1. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis
Religious allegory aside, there are a lot of layers to this series that aren’t immediately apparent when you first read them at 10 years old, it’s well worth the re-read to see how much your own perspective has changed.
2. “Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth
If you studied this in school—or even if you didn’t—it’s time to read it again. A beautiful, lyrical piece about solitude and living in the moment.
3. “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling
Relive the magic! Does more need to be said?
4. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
A phenomenal, but depressing, dystopian novel.
5. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
Beautifully written book that needs to be re-read during your 20s to truly appreciate the subtle depths mixed with the ongoing soap opera plot.
8. “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce
If you’re feeling brave, give this another shot. Like many other books assigned to us in our teens, this book is so complex that it begs to be re-read over and over again.
9. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
It’s a classic, beckons us back to remember our childhood, and is truly a wicked trippy book. Enjoy.
10. “Crown Duel” by Sherwood Smith
We adored this book as a pre-teen and the mix of girl-power practicality and a magical land makes this book a keeper. Never let the genre label of a book keep you from delving back in.
11. “The Hero and the Crown” / “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley
McKinley is an underrated author, partly due to the slow starts to her books. But the level of intricate detail is beautiful and by the end you’ll be wishing the book would never end. You ride that horse, girlfriend!
12. “Beauty” by Robin McKinley
We’ve read this book countless times, as we’re always and forever a sucker for Beauty and the Beast derivatives. It’s a quick and delightful read, so delve in on a rainy afternoon and you won’t be disappointed.
13. “The Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale
This book smacks of a fairy tale, but it’s one of the best books—EVER. So we demand that you read it, buy it, cherish it, and share the love with your friends. There are sequels, but this one is by far the best.
14. “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf
Questions of male power, wealth, fame, the future, etc. A good read during a time when we are figuring ourselves out and finding our own paths.
15. “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath
Similar to Woolf, as countless others have made that connection. But still a good read asking the same questions of what it means and feels like to find our own way in high school, or college, or post college.
16. “The Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonflight,” “Dragonquest,” and “The White Dragon,” by Anne McCaffrey
These books are a classic science-fiction/fantasy series and they’re books from which other similar books are derived from. Read them until they’re worn and dog-eared, and then read them again. There are multiple sequels, but these three are the original. Welcome to the land of Pern, darlings.
17. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
Revisit this classic, just released in theaters, tale of utopian dissatisfaction with Literally Darling’s book club in August.
18. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
Essentially, a story about a daughter trying to save her father while battling malevolent forces of the universe.
19. “The Inferno” by Dante Alighieri
Kind of hard to believe they even put this on a high school syllabus. Dark, existential and thought-provoking, there is always something new to take away from Dante’s epic poem.
20. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
You’ll be hard pressed to look around society today or watch another reality TV show after reading this book and not think twice about where the world is going. It’s a phenomenal societal commentary that predicted the future in many ways and warns of the dangers of ignorance, gluttony, and greed.