20 Books you’d Recommend to your Younger Self

By September 17, 2015July 12th, 2018Discussion and Recommendations

We’ve all done it, read a book and thought ‘I wish I had read this when I was much younger’. Books that you can’t appreciate because they are out of their time, books that would have made you a better person much earlier in your life, books you could have learned so much on.

So for our latest poll we gave you the chance to recommend a book to your younger self and you had plenty of suggestions, naming over one hundred different books. I’ve included all books that received three votes or more, giving us 20 books you’d recommend to your younger self!

Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling

Many of you said you discovered these books in your adult life and really wished you’d read them as children, putting it at the very top of our recommended list.

Harry Potter series US
Harry Potter series UK

The Alchemist – Paolo Coehlo

In a very close second came the Alchemist with many of you wishing you had discovered it when you were much younger than you are now.

The Alchemist US
The Alchemist UK

Matilda – Roald Dahl

Lots of you discovered Matilda as an adult and ended up wishing you’d tried it during your childhood.

Matilda US
Matilda UK

The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien

With eight votes each comes the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Wonderful fantasy epic that many of you wished you’d persevered with when you were much younger.

Hobbit/LotR US
Hobbit/LotR UK

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

A must on the school reading list means that many youngsters are put off this classic, but when they finally get around to reading it, they end up wishing they’d read it years ago.

To Kill a Mockingbird US
To Kill a Mockingbird UK

Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery

A childhood favourite of many, but like other books in the list a lot of you didn’t read this until adulthood and wished you’d read it as a child.

Buy Anne of Green Gables US
Buy Anne of Green Gables UK

Chronicles of Narnia – C. S Lewis

The magical land of Narnia is a childhood and adulthood favourite of many, but lots of you wished you’d read it when you were younger.

Buy The Chronicles of Narnia US
Buy The Chronicles of Narnia UK

1984 – George Orwell

This book is a game changer for many, so we’re not surprised to hear you wished you’d discovered it much earlier.

1984 US
1984 UK

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

Not my favourite author, but always popular with our readers leaving many of you wishing you’d read it earlier than you did.

Atlas Shrugged US
Atlas Shrugged UK

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Le Petit Prince has been translated around the world and is a beautiful book for both children and adults so we’re not at all surprised to find it in this list.


The Little Prince US
The Little Prince UK

And then finishing the list, books with three votes each were:

The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
The Catcher in the Rye – J. D Salinger
The Bell Jar – Sylvia PLath
Sophie’s World – Jostein Garder
Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The Shadow of the Wind – Carloz Ruiz Zafron
The Fault in our Stars – John Green
Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson

Are there any you’d add? Let us know in the comments.

Leave your vote


  • Claire says:

    Lorna Doone – RD Blackmore
    X-Ray – Ray Davies
    The White Queen – Philippa Gregory
    Neither Here Nor There – Bill Bryson
    I Me Mine – George Harrison
    Songs of Innocence & Experience – William Blake
    King Lear – William Shakespeare
    Jams, Pickles & Preserves – Mrs Beeton
    Some Other Guys – Mike Brocken
    The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
    The Picture of Dorian Grey – Oscar Wilde
    Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
    Nefertiti – Michelle Moran
    The Captive Queen – Alison Weir
    The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
    The Adventures of Paddington – Michael Bond
    Alice Through The Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
    Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory
    Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susannah Clarke

  • Monster and Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers
    Are you there God, it’s me Margaret by Judy Blume

  • Jeanette Smith says:

    Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome
    Astrid Lindgren’s books

  • Grace Carter says:

    The Phantom Tolbooth – Norton Juster
    The Children of Greene Knowe series – Lucy Boston

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