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    Here Are 19 Books That Anyone Who Is Alive Must Read Once Before They Die

    So many books, not enough time...

    It's a new year and with a new year comes new resolutions! If you're anything like me, reading more books is probably on that list.

    Walt Disney Studios

    Recently, while I was perusing, I came across a thread that happened to be pretty useful for my exact New Year's resolution!

    The WB

    Reddit user u/SuggestionMD asked the Redditverse, "Which books should a person read at least once in their life?" I know that I, for one, am adding a lot of these titles to my bullet journal.

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    Here are some of the best responses:

    1. The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

    Random House

    What it's about: This novel is renowned scientist Carl Sagan's attempt at explaining the scientific method to laypeople and encourage us to think critically and skeptically.

    Why you should read it: "This book literally, and I mean that very word, changed my life. I have never been the same since reading it about five years ago. It led me, kicking and screaming, out of poor thought methods." —powerglover81

    Poignant quote: “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: if we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

    2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    Bantam Classics

    What it's about: After the wrongfully imprisoned Edmond Dantès escapes prison and finds a hidden treasure left by another prisoner, he sets out on a journey of revenge to find the men who wronged him.

    Why you should read it: "It is full of strong emotions, and makes you question the true meaning of justice." —Aloysiusakamud

    Poignant quote: "All human wisdom is contained in these two words — wait and hope."

    3. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing

    What it's about: This play follows a group of people who try to uphold fictitious personae to avoid various social obligations. This play truly is the definition of a farce.

    Why you should read it: "Reading plays is a great experience, plus this one is hilarious." —PoppedPopcornCass

    Poignant quote: "Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years."

    4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    The Russian Messenger

    What it's about: Rodion Raskolnikov is a poor ex-student living in St. Petersburg who formulates a plan to kill an awful pawnbroker for her money. Though, after the deed is done — and even though he intended to to good things with the money — he is wracked with guilt and feels morally compromised.

    Why you should read it: "Dostoevsky really knew how to write about inner workings of the mind." — ghostofhenryvii

    Poignant quote: "Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart."

    5. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

    Houghton Mifflin

    What it's about: This is a collection of short stories told by various platoon members on the battlefront during the Vietnam War.

    Why you should read it: "The thing that's so fascinating about this book is that you literally have no way of knowing if any of it is true or not, and the lines between fiction and reality are blurred." — boab_129

    Poignant quote: "But the thing about remembering is that you don't forget."

    6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Simon & Schuster

    What it's about: This novel explores the absurdity of war through the lives and experiences of Captain John Yossarian and his fellow soldiers who do everything possible to maintain their sanity while doing their military duties in order to return home.

    Why you should read it: "I absolutely hated this book and was so confused for about the first half, but then there's a single chapter halfway through that twists everything around and made me love the whole thing. I'm really glad I didn't give up on it." — SirNectarine

    Poignant quote: "It doesn't make a damned bit of difference who wins the war to someone who's dead."

    7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Chatto & Windus

    What it's about: This book explores the meaning of "utopia" and, through the characters of Bernard, John, Lenina, and Helmholtz, we come to learn the horrors that are in store for us when we prioritize "efficiency" over being human.

    Why you should read it: "Not only does it touch on class hierarchy — which is still present in most societies, either blatantly or subtly — but the book also delves into what happens when we strive for efficiency and forget about some of the most important aspects of what makes us human." — koalahugs1991

    Poignant quote: "I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly."

    8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

    Harper & Row

    What it's about: This novel tells the multigenerational story of the Buendía family and their patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, who founded the fictional town of Macondo where the story takes place.

    Why you should read it: "Each and every page is so beautiful." —Tippacanoe

    Poignant quote: "He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude."

    9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    Reynal & Hitchcock

    What it's about: After his plane crashes in the desert, a pilot comes to meet a little prince who tells him of his travels to various planets in search of the meaning of life.

    Why you should read it: "Every time I've read The Little Prince, I've gotten something profoundly new out of it. A masterwork." — VanFitz

    Poignant quote: "All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it."

    10. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

    Andrews McMeel Publishing

    What it's about: This collection of comics follows the humorous antics of the mischievous Calvin, a six-year-old boy, and Hobbes, his sardonic stuffed tiger.

    Why you should read it: "Funny, quaint, sometimes surprisingly deep and sometimes just a reminder of the importance of friendship...this book has it all." — ThrowAwayMain_Enviro

    Poignant quote: "Sometimes when I'm talking, my words can't keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we think faster than we speak. Probably so we can think twice."

    11. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    Faber and Faber

    What it's about: This novel follows a group of young boys who are left to their own devices — and the dangers that arise from it — when they're stranded on an uninhabited island.

    Why you should read it: "It really exposes the nature of humanity and the older you get, the more you understand the book." — BushYoshi

    Poignant quote: "Maybe there is a beast…maybe it's only us."

    12. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

    Ohta Publishing

    What it's about: In the fictional Republic of Greater East Asia, teens are forced to fight to the death in a government-run program.

    Why you should read it: " This book makes you feel sympathy for even what appears to be the most villainous and cruel person." — CryingIsForTheWeak

    Poignant quote: "By then she was dead. In fact, she may have been dead a while ago. Physically, several seconds ago, mentally, ages ago."

    13. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

    Holt, Rinehart and Winston

    What it's about: Pecola is a young black girl living in Ohio during the Great Depression. Everyone in her small towns views her as "ugly" due to her dark skin and that, combined with the sexual and physical abuse she's had to endure, makes her wish fervently for "blue eyes" so that she could be seen as "beautiful."

    Why you should read it: "It makes you cry, not just for what the main character suffers, but also for the way world works. Plus, it is BEAUTIFULLY written." — besterluca

    Poignant quote: "Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do."

    14. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    Harper & Row

    What it's about: This story follows the relationship between a boy and a tree and what it means to give.

    Why you should read it: "It's actually showing that people can destroy themselves to make others happy, and that it is a very sad thing when people do." — MassageToss

    Poignant quote: "And the boy loved the tree...very much. And the tree was happy."

    15. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    J. B. Lippincott & Co.

    What it's about: In Maycomb, Alabama, Atticus Finch represents Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Through this trial, he teaches his children, Jem and Scout, to not judge people by the color of their skin, but rather the nature of their character.

    Why you should read it: "It’s such a good book for young readers. I read it in 8th grade and it really affected me. It’s a such a classic, simple book about love and empathy that everyone should read." — dental__DAMN

    Poignant quote: "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird."

    16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    Pocket Books

    What it's about: A young wallflower named Charlie befriends a group of older and eclectic misfits following the death of his best friend and his aunt.

    Why you should read it: "It's one of those books that just captures the overall feeling of being an adolescent while also dealing with mature themes such as rape and mental health." — Mulder271

    Poignant quote: "There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons."

    17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Dover Thrift

    What it's about: Elizabeth Bennett navigates her romantic and tumultuous relationship with Mr. Darcy.

    Why you should read it: "This book is not about WHAT happens. You don’t read it for the plot. You read it for the hilarious and sometimes painful relationships. Austen is super witty, but I think that’s lost on a lot of readers who aren’t expecting something so subtle." — seanmharcailin

    Poignant quote: "I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve."

    18. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom


    What it's about: This memoir documents Mitch Albom's visits with his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, who's dying from ALS.

    Why you should read it: "This was the book that started my love of reading!" — weeloris13

    Poignant quote: "The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live."

    19. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver


    What it's about: This short story discusses the notion of love and what it means to others and to ourselves.

    Why you should read it: It's biting, gripping, and really makes you think about the intricacies of an emotion that most of us don't often sit down and talk about. — EhisOsifo

    Poignant quote: "I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark."

    What are some books you think everyone needs to read at least once in their life? Let us know in the comments below!

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