Monthly Recommendations: required reading

Found here! This month’s topic is required reading, or books you think everyone should read! This is similar to a couple recent Top Ten Tuesday’s I’ve done, which you can read here and here!

I think required reading is a tricky thing, because on the one hand I think there are books everyone should read to become a well-rounded person. I think you should be exposed to as many ideas as possible, and one of the best ways to do that is through reading. BUT I feel like forcing people to read books can back-fire sometimes. I know there are books that if I’d been required to read them, I would have hated even though some of them are now my favourites. Nonetheless, here are books I think everyone should read at least once in their life!

(I have quite a few, please bear with me!)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

An important look at race in the US. Also great at starting discussions about racism and white privilege and reverse racism (which doesn’t exist!!!)

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A well-written, simple, and short exploration of feminism that makes it easy to understand and doesn’t point the blame at anyone.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Just really good??? No other reason really. I read it in high school and we had some great discussions about it.

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

An important look at friendship, loneliness, and finding yourself. Really spoke to me and lots of people I know.

Everyday by David Levithan

Has a really interesting exploration of love, gender, and sexuality. Also I think it’s important that people take YA seriously and I think this is a good one for that.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

A true account of life in extreme poverty in the US. Sososo good and sososo important. Another one that’s great at starting conversations!

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Also just really good? Would be a good required reading to engage boys TBH because I feel like a lot of required reading is geared towards teenage boys? Which is annoying because almost all the books I’ve read for required reading have been male-written and male-focused, but they don’t connect with teenage boys. So I think having a book to appeal to them would help more teenage boys be engaged in reading.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Explores mental health in a really good way. Hospitalization and medication are viable options!!!

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Just really good for starting discussions. Stay away from anyone who feels bad for/identifies with/excuses Humber Humbert.

Nothing by Janne Teller

Explores the age-old question of “how far would you go???” Disturbing but interesting and important.

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your required reads would be! xx

12 thoughts on “Monthly Recommendations: required reading

  1. This is a great list! We especially LOVE The Perks of Being a Wallflower! It is such a good read and would be an amazing choice for required reading for high schoolers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, that’s an interesting point about how much of the required reading doesn’t resonate with teen boys even though the authors and protagonists are male. I’d love to see a way to fix that in required school reading (along with getting more female and LGBTQ representation).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s something that’s always bothered me, because I feel like it shows there’s something wrong with the books we’re assigning? I would definitely like more books tailored to different people, and definitely more LGBTQ+ representation


      1. I never considered before how the boys in my classes felt. I knew I (as a half-Chinese half-white girl) never felt property included except in my sophomore year of high school. Even that class didn’t include much of anything for non-hetero sexuality, though. Granted, it was over 20 years ago now, too, so I mostly consider myself lucky that I got as much diversity as I did.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I totally understand! I went to a very white school, but my English teacher one year had us read a bunch of diverse books which I really appreciated! I thought it helped a lot in understanding different cultures and ideas and I wish that my later teachers had the same ideas but alas


  3. People have been telling me to read Kite Runner for years, and I feel like a bad reader for not picking it up at the library. Is it really amazing? Weekend goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed it, but that could also be because it was actually an interesting required read rather than a classic (if that makes sense). I think you should definitely read it at some point, but it doesn’t have to be at the top of your TBR!

      Liked by 1 person

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