Crack open an old book

What books should the DePaul community read… or not read.

With Spring still a few weeks away there is some time to kill before re-emerging from winter hibernation.  What better way to pass the time and avoid the cold than by revisiting a favorite book, cracking open the novel you’ve been meaning to read since 2012, or finally reading something you’ve pretended to have read since high school.

Don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day?  Books make great company; you don’t have to buy them gifts and they can’t leave you!  Need an escape from the absurd reality that is our government?  Books are like movies but in your head!  Can’t decide what to read?  Don’t worry, with the help of DePaul’s fine librarians and literature professors, we have put together a list of books for you to read, re-read, or remind yourself to never read again.

Hated Books

Most people read Catcher in the Rye in high school, which is probably the only time anyone could relate to a whining privileged teen who is wandering New York City “Home Alone 2” style.  The only reason to reread this book is to realize that it’s actually bad.

A Farewell to Arms- Ernest Hemmingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls- Ernest Hemmingway

Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger

Favorite Books

In East of Eden, Steinbeck intertwines the stories of two families through biblical allusion while capturing the nature of California’s farmland beautifully.  With every reread different sections and details stand out making second and third reads that much more satisfying.

East of Eden- John Steinbeck

Moby Dick- Herman Melville

The Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison

Books you’re embarrassed you haven’t read

If you haven’t read any of these you can always download the EBook and no one will be the wiser.

The Iliad- Homer

The Odyssey- Homer

The Sound and the Fury- William Faulkner

Books you’re embarrassed to have read

Reading these books is an exercise in self-loathing.  If you happen to have any copies lying around, they make great kindling for the fireplace.

Fountainhead- Ayn Rand

The Art of the Deal- Donald Trump

Portnoy’s Complaint- Phillip Roth

Twilight- Stephenie Meyer

Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallce

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot- Bill O’Reilly

Books to read if you like torturing yourself

With subjects ranging from Russian aristocracy to tennis academies, stream of conscious narratives, and hundreds of footnotes there is something in one of these books for everyone.

Ulysses- James Joyce

Finnegan’s Wake- James Joyce

Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy

Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallace

The Brothers Karamazov- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand

Books everyone should read

Gabriel García Márquez regales readers with the ongoing tribulations of the Buendía family while creating a world of subtle fantasy through magical realism.

East of Eden- John Steinbeck

The Stranger- Albert Camus

100 Years of Solitude- Gabriel

García Márquez

Most re-readable book

No one is ever too old for a Dr. Seuss picture book or Shel Silverstein poetry.  While it may not be the hardest read, coming back to “Oh the Places You’ll Go” always elicits a smile and a little confidence boost.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O – Shel Silverstein

The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

Books to revisit

Though it can be grueling on the first read through, once you let Heart of Darkness stew for a while it’s hard to put down.  The brutal depiction of the Belgian Congo by Joseph Conrad was even the inspiration for the famous film Apocalypse Now.

Heart of Darkness- Joseph Conrad

Great Expectations- Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens

As I Lay Dying- William Faulkner