

ten books everyone should read

Peter Thiel is a billionaire investor and entrepreneur, a co-founder of PayPal and Founders Fund. In "Zero to One," he aims to help readers find unique opportunities for progress in an already advanced business space, incorporating his optimistic view of future entrepreneurs' ideas.

Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals. You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .


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