Resourcefulness. Cunning. Cleverness. Fraternity. Ambition. These are the qualities that Slytherins have in common.
Though they often have a bad reputation (why do we always have to focus on all the evil people that were in Slytherin?), the truth is that Slytherins have many great qualities — and Harry Potter himself was a hatstall between Gryffindor and Slytherin, so let’s not forget that. Slytherins are pretty amazing: They’re fiercely loyal to those who earn their trust, their intense drive to succeed allows them to achieve more than some even think possible, and it’s that go-getter attitude that sets them apart. Some of the top leaders in the world throughout history would probably be in Slytherin, and if you don that green and silver, you’re probably well on your way to success. You’re strong and empowered, and you probably don’t even realize how many of your friends have been inspired and encouraged just by emulating your attitude.
Of course, between achieving your goals and maintaining these lifelong friendships (fraternity FTW), you also have to make time to read. After all, you strive to be an expert in your field, and what better way to attain this goal than by reading about other like-minded individuals, whether fictional or real.
1. The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Edmond Dantès is condemned to life imprisonment without trial in the Château d'If, but that's just the beginning of this epic adventure story. Dantès epitomizes cleverness and cunning, and his story will appeal to Slytherins who admire and exhibit those same traits.
2. A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
This YA series, set in the Victorian era, explores the idea of women with power, fraternity, and ambition. Gemma Doyle is sent to Spence, a boarding school in London, where she meets Felicity, Pippa, and Ann. The four women embark on an adventure filled with magic and mystery that Slytherins will definitely enjoy.
3. Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Bathsheba Everdene (aka Katniss' namesake) is an ambitious leader who doesn't want to be tied down, despite the fact that she has three suitors asking for her hand. Her spirited story will appeal to fellow ambitious Slytherins, and this romantic love letter to days gone by will sweep you away. When you've finished reading it, check out the movie — everything from the soundtrack, to Carey Mulligan's performance as Bathsheba, is on point.
4. Heist Society by Ally Carter
In this fun YA read, protagonist Katarina Bishop is the daughter of an art thief — and she's about to become one herself. And you know what it takes to pull off a heist? Cunning, cleverness, ambition — yep, this has "Slytherin" written all over it.
5. Outliers: The Story Of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
Do you want to really know what it takes to be successful? Gladwell investigates this question in this nonfiction book examining how high achievers are different from the rest of the crowd. Ambitions Slytherins will find this both fascinating and instructive.
6. The Martian by Andy Weir
Cunning and cleverness are two qualities needed for true survivors, and astronaut Mark Watney will need both, because in this bestseller, he's stranded. On Mars. You've probably heard people raving about this book (or the recent movie), so why not check it out for yourself? Plus, author Weir's backstory will certainly appeal to ambitious Slytherins: He originally self-published the book before it turned into the massive success it is today.
7. Sense And Sensibility by Jane Austen
This classic about sisters Marianne and Elinor Dashwood and their romantic endeavors will appeal to the fraternity and self-preservation of Slytherins. Elinor certainly exhibits both traits: she keeps her desires hidden, whereas her sister Marianne displays her emotions openly, and the novel explores the sisterhood between these two very different women.
8. The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
In this YA read, protagonist Frankie is the definition of ambition and cunning. This book has everything from elite boarding schools to secret societies, and Slytherins will be ensnared by Frankie's story.
9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
This classic is about an ambitious woman trapped in the confines of Russian society, and will both frustrate and intrigue Slytherins. The story is romantic yet tragic, and though it's a pretty long tome, you're ambitious, so you aren't put off by that.
10. The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Stevens is an English butler who dedicated his life to perfecting his craft. Now looks back on the choices he made as the society and life he once knew changes drastically. Stevens' character will certainly appeal to Slytherins, with his ambitious and driven personality, but the bleak tones of the book will also remind you what is most important in life and leave you feeling very Carpe-diem-y. (That's a real phrase, right?)
11. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Jacob Portman finds out the bizarre stories his grandfather always told are actually true in this chilling YA narrative constructed around odd antique photographs. Jacob subsequently journeys to an abandoned orphanage on a Welsh island, where he encounters the photographs in real life. Strange and mysterious, this story will appeal to cunning Slytherins as Jacob strives to unravel the mysteries of the orphanage.
12. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Villainy is all about perspective, and Slytherins know that all too well. That's why they'd love this graphic novel by artist Noelle Stevenson (who originally began this as a web comic, and it got turned into a graphic novel, so yay for ambitious authors). Nimona is a shapeshifter who works for supervillain Blackheart in a fantasy-meets-sci-fi world, and her story will pull you in and make you glad you don't have to wait week-to-week for each panel of the comic (which is what you had to do when it was first posted as a web comic, and it was torture.)
13. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I talk about this book constantly, because it's amazing. Magicians Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair become locked in a duel at the Le Cirque des Rêves, a traveling circus which only opens from sunset to sunrise. Their competition will appeal to cunning and ambitious Slytherins, and the beautiful prose will leave you thinking about this novel a long time after you've finished it. Plus, the audiobook is read by Jim Dale, who reads the U.S. Harry Potter audio books.
14. Bossypants by Tina Fey
If you're a Slytherin, you've probably been called "bossy" at least once or twice. Tina Fey knows what's up. Her autobiography is equal parts hilarious and empowering, and it'll leave you feeling inspired and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Image: Warner Bros