Expanding your mind. Visiting other worlds. Connecting to your inner fears.
These can all be accomplished by reading a great book. Whether you’re reading the book or listening to an audiobook, delving into the worlds written in words is a fantastic experience. But, and this must be said, if you think reading a book is amazing, try writing one. Or a short story. It’s an entirely different experience as you create worlds from your own imagination and leave them behind to connect with others. You can create these literary works that touch the minds and souls of others. To stoke your literary fire, here are some great reads for all you bibliophiles.
#1 The Giver By Lois Lowry
In 1994, Lois Lowry released a classic that would go down in history as one of the “most influential novels of our time”. The Giver chronicles the life of Jonah, a 12-year-old boy who lives in a utopian. With no crime, climate, sadness, and forced sameness, Jonah’s world is perfect. He believes it, his parents believe it, and so does his friends. Until the day Jonah becomes the Receiver of Memory and is tasked to remember the past. He’ll find his world is filled with dark secrets that can’t be ripped from existence.
#2 Steve Jobs By Walter Isaacson
The biography of creative genius, Steve Jobs, gathers material from over 40 interviews over a two-year time span. This biography looks at the man who revolutionized six different industries-personal computers, music, phones, digital publishing, tablet computing, and music- from many different perspectives. Many interviews were taken from over a hundred family members, competitors, enemies, friends, and colleagues to try and understand the man whose mission in life was to reach perfection. With the drive and ferocity of a speeding bullet-train, Steve Jobs changed the world forever.
#3 To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee
A classic among classics, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of a young girl named Scout. Taking place in the American South, this is a deeply moving account of cruelty, innocence, hatred, and injustice wrapped up and delivered by a smart little girl with a big heart.
#4 The Call Of The Wild By Jack London
Centralized around the experiences of a domesticated dog named Buck, The Call of the Wild is the riveting story of a civilized dog sold into Alaskan sled dog brutality. There, in order to survive, Buck loses his civility and comes out as a leader among the brutish pack. But, how much of himself did he lose and can he ever get it back?
#5 White Teeth By Zadie Smith
Set in London, White Teeth spans multiple decades and, at times, includes flashbacks to 1907. It is a masterful novel of interwoven lives, races, destinies, cultures, and ambitions that traverse many lifetimes. With a movie-like structure, White Teeth holds every piece together like a well-made quilt.
#6 The Fortress Of Solitude By Jonathan Lethem
A coming-of-age novel at its best, The Fortress of Solitude tells a story of superheroes, race, loyalty, graffiti, and class tied up in an emotionally gripping tale that will linger long after the final page has been turned.
#7 Infinite Jest By David Foster Wallace
With the backdrop of an addict’s halfway house, an extremely quirky family, and a tennis academy, the fun has just begun. Sort of. Infinite Jest places a critical eye on the role of entertainment in our modern lives, the ways it dominates our relationships and time, and how entertainment can affect our need for connection. Throughout this novel, the question woven into Wallace’s stunning prose is: In what ways do our pleasures speak of our character?
#8 Dune By Frank Herbert
A sci-fi tour-de-force, Dune is the story of a boy, Paul, who would grow to be a mysterious man with revenge in his heart. During his life, the boy, Paul, now known as Muad’Dib, will avenge the betrayal thrust on his noble family and successfully unearth the most sought-after and ancient desire mankind has ever conceived.
#9 Less Than Zero By Bret Easton Ellis
Reminiscent of a documentary, Less Than Zero chronicles the descent of 1980s Los Angeles. This visceral novel explores the plight of a generation lost to drugs, sex, and neglect at an early age. In a world dominated by wealth and passive immorality, can another generation afford to be lost? Who will care enough to try and save the next generation?
#10 High Fidelity By Nick Hornby
Rob lives in a brilliant space of pop music, a semi-successful store, and vinyl records. His life revolves around pop music and Laura, his girlfriend. But, fidelity isn’t Laura’s game, as she’s gone upstairs and left Rob for the guy that hangs up there. Is Laura actually a loss? That’s the question Rob seeks to answer. Throughout this novel, Rob will explore just how much he truly loves Laura and whether or not she’s worth it. A happy ending isn’t guaranteed, but the stoking of emotions is.
These books range in genre, subject matter, and writing style, but each of them will grab you and not let go until the final word. A few are classics, written hundreds of years ago, but still relevant today, while others are new additions to the magnificent tapestry of written work that introduces worlds you can’t believe, lives you haven’t lived, and characters you can relate to because bits and pieces of their story are bits and pieces of yours. So, pick up a book, or ten, and enjoy these journeys into worlds unknown and hearts unguarded.