The Best 10 Books You NEED To Read According To An English Major
Entertainment

The Best 10 Books You NEED To Read According To An English Major

You kind of have to listen to me... I'm an English major.

384
Unsplash

As an English major, people are constantly asking me what I’m reading and what my favorite books are. I’ve read more books than I could even count at this point, and they cover a wide range from Victorian classics to cheesy, young adult fiction. No matter what genre you may prefer, I firmly believe that it’s important to just make sure you’re always reading. Here are my top 10 book recommendations from an English major (in no particular order):

1. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

This is my absolute favorite “coming-of-age” story in existence. It follows the life of quiet, awkward Charlie as he tries to navigate his future. His entire world flips upside down when he meets his carefree best friends, Sam and Patrick, and they show him different kinds of fun he had never know. I read this book at the time in my high school career when I really needed to read it, and I fell in love with everything that Charlie is. If you haven’t read this, pick it up, like, right now.

2. “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” by Ian Reid

This is actually the most recent book I have read, and it got added to the top 10 right away. Proceed with caution because it is low-key terrifying. It’s told from the point of view of a girl who is thinking of breaking up with her boyfriend, Jake, as they go on a road trip to his parents’ house. I can’t really say more than that without spoiling everything, but it’s the most scared I have ever been while reading. I had to put it down and breathe for a sec after every couple pages.

3. “In the Woods” by Tana French

This is a crazy-fun mystery novel I read this past summer. It’s about a detective, Rob Ryan, who solves a crime of a young girl who went missing in the woods. The plot twist, though, is that he was witness to a crime as a child in those same woods that he can’t remember one single detail about. The only thing the police know is that he was found alone with blood filling his socks and shoes. Pure craziness ensues…

4. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Ah, a classic. Call me the cliché of the English major, but this novel is the pinnacle of the love story. It follows the Bennet family, as their daughters look for love with the right men. It is a definite “chick flick” in a novel, but it’s also a hilarious satire on social class in the Victorian era. Every time I reread it, I wish a little harder for my own Mr. Darcy…

5. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare

Okay, I know. I’m literally the cliché, but what kind of English major reading list would this be without a little Willy Shakes? I know this is also not technically a book, but a play, however, the story reads all the same. I’m sure you know the plot already, but it tells the story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet as they try to figure out how to be together despite their insane family feud. Besides the plot, I really love this play because of Shakespeare’s gorgeous use of language. There are so many famous, quotable moments, and I literally get chills when I read them. If you haven’t read this, I’m judging you.

6. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green

Here we have another young adult, fictional work. John Green is most famous for his other amazing novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” but the story of Miles and his adventures at the boarding school, Culver Creek, is even more addicting. Alaska is one of my favorite characters in literature, and her relationships with other characters are written to perfection.

7. “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

This is kind of obscure for the novels I typically find myself wanting to read, but after reading it during my sophomore year of high school, I fell in love. It tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, who time travels through his whole life over and over again, and in no particular order. He has witnessed everything from his birth to his death, not forgetting about all of his other life events in between. So it goes.

8. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

If you haven’t read this novel, you absolutely must. I firmly believe that this is the novel everyone needs to read this novel before they die. It tells the story of the nameless, African-American narrator, as he travels through life trying to find his sense of self. His story is told through the characters he meets who bring him closer and farther from his true identity. It gives me chills all over again every time I think of it.

9. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Daisy! Nick! Gatsby! Parties! Ugh! After reading this novel, I firmly decided that if I ever get the opportunity to time travel, I’ll be going straight to the 1920s. This novel is told through Nick Carraway, as he tells of his experiences meeting the most incredible and wealthy Jay Gatsby. Plus, who doesn’t want a guy who throws crazy parties every weekend in hopes that you’ll show up to one? Ugh. Obsessed.

10. “Pretty Little Liars” by Sara Shepard

This was the first series I really remember loving when I was younger. It’s a million times better than the TV show, so definitely read it before you watch it. It tells the story of four girls who receive mysterious blackmail from an anonymous someone named “A” after one of their best friends goes missing. What do they know? Who is A? What will happen?! Read and find out!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments