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8 Counter Culture Books You Need to Read Before College


You've probably checked Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird off your mandatory-but-actually-enjoyable reading list. They're both books that challenge our idea of the status quo (status quo: the toast-eating, Hyundai-driving, boring-job-having center of "normal" society), but do it in such a way that we are seized with excitement and a burning desire to construct a ham costume.

Gather round, young padawans. It is time to venture further down the rabbit hole of BIG IDEAS (echo). At this stage in your lives, you've figured out that a) your parents are fallible, b) those boobs aren't going away, c) bangs can be too short, and d) life is not going to be a neverending summer camp. You have, to use bildungsroman parlance, lost your innocence. You have become. You are ready to think. You are ready to purchase a lava lamp and cut off the legs of your jeans.

And you're going to devour these counter-culture favs, which will challenge all the things you take for granted, dismantling your world view pylon by pylon, until you decide to put the book down and get a job at a bank.

*Intense internet warning: Some of these books deal with heavy drug usage and sexual imagery* 

Topics: Books, Life
Tags: books we love, racism, henry david thoreau, allen ginsberg, get your big ideas here, counter culture, brought to you by the time your parents were hippies, karl marx, jack keraouc, the beats, fight club, enhance your mind bean

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About the Author
Christin Gest

Christin Gest is a 25 year old graduate student at Brooklyn College. She loves CW shows, writing pop star fan fic, and can eat 40 pizza rolls in one sitting. Follow her on Tumblr at

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