Pop culture refers to a set of traditions and material culture in a society that are spread and well-liked. Cultural products like music, dance, movies, radio. And books are considered to be the bigger part of pop culture today. In other words, pop culture books are widely liked by many people because they emb race a lot of the era’s media content.
But the real value of pop culture is its preservation of history. A well-written book taking advantage of ideas and thought processes of the time serves as a perfect marker for recollecting the past, maybe even reliving it. Pop culture books represent some of the best books to read from a particular era.
Here is a list of five of the most influential pop culture books every student needs to read.
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel first published in 1953 and is often regarded as one of the best works of fiction ever. It presents a future where access to information is curtailed – books are outlawed and burned on sight by ‘firemen’ if they come across any. It’s a ravishing tale that covers all the inner workings of a society that has lost its voice and freedom to express themselves.
It follows around Guy Montag, a fireman who has second thoughts about his role in society after he meets a radical young girl with new ideas on how unbeneficial the hedonistic life they live is.
Forget the horrendous 2018 TV adaptation. This is a book that you need to read if you want to appreciate good literature. And if you lack time to read the book, better purchase custom research paper from a reputed writing agency. The writing service cater for the dozen or so research papers you have to do at once during those pressure times in college and university.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is an amazing book that’s been made even more widely-read, thanks to its popularity with American schools. It tells the story of Gatsby, an eccentric millionaire with two particular obsessions – throwing exorbitant parties and former debutante Daisy Buchanan.
It explores themes like resistance to change and the effects of social excess and ties it all together in a single, explosive narrative. This isn’t just another one of the good books that should be thrown on the shelf, it needs a second reading as a mature adult.
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
First published in 1969, Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war novel that takes readers on a fantastic journey across borders and time itself. It follows the life of an American soldier during the WWII war efforts, his battle with PTSD and struggles to stay sane in an ever-changing world.
This novel is extremely raw, brutal, graphic and unafraid to tell themes that most other authors wouldn’t dare to explore. This has earned it a spot as one of the most controversial novels of the 1900-1999 era, and again the 2000-2010 decade, and, consequently, one of the best books for college students.
If Kurt Vonnegut’s works are to be considered some of the most profane and raw works of literature of all time, then Douglas Adams is a direct contrast to Vonnegut’s style. With Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, Douglas Adams’ writing style reaches the outer limit of what all writ, wry humor and dark comedy should aspire to be.
With hilarious back and forth dialogue, long-winded and descriptive pose, his writing wanders off into unpredictable tangents to explain the story of Arthur and Ford Prefect and their exploits after Earth’s destruction. It’s one of those books that’s so odd and hilarious, it takes more effort to put down than to continue reading.
The Vegetarian – Han Kang
The Vegetarian is an honorary addition to this list because when topics about Korean pop culture are brought up, this has to be one of the novels that come up. It tells the story of Kang, a star and the daughter of a well-known writer in Korea.
While being a vegetarian is something that would mostly be met with shoulder shrugs today, Kang’s life is turned on her head when her revelation hits the media. Her marriage ends, her parents disown her and more complex subplots follow.
Pop culture books may be looked down upon by some due to their mainstream appeal and often watered-down nature, but it’s not always so. Some books provide the opportunity to explore the rawest and often untold stories that hide in the dark corners of society’s grasp. These five books should provide a decent entry point.
Emma Rundle is an academic writer working as a team leader for thesis and dissertation writing for university students. She also works as an online writing coach for the students who want to become authors, writers and bloggers. In her free time, she writes for her blog on pop culture, learns photography and produces videos on food trucks.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.