I am so lucky. Because I am an educator, I have had the pleasure (in some cases) to read texts over and over again. In order to effectively teach these texts, I have to have a deep understanding of the plot and characters in any given semester. Just this morning I was thinking about the texts that I read over as an adult. Some were wildly different the second or third time around. I know that your book club will probably want to kill you for suggesting some of these titles, but just trust me. If you haven’t read these even a first time, you have been missing out. Here are my top three must-read picks!
If you think this book is about some green monster in a sports jacket, you may have been watching too much Scooby Doo. This book is an absolute masterpiece. If you haven’t read it, get to your local library or book store and get it. Because of some of my own preconceived notions, I shied away from this text. I believed that it would be some kind of horror book like a Stephen King novel and that’s just not my style. Although it does incorporate some sci-fi elements, the book itself is about society’s perceptions. At least that was my take away. The text documents the heart wrenching experience of being judged, feared, and rejected because of one’s appearance. I can think of no better time in history to read this text. If you don’t find yourself sobbing at the end, you have no soul.
If you are going to tell me how much you loved the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, I’m just going to pretend that I didn’t hear you. Yes, it had all the glitz and glam that one would want in a completely useless version of the story. When I read this book in college, I felt I could understand the sting of unrequited love a bit. As an adult, I was left with a much deeper understanding of the crippling despair that permeated the story. The confining nature of social class is simply too terrifying to ignore in this novel. It asks us to take a hard look at the choices we make in life to belong, to maintain our social status, and to appear in a certain manner to the outside world. It’s an easy read in terms of page numbers and language, but this book has all the feels.
If you find yourself absolutely terrified about the direction our society has taken, this is a must read. In this eerie tale of government control, big brother is always watching and listening. The idea of a distracted society consumed with fun and entertainment will send chills up your spine as you parallel the experience to our world. While reading it in college, I found it bizarre and confusing at times, but as an adult I was able to understand so much more. Bradbury doesn’t disappoint in this terrifying account of government takeover in a novel that was way ahead of its time.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of all of the fantastic classics out there, but if you are looking for a read that you can really sink your teeth into, these texts are a great place to start! What other classics have you read as an adult? I would love to hear your suggestions.