There are so many. “The Catcher in the Rye” , ” The Outsiders” ” The Things they Carried” about Vietnam. “Fahrenheit 451”
“The Grapes of Wrath” “The Learning Tree” I would say my favorite is “The Things they Carried”, i read this one when i was in High School and wanted to learn more about the Vietnam War, because it was not taught in History class. One thing is to watch a documentary, or watch a movie, but this was a real person person, who came back and wrote it on his own words, the hell he went through. and he went back many years to visit, for closure. That’s how i interpreted it.
“Shindler’s List” There is a book, and “The Diary of Ann Frank” Being 12 years old and learning about the horrors of the Holaucost for the first time, changed my outlook on life, and humanity, what we are capable of, great acts of kindness, and the complete opposite, completely evil and demonic.
One of my favorite books is called the Dragon and the Unicorn by A.A. Attanasio. It’s based on merlin’s origins and how he started as a demon and getting trapped and becoming human. Very interesting read as it deals with alot of the norse and other mythology.
Even it is well known, another is the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. The movies where great, but the books really delve into the Middle Earth realm.
The Odyssey was a good read, but when dealing with older books it sometimes gets hard to understand the difference in the written translations used.
Last one is the Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. Very funny book, (IMO) probably my favorite of Shakespeare’s work
If anyone is looking for some decent children books, I recommend the Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain and the Giver.
The Samurai’s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard
Surprisingly accurate, it follows a boy whose father (a samurai) is killed by a rival and becomes a samurai of his own. Its well written and enjoyable, and quite surprising in terms of quality.
“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and it’s terribly underrated. I have never seen anyone else reading it, and my mother (who has an English degree) has never even read it. The movie (which I saw in its entirety after reading the book) did not live up to my expectations, but when have movies ever? Without giving too much of the book away, it’s your basic revenge story. Edmond Dantes was wronged and vows to devote his life to vengeance. However, it goes so much deeper than that. There are subplots where you start to wonder, “Hows is this even related to the main storyline?” But, just when you’re about to give up on it, Dumas brings the over arcing story back into the mix and you’re like “That’s why he did the thing!” It is an extremely long story at over 1300 pages in some versions and over 400,000 words (Although there is an abridged version, there are apparently large gaps where people and/or objects appear out of nowhere; I read the unabridged version, so I didn’t have these issues).
Another is a series: The Ranger’s Apprentice. Written by John Flanagan, it follows the story of a young orphan whom everyone teased and made fun of. A ranger–the extremely skilled archer guards of the kingdom–chooses him to be his apprentice (hence the title) because of his skill in sneaking into the office of the Governor, or whatever his title is, of the ward. I haven’t read this one in years, but I’m been thinking about rereading it because of how great it flowed.
Neil Gaiman, anything by him is a sure fire, the best being ocean at the end of the lane and american gods there both very odd and very strange but over all very fun reads
First, the Classics!
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – A classic that many know. Got to read it first in school at the age of 14, and since then I’ve read it a handful of times and enjoyed it every time. For those who are not aware of it, it is a powerful story of a mans struggle against nature, time, adversity and himself.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne – Always loved this book. I loved it as a child for the adventures, but as I got older I started falling in love with the characters and the story in itself. It is really a epic sci-fi adventure without comparison. And every time I read it, I’m astonished that it was written in 1870.
And now, for something a little bit newer!
Fifteen Hours by Mitchel Scanlon – This is a Warhammer 40k Novell, and if you’re not aware of what that is, no worries. I’m not going to explain it here, but you can check it out with a quick search online. Anyways, you need little to no knowledge to appreciate this book. It’s basically a story about a newly trained soldier who is dropped into the wrong battle. As a new soldier he has an average of fifteen hours before he gets killed, and we get to follow him as he tries to survive, beat the statistics and prove himself.
It’s not a huge book but I found “The Wave” to be an eye opener when I was younger. I believe it is a novelized version of a film about a teacher who creates a social experiment to help his class understand why so many people backed the Nazi Party in Germany WWII.
It is a series by Jim Butcher called the Codex Alera, consisting of six books. The origin of the story was that Jim Butcher bet a friend that he could turn any idea into a good story. His friend gave him two themes to work with- Pokemon and the Lost Roman Legion. What came out of that bet is a fantasy world that rivals Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series. While the story focus on the life of a young sheep herding boy and his amazing ascent, there are numerous sub plots and incredibly well developed characters. Throughout all six books, there are a number of story arcs that all interrelate and keep the story interested. In a world were most people have some degree of power at their command, Tavi, the main character and the least powerful of them all must use his wits to overcome tremendous odds. Its a fantastic book series that I have read a few times as have my teenage sons and several friends. To me it is a must read.
On a grittier but equally awesome note, the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher currently spans 16 novels, with darker tones and sometimes a bit more mature subject matter. Fantastic character development, great story lines, beautifully woven story arcs, and a sarcastic anti-social hero, these are the very best in urban fantasy.
“the Road” by Cormac Mccarthy i gave it to my girlfriend and within 10 hours she had finished it and with tears in her eyes, she threw the book at me saying “you asshole why’d you make me read that?” yea i almost shed a tear myself.
House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewsky, and all the Sagas from Fernando Trujillo Sainz like La guerra de los cielos (war from heaven) or La biblia de los Caidos (the fallen ones bible)
Swan Song by Robert McCammon. This is probably the book I have read the most, my first time in high school. It is a post apocalyptic fantasy, that takes place from multiple perspectives. It is not as true to life as “The Road”, maybe a little more along the lines of “Fallout”, but the violence in it shook me a few times. Enough so that I had to put the book down for a while and say “holy sh*t” out loud.
I have a lot of favorite books, and Stephen King and his son are probably my favorite authors, but Swan Song will always be the answer I yell when someone asks my favorite book.
Definitely 1984 by George Orwell, it’s about a world controled by power hungry totalitarian governments. the messages contained in the book, and the way it was written really got to me. I loved the way he wrapped a very bitter story with a happy atmosphere. As you read, try and compare it with the world around you.
I’d also recommend Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. I really dig his style especially those clever lines he kept repeating throughout the book. Although it felt a bit rushed towards the end it kept me glued as i read it, the first time i felt that way to a book.
Max and Murray: A Novel by Darryl Mason. Read it 20 years ago and I still think about it.
Bill Bryson\’s \” A short history of nearly everything\” – It gives a great overview of the world around us from physics and astronomy to fields like natural history or anthropology while keeping it easy to understand and even entertaining. Most importantly Bryson shows how key figures, events and methods shaped scientific progress and how much work and dedication goes into proper research leading to the knowledge and technologies we take for granted. What do we think the universe looks like and what do we still not know about it? How can we tell how old Earth is, how do we know how old anything is? Why are we sure that evolution is a thing and why bother? Who discovered readioactivity, and what is that actually? This book (or something similar) should be mandatory reading in schools. If not passion for it, at least a minimum understanding of science has never been more important.
Connections by James Burke: The weird ways that science and technology interact with each other to form surprising outcomes is fascinating. How does the Library of Alexandria lead to the nuclear bomb? How does the British losing out on American pitch because of the revolution end up with plastics?
Mistwalker by Denise Lopes Heald: It’s described as an ecological thriller, but that isn’t right. It’s a story about two emotionally wounded people on a jungle planet, one a native and the other an immigrant, whose pasts haunt them in vastly different ways. Not only are the characters interesting, but the world building is top notch.
The Dada Caper by Ross H. Spencer: A strange fusion of Dadaism, hard-boiled noir, and comedy, wrapped up in a storytelling style that has to be read to be believed. It shouldn’t work. It honestly shouldn’t even begin to be a coherent story. Not only does it work, but it’s hilariously entertaining. Even if you don’t like it, it’s worth it just to be able to force your copy into someone else’s hands and spread the insanity.