Ravenclaws will love this Hogwarts House reading list! Known for their cleverness and love of knowledge, Ravenclaw personality types are often bookish types, too. If you love intelligent books that are full of wit and whimsy, these 10 reads won’t disappoint.
When J. K. Rowling gave us the Harry Potter series, she also gave us a new way of sorting our personalities. For those of us already obsessed with our Myers-Briggs types, the Enneagram, and all the various animal personality tests, the Hogwarts house sorting system is more butter for our bread.
In the books, all of the students who attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are sorted into four distinct “houses” when they enter their first year. Students room, eat, and attend classes with their houses. Each house is known for certain characteristics shared by the students in them.
Here are the four Hogwarts Houses and their definitive characteristics:
- Gryffindor – courage, chivalry, and daring
- Hufflepuff – loyalty, hard work, and justice
- Slytherin – cunning, intelligence, and ambition
- Ravenclaw – creativity, wit, and learning
You probably already have an inkling of which house you belong in, but if you’re not sure you can get sorted on Rowling’s Pottermore website (scroll to the bottom where it says “Join Your Hogwarts House”). You can also take the longer version of the sorting test here.
For my own part, I’m proud to be a Ravenclaw. We value knowledge and we’re generally a bookish bunch (so my house shouldn’t really come as a surprise!). That’s not to say that the other houses don’t appreciate a good book, too. In fact, we know there are avid bookworms in all the houses, and that’s why I thought it would be fun to create reading lists based on each Hogwarts house.
But we’ll start with the Ravenclaw reading list, just because(: We’ll get to the other houses in future posts, so stay tuned!
What kinds of books do Ravenclaws like to read?
Ravenclaws are brainy and creative types, so we like cerebral books that make us think. We also like books with a dash of quirkiness–our house does turn out a few oddballs, after all! (Ahem, Sybill Trelawney!) You’ll often find a Ravenclaw reading a detective novel, an imaginative Sci-Fi, or a thick classic with archaic words and complicated plots. Books with mystery, a touch of insanity, and plenty of wit and intelligence are sure to suit most true Ravenclaws.
Here are 10 books every smart Ravenclaw should read:
1. The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
This novel is a booklover’s book. The Last Bookaneer is about the literary pirates (i.e. people who steal manuscripts) of the late 19th century. The most famous “bookaneers” of the trade go head to head in a final attempt to etch their names in history–by heisting Robert Louis Stevenson’s last manuscript! It’s a clever, twisting adventure steeped in the romance of paper and ink.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
With novels full of wit and nuance, anything by Jane Austen is a good pick for Ravenclaws. However, Pride and Prejudice is a particularly apt choice, as Lizzie Bennett would very likely be sorted into Ravenclaw herself! She’s quick witted and sharp tongued, and apparently likes to improve her mind by extensive reading.
3. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
This is a haunting ghost story that Ravenclaws will relish for its subtle wordplay, hidden meanings, and intricate prose. It may have been written over a hundred years ago, but it will still send a chill along your spine if you read it on a lonely night.
4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The short stories in this collection make good just-before-bed reading for Ravenclaws to keep on their nightstand. Ravenclaws don’t mind matching wits with the world’s most famous detective! We might not come close to achieving his brilliance, but we’re certainly well beyond “elementary, my dear Watson.”
5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Let’s be honest: Ravenclaws sometimes have a tendency to be pretty eccentric (hat tip to Luna Lovegood and Gilderoy Lockhart!). Alice will satisfy the quirky streak in all of us. It delivers plenty of other things Ravenclaws enjoy, too, like logic puzzles, dream imagery, and lots of nonsense that’s actually quite clever. And I’m certain Charles Lutwidge Dodgson would’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw himself, wouldn’t you agree?
6. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose isn’t an easy read by any means–a fact which will instantly endear it to every self-respecting Ravenclaw. This novel is laced with literal and metaphorical mazes. You may very well lose yourself in the minutiae of Medieval religious debate or monastic politics. But keep your wits about you: bodies are going to drop and a labyrinthine library holds the clue–if you can decipher it!
7. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Brainy–and, once again, quirky–this is a book Ravenclaws will love to re-read on an appropriately dark and stormy night.
8. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare is always good reading for a Ravenclaw, but The Merchant of Venice is an especially good pick for a number of reasons. First, there’s Portia, a fantastic heroine who shines with wittiness, tact, and wisdom. Then, there’s the fun conundrums of the caskets and the deal between Shylock and Antonio. Add to those the fact that Merchant is a “problem play” and invites controversy and discussion…and we Ravenclaws relish a nice literary debate now and then!
9. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
This is the story of how Claudia Kincaid and her brother Jamie run away from home to hide out in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love this book because you can tell that Claudia is every inch a Ravenclaw. She also exemplifies some of the faults that Ravenclaws are prone to, like perfectionism, detachment, and certain blind spots. For all her careful planning and thinking, she needs Jamie’s non-intellectual approach on more than one occasion.
Sidenote: From the Mixed-Up Files won a Book Oscar in my awards ceremony earlier this year!
10. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Pick up this classic for a quick weekend puzzler. With Hercule Poirot presiding, Murder on the Orient Express feels classically Christie. But it also goes against the detective novel norm because, well…go read it and find out(: Also, methinks M. Poriot is yet another literary Ravenclaw?
What other books do you think Ravenclaws would appreciate? Do you know your Hogwarts house?