18 Books To Read by 18

A friend recently asked me for some book recommendations for her teenage son. She was thinking about C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy (which I recommended highly) but wanted some other titles as well.

“What books did you read–or wish you had read–in your teenage years?” she asked me.

“Great question,” I said.

Many of the books came from my AP Literature class. Others came from classes I attended in college. Still others as recommendations from friends. I consider them indispensable to my current reading preferences, my writing style, and my worldview in general.

In order to avoid placing importance to the order, they are presented alphabetically by the author’s last name.

  1. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov9780802130112
  2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  3. Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  5. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis9780060652920
  9. The Mistmantle Series by M. I. McAllister
  10. The Fablehaven Series by Brandon Mull
  11. The Ramayana by R. K. Narayan
  12. 1984 by George Orwell
  13. The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
  14. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
  15. Hamlet by William Shakespeare9780743477123
  16. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  17. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  18. The Mating Season by P. G. Wodehouse

I’ve read tons more books than these, but this is a good start. So if you want to be like me, think like me, or search my writings for the influences of others, start here.


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