There’s nothing like reading. Wedging myself into the corner of the couch, the cushions welcoming me like an old friend until I am in my favorite position. A dog on each side of me becomes my armrests. The binding creaks as I open the novel for the first time. The words pour over me drowning me in a new world and I surrender to it.
People read for many things. We read to get away, to find ourselves, to discover our values and to be challenged.
Since January of this year (2014), I’ve been keeping track of how many books I have read. As of today my count is up to 49 books, which is not a bad number for being a full-time student, a part-time employee of Target, and a writer. From the 49 books, I’ve compiled a list of the novels that I think deserve your time and attention.
Six Highly Recommended Books (in no particular order)
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippia Gregory—A historical fiction novel that follows the tale of the notorious Queen Anne Boleyn. Gregory uses history as the backbone of her novel but delves into the mind of these iconic figures until I could not hate any of the characters. The Tudor dynasty is uncovered.
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan—I’m going to be honest, I was confused when I first starting reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and had to start over with an open-mind. Will Grayson, Will Grayson is not your normal Young Adult novel. With two main characters, an anti-love story and a musical, Green and Leviathan pushed the limits. I enjoyed it so much I wrote an entire casebook analysis on it as one of my finals.
- Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (and its companions)—Mafi crafts a wonderful dystopian tale that cannot be called “the next Hunger Games” (I hate that phrase). Maji innovates her series with a prose-poetry style using stream of consciousness. I’ve never been quite taken with stream of consciousness before but Shatter Me blew my hesitations away. I enjoyed it so much I read most of it out loud to my wonderful roommate.
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor—Set in Prague and other supernatural places, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is more than a story of star-crossed lovers. It’s a commentary about war, discrimination, and ignorance. Taylor’s Young Adult, Fantasy novel will get you thinking about your life, culture, and values.
- City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare—The 6th installment, City of Heavenly Fire, is the anticipated conclusion to The Mortal Instruments Series. Clare once again weaves her various series fluidly within one another. While concluding the adventures of Alec, Isabelle, Simon, Jace, and Clary, she sets up the groundwork for her next series, The Dark Artifacts, which is to be released next year and I cannot wait.
- fangirl by Rainbow Rowell—fangirl is a book that I recommend to all nerds. Whether you are from this generation or not, you will understand Cather and her struggle. I have never felt more connected to a cast of characters than I did reading fangirl. Rainbow Rowell will be a name to look out for in the near future.
Any and all of these books are worth your time, money, and attention.
I’m always looking for new books, if you have a recommendation or have read one of the books listed above feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.