19 votes

I've received a school project where I need to read a book but I've never really wanted to read a book and don't know many books at all. What book should I read?

People like me are why I believe the slippery slope is a fact, not a fallacy...

I'm asking this in the context of a school project mainly because of 2 things:

1: 2 of the questions of the project are about main and secondary characters and their physical and psychological characteristics, so the book is gonna require those unless I'm misinterpreting those questions.

2: The project is for March 12th so something like 1984 with 300+ pages is probably too long. (Although there are provably many technicalities to blur this, like how much text there is in a page and the actual amount of pages I can read in a given time and how much time can I dedicate to reading the damn book.)

30 comments

  1. [2]
    Sand
    Link
    1984 may be too long, but Animal Farm is nice and short. Although maybe it's not fitting that most of the characters in it are allegorical...

    1984 may be too long, but Animal Farm is nice and short. Although maybe it's not fitting that most of the characters in it are allegorical...

    14 votes
    1. Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Animal Farm might be exactly what OP needs. Short, enough characters, lots of stuff to write about and lots and lots of stuff to write about if you want to tie in the bigger themes about communism.

      Animal Farm might be exactly what OP needs. Short, enough characters, lots of stuff to write about and lots and lots of stuff to write about if you want to tie in the bigger themes about communism.

      3 votes
  2. envy
    (edited )
    Link
    The Metamorphosis by Kafka. It's 55 pages long. It's by Kafka. It's free to read online. It has two main characters. One character undergoes extreme physical transformation and the other changes...

    The Metamorphosis by Kafka.

    It's 55 pages long. It's by Kafka. It's free to read online.

    It has two main characters. One character undergoes extreme physical transformation and the other changes psychologically as a result.

    9 votes
  3. DanBC
    Link
    I've tried to include a wide range of books, suitable for different ages. Don't be put off by the page counts! These are books for young adults so they have larger font sizes, more spacing, and...

    I've tried to include a wide range of books, suitable for different ages. Don't be put off by the page counts! These are books for young adults so they have larger font sizes, more spacing, and they tend to have simpler language. Most of these books are used in schools so they should have study guides and teaching notes available if you look around, and those can give you ideas about how to tackle the book.

    Patrick Ness
    The Knife of Never Letting Go https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knife_of_Never_Letting_Go
    The Ask and the Answer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ask_and_the_Answer
    Monsters of Men https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_of_Men

    This is a trilogy that has won awards and is respected. Here are some reading guides for the first book: https://jwpblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/a-reading-guide-to-the-knife-of-never-letting-go.pdf

    Meg Rosoff
    Just in Case https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_in_Case

    Another award winner. Here's a reading guide: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/302825/just-in-case-by-meg-rosoff/9780452289376/readers-guide/

    Kevin Brooks
    The Bunker Diary https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bunker_Diary

    This is controversial because it's grim and violent. I didn't find a study guide for it.

    Kate Thompson
    Creature of the Night https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creature_of_the_Night_(novel)

    Tanya Landman
    Buffalo Soldier https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buffalo-Soldier-Tanya-Landman/dp/1406314595 (This doesn't have a wikipedia page)

    Study Guide: http://classroom.walkerbooks.com.au/home/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Buffalo-Soldier-Classroom-Ideas.pdf

    7 votes
  4. [2]
    gpl
    Link
    What other types of media do you like? Are there any movies, video games, TV shows, etc that you really enjoy, particularly for their characters? It might help to narrow down on a book if you...

    What other types of media do you like? Are there any movies, video games, TV shows, etc that you really enjoy, particularly for their characters? It might help to narrow down on a book if you start with what you know you like already.

    6 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      To be honest I don't really tend to consume too much media past what I see here or on reddit. I like undertale and remember the characters and story being really detailed and important with the 7...

      To be honest I don't really tend to consume too much media past what I see here or on reddit. I like undertale and remember the characters and story being really detailed and important with the 7 souls and the character's dreams and you and chara being a really complicated character and and the Easter eggs (although it's been 5 years since the original release and deltarune appears to be coming along pretty slowly so I don't remember it even passingly) and Detroit: become human also has that same type of story (or in these cases stories), but the main aspect that interests me is the environment of the games and the circumstances it creates for the characters (and you) to navigate, not really the characters themselves. The rest of the media I enjoy that isn't informative/educative is either simulation games like Hoi4 or Eu4 (granted this means you are stuck waiting for 'the game that is truly accurate with no concessions everTM' like a hamster waiting for the future to be now but I digress) or sandbox games like SMM1&2, geometry dash or minecraft, which don't have a story so you can build your own.

      1 vote
  5. hamstergeddon
    Link
    How about something like I Am Legend? Short book, with a main character and a single named secondary character who shows up towards the end of it. Lots of psychology to unwrap, primarily in the...

    How about something like I Am Legend? Short book, with a main character and a single named secondary character who shows up towards the end of it. Lots of psychology to unwrap, primarily in the main character.

    It's the kind of book you could knock out in a day or so if you really committed to it. It's really easy to read and it's a classic. Plus it basically birthed the zombie genre (despite only featuring vampires).

    6 votes
  6. Wulfsta
    Link
    A bit of an unusual suggestion, but have you considered Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? A book does not need to be philosophical or dense to have characters that can be deeply examined. I'm...

    A bit of an unusual suggestion, but have you considered Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? A book does not need to be philosophical or dense to have characters that can be deeply examined. I'm recommending this because it's short, fun, and if you've never had the desire to read a book this one will keep you interested.

    6 votes
  7. krg
    Link
    Now's probably as good a time as ever for you to read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Though, I prefer his other works (especially Franny and Zooey). Still, you're in the best age range for Catcher...

    Now's probably as good a time as ever for you to read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Though, I prefer his other works (especially Franny and Zooey). Still, you're in the best age range for Catcher in the Rye to hit.

    I'd also recommend Vonnegut. Particularly Cat's Cradle.

    6 votes
  8. [3]
    Duke
    Link
    The Stranger. Is really short plus its philosophical in nature so lots to write about

    The Stranger. Is really short plus its philosophical in nature so lots to write about

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      It's been decades since I read it, but I seem to recall all the secondary characters in The Stranger are basically just blank slates. Not much to digest there, and I'd argue that someone...

      It's been decades since I read it, but I seem to recall all the secondary characters in The Stranger are basically just blank slates. Not much to digest there, and I'd argue that someone unaccustomed to reading books is not going to be able to draw enough meaning out of it to actually have much to write about.

      3 votes
      1. Halfloaf
        Link Parent
        To be fair, I felt like the primary character was a pretty blank slate. I enjoyed reading about someone with such disconnection.

        To be fair, I felt like the primary character was a pretty blank slate. I enjoyed reading about someone with such disconnection.

  9. [2]
    shiruken
    Link
    Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms Just for reference, is this for a high school or college class?
    • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
    • Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

    Just for reference, is this for a high school or college class?

    5 votes
    1. Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      9th grade, so high school.

      9th grade, so high school.

      1 vote
  10. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace. Just kidding. If you want an "easy" book to read – as in, one that doesn't require you to spend too much time analyzing it – I would recommend Cell by Stephen King....

    Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.

    Just kidding. If you want an "easy" book to read – as in, one that doesn't require you to spend too much time analyzing it – I would recommend Cell by Stephen King. It's an interesting sci-fi zombie-apocalypse book with not that many characters.

    Or, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling if you want it real easy.

    If you want to actually challenge yourself and learn – which I would wholeheartedly support, given that there are plenty of excellent books out there – read other recommendations in a couple of hours.

    3 votes
  11. Alfred
    Link
    A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. The obvious juxtoposition of power between the characters should make it a little simpler to define their physiological and psychological...

    A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

    The obvious juxtoposition of power between the characters should make it a little simpler to define their physiological and psychological characteristics.

    It's also a play, so it's easier to read than a novel, and should be more engaging as there needs to be a little more action in a play.

    3 votes
  12. [2]
    0lpbm
    Link
    I would like to recommend some light SF with a great character, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series: All systems red.

    I would like to recommend some light SF with a great character, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series: All systems red.

    3 votes
    1. eve
      Link Parent
      I'm going to second this recommendation! They're very fun books and also quick and easy reads. They're very short but very compelling. The books go a lot into the characteristics of the main...

      I'm going to second this recommendation! They're very fun books and also quick and easy reads. They're very short but very compelling. The books go a lot into the characteristics of the main character and the side characters. It's not heavy Sci fi and is good fun to read!

      1 vote
  13. envy
    Link
    A Christmas Carol by Dickens. It's 68 pages long. It's by Dickens. It's free to read online. You probably already know the story of Scrooge. It's main character undergoes a significant...

    A Christmas Carol by Dickens.

    It's 68 pages long. It's by Dickens. It's free to read online. You probably already know the story of Scrooge.

    It's main character undergoes a significant psychological change, and you could pick either a ghost or Tiny Tim as the secondary character.

    3 votes
  14. bleem
    Link
    Of Mice and Men! Short and sweet and has some great characters

    Of Mice and Men!

    Short and sweet and has some great characters

    3 votes
  15. [2]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Watchmen by Alan Moore. There's a lot to digest in what character wants what and what they are willing to do to solve their problems and remove their obstacles. Plus it has a bunch of pretty...

    Watchmen by Alan Moore. There's a lot to digest in what character wants what and what they are willing to do to solve their problems and remove their obstacles. Plus it has a bunch of pretty pictures, and if you need to go off on a tangent for length, you can talk about how it has influenced contemporary superhero works.

    2 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      I only understood Watchmen when I watched the film, and I read it multiple times. I'm not a young man.

      I only understood Watchmen when I watched the film, and I read it multiple times. I'm not a young man.

  16. [2]
    vorotato
    Link
    Catch 22 was a pretty funny one, it's been a long time since I've read it. Quite dark humor though... Probably too many pages but yknow if it's fun the pages kinda just melt away.

    Catch 22 was a pretty funny one, it's been a long time since I've read it. Quite dark humor though... Probably too many pages but yknow if it's fun the pages kinda just melt away.

    1 vote
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Catch 22 is great... but definitely too much to take on at this point.

      Catch 22 is great... but definitely too much to take on at this point.

      3 votes
  17. Halfloaf
    Link
    Personally, if you're a fan of the story and worldbuilding of Undertale, and you are interested in the fantasy genre at all, I wholeheartedly recommend Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It has some...

    Personally, if you're a fan of the story and worldbuilding of Undertale, and you are interested in the fantasy genre at all, I wholeheartedly recommend Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It has some interesting commentary, and it's a light read with characters that have some strong growth and development throughout both the book and the series.

    1 vote
  18. [5]
    mrbig
    Link
    Can you read a comic book?

    Can you read a comic book?

    1. [4]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Yeah? The teacher kept the requirements for input vague and focused on the questions to output presumably for this very purpose.

      Yeah? The teacher kept the requirements for input vague and focused on the questions to output presumably for this very purpose.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        So do you like cartoons, comics, super-heroes or anything of the sort? What about anime and manga?

        So do you like cartoons, comics, super-heroes or anything of the sort? What about anime and manga?

        1. [2]
          Kuromantis
          Link Parent
          Refer to this comment Tl;dr I don't really know, I don't follow a lot of things very closely.

          Refer to this comment

          Tl;dr I don't really know, I don't follow a lot of things very closely.

          1. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Okay. I suppose you have a general knowledge of widely known icons, such as Superman, Batman, and The Joker. With that in mind, I suggest those: Batman: The Killing Joke Gotham by Gaslight The...

            Okay. I suppose you have a general knowledge of widely known icons, such as Superman, Batman, and The Joker. With that in mind, I suggest those:

            Those are all easily available online and were translated to Portuguese.

            edit: I was linking to the wrong Dark Knight

            2 votes