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What to Read? 3 Best Books To Read For A Beginner, Veteran and Expert from Each Genre – Part 2

What to Read? 3 Best Books To Read For A Beginner, Veteran and Expert from Each Genre – Part 2

Books have a preferred writing style that makes comprehension easy for readers who have mastered a certain level of fluency in reading a language. One of the secrets to acquiring knowledge is to read. A lot. Picking up a book and reading the words is the easy part. Reading to understand is much harder. The key is not simply to read more but rather be selective about what we read and how we are reading.

If a book is too hard, you become frustrated and discouraged; a book that’s too easy is boring. Knowing your reading level is the key to match yourself with the most appropriate yet, challenging books. The best way to grow as a reader is by reading text that’s not too hard and not too easy, or what some call the “independent” reading level. A right book at your level is a book that stretches your reading skills just a bit — not so much as to make you frustrated but enough to continue your growth as a reader.

This post’s main objective is all about that – breaking down books into 3 distinctive levels (Beginner, Veteran and Expert) for all genres imaginable. We’ve collected suggestions from a group of passionate readers at Reddit, covering over 100 genres – so we’ll be breaking these large compilations into smaller posts covering 10 genres each. Do take note that one’s selections and definition of different reading levels may differ from one to another, but it’s definitely a great reference.

In this second post, we’ll be covering genres from Historical Fiction, Existential Narrative (fiction & non-fiction), Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic, Magical Realism, Existentialist Philosophy, History of Esoterica, Stream of Consciousness, Coming of Age, Dystopian and Romance.

First postMurder Mysteries, Out to Sea, World War 1, Graphic Novels / Comics, Southern Gothic, Science Fiction, Philosophy Texts, Children’s Books, Western and Horror.

We hope this compilation helps you in a lot of ways regardless of your reading levels, and do stay tuned for the continution of this “Post Series”.

Historical Fiction

01.ONE

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Historical Fictions” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  5. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Books for Beginners

Historical Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Books for Veterans

Historical Fiction

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
City of Thieves by David Benioff

Books for Experts

Historical Fiction

Mischling by Affinity Konar
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Existential Narrative

FICTION & NON-FICTION

02.TWO

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Existential Narratives” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  4. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  5. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre

Books for Beginners

Existential Narrative

Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Books for Veterans

Existential Narrative

The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
The Stranger by Albert Camus

Books for Experts

Existential Narrative

Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Gospel of John

Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic

03.THREE

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Books for Beginners

Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The Islands at the End of the World by Austin Aslan

Books for Veterans

Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic

Watchmen by Alan Moore
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Vic and Blood Stories by Harlan Ellison

Books for Experts

Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo
The Children of Men by PD James

Magic Realism

04.FOUR

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Magic Realism Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  4. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Books for Beginners

Magic Realism

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Magicians Nephew by CS Lewis
Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Books for Veterans

Magic Realism

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Books for Experts

Magic Realism

1Q84 by Haruki Murakmi
The Satanic Versus by Salman Rushdie
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

EXISTENTIALIST PHILOSOPHY

05.FIVE

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Existential Works” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  4. The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
  5. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Books for Beginners

Existentialist Philosophy

Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus

Books for Veterans

Existentialist Philosophy

Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
The Concept of Anxiety by Soren Kierkegaard
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Books for Experts

Existentialist Philosophy

Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Being and Nothingness by Jean Paul Sartre

HISTORY OF ESOTERICA

06.SIX

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Esoterica Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall
  2. Liber Null and Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic by Peter J. Carroll
  3. Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece by Three Initiates
  4. The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites, and Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order by Israel Regardie
  5. The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley

Books for Beginners

History of Esoterica

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
Salt: a World History by Mark Kurlansky
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder by Deborah Blum

Books for Veterans

History of Esoterica

Never Done: A History of American Housework by Susan Strasser
Paper: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg

Books for Experts

History of Esoterica

Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent by John Reader
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann (one could argue this doesn't quite fit but I'm including it anyway because this book blew my mind)
The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

07.SEVEN

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Stream of Consciousness Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  2. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  4. Ulysses by James Joyce
  5. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Books for Beginners

Stream of Consciousness

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Books for Veterans

Stream of Consciousness

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Books for Experts

Stream of Consciousness

Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
Ulysses by James Joyce

COMING OF AGE

08.EIGHT

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Coming of Age Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Books for Beginners

Coming of Age

The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Books for Veterans

Coming of Age

The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome David Salinger
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Books for Experts

Coming of Age

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Candide by Voltaire
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Dystopian

09.NINE

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Dystopian Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Books for Beginners

Dystopian

1984 by George Orwell
Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Books for Veterans

Dystopian

Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Wind Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Books for Experts

Dystopian

Maddadam Series by Margaret Atwood
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Romance

10.TEN

Click on the book cover for a larger version as well to know the full title and author.

The Top 5 Most Picked “Romance Books” of All Time
Source: Goodreads

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Books for Beginners

Romance

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Bet Me by Jennifer Cruisie
Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Books for Veterans

Romance

Reason to Believe by Kathleen Eagle
Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson
Silver Love by Layle Giusto

Books for Experts

Romance

For My Lady's Heart by Laura Kinsale
To Have and To Hold by Patricia Gaffney
Bliss/Dance by Judy Cuevas
In this second post, we’ve covered genres from Historical Fiction, Existential Narrative (fiction & non-fiction), Apocalyptic / Post-Apocalyptic, Magical Realism, Existentialist Philosophy, History of Esoterica, Stream of Consciousness, Coming of Age, Dystopian and Romance.

First postMurder Mysteries, Out to Sea, World War 1, Graphic Novels / Comics, Southern Gothic, Science Fiction, Philosophy Texts, Children’s Books, Western and Horror.

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