"Those cunning folk use any means necessary, to achieve their ends."
As a Slytherin myself, I'm a little shady at how "She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" portrayed the house in the books. Slytherin is often seen as "that evil house" but those sorted in the house of green and silver have more to offer.
Slytherins are cunning, another word for charming and wise. Slytherins are ambitious because they know what they want and they know their capabilities. They are resourceful, and yes some may use resources that aren't theirs, but they are resourceful nonetheless. The greatest wizard of all-time was even sorted into the house. Yep, Merlin slithered in Slytherin (haha! get it? no? ok.)
The moral complexes of Slytherins make them interesting characters for books (and maybe in real life, too). They're not predictably good and despite their dark past there might be some potential for saving. So, here are five books Slytherin can read in the common room while the Giant Squid passes by the glass windows of the dungeon showing the Hogwarts lake.
*Continue down below for some playlists and ambient sounds to get into the Slytherin reading mood.
1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Starting it strong with a novel by a Black woman! This book is amazing and rightfully deserved a spot on TIME Magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.
The book is about Janie Crawford, struggling as an African-American in post-slavery America, but taking control over her life and identity. This is an inspiration, especially for women wanting to find love but want to be treated as an equal. Janie is a role-model for women, for WOC, for Slytherins. She didn't settle for a loveless marriage and wanted to be self-sufficient. She didn't allow the world to take away her confidence and liberty. What a power move!
This is a book you have to read. It's educational and inspirational. It takes cues from the life of the author herself. It moves you. It makes you think.
2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Netizens on the booktok side of Tiktok have been raving about this book series lately. It's also being adapted into a series on Netflix, granted I haven't seen it yet, I'm not sure if it's good. But if you're into book series, you might like this.
The story starts off with an orphaned girl Alina Starkov discovering she has powers. She has to save her nation, Ravka. Despite her being the main character, I loved the Darkling. Aleksander Morozova is a Shadow Summoner and went through great lengths to get what he wants. (SPOILER: He even faked his death multiple times.)
3. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
A book about a man obsessed with a portrait of himself? A book about insufferable characters who do whatever the hell they want? A book so gay the British gov't had to censor it? I LOVE IT!!
In essence, a friend paints Dorian a portrait then Dorian, under the influence of another friend, becomes a darker version of himself in order to remain young and beautiful. It's a Slytherin book because Dorian Gray used all means necessary to achieve his ends. He's unhinged and I'm here for it.
Will I ever follow in his example, though? Probably not. I just appreciate the effort he took to achieve his goals. I love the memes, too! (ps: basil deserved better.)
4. Macbeth by Shakespeare
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are UNHINGED. Imagine planning to overthrow a whole country's ruler with your wife and following through with it ONLY because a group of witches told you it's in the stars.
The married couple reminded me of the real life Marcoses, whose schemes were chronicled in the book Conjugal Dictatorship by Tibo Mijares. Wanting power and scheming to get to it is stereotypically Slytherin, but the tale of Macbeth is a cautionary tale. Sometimes, Slytherins have to tone it down.
5. Pachinko by Min Ji Lee
If you're into historical fiction or interested in Korean and Japanese culture, this is the book for you. Asian literature has always been very intriguing to me, from the folklore to the complex characters.
Pachinko is about a Korean family's struggles after the Japanese occupation. This was a hard time for Korea, and most countries imperialized by Japan. So when Koreans immigrated to Japan, because they had no other means of survival in their homeland, they were met with a lot of discrimination. This book is sad, an emotional rollercoaster. It's historical and political. And ultimately, it shows you how determination and ambition are noble values one should aspire to embody.
As promised, here are the Slytherin playlists
I hope you enjoy your reads. To get into that Slytherin pride while reading, maybe listen to these playlists I love. They make me feel powerful and motivated, in full Slytherin glory.
sending my love, lyka