Sure, books have been squeezed into little electronic devices and not many people read them anymore, but before you head to college, it will be important to brush up on the classics. Even if you are not getting your degree in English – maybe you are getting Northeastern’s online MBA degree – you want to have knowledge of some of the best novels ever written. Reading these books before college will make you more well read, thirsty for knowledge and you will be able to expand your vocabulary. What happens when you are in a conversation in college and one of these books come up? – You want to be able to join in and have an intellectual discussion. Here are five books you should read before college.
- This Side of Paradise
Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His books, like The Great Gatsby, perfectly summed up the Jazz Age. However, they can also teach us lessons about the future too. This Side of Paradise tells the story of a Princeton grad who realizes that his life on campus is completely different than the harsh reality outside. It’s a cautionary tale about finding one’s self in a modern world that all college students can relate to.
- Moby Dick
This is another one of those stories that is symbolic and metaphorical about our hunt for the proverbial “white whale.” Written by Herman Melville, Moby Dick is a classic if there ever was one, but when it first came out the novel was panned and taken out of print. Today, this hefty book is one of the most delightful reads and a must for anybody entering college for the very first time.
We live in a world now that George Orwell perfectly captured in his classic novel 1984. Written in 1949, the novel is a tale of a dystopian future wrought with anger, class warfare and surveillance. There is an element of paranoia and societal failure throughout. It sounds depressing, but its actually one of the most entertaining reads. Not only will the novel enlighten – it will also be a call to arms to start getting serious about our repercussions on the earth and society.
- Crime and Punishment
Written by Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment is a book that any young college hopeful will be able to appreciate. Of course, it deals with extreme themes of guilt and self-revulsion, but it can be an interesting case study of law and our unique place in society. While reading it, you will be transported into the strange and dark world of Raskolnikov and the terrible mistake he has made.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
Of course, you’ll also want to crack open One Hundred Years of Solitude, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The novel falls into the category of magical realism, which means that you’ll be reading about something totally grounded in reality and, all of a sudden, something magical and preternatural happens. In the end, the novel is a journey that you’ll want to stay on even after you finish the book.