A College Literature Reading List

College literature is a pretty broad topic, and below you’ll find some of the best books for the college student. This list isn’t exhaustive, and will essentially be permanently incomplete because there is so much great literature out there. I’ll continue to add to it as I come up with more great books, but what we have below is a great start.

1. Hamlet

This is an award-winning literature book that was authored by the famous William Shakespeare. The book was edited by Richard Andrews and Rex Gibson. This book has captured the attention of most college students and any new reader should be sure to enjoy it. Hamlet is a story of a prince of Denmark. Prince’s father had been murdered by Claudius who is the prince’s uncle. The murderer carried out his heinous act so that he can get a chance to take the throne of Denmark. He also intended to marry the deceased widow. The story is centered on the prince’s discovery of the murder of his father as also his mother’s infidelity. It is a wonderful book that educates on different matters that we experience in the society.

2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

This is another wonderful literature book that every college student should consider in the reading list. Its author is Karen Joy Fowler and it has 310 pages. In this book, Karen uses the narrator, Rosemary Cooke, to introduce the readers to the Cooke family. Rosemary is presented as a talkative woman who later wrapped herself in silence. We are also introduced to Rosemary’s siblings and their relationships with other family members. Her older brother is presented as fugitive and a favorite of most family members.

3. East of Eden

East of Eden is a college literature book that was written by John Steinbeck. It is set in the farmlands of California’s Salinas Valley and it presents a case of two families i.e. the Trasks and the Hamiltons. As the tittle of the book suggests, this book reminds a reader about the biblical times of Adam and Eve and thus it is ideal for religious readers. It has 601 pages and it was published in 2002 by penguin books.

4. Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart is the work of Philip Gabriel and Haruki Murakami. The book presents a case of a twenty-two year old man who is in love with a woman who is seventeen years older. The book was published in October, 2002 and it has 229 pages.

5. Out by Stephen Snyder and Natsuo Kirino

Out is a novel that interests lovers of the Japanese culture. The novel tells a story of a violence that rocked the staid Tokyo suburbs. The first edition of the book has 400 pages. It was first published in 1997 but later publication (4th edition) was done in 2005 by Vintage publishers.

6. The Norton Shakespeare

The tittle of the book suggests the name of its author – William Shakespeare. It is one of the oldest literature books that still interests first time readers. This book was first published in January, 1972. The latest publication enables readers to understand different contemporary issues that Shakespeare had in mind.

7. The Bluest Eye

The novel is Toni Morrison’s first novel. The novel is rich in language and thus it is recommended for readers who want to better their language. This 216-page novel was first published in 1970 though the 6th edition was published in 2005. It is a must-read book that has attracted positive reviews from college and other readers from different parts of the world.

8. The Way of All Flesh

This is a product of Samuel Butler. In this book, Butler unfolds an autobiography of his harsh upbringing and troubled childhood. It is a book that has come of age with the first publication being released in 1903. The most recent version of the same was published in 2004. The current edition is a 320-page book.

9. Existentialism and Human Emotions

It is an essay that is translated from French to English. This philosophical reader has 96 pages and it was published in 2000. The first version was published in 1957. Philosophy enthusiasts have a lot to learn from this essay because it has been produced by a wonderful writer – Jean Paul Sartre. It is one of those reading materials that will enable us to appreciate our emotions and those of other individuals.

10. The Portable Karl Marx

The only edition of this book was published in 1983 and it has 720 pages. Even though it is an old book, it has a lot of information for its readers. In this book, Karl Marx and his co-writer Eugene Kamenka introduces us to the communist manifesto, the German ideology among other aspects. It has great historical significance, and is a somewhat interesting read.

11. Worse Than Slavery

This publication can also be obtained in form of an eBook. Its author is David M. Oshinsky and it was published in 1997 by Free Press. Its original tittle was Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice. It is a must read-book especially by aspiring human rights activists.

12. The Italian Renaissance Reader

The Italian Renaissance Reader wraps up our list of best college literature books. This book was written by Julia Conaway Bondanella and edited Mark Musa. It is a 416-page publication that presents a case of major writers of the Italian renaissance. It is a good book especially for those who have a passion to understand the Italian culture and literature.

As I said, this is not, nor can it ever be a complete list. If you have any college literature favorites, let everyone know in the comments below.