Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Back-to-School Freebie: Ten Books for Required Reading

Back to School Freebie: Ten Books for Required Reading
(for higher education)

I've done something like this before, but I didn't look at my previous list; therefore, I am sure I came up with some different books this second time around.  So you understand, I have a bent toward Western-Civ, and if you're in my classroom, there's a lot of traditional Westernized-classic lit and history going on here.  


Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Stowe gives everyone in America a good scolding 
over slavery and Christianity.

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
The most important WWI fiction you should read.

Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion - Jane Austen
Either one will do.

Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The War and Peace of the American Civil War Era.

Far From the Madding Crowd or Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy
Hardy wanted to be a poet.  You can tell.

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Makes you want to read Russian lit.  

"The Crucible" - Arthur Miller
Yeah, why did Miller really write this, 
and why did he pick on the Puritans?

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
A joyous story about forgiveness and redemption.

The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
Just read Wharton.

1984 - George Orwell
One of the BEST in dystopian lit.


Germinal - Émile Zola
Dare to read this one.


Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Harriet Jacobs
Harriet Jacobs' amazing autobiography of determination 
to escape slavery and save her children.

The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass
Another autobiography from an ex-slave who stood up to injustice.

Up From Slavery - Booker T. Washington
Born into slavery, Washington went on to be a voice for freedom and liberty.

Walden - Henry David Thoreau
Maybe a little self-centered, but definitely an introspective, quiet book.

Confessions - Augustine
Augustine's life story about his struggle with sin and conviction.

Bonhoeffer - Eric Metaxas
WWII pastor and spy, accused of plotting to kill Hitler.  
Is it ever right for pastors to plot to kill?

The Four Voyages - Christopher Columbus
Everyone hates Columbus, and they don't even know why.  
That prejudice is based on lies.  

The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
A Russian soldier survives the Gulag and writes about it.

The Journals of Lewis and ClarkMeriwether Lewis & William Clark
Find out what it takes to run a tight ship.

Unbroken - Laura Hillenbrand
The true story about WWII hero, Louis Zamperini.


  1. Great list! I didn't realise how western-oriented my own list was until someone pointed it out. It's definitely something I think schools and colleges need to focus on more.

    Some great titles here. Remarque's book is probably my favourite, aside from the Austen, of course. He's definitely essential WWI-themed reading. :)

    1. Thanks!

      I think schools are moving away from the whole Western Civ idea b/c our world has gotten a lot smaller, and America (at least) has a lot more Eastern and African and even South American students today. So colleges are moving away from Western culture and society and developing curriculum to reflect more Eastern and African and Hispanic studies. So goodbye Dickens and Austen and Wharton and Stowe and the rest of them. Soon whole generations will have never read them, or heard of them.