Saturday, September 12, 2015

24 Books Everyone Should Read

Lately, it seems like I can't go online without coming across a list of the x number of books everyone should read. Sometimes the lists really are for everyone; other times, they're just for women, and yet other times, they're for women in a certain age range. I've even stumbled across some that are geared toward people of a specific ethnicity.

A lot of the times, I don't agree with what books make these lists, so I thought I would make my own, with the help of a colleague. It's a mix of young adult fiction, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction. Some of the books might appear on other lists you can find online, but I wanted to make my ideal list.  It would take too long to write an explanation for each book on the list, so I've only written explanations for some of them.

Here's the list, in no particular order.

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
Splitting an Order by Ted Kooser
Some of Tim's Stories by S.E. Hinton
Hawke's Harbor S.E. Hinton

S.E. Hinton is best-known for her young adult novel, The Outsiders, but there's something to be said about her adult fiction, too. I'm convinced that most people don't even know that she's written adult fiction. Hawke's Harbor is about a vampire (if you're not a fan of Twilight, don't worry--Hawke's Harbor is nothing like it), and the story is haunting. Some of Tim's Stories is a book of short stories, and I love that not only did Hinton move away from young adult fiction, she also wrote a different format.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My colleague picked this one because it's amazing and because she likes the way Niffenegger wrote it.

Columbine by Dave Cullen

And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi (not pictured)
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Haiku: This Other World by Richard Wright

I stumbled across this book several years ago by accident. I was looking for a different poetry book, but when I saw Wright's book, I was surprised that the author of Black Boy and Native Son was also a poet.

Jesus's Son by Denis Johnson
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Leverage by Joshua Cohen
Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Amy McNamara
The Long Walk by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman)

Before there was The Hunger Games, there was The Long Walk. I've always loved Stephen King's novels, and this is no exception. He is a master at writing dystopian fiction.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The Jasper Dent trilogy by Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers, Game, and Blood of My Blood)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Suicide has been a big trend this year in young adult fiction. All the Bright Places and The Last Time We Say Goodbye are the two best novels I've read that deal with this topic.

Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg

A lot of people talk about Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft when they talk about writing guides, and while I love King's book, I also love Old Friend From Far Away. It's probably not a well-known Natalie Goldberg book; people tend to talk about Writing Down the Bones (also by Goldberg) the most. What I love about Old Friend From Far Away is that even though it's geared toward writing memoir, it can also be used for writing fiction and poetry. As a bonus, the sections are short, and don't have to be read in order, so for writing exercises, it's great.

In One Person by John Irving

What books are on your list of books you think everyone should read?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This will be very useful for our Book Club at Los Griegos in compiling our 2016 list. Thanks! Carla Felsted