Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

There are also a number of lists compiled by individuals and organizations. In many cases, the books chosen meet specific criteria developed by the people making the list for do my c++ homework for me, for example, the National Association for Scholars recommends books that are intellectually diverse. The books on the list from St. John's College are chosen because they cover a wide period of history. Because everyone has an opinion on what kinds of books should be on a college reading list, it is impossible to develop a generic one. However, there are some books that are common on college reading lists. 

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

The Iliad and the Odyssey

Not much is known about the ancient Greek poet Homer. However, he left behind two epic poems found on many college reading lists. 'The Iliad' is a story of the Trojan War and the human conflicts that caused it. The poem tells of the ongoing war between Troy and Greece stemming from the former's kidnapping of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Homer's second poem is called 'The Odyssey,' something of a sequel to 'The Iliad.' It begins after the fall of Troy. Odysseus is a warrior king who is imprisoned by the beautiful nymph Calypso when he tries to return home from the war. In the meantime, his wife and son try to fend off suitors at home.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

The Bible

The Bible is one of the greatest religious books of all time. It is the sacred scriptures for Jews and Christians, but it is also known for its literature. The Bible is easily one of the best selling books of all time. It is a compilation of literature, poetry, history, and teaching. The Bible has 66 books, which were composed from the 14th century B.C. to the first century A.D.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists


One of the most important pieces of literature in English, 'Beowulf' is a poem that describes how a Scandinavian warrior comes to the aid of a Danish king. King Hrothgar's mead hall is under attack by a monster named Grendel. The warrior Beowulf battles Grendel and its mother, too. What makes 'Beowulf' important is its place in history as the first great literary work in English. The epic was written in England. However, its story comes from the Anglo-Saxon past. It is thought to have been written between the eighth and 11th century.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists


William Shakespeare was the author of 37 plays. An average college reading list contains at least one of them. This is because of the widely held view that Shakespeare is the greatest writer in English. 'Hamlet' is Shakespeare's longest play, and perhaps his most influential. The plot concerns a Danish prince who seeks revenge when his uncle murders his father and takes the latter's kingdom. Hamlet was written about 1600.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

'The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin' is considered a classic of American literature. In addition, it is thought to be a model of how an autobiography should be written. One of the American Founding Fathers, Franklin seemed to see himself as more of a scientist than a politician. He invented the stove and developed theories on lightning and electricity. He began his autobiography in 1771, but it is unfinished. Most of it deals with his life prior to 1757, and not with the events surrounding the American Revolution.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a renowned 19th-century Russian novelist. He is known for using his stories and characters to portray deep psychological issues. In 'Crime and Punishment,' his main character is a tormented and poor young man who seeks to murder a corrupt pawnbroker. In doing this, he believes he is doing the world a service. The book was published in 12 installments in 1866. It has contributed to modern philosophy and political thinking.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

Profiles in Courage

John F. Kennedy's book 'Profiles in Courage' was published in 1956, a few years before he became president of the United States. Kennedy was a U.S. senator at the time. He wrote of the courage of eight senators in U.S. history who showed bravery despite political pressure or constituent opposition. His book was a bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957. It soon became required reading. Kennedy's brother Robert Kennedy wrote the foreword.

Books Commonly Found on College Reading Lists

Enrique's Journey

Enrique's Journey is the true story of a Honduran boy who traveled to the U.S. to find his mother. The author, Sonia Nazario, won the Pulitzer Prize for articles that she wrote for the Los Angeles Times on the subject in 2002. Enrique's mother Lourdes left Honduras for the U.S. when he was five years old. After 11 years of separation, Enrique makes the harrowing 1600 mile journey to North Carolina to find her. It is on many college reading lists because it exposes students to the controversial subject of immigration.

A book ends up on a college reading list for a number of reasons. Perhaps it is written by a famous person or has a unique subject matter. These lists contain a variety of genres. They include literature, poetry, non-fiction, and drama. Despite the wide range of criteria that authors use to make their lists, it is customary to include certain important books.

Last updated:9/7/2019 12:24:24 AM


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