Most of us read just about the same classic novels through high school, and even college. Some of those books, I admit, are likely to be completely ruined if you re-read them as an adult. Catcher in the Rye and Wuthering Heights spring to mind, as they just seem to need the wildness, intensity, and naïveté of the teen years to be wholly appreciated; as an adult you honestly just kindddddd of want to roll your eyes. However, so many of the classics you read in school are absolutely worth re-reading with adult vantage point, so here are some of our favorites!
1. The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald- Chock full of nostalgia, lost love, complicated marriages, class issues, and all the nuanced complexity of people and relationships, reading this with adult eyes gives such a richer, deeper appreciation for absolutely everything in this novel.
2. To Kill A Mockingbird | Harper Lee- Race relations, false accusations, courtroom drama, the loss of childhood innocence, family dynamics and more take on a more nuanced, layered understanding when reading this as an adult. This book really just hits so much harder reading it at thirty than it did at sixteen.
3. John Steinbeck - Really any of his novels qualify for a re-read. Steinbeck is timeless and layered and gorgeous and absolutely filled with insight and sharp observation about the world. His writing is so intensely real and wise; I've definitely found I get so much more from his works now than I did in high school.
4. 1984 | George Orwell- Especially timely with our current political climate, there's never been a better time for a re-read of Orwell's classic of what happens when government is full of fake news and hatred, and society becomes complacent and distracted.
5. Pride and Prejudice | Jane Austen- I for sure had a better grasp on the humor, and the truth of Austen's societal commentary and exploration of love, families, and social norms as an adult than I did as a teenager. As a teen I appreciated the love drama, as an adult I appreciated the wit and keen scrutiny.
6. The Giver | Lois Lowry- It was just a fun story in school, but reading it as an adult showed the value of uniqueness, the little things that make us individuals, and that democracy is a beautiful thing not to be abused or taken for granted. There are so many subtle, yet striking, insights in this book that give an entirely new depth and value to the story when read again.
Have you re-read any books from your school days as an adult? We'd love to hear about your experience!