Posted by: Nathan | May 12, 2006

Some Easy-Access Literature

In an effort to promote reading and to follow up on my previous post, here is a very short and incomplete list of books that I found easy enough to read to recommend to a beginner. All of them have great literary merit:


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
–Hilarious and deep. Tricky part: reading dialect.

A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
–One of my favs. Hemingway in general is easy to read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
–A touching novel about coming of age. Tricky part: profanity.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
–Don’t feel like a 3rd grader; this is a classic.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
–Yeah, I think it’s literature. Timeless, epic, tremendous.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
–Carroll is comical always and given to puns. Kick back and enjoy.

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
–Interesting book about Judaism and about people in general.

Slightly more difficult due to archaic language:
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
–Great story of the French Revolution.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
–Tremendous love story and very funny too.

Poets (w/ assistance from J)

Li Young Lee
–Beautiful and simple language.

Robert Frost
–Easy to get into, but plenty of depth upon further reflection.

Elizabeth Bishop
–Modernizes older poetry forms making them more accessible.

William Carlos Williams (if you can stomach “The Red Wheel Barrow”)
–Has concrete ideas and is more experience-focused rather than focusing as much on language.


  1. You know your literature, my friend. Further evidence that you are, indeed, going into the right vocation.

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