There are so many great books out there written by a variety of excellent authors, so how does one choose which book to read next? Do you grab the hot, bestselling book of the moment or do you opt for the literary classic? And then there are genres to consider: romance, horror, drama, science fiction, mystery, historical, etc. But no matter what types of books you typically prefer, there are those certain novels that everyone should read. So check out this list of six fabulous books and if you spot a book you haven’t read before, consider checking it out the next time you are looking for something to read.
The Shining: The 1977 classic horror novel by Stephen King revolves around the family of Jack Torrance after he takes a job as the offseason caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. Something sinister lurks within the walls of the Hotel, and the only one who seems to realize it is Jack’s five-year-old, Danny. You have problem seen the film adaption by Stanley Kubrick, or at least are familiar with Jack Nicholson’s famous line: “Here’s Johnny.” This book features one of King’s recurring themes: insanity.
The Hobbit: The JRR Tolkien epic fantasy was originally written as a children’s book, but it was so much more than that. As the second installment of the film adaption has just been released, there is no doubt you have heard of this story. The tale follows the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, a company of dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, and Gandalf the Grey, a wizard. From its very first publication, The Hobbit received almost unanimous positive reviews. This book is still popular today too, recently being recognized as one of the “Most Important 20th-Century Novels.”
Harry Potter Series: I am going to list the entire series as one because the fact is, all of the books are fabulous. The imaginary world that Rowling created within this series is magical, inhabited by wizards, witches, werewolves, goblins, ghosts, trolls, etc. With seven novels, this series will keep you entertained for a long while. It is a wonderful series to grow up with. And please, read these books BEFORE you see the movies. In fact, read any book before seeing its film adaption. The book is always better. And that means a lot when the film series is as awesome as Harry Potter.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Fall down the rabbit hole and become entranced by this delightful tale by Lewis Carroll. This story is one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, as most of the things in Wonderland are purely nonsensical. Alice’s trip into this fantastical world occupied by only the most unusual of characters is a classic story that both adults and children have enjoyed throughout the years. It is one of the most influential novels in popular culture and literature, particularly the fantasy genre.
To Kill a Mockingbird: the 1960 Harper Lee novel is a Pulitzer Prize winning classic. This book is a required read in most High Schools today so chances are you have already read it. But if by some chance you haven’t, pick up a copy. This novel deals with so many serious issues (rape, racial inequality, class, courage, and gender roles) while still keeping warmth and humor in the pages. Atticus Finch, a middle-aged lawyer, is this stories protagonist. He defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, during three years of the Great Depression. The main story focuses on six-year-old Scout Finch, Atticus’s daughter, and we are able to thus see how this story plays out through the eyes of a child.
The Great Gatsby: Another book that you probably read in High School. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel is narrated by Nick Carraway after he moves into a small house on Long Island in the West Egg village. Nick lives next the a mansion owned by the mysterious Jay Gatsby and across the lack from his cousin in East Egg, Daisy Buchanan and her husband, Tom. The story includes various romantic relationships and affairs and explores self-indulgence, idealism, resistance to change, and social standing. In 1974, Gatsby was portrayed by Robert Redford in possibly the best film adaption of the novel, and just this past year he was portrayed by Leonardo Dicaprio in the newest film adaption.