I’ve done a lot of posts in the past through Top Ten Tuesday on favorite books or books that should be read because of some specific topic. I started thinking, maybe I should do a post for my 30th birthday related to: 30 Books Everyone Should Read.
But then I started thinking again, and while this post is about that, I thought it would be fun to go through “the ages” for me, starting with my younger years and up to now.
Pre-Teen Books Everyone Should Read
The Chronicles of Narnia and all it’s subsequent stories: This is one that I think really speaks to children and can be one of those bedtime type stories. I remember falling in love with the series when I read it (even if it was when I was older).
Harry Potter (and all the rest): I started reading the Harry Potter series when I was roughly 8 years old and I remember not only feeling like I entered an entirely new world but I was able to grow up with Harry and his friends at the same time. It’s truly the reason why I love reading — it was the first real story that had me wanting to read outside of school requirement.
The Teen and High School Years
The Kite Runner: I remember reading this in highschool and thinking how important it was for people to truly understand what it is like living in the Middle East. After reading this, it became my summer read for college, this was one of the first times I was excited about a school book to read.
Eliza and Her Monsters: I actually just read this one and immediately thought I wish I had this book when I was younger. It definitely deals with the difficulties young teenagers go through during school and how they cope.
The Book Thief : Another book that I really fell in love with. Not just because of the story of survival and doing what was right but also because of the clever narration that the author decided to use.
The Hobbit & Lord of The Rings: So here’s the thing, when I was in middle/high school, I hated The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. I started both multiple times, then finally I got through it and fell in love with the story and truly appreciate what this story did for other authors.
Ethan Frome: A Classic, I’ll admit I can’t really remember this one, I read it in high school but I know I loved it.
The Crucible: A classic, Salem Witch Trial story that is usually read in an AP Lit Class. I couldn’t keep the witch trials off my list!
Young Adult & All The Rest
The Nightingale: I mean, let’s be honest. I have a fascination with WW2, The Nightingale was one of those stories that I could not put down and that really opened my eyes to the horrors in France. When in school, you hear about Germany — what Germany did, what happened because of them etc and what happened when the United States joined the war. But this story opened up an entire new learning experience to what it was like for all Europe during the time.
The Bear & The Nightingale (Series): Okay, so the Bear & The Nightingale might be one of my favorite stories ever (this could totally be part of the Teen Years). Vasya is a girl who all girls should strive to be — this story is magical but real at the same time and I could not put the first or second down.
The Cuckoo’s Calling: J.K. Rowling has written other stories besides for Harry Potter and this mystery novel is one of them. While this is a series, I have to admit, the second two stories were nowhere near as interesting and fun of a read as the first.
The Martian: Survival, sci-fi, comedy and taking place in the future. The Martian not only has all these elemts but you’ll also learn a little bit about engineering and botany.
Testament of Youth: The true story by Vera Brittain, this story brings to life WW1 in the eyes of a 20-year old living in Britain. What it was like for people during the time and how feminism became popular during and after the war. While it’s a dry read and reads like a biography (because in a way it is) it’s educational, emotional and motivational that I recommend to anyone.
Outlander (Series): Woman falls through stones — wakes up in the Highlands in the 1700s and falls in love with Scotsman. But at the same time, there’s a little bit of history happening too.
Poldark (Series): I can’t really describe why I love the Poldark series all I can say is that once you start reading about these characters you’ll fall in love with them and want to know what happens. This is a series of life in it’s truest form — late 1700s to earl 1800s of coal mines, politics and war.
A Court of Thorns and Roses (Series): So I hadn’t heard of this series until last year and once I started I couldn’t put it down. Is it great? No, but it’s a good in between read when you’ve read something heavy and emotional.
All The Light We Cannot See: Also set during WW2 this is another story about the survival of the people of France.
Discovery of Witches (All Soul’s Series): This is a mix of Harry Potter, Outlander and Twilight. I picked it up because of the gorgeous covers but fell in love with the magic, vampires, mystery and time travel. I am so excited it’s becoming a T.V. series too!
Still Alice: I chose this because the story about living with Alzheimer’s and it’s effects on not just you but your loved ones is a story that all should read. At some point in your life, you and your loved ones will tested physically and this story brings that to life.
We Were The Lucky Ones: I mean, how can you not read a story about a Jewish family who survived during WW2 and lived to tell the tale? We Were The Lucky Ones shows the harrowing story of this Polish family, what they did to survive and how they lived with it all.
Me Before You (Series): At some point in ones life they will lose someone they love. The Me Before You Series delves into that loss in three brutally honest books depicting love, losing love, grief, moving on and finding your way again.
Pride & Prejudice: I mean, I had to put a classic Janet Austen romance on here 🙂
The Girl in The Dragon Tattoo: One of the very few mystery books that I felt was worth the ranking. The first 100 pages are awful but once you get by that, you’ll have chills.
The Help: A wonderful story of what it was like in the south during slavery. I would recommend reading this after seeing the movie though — so many characters it was hard to keep them all straight.
A Thousand Splendid Suns: By the author of The Kite Runner, this is the story of two women in Kabul living and surviving through the war.
Rescuing Jeffrey: A Memoir: This is the story of a boy who is injured and becomes a quadriplegic. It’s the story of that boy, his family and the decisions each will make. It’s the story of love and loss — and also provides you with an insight to medicine, healthcare and decision making. I remember I read this for school and found it to be emotional and extremely educational — and of course, it’s a true story.
The Night Circus: The Night Circus starts out slow but then picks up into this fantasy world of magicians that is truly one of it’s kind.
The White Queen: I fell in love with the story — a story that’s partially true too. I remember after reading the White Queen and the War of The Roses all I wanted to do was research research research more about the people and the history during the time.
A Man Called Ove: Some people hated it, some people loved it — I loved Ove, Ove is one of those people that just because they are tough on the outside isn’t necessarily tough on the inside.
This was a difficult post, I’ve read so many books that it was difficult to think of them all. Have you read any of these? Would they be in your top 10, 20, 30?