10. The Things They Carried- Tim O’Brien
I had to read it for an American Lit class and ended up loving it, equal parts disturbing, enchanting, factual and fictional.
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude-Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Longest book on my list, but so worth it. One of the greats, shaped my reading and writing habits. So surreal yet very very real.
8. Good Morning, Midnight- Jean Rhys
No words can describe this book and what exactly it does to get under your skin. You can never understand the character and you can never understand why you can’t wash the filth away. Something about the book is primal and unclean.
7. The Martian Chronicles- Ray Bradbury
I read this in 8th grade, it was phenomenal to an adolescent boy. Everything on Mars seems like here but is so different much like life on TV is so different then how life is, as a boy I related to the martians more than the earthling.
6. Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
A lot of people like to compare this book and Orwell’s 1984, I understand why but I think people miss the point then. It’s not about how the future will be and how they differed but more on a reader’s personality. I tend to favor Brave New World just because it shows human nature at it’s core, selfish.
5. Slaughterhouse-Five- Kurt Vonnegut
My favorite author and his best work. No brainer. If you haven’t read it, read it now.
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde
One of the classics and one of the greats human study novels. This one concentrates on vanity and humans, specifically men (gay men if you read it in college). What if you could never age? What would you pay for that?
3. The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
Most people have to read it in high school, I never did and I’m thankful because I got to enjoy it at my own pace and not be forced to read it. It could be a beating with the right teacher. Holden will always be an idol of mine, he saw the world through a different prospective that I can still relate to.
2. The Hours- Micheal Cunningham
My favorite contemporary novel, his writing is phenomenal and all of his characters are fleshed out humans that you could pass on a street. Very moving, and one of the few movie/book combos that actual equal each other.
1. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald
It was always one of my favorite books but only after the third time I read it did it really sneak into first. It’s so artful and perfect and I just love it unconditionally, I live by the book. It will always be the greatest American novel, not because of Fitzgerald or because it shows the 20’s perfectly, but because it shows every period in America. People don’t change, they always strive to be better and always hurt people. Karma always comes back around and there will always be Gatsby’s and Daisy’s.