Do you aspire to be one of those people who knows at least a little bit about a lot of things?
There’s any easy way to do it: Read everything!
You can’t just stick to the thrillers, anthologies, or biographies you’ve grown partial to. If you really want to become a more well-rounded person, you’ll need to force yourself out of your comfort zone at the bookstore.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve selected 24 timeless books on all different topics — politics, science, history, culture, and more — that may help you become the well-rounded person you strive to be.
Classic: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee
First published in 1960 and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was an overnight success. In its first week, it sold 1.1 million copies, and in its lifetime it’s sold more than 40 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages.
In this American classic, lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend a black man who was accused of raping a white woman. The fictional story takes place in the town of Maycomb, Alabama, and is told through the innocent perspective of Finch’s tomboy daughter, Scout.
This classic novel hits on a few important topics, such as parenting and racism in America.
Classic: ‘1984’ by George Orwell
George Orwell wrote this anticommunist novel in 1948 to predict what 1984 would look like in London. His prediction? A totalitarian state where “Big Brother,” the government, was always watching you and telling you what to think and believe.
Some of his predictions came true, like cameras being everywhere and our bodies being scanned for weapons.
This book is a must-read because it’s a cautionary tale of what happens when the government is given too much control over the people and their lives.
Pop culture: ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J.K. Rowling
If you haven’t read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” or the following six books in the series, you should run to the bookstore immediately.
This beloved tale follows a young boy who finds out that he’s a wizard on his 11th birthday and is whisked off to a wizarding school called Hogwarts to begin his training.
These books were so universally loved and praised that they spawned a multibillion-dollar film franchise, a theme park in Orlando, Florida, and a spin-off series based on a Rowling book, “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,” which will be released later this year.