I was asked to provide a list of books I would recommend to a friend. Now, this task is not something I take lightly. People ask me for book recommendations occasionally, but not as much as I’d expect since I read constantly and have for 24 years. Perhaps they know I’ll scoff at modern romance novels and fake vomit when they say their favorite author is Nora Roberts. Call me a book snob. I don’t care. There are much more diverse and amazing books out there to stretch your mind. When someone asks me for a book suggestion, I start to panic. What if YOU don’t like a book that I loved?! Will our friendship survive? Probably not.
If I suggest a book specifically FOR YOU, keep in mind that I try to take into account your personality, your likes and dislikes, and what I think you could use a little more of in your life. But this list is different. They are books that I either loved or learned immensely from. So here, in no particular order, is a small list of the books I think are worth a read:
-Ender’s Quartet by Orson Scott Card– the entire series is about ethics and morals and religion and science. The ideas in this science fiction quartet are actually the basis for my religious beliefs (no, I’m not a scientologist; read the books and then we can discuss). The Ender Universe has sixteen novels and thirteen short stories so strap in!
· Ender’s Game
· Speaker for the Dead
· Children of the Mind
-Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff– religious educational fiction that teaches the elements of Taoism by using Winnie the Pooh characters
-Boys Adrift : The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax– non-fiction, self-explanatory; a little scary but maybe I’m a tad over-reactive as a mother of a boy
-Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins– fiction; kooky, witty, and so interesting; He is such a strange author, but solid story-telling. Hope you have an imagination.
-Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein– science-fiction; transformed MY life and it was the first adult science fiction I read at 17; made me realize that there are other ways to think about relationships and love that society will never accept
-Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts– LOVED this one, partially because I found it on my own; Author claims it is non-fiction but people who are characters in the book disagree; story of an escaped Australian convict who goes to Bombay and experiences life; it is a long book> worth it. There are few books that give me a relationship with the characters. I didn’t want this book to end. He wrote a sequel called Mountain’s Shadow which is actually downloaded onto my phone but I can’t seem to get into it.
-Art of Racing in the Rain– the only new-age fiction that I like; story of a man and his dog; 10/10 will cry
-Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck– short and heartbreaking; a classic; it brings up an interesting view of where society draws its lines
-Devil In The White City by Erik Larson– Non-fictional story of the serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893; super creepy, super cool
-The Stranger by Albert Camus (pronounced Ca-moo, don’t make the same mistake I did and call him Cam-us and get laughed out of the room)- a fictional and philosophical story of a man who experiences life; a foray into existentialism; look for the many hidden meanings; you may have to read multiple times
-Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald– cute and pithy short story that made me laugh. I identify with Bernice…
-Breaking “Innocence” by me– non-fictional account of a female Marine who went to war young and made a lot of bad decisions (selfish plug)
-Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand– non-fictional account of an Olympian and Japanese prisoner of war during World War II. It is amazing what humans are capable of enduring. I cried, a lot, but this story is simply amazing. Sometimes justice isn’t done.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- a fictional classic about a woman who doesn’t abandon her morals and suffers heartache through the actions of others. This book is pretty awesome.
This list is constantly growing, and if I know you, I might suggest completely different works.
The picture at the top of the blog is from Bluestocking Books located in Hillcrest, San Diego, California. It is a cute local bookstore. Check it out!