As an international prospective student, the American education system can be intimidating. The books that we read in college and university here in England seem to be early staples for Americans – Fitzgerald and Steinbeck for example are exam material whereas, rightfully so, they are conventionally a common read in the US from what I have seen. With that in mind, I’ve begun building up a lengthy reading list of texts that I view as being integral to my learning process over the next year or so before beginning my MFA application. 

Those mentioned above are American authors, but actually there are many British writers, and writers of other nationalities that I’d be excited to read. I also tend to read only fiction as well, so I’m looking to branch out in to non-fiction and collections of personal essays, as well as poetry and memoir. 

I’d really appreciate any suggestions to add, so please leave me a comment below! 
The Journalist and the Murderer – Janet Malcolm

To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf

Go Tell It On The Mountain – James Baldwin

The Collected Stories – Grace Paley

Portrait Inside my Head – Phillip Lopate

Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov 

The White Album – Joan Didion

The Beautiful Struggle – Ta Nehisi Coates

Working – Studs Terkel

A Bolt from The Blue – Mary McCarthy

How Fiction Works – James Woods

Miami and The Siege of Chicago – Norman Mailer

The Rest is Noise – Alex Ross

Housekeeping – Marilynne Robinson

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief  – Lawrence Wright 

Varieties of Disturbance – Lydia Davis

The Dead Father – Donald Barthelme

Collected Poems 1948-1984 – Derek Walcott

Blood and Guts in High School – Kathy Acker

Out of the Vinyl Deeps – Ellen Willis

Austerlitz – W G Sebald

Kill All Your Darlings – Luc Saute

The Chairs are Where People Go – Misha Glouberman

Critical Mass – James Wolcott

The Fact of a Doorframe – Adrienne Rich

Freedom – Jonathan Franzen

The Side of Paradise – F Scott Fitzgerald 

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

1984 – George Orwell

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

The Stranger – Albert Camus

The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama, Howard Cutler

Faust – Johann Von Goethe

Paradise Lost – John Milton

The Running Man – Stephen King
Please do drop me a comment with any recommendations or your thoughts of any of the books I’ve mentioned above. I’d also be intrigued to hear thoughts on education – if you’re American and you agree/disagree, or you’re international like me and feeling the pressure! 


2 thoughts on “Books

  1. KavaraStories says:

    Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
    1984- George Orwell

    I know this post is from a year ago but check out these books if you haven’t already. They are both amazing and are often taught in the American Education System. These books easily became my favorites!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s