20 Classic Books Gen Zers Love But Should Skip If They Want to Stay Relevant

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Classic books have an enduring charm that transcends generations, and Gen Z is no exception. These time-tested tales continue to captivate even the tech-savvy youth of today. Here are 20 classic books that have found a special place in the hearts of Gen Z.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

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Set in the American South during the 1930s, this novel explores themes of racism, injustice, and moral growth through the eyes of young Scout Finch. Gen Z readers appreciate its powerful portrayal of empathy and standing up for what’s right.

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

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Holden Caulfield’s rebellious spirit and honest narrative resonate with Gen Z’s desire for authenticity and their own struggles with adolescence. They connect with his quest for meaning and identity in a complex world.

“1984” by George Orwell

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In a digital age of surveillance and data privacy concerns, Gen Z finds Orwell’s dystopian vision of a totalitarian regime eerily relevant. The exploration of truth, manipulation, and resistance strikes a chord with their social consciousness.

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

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Austen’s timeless tale of love, wit, and societal norms continues to captivate readers, including Gen Z. They appreciate Elizabeth Bennet’s independent spirit and the sharp social commentary that remains surprisingly relatable.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Gen Z’s fascination with decadence and disillusionment in the Roaring Twenties aligns perfectly with Jay Gatsby’s enigmatic character. The novel’s exploration of the American Dream’s complexities still speaks to their generation.

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

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This dystopian classic delves into themes of technology, conformity, and the pursuit of happiness – topics that resonate strongly with Gen Z’s relationship with advanced technology and the pressures of modern society.

“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

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Golding’s exploration of human nature and societal breakdown in the face of adversity strikes a chord with Gen Z’s awareness of social issues and their desire for positive change.

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath

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Esther Greenwood’s introspective journey through mental health challenges speaks directly to Gen Z’s candid conversations about mental well-being and the pressures of modern life.

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

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In an age of information overload and changing attitudes towards knowledge, Gen Z connects deeply with Bradbury’s cautionary tale about censorship and the power of books.

“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

Hinton’s exploration of societal divides and the bonds of friendship resonates with Gen Z’s appreciation for diversity, inclusivity, and their pursuit of justice.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

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Wilde’s examination of vanity, morality, and the pursuit of eternal youth strikes a chord with Gen Z’s complex relationship with image and self-expression in the digital age.

“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë

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Gen Z is drawn to the passionate and tragic love story of Heathcliff and Catherine, which delves into themes of obsession and societal constraints.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez

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Márquez’s magical realist tale of the Buendía family’s multi-generational saga captures Gen Z’s fascination with interconnected narratives and vivid storytelling.

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

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Gen Z’s interest in racial and social justice issues aligns with Ellison’s powerful exploration of identity, invisibility, and the complexities of African American experience.

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

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Vonnegut’s unconventional narrative style and anti-war sentiment resonate with Gen Z’s desire for innovative storytelling and their concern for global issues.

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

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Kafka’s surreal and introspective tale of transformation reflects Gen Z’s introspection and exploration of identity in a rapidly changing world.

“The Odyssey” by Homer

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Homer’s epic journey of Odysseus resonates with Gen Z’s fascination with adventure, resilience, and the enduring human spirit.

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

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This novel explores themes of self-discovery, independence, and the complex experiences of African American women, which remain pertinent topics for Gen Z.

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

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Burgess’s exploration of free will, violence, and societal control remains thought-provoking for Gen Z, who grapple with questions of autonomy and social responsibility.

“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

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McCarthy’s haunting post-apocalyptic tale of survival and paternal love speaks to Gen Z’s concerns about the environment and the uncertain future they face.

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Victoria Cornell helps women adopt a positive mindset even when the struggles of motherhood feel overwhelming. On her sites, Motherhood Life Balance, Neon Moon and Bookworm Era she writes about ways to reduce stress with mindset, manifesting, goal planning, productivity, and more.