Although the boost in technology has changed the way we conceive information once for all, old-school printed books remain the source of knowledge and wisdom for many people. Although literature is not considered as a subject of higher importance in schools, universities and colleges pay extra attention to literature studies. For example, the vast majority of American colleges oblige students to take courses that are related to literature and composition in general, regardless of their major. The importance of reading is acknowledged not only in the US, but all over the world as well. In this article, we are going to look through the list of books that students have to read regardless of what country they live in.
1. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
This classic literary piece is written in genre of novel and first saw the world in 1960. The author talks about topics of extreme importance in an effortless and uncontrived manner. The story is narrated from a child’s perspective, which allows grown-up readers to look at the issues of racial discrimination, presumption of innocence, biracial relationship, and many other, at an unbiased, fresh angle. Atticus Finch, one of the main characters of this novel, became the classic image of hero who puts justice and equality on the first place regardless of race and social position of any person. This book influences young minds in amazing way inspiring them to treat people with all the dignity despite their looks and any other factors except what’s on the inside.
2. George Orwell, 1984
The impact of this dystopian fiction, which by the way remains a bestseller till these days, is hard to overestimate. George Orwell showed us what would happen if people stopped appreciate human values, creativity, and uniqueness of every single person. Not only the author vividly describes us the awful consequences of war for the society, he also depicts the inner side of totalitarian politics regimen. No freedom of speech or thinking and orientation of the government towards creation a nation that is unable to have their own opinion or being informed about current affairs – these components of totalitarian state are just a cherry on top. This book teaches to value the world we live in today, despite all the flaws it has.
3. Jack London, Martin Eden
This groundbreaking novel was originally published in 1909, after being serialized in a magazine during 1908. It tells a story of a poor sailor called Martin, whose first priority in life is to reach the prestigious level of life and join the elite of society. The character of Martin is a great and very detailed depiction of proletarian person and all the struggles poor people faced those days (although, this plot is more than valid for modern reader). He quits sailing and gets another extremely hard job that lets him spend at least some time a day for self-education. This leads Martin to discovering his writing talent, and he starts seeking a career of famous writer. At first, publishers neglect his drafts and treat him with nothing but disrespect. Until the day, when he finally became noticed and published in all countries, he had remained a working-class person, a human of lower class in the minds of rich elite. However, after he turns into a famous writer and a member of “bohemian artists” group, the bourgeois start seeking his attention and giving him all their respect and acknowledgement. If he would not write essays and papers that good, he would never become invited to the bourgeois parties and events. This novel depicts that a society does not value a human being itself; instead, it is only the fame and prestige that matter for rich people.
4. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter saga
We could not finish our booklist without mentioning this iconic series of fantasy novels. Do not let the magic-related part fool you – these books tell us valuable stories that teach us how to survive in a real harsh world without losing your dignity and self-respect. The themes of friendship, love, self-sacrificing, family, and self-determination are main topics that you will read about. Add to this wizards, magic battles and wizardry world, which is described to the tiniest details. Although these novels were initially targeted to a young adult audience, they actually are very popular amongst people of all ages and sexes. If you somehow missed at least one publication of this saga, we recommend getting to read it as soon as possible. Do not deprive yourself of pleasure and new information, especially when it is written in such an artistic and breathtaking way.
Beyond question, it is impossible to fit all the literary pieces that students have to read in one tiny list. However, we are totally sure that if started with these four, your willingness to read will not decrease any time soon.