The ACT Reading List: Books for Exam Success

The ACT Reading section tests your ability to understand and analyze passages from various genres. To prepare effectively, it's crucial to practice with a variety of texts. Here's a list of books that can help you hone your reading skills:

 1. Fiction:

- "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee: This classic novel explores themes of racism, morality, and empathy through the eyes of a young girl in the American South.

- "1984" by George Orwell: This dystopian novel explores themes of totalitarianism, surveillance, and individual freedom.

 2. Non-Fiction:

- "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot: This non-fiction book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells were used without her knowledge to make major medical breakthroughs.

- "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell: This book explores what sets high achievers apart and examines factors such as timing, cultural background, and upbringing.

 3. Science:

- "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins: This seminal work in the field of evolutionary biology explores the gene-centered view of evolution.

- "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert: This book examines the impact of human activities on the Earth's biodiversity and explores the concept of mass extinction events.

 4. Social Science:

- "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner: This book uses economic principles to analyze a wide range of topics, from crime to parenting.

- "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Jonathan Haidt: This book explores the psychological foundations of morality and why people have different moral intuitions.

 5. Arts:

- "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt: This novel follows a young boy who survives a tragic accident and becomes involved in the world of art forgery.

- "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde: This classic novel explores themes of vanity, hedonism, and the consequences of moral corruption.

 6. History:

- "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari: This book provides an overview of human history, from the emergence of Homo sapiens to the present day.

- "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America" by Erik Larson: This non-fiction book tells the story of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and a serial killer who used the fair as a hunting ground.


The key to success in the ACT Reading section is to be comfortable with a wide range of texts and genres. By reading a variety of books and practicing with ACT-style passages, you can improve your reading comprehension and analysis skills, which will help you perform well on the exam.