Q&A Friday #108: What 5 Books Should Be Required Reading For All High School Seniors?

by John Hawkins | July 29, 2011 6:01 am

Question: If you were tasked with creating a list of 5 books that would be required reading for all HS seniors in your school district, which books would you include and why? — Good_Ol_Boy

Answer: This is a fun question. Difficult, too, but still fun. I’m going to assume that I have carte blanche here and can suggest anything I want without regard to legal or literary merit. I’m also going to leave off the Bible because I haven’t finished reading it cover-to-cover myself and it seems a bit hypocritical to say that every high schooler should read a book I haven’t finished myself.

1) Thomas Sowell: Basic Economics[1]. Economics IS NOT an intuitive subject and the vast majority of people in this country have no more of an understanding of it than they do of how to make a miniature sun in the bathroom out of floss and toilet paper. This would be a different and much, much better country if every high schooler had a genuine understanding of basic economics.

2) Anthony Robbins: Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny![2] A lot of people roll their eyes at Tony Robbins because they only know him from infomercials. However, outside of the Bible, there is no book I’d more highly recommend to change your life for the better than this one.

3) Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged[3]. Not only is Atlas Shrugged a prophetic look at the current situation America finds itself in, it has converted more Americans into conservatives than any other book ever written.

4) Robert Leckie: The Wars of America[4]. The history of America, like the history of mankind, is largely a history of warfare and the events leading up to wars. That’s not to say important events didn’t happen that were unrelated to battles, but wars are the punctuation marks written in the book of time. If you understand why our country has fought in the past, how it worked out, and what happened as a result, you will have a good grasp of history and how it pertains to the present.

5) Dale Carnegie: How To Win Friends and Influence People[5]. I read it in high school myself and I found it to be life changing because it teaches you to do exactly what it says on the title.

  1. Basic Economics: http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-4th-Ed-Economy/dp/0465022529/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311932387&sr=8-1
  2. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!: http://www.amazon.com/Awaken-Giant-Within-Immediate-Emotional/dp/0671791540/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311932579&sr=1-1
  3. Atlas Shrugged: http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Ayn-Rand/dp/0452011876/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292215186&sr=8-1
  4. The Wars of America: http://www.amazon.com/Wars-America-Robert-Leckie/dp/0785809147/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311932986&sr=1-12
  5. How To Win Friends and Influence People: http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/1439167346/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311933554&sr=1-1

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