Everyone is forced (or not) to read the same or similar set of books while in High School. Most of them are written off as boo-honkey in our adolescent minds but I’d advise going back as an adult to get the real meanings behind some of these classics!
#1 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A classic! Fitzgerald’s tale of lost love and high society set amidst the 1920’s prohibition is a fantastic tale of the American Dream, those that succeeded and those desperately trying to achieve the unachievable. Beautiful, wonderful and tragic, The Great Gatsby is a timeless novel! Oh the shirts!
#2 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I have yet to meet a person who has not read this and opinion is usually very high,even so, it deserves to be on this list because it’s epic. Whether with George, Lenny or Curley’s Wife, there is someone in this epic to relate to. Another tragic and at times uncomfortable novel, Of Mice and Men is a must re-read if you haven’t already.
#3 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
Technically a play, (I feel like a…) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a fantastic addition to the Tennessee Williams collection. Wrought with lies, deception and some slightly hinted at LGBT overtones, Williams’ play gives the reader an insight into the Deep Southern rich family lifestyle.
#4 Stags and Hens by Willy Russell
An unpopular play in my own school days, liked only by those who enjoyed reading out the word “cunt” in class, Stags and Hens stuck in my mind as a book representing the northern working class mindset in the 70’s. Faced with a decision, the protagonist(ish) Linda must choose conventional marriage or a spontaneous runaway. Peer pressure galore “The only artist I want to be is a piss artist.” This play captures a simple moment with startling clarity.
#5 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
While everyone knows this story, which has been pulled, twisted and ravished more than a bop-it on Christmas day, not many have actually read the original tale told by Shelley. With clear references to the creator/created conundrum, Shelley’s novel is so much more than a grave digging fantasy. Definitely worth a peruse on a Sunday evening!