Class of 2024: Join the 2020 Notre Dame Book Bracket!

Author: Maria Finan


Welcome to the 2020 Notre Dame Book Bracket!

This year, one of the questions we asked on the Notre Dame supplemental section of the application was:

Many high schools have books that are required reading. Thinking beyond the common examples, what book do you believe should be on your school's reading list and why?"

We received over 400 title recommendations from the students we admitted to the Class of 2024. 

The list ranged from children’s classics, to books about the economy, history, living a meaningful life, poetry, fiction, and everything in between. We selected 64 of the most recommended titles and assembled a bracket based roughly on popularity. 

Now we want you to help us select the Most Recommended Book by the Class of 2024! What book would you hope all of your classmates have read before they arrive on campus? Can you put together a perfect bracket? What book deserves to be crowned the winner? We can’t wait to see what you choose!

Download a copy of the bracket 2020 ND Book Bracket.

You will find a full list of titles and authors arranged by “region” below. In parentheses, you will find the exact title abbreviation used on the bracket, if the title required shortening.

You will have until Monday, March 30 to “submit” your bracket to us via direct message on any @NDAdmissions social media account. Don't forget to use the hashtag #2020NDbookbracket! Voting will happen twice a week on our Instagram stories until YOU select the Most Recommended Book from and for the Notre Dame Class of 2024!

Good luck, and Go Irish!

Golden Dome

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter) by J. K. Rowling
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Perks of Being) by Stephen Chbosky 
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  4. Outliers: The Story of Success (Outliers) by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  6. The Once and Future King (Once & Future King) by T. H. White
  7. Milk and Honey (Milk & Honey) by Rupi Kaur
  8. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Inconvenient Truth) by Al Gore
  9. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Just Mercy) by Bryan Stevenson
  10. Where the Crawdads Sing (Where the Crawdads) by Delia Owens
  11. Turtles All the Way Down (Turtles All the Way) By John Green
  12. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  13. Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (Tattoos on the Heart) by Gregory Boyle
  14. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  15. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  16. A People's History of the United States (A People’s History) by Howard Zinn

Hesburgh Library

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  3. The Handmaid's Tale (Handmaid’s Tale) by Margaret Atwood
  4. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (I Am Malala) by Malala Yousafzai
  5. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide) by Douglas Adams
  6. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Boys in the Boat) by Daniel James Brown
  7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  8. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Sapiens) by Yuval Noah Harari
  9. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  11. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  12. The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso (Divine Comedy) by Dante Aligheri
  13. One Hundred Years of Solitude (100 Years of Solitude) by Gabriel García Márquez
  14. The Screwtape Letters (Screwtape Letters) by C. S. Lewis
  15. The Martian by Andy Weir
  16. The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in America (The Newcomers) by Helen Thorpe

The Stadium

  1. The Kite Runner (Kite Runner) by Khaled Hosseini
  2. Night by Elie Wiesel
  3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) by Lewis Carroll
  5. Educated: A Memoir (Educated) by Tara Westover
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  7. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Big Short) by Michael Lewis
  8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (One Flew Over) by Ken Kesey
  9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  10. Go Set a Watchman: A Novel (Go Set a Watchman) by Harper Lee
  11. The Things They Carried (Things They Carried) by Tim O’Brien
  12. When Breath Becomes Air (Breath Becomes Air) by Paul Kalanithi
  13. The Aeneid by Virgil
  14. The Tao of Pooh (Tao of Pooh) by Benjamin Hoff
  15. Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster (Midnight in Chernobyl) by Adam Higginbotham
  16. A Brief History of Time (Brief History of Time) by Stephen Hawking

The Basilica

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. The Little Prince (Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson) by Rick Riordan
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Absolutely True Diary) by Sherman Alexie
  6. All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel (All the Light) by Anthony Doerr
  7. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Unbroken) by Laura Hillenbrand
  8. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  9. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (Lies My Teacher Told) by James W. Loewen
  10. The Underground Railroad: A Novel (Underground Railroad) by Colson Whitehead
  11. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics) by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  12. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Eyes Were Watching) by Zora Neale Hurston
  13. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World (Make Your Bed) by Admiral H. McRaven
  14. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  15. Frindle by Andrew Clements
  16. Where the Sidewalk Ends (Sidewalk Ends) by Shel Silverstein