By: Jessica Lee
Ever since I learned to read, I have been in love with books. I won the Summer Reading Program every year at the library, and now ten years later, although I don’t get to win prizes, I still read a novel weekly.
I totally understand that some people want to read light novels – easy, good reads. I enjoy those, especially if I want something to read on a flight or in a waiting room.
But my favorite kind of books to read are the ones that leave me thinking, wondering, asking questions. Those are the books that I recommend to others, that I buy people for their birthdays, that I reread over and over.
I have read all of these books, some of them years ago, yet I still think about them. They changed me. They left me wanting more. I hope you enjoy them just as much!
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Told through an interesting narrator, this book will fill you with compassion, keep you laughing, and draw you in with a mystery beginning on the first page.
2. The Stranger by Albert Camus
This book will lead you to question what life truly means. Truly captivating until the final word, this book is shocking, sad, and surprisingly relatable.
3. 1984 by George Orwell
This book is highly recommended for people who want to think, wonder, and imagine. I was tense through the whole story - reading about a life with no privacy, no secrecy was unnerving. I still think about it.
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This book (and later movie) is widely thought of as a romance. It is so much more – fighting through the past, wanting a different life, facing your fears, and fighting a war within yourself. This book is intense and emotional.
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This is often a high school reading requirement, but this book gets better as you grow older. It’s no wonder English teachers love this book - Golding was a true artist. Each character is so complex, and each details ties in perfectly to the message of the novel.
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
One of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. The most haunting part – death is the narrator. It really plays with your emotions as the characters are sweet, innocent kids living in the midst of one of the darkest, cruelest times in history.
7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I could not put this book down – I read it in one sitting and wanted more. It is a classic for so many reasons You can’t help but relate to the main character and live this story right along with him.
8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I promise that I am not exaggerating – as soon as I finished this book, I laid on my bed for hours, just thinking. Replaying every chapter in my head like a movie. This is my absolute favorite book. I have reread it several times and recommend it to everyone. The culture is so rich, the characters so real, and the wording so beautiful.