What are the best books to read for college freshmen?

asked by Anonymous
331 contributors
21 solutions
  1. 36

    #1Hamlet

    Hamlet
    This is one of the greatest plays of all times and this edition is the groundbreaking Cambridge School, established by Rex Gibson. This is the story of the tormented prince of Denmark confronted with the evidence that this uncle murdered his father. 
    Books

    Check price

    Justin Cunningham
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Hamlet is a great book for a college freshman. A classic from Shakespeare, it is sure to give you that ole timey feel, and provides enough challenge to stimulate the mind."
  2. 30

    #2Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost

    Paradise Lost contains John Milton's most celebrated epic poems that entail the cosmological and spiritual origins of man's existence. This book tackles and exposes some of the sensitive issues of Christianity.

    Books

    Check price

    Crystal Parker
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I really liked reading this book. I think this is one everyone should read. It is great for thinking about what you believe about religion or just thinking in general. It's definitely worth the time."
  3. 28

    #3The Tempest

    The Tempest

    The Tempest is a play by the iconic medieval poet and playwright William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written in 1610. It is about the complexities of the human mind and the gray areas in life choices.

    Books

    Check price

    Ayaan Jain
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Classic play that still is relevant today with many of its life lessons and morals."
  1. 28

    #4The Republic

    The Republic
    The Republic is one of the most famous works of the Greek philosopher Plato. Written around 380 BC, the book is a Socratic dialogue in which an ideal state is defined. Is considered one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory.
    Books

    Check price

    Doris Nguyen
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Well, now, I don't know. If this is a book you're planning to buy for your college freshman, to tuck into their suitcase - don't. Yes, it's an important book. Yes, they'll probably have to buy it. Yes, it's seminal. But, no, you shouldn't be the one to buy it for them. If you're that college wanna-be and you're headed to college, and a student of philosophy, history, politics, or even literature - and you want to get a head start, read this. It will help. It's not a page turner, but it's really important to understanding the foundations of Western Civilization. "
  2. 26

    #5Shakespeare's Sonnets

    Shakespeare's Sonnets

    William Shakespeare is a great influence in the world of literature and poetry. Shakespeare Sonnets contains some of his best collections that offer great significance in different forms of contemporary art.

    Books

    Check price

    Ralph Kelly
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "For a college student to not know about Shakespeare's works would truly be a disservice to the American education system. With themes of love, death, beauty, and the passage of time, the 154 sonnets contained within this book form perhaps THE seminal pieces of classic Western literature. The nuances contained within can be found by discerning readers, as one realizes how complicated Shakespeare was, as a man who experienced love, and well as a man who subtly and stealthily criticized royalty in a manner unbeknownst to them. Read the book, impress the ladies, as well as your literature professor. Buy it today!"
  3. 26

    #6Richard II

    Richard II
    This is the Oxford School Shakespeare Series version of the Richard II. This version is specially intended for 14 to 16 years old students because it's a fully annotated and explained to understand the background of England at the time of Shakespeare. 
    Books

    Check price

    Hansika Chatterjee
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "There are no spaces in the text, and the modern English is not in a column next to the old English. The printed version has the modern English on the page next to the old English. I don't see anyplace where I can "return" the e-book."
  4. 20

    #7Othello

    Othello

    Othello by William Shakespeare is a drama novel first published in 1603. This book follows the story of two married couples, Othello and Desdemona, from mutual devotion to jealousy and death. This novel has a movie and a play adaptation.

    Books

    Check price

    Austin Silva
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Othello is without a doubt one of the greatest tragedies ever written. It is one of Shakespeare's later plays and, in my opinion, one of his best. Although originally based on a short story, Shakespeare did really adapt it and make it his own. Othello is a general in the service of Venice. Iago is Othello's friend, but then Othello promotes Michael Cassio to the position of personal lieutenant and Iago is incredibly jealous. Iago begins an evil and malicious campaign against the hero. Othello elopes with Desdemona but Iago starts to plot against them. Othello becomes very suspicious of Desdemona. He confides in Iago that he plans to poison Desdemona. Plots and murders ensue and Othello returns to the castle to kill his innocent wife, eventually smothering her to death. Emilia tells Othello the truth about the scheming Iago. Othello wounds Iago, then kills himself. Iago kills Emilia. I like that Othello is brave and quite competent, even if towards the end his decisions aren't quite so rational and he acts on impulse. It is a great example of a text that was written hundreds of years ago, but with themes that can be applied to modern day situations. It is a difficult read and takes along time to get through so I would only recommend it to people who like classics and have a lot of patience! I really like classics and enjoy Shakespearean texts so I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would award it five stars. "
  5. 18

    #8The Histories

    The Histories

    The Histories is a compilation of systematically obtained records by Herodotus, the ancient Greek considered to be the first historian. His works depict the origin of Greco-Persian wars. This translation was done by Aubrey de Selincourt.

    Books

    Check price

    Frank Dunn
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "It is a must read! It changes your life!"
  6. 17

    #9The Misanthrope

    The Misanthrope
    The Misanthrope is a book in French literature by Molière. Originally published in 1666, The Misanthrope or Le Misanthrope ou l’Atrabilaire amoureux is a play focusing on comedy in five acts and in verse.
    Books

    Check price

    Frank Walker
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Ok.. This book was required reading at my college.. in the classes I took. I REALLY hated it. I know you are supposed to like it.. It is good. It is significant..but the translation into English, doesn't transcend to today. If you are studying it for college fine. If not..skip it really."
  7. 15

    #10Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

    Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
    Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone is a History, Criticism, Literature , Fiction book written by Sophocles, Elizabeth Osborne, J.E. Thomas. 
    Books

    Check price

    Brenda Payne
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "English versions of Sophocles’ three great tragedies based on the myth of Oedipus, translated for a modern audience by two gifted poets."
  8. 14

    #11The Iliad and the Odyssey

    The Iliad and the Odyssey

    The Iliad and the Odyssey are poems written by ancient historian Homer about notable moments in Greek history. The Iliad is about Achilles and the Trojan War, while the Odyssey is a tale involving the gods. Shandonpress printed this book.

    Books

    Check price

    Joyce Ramos
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I just completed a Continuing Studies course on The Odyssey at Stanford University conducted by the venerable Dr. Marsh McCall who actually made it a fun and fascinating class. During the class, we read from two of the most modern translations, this one from Lattmore as well as Robert Fagles' more recent translation. I found myself reading with both books open to the same chapter, comparing the language and meaning. Lattimore chose to retain the original verse count of the Ancient Greek text, which tended to cause some rather odd and strained English constructions at times. Though the meaning was similar and neither translation actually altered the overall content, It was surprising to realize how a subtle difference in word choice could alter the perception of a scene or dialogue. There are very few people in the world who can read Ancient Greek and even fewer who could translate such a sweeping epic poem, and Lattimore's work is surely an impressive accomplishment,"
  9. 10

    #12Poetics

    Poetics

    Poetics is a book written by Aristotle examining the Greek theater of his time, particularly the tragedies written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. It is translated by Joe Sachs and printed by Penguin Classics.

    Books

    Check price

    Marilyn Schultz
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a must-read for anyone interested in literature, especially the Greek tragedies. Aristotle was a student of Plato, and in this collection he shares his views on the prominent tragedies of his day. Aristotle was the first real scientist, and instructed Alexander the Great in his philosophy and school of thought. This is a great collection of his thoughts and opinions on the Greek classic tragedies."
  10. 9

    #13Death in the Clouds

    Death in the Clouds

    Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie is a crime fiction novel originally published in March 1936. This book belongs to Christie's series featuring the intimidating detective - Hercules Poirot. It is followed by The A.B.C Murders.

    Books

    Check price

    Tyler Gonzalez
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "ive never heard of this before today. reading the link it does really sound like something i would read and enjoy"
  11. 8

    #14The Divine Comedy

    The Divine Comedy
    Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy tells of the poet's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise in search of salvation. Before he is redeemed, he will learn the meaning of evil, sin, damnation, and forgiveness.
    Books

    Check price

    Alan Thompson
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I wanted to read this for a while. Before I bought it though I looked at a lot of copies, even free. A lot of reviews said that this translation by John Ciardi was one of the best. I found it easier to read than the free version I had also downloaded. It also has notes inside of it that helps to explain some of the things that happening in case you get confused. I really appreciated John Ciardi's beginning section, "How to read Dante", in the book. It helped me to catch on to things quicker. I also liked that Ciardi explained his translation process. It made it easier to read in a way. I have not made it through all of it, but I have enjoyed all that I have read. I have also understood it. For comparison, I could not follow the other versions I downloaded. Their Cantos were in paragraphs and sometimes the wording made no sense. Overall - If you want to read The Divine Comedy... I would suggest this version translated by John Ciardi."
  12. 6

    #15Holy Bible: Best God Damned Version

    Holy Bible: Best God Damned Version

    Holy Bible: Best God Damned Version is a book by Steve Ebling and edited by Julia Barstow. It is a satirized version of the Genesis book of the true Chrisitan bible. 

    Books

    Check price

    Joe Coleman
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This may not be a great book for anyone to read. It's religious satire, for unbelievers by unbelievers, and a negative influence on open-minded skeptics. At least it's distasteful anti-theist literature, at most blasphemy against the Creator of the universe. Satire is not a true teacher."
  13. 6

    #16Confessions

    Confessions
    Confessions is an autobiographical book written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and published in 1782. In this book, the novelist and philosopher explains the story of his life, from his formative years to the achievement of international fame.
    Books

    Check price

    Sean Howard
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "While I was actually reading this book, I blogged quite a bit about the reading experience. Rousseau is hands-down the most irritating narrator that I have read since A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Rousseau is so self-absorbed that he moves past pathetic into loathesome and back again. He starts his career as an exhibitionist, moves into petty theft, buys an 11 year old girl for unpleasant purposes, forces his mistress to abandon their children at a foundling's home, alienates everyone who tries to help him, and generally seems lost in paranoia and self-aggrandizement. "
  14. 5

    #17Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice

    Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows Elizabeth Bennet as she navigates British society and is confronted with how people regard things like upbringing, education, manners, morality, and marriage.

    Books

    Check price

    Diane Burton
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Pride and Prejudice is such a fantastic book and one of the best books to read for college freshman. It's a real introduction to serious literature. It seems a bit stuffy but is actually quite racy for its time. "
  15. 4

    #18Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels is a fantasy fiction novel written by Jonathan Swift, with an introduction from Robert Demaria, Jr based on the edition published in 1726.

    Books

    Check price

    Larry Rivera
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Gulliver's travels is an adventure story by Jonathan Swift that was written originally and 1726. It's a wonderful book for college freshman because it's both interesting to read and has elements of satire and political humor. And it can be approached in a simple fashion or with more layers."
  16. 3

    #19King Lear

    King Lear

    King Lear was too old and tired to reign anymore, so he decided to divide his realm among his daughters: the two eldest daughters flattered him, and they were rewarded properly, but the youngest child, Cordelia, expressed her true feelings towards him, and was disinherited, what ultimately made the King lose his mind. 

    Books

    Check price

    Charles Arnold
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "Our professor assigned us King Lear as part of grade. I don't see what the big deal is. The dude's angry. Big deal. I'm angry too, and no one's writing a book about me."
  17. 1

    #20Don Quixote

    Don Quixote
    Don Quixote by the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes is considered the first modern novel. It was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. It is about a rich man who went crazy after reading chivalry tales and traveled around the world. 
    Books

    Check price

    Jack Patel
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "IN COLLEGE, I READ DON QUIXOTE. IT IS A VERY INTERESTING BOOK. IT IS ABOUT A MAN WHO IS VERY WEALTHY,BUT CRAZY. THE STOREY IS VERY WELL WRITTEN, ENTERTAINING, AND FUN TO READ. THE CHARACTERS ARE WELL DEVEOPED AND THIS BOOK HAS A LOT OF HUMOR IN IT. DEFINETLY A VERY GOOD READ FOR COLLEGE KIDS"
  18. 0

    #21The Boo

    The Boo

    The Boo is a book written by Pat Conroy. The Boo was published on December 1, 1983 by Old New York Book Shop Press. The Boo was first published in 1970 and its hardcover edition has 174 pages.

    Books

    Check price

    Jerry Medina
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "To be honest, The Boo wasn't my cup of tea. I read the reviews and it looks to have some mix ratings. So you might like it, or you may not."

Summary

Best What are the best books to read for college freshmen
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1HamletBooks 36 Paid
2Paradise LostBooks 30 Paid
3The TempestBooks 28 Paid
4The RepublicBooks 28 Paid
5Shakespeare's SonnetsBooks 26 Paid
6Richard IIBooks 26 Paid
7OthelloBooks 20 Paid
8The HistoriesBooks 18 Paid
9The MisanthropeBooks 17 Paid
10Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, AntigoneBooks 15 Paid
Close

This action requires you to be logged in

Quickly sign in with your social media account:

What interests you most? (Select at least 3)

This will help us to keep things fresh and relevant!

Close

Now that you’ve found a solution...

Why not join our community of sharp minds and pro-active posters?

Be part of a rewarding interactive knowledge exchange!
Close

Join These Inquisitive Minds

Engage, learn and share with a friendly community versed in a massive range of trending topics.