The way I see it, there are four types of books. Those that should never have been written, those that are okay, those that are really good, and those every person should read in order to have a truly fulfilling life. Here is my short list of books everyone should read:
The Bible: Other than the obvious spiritual reasons, The Bible is an amazing history text (I know, “gag,” but I’m sort of a history buff.) Like it or not, it is what our nation was built on, and its always good to understand your own country’s laws, and finally, it has amazing plot twists. Check out the book of Esther. You just can’t make that stuff up!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien: Even if you’re not a fan of Fantasy, you know a masterpiece when you see one. Tolkien’s world feels so real you forget it is a place you’ve never been. I could go on about how I believe I’m at least half hobbit, but I won’t.
The Song of the Lioness quartet, Tamora Pierce: This series turned me on to Fantasy as a young teen. It’s all about girl power and chasing your dreams, set in a land where magic really exists. And to make it even better, if you fall in love with the Tortall universe, Tamora has written about 20 more books Tortall books, some following the descendants of the main characters in the Song quartet. You feel like you’re part of the family.
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen: Okay, maybe the guys can have a fulfilling life without this one, but at least watch the movie. Girls, at the very least, be grateful we can be successful people without the help of a man. It wasn’t always that way. Every time I read this one, I catch more of Austen’s subtle humor. She was a genius. But my favorite part is that the love stories are full of misunderstandings and having to swallow pride and apologize. Much more realistic than most other love stories. Speaking of which…
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare: Most of us were forced to read this in high school, but it seems like most people didn’t really get it. Why else would people be searching for their Romeo, or comparing their love to Romeo and Juliet? Romeo was on the rebound and jumped at the first pretty face, Juliet was a defiant teenager, and oh yeah, they didn’t end up together. They ended up dead. I hope my own romance turns out much better than that!
Wolfskin and Foxmask, Juliet Marillier: These books have it all. Love, betrayal, war, redemption, and hope. The pieces of the story fall together beautifully, but you have to stick with it to the end, or you miss the biggest message. Hands down the best two books I’ve read since high school. And I read a lot.
Iliad and Odyssey, Homer: Yes, I know that these are long poems, not books. Read them any way. At the very least, you can impress someone by quoting them. Its amazing how much of our culture comes from the Greeks. And if you really want to have some fun, do a little research on the psychology analysis of Odysseus’ journey. It’s…. interesting.
Okay, that’s my short list. My long list has about 50 titles, and I’m sure it will keep growing. What books do you have on your list? I’m always in the market for another awesome book, so feel free to share!