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Remember required reading? Remember how excited you were when school was over and you could finally just read whatever you wanted? Us, too. But as it turns out, we’ve returned to some of those high school classics later in life, and realized there's way more to appreciate as an adult. Here, nine books you should give another go. 

catcher rye

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

So predictable, but stay with us. While its themes are decidedly youthful, Catcher was originally published for adults. And upon a second reading, your angsty millennial coworker just might make more sense.

death salesman

“Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller

We’ve luckily never been close to Willy Loman-level despair, but it’s a whole lot easier to relate to Miller’s struggling protagonist now that we have jobs and responsibilities.

good

“Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett

As teens, we were all about the Three Stooges-like comedy. But whoaaa is there a lot of subtext and philosophical ideology that went right over our heads.

catch22

“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

In a post-Jon Stewart, post-Iraq War era, we appreciate and understand Heller’s satire way more than we did in high school. (Don’t worry: Major Major Major Major is still funny.)

eyes

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

Almost 80 years later, Hurston’s beautifully lyrical novel about a woman searching for her voice is still surprisingly (and upsettingly) relevant.

crime punishmen

“Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Hulking and intimidating to our 17-year-old selves, this book is actually fun to read as an adult.

invisible

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

The opening Battle Royale scene was disturbing in high school. Today, it’s shocking, thought-provoking and all too relevant.

hamlet

“Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

Makes us appreciate our in-law situation.

oscar

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

You know, now that you’re actually getting older…

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