Someone on Reddit just asked, “What book do you think every person should read at least once?” Among the tongue-in-cheek responses (our favorite was “the f****** manual”), there were many serious suggestions for award-winning books that deserve a spot on anyone’s reading list. Here are 10 of the most upvoted ones:
10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
At number 10, we have this 1979 classic from Douglas Adams. Wikipedia reliably informs us it was actually a radio comedy broadcast at first, but it didn’t take long for the title and contents to get adapted to other formats.
The story revolves around the bemused and hapless protagonist, Arthur Dent, who finds himself exploring the universe after the earth gets destroyed. Comical and purposefully absurd, HGTTG may not be for everyone – but some people on Reddit love it. One person said, “I absolutely shaped my sense of humor when I was younger.” Another wrote simply, “Favorite book series. Highly recommend.”
9. 1984, by George Orwell
Orwell’s classic dystopian novel first hit the shelves in 1949. It’s a cautionary science-fiction tale that revolves around the dangers of totalitarianism – and it featured numerous times on Reddit’s book recommendations.
One person said, “I’ll turn 42 this year and didn’t actually read it until a few years ago. I just remember repeatedly saying, “Well, that sounds familiar!” as I read it, and that’s really concerning.”
8. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
According to Goodreads, this 1959 Keyes novel is about “a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse.” If that doesn’t sell it, the responses on Reddit might.
Ninja_badgers described it as an “Absolutely heart wrenching, incredible story.” Someone later jumped in to add, “Yes, this book changed the way I saw people with intellectual disabilities. I really feel that I became more compassionate because of this book.”
7. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck was an American author who won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature. Published in 1952, he apparently described East of Eden as his magnum opus. People on Reddit didn’t use that exact terminology, but they did rate it just as highly.
One described it as “One of the greatest philosophical books ever written.” The line that stands out to the Redditor who first suggested it is, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
6. Night, by Elie Wiesel
Night is a widely acclaimed autobiographical account of Wiesel’s time in a Nazi concentration camp. Candid and harrowing, it’s hardly “light reading,” but it comes highly recommended at every turn. Someone on Reddit described it as “Among the most depressing books I’ve ever read. Highly recommend.” The New York Times said it’s “A slim volume of terrifying power.”
5. The Wave, by Todd Strasser
The Reddit user going by PandoraJeep suggested this one, saying it “Really illustrates how people living in Germany in the 20s and 30s got so swept into the Nazi party/supporting Hitler. Short read and very pointed.”
Written in 1981, the novel itself is based upon a true incident that happened in a Palo Alto high school history class in 1969. It’s about the impact of group pressure and the role it’s played in various historic movements.
4. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque
First published in 1928, “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a highly-acclaimed German novel about the horrors and tribulations of World War I. The book was so influential that the Nazis went on to ban and publicly burn copies of it. Despite being so tragic, it featured prominently on this Reddit Thread.
The Redditor who suggested it accompanied the recommendation by saying, “Actually, the saddest novel I’ve ever read, but probably the only one that describes the absurdity of war in such a suggestive way.”
3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
You’ll struggle to find any list of book recommendations that doesn’t feature this 1946 classic from the psychiatrist and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl. This Reddit thread was no exception!
An inspirational read about finding meaning in even the most hopeless of times, people left a mass of comments revealing the impact it had on their lives. One quote from the book stands out, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
2. A Guide to the Wildlife in Your Area
Rather than any specific title they believe you should read, one Reddit user suggests everyone should get their hands on a guide to the birds, animals, and insects found where they live.
This was a surprisingly popular idea, which quickly gained over 11k upvotes. Another person chimed in offering agreement, writing, “Don’t go straight for the dusty tomes; look at the books that get kids into stuff – animal books are top notch!”
1. The Demon Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
The most upvoted suggestion on the entire Reddit thread is this 1995 classic from American astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. The Redditor who recommended it included a quote from the book that seems eerily relevant:
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”
Any Other Recommendations?
Do you have any other books you think people should read at least once? Any novels or non-fictions that changed your life? Drop a comment to let us know!
READ MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS BY CLICKING RIGHT:
10 Inappropriate Songs People Sang as a Kid Without Realizing They Were Inappropriate
As a child, did you ever sing along with songs you now realize definitely weren’t suitable for kids? These people did! Click below to discover the most upvoted responses.
10 INAPPROPRIATE SONGS PEOPLE SANG AS A KID WITHOUT REALIZING THEY WERE INAPPROPRIATE
The Internet Hates These 10 Things That Everyone Else Loves
“What’s something popular that you refuse to get into?” That’s the question that shot to Reddit stardom last week. People in the AskReddit community flocked to list the things they hate but that everyone else seems to love. Click below to read 10 of the most upvoted responses.
THE INTERNET HATES THESE 10 THINGS THAT EVERYONE ELSE LOVES
What Song Would You Listen to on Repeat for 24 Hours to Win $1 Million? Here’s How the Internet Voted (Funny)
Someone asked the AskReddit community what song they’d listen to for 24 hours if it’d win them $1 million. The responses they received probably weren’t what they were expecting! Here are the most upvoted answers.
WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LISTEN TO ON REPEAT FOR 24 HOURS TO WIN $1 MILLION? HERE’S HOW THE INTERNET VOTED (FUNNY)
10 Ways People Think They’re Flexing But Actually Aren’t
People show off in funny ways. And sometimes they do it in ways that totally backfire. Here are 10 things people do to flex that actually have the opposite effect.
10 WAYS PEOPLE THINK THEY’RE FLEXING BUT ACTUALLY AREN’T
10 Scandals That Rocked the British Royal Family
The British Royal Family has been in the news a lot recently. And not for the first time! Throughout history, they’ve been wrapped up in scandals that made international headlines. Here are 10 of them…
10 SCANDALS THAT ROCKED THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY
The people displayed in the images above in no way represent anyone in the article.