I will be the first to admit it - I read too much. My mom always said that when I find a book she loses me to it for a while, but that it could be worse because she could be losing me to cocaine. Way to stay positive Mom! What she means by this is that when I read I become really invested in the story and the characters. I like a book that takes me on an emotional journey. I tend to not be the most emotional person on a day to day basis but there is something about a well written book that can make me feel everything.
It was a hard task to narrow down my list of favourite books, but I think I have managed to create a list I'm really happy with. Please do keep in mind that this list is in no particular order as that would just be impossible for me to decide upon ha ha.
1. A Beautiful Mind - Sylvia Nasar
If you've read this book then you'll know exactly why it's on my list. John Nash is a mathematician, one of the smartest men around. His work is revered by many, but he has always been a little odd. It turns out that John suffers from schizophrenia. When this revelation comes about, we as readers are taken on the journey of his schizophrenic treatment as well as the journey of his delusions, love life, and eventually his self realization that the things he sees can't be real. This is a true account of the incredible life of John Nash (who unfortunately passed away last week), his struggles and his triumphs.
2. The Fault in our Stars - John Green
I know there has been a lot of hype around this book, but I think it is all very much deserved. This is one of the most tragically beautiful novels I have ever read. The book is about the love story between two teenagers who happen to be riddled by cancer. They're journey takes them all the way to Amsterdam and back. Unfortunately it is not the ending we would all hope for the characters to receive, but it does end on a little bit of a heart warming note that allows the reader to walk away from the book feeling warm and content. I have never felt more emotions than I have whilst reading this book.
3. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself - Judy Blume
This book is one of my long time favourites that I can read over and over again and never get tired of (the first time I read it was 8 years ago when I was only 12 years old!). The book is about a ten year old girl, Sally who loves to make up little stories in her head. I love that this book discusses the real life problems of living in the 1940's - sibling rivalry, antisemitism, and racism - all through the eyes of a very innocent 10 year old girl. It's a peek into a sad and tragic history without the harsh realities of reading true life accounts.
4. Heaven is for Real - Todd Burpo
Recently made into a movie, this novel has really packed a punch around disbelievers as of late. It is the true story of four year old Colton who experienced Heaven during an emergency surgery. The things he knows at four years old, and shares with his parents are things that no child could ever know. It is an enlightening and sobering read. I think if you aren't Christian or don't believe in God, Jesus, Heaven, etc. the story is still really amazing even with a fictitious interpretation.
5. Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
I feel like there is no need for me to explain what this little story is about as I'm sure almost everyone knows. However, in short, the novel is about a little pig named Wilbur who is at risk of going to the slaughterhouse. The barn spider, named Charlotte, uses her web to write messages about Wilbur so that the farmer will not send him to die. The pig ends up being a huge hit and lives a long, happy life with Charlotte by his side. Although this book is geared toward children, it's still one of my favourite little books and can always seem to get me a little choked up.
6. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit is another one of those books that almost everyone has read, or at least knows the story of from watching the movie. Bilbo is a hobbit who is asked to go on a very unexpected journey as a burglar with 12 dwarves. Of course he is hesitant at first, but agrees to go on this journey not knowing just how much trouble lies ahead of him. The adventure in this story is like none other! Every page holds a new twist and it definitely keeps your mind very alert. There is definitely a reason that this book is still so popular after it's initial release in 1937.
7. Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat Pray Love is an autobiography. It recounts a year of the authors life after her divorce where in she decides she needs to travel. The first section, Eat, is set in Italy where she rediscovers her love of food and learns to enjoy life. She then moves on to India to find her spirituality; Pray. The final section, Love, recounts her time in Bali, Indonesia where she intends to find balance of the two and falls in love with a Brazilian business man. The story is one of my favourites because not only is it reassuring to see that people really can, truly, start their lives over even in their forties, it can also be read as a self help book where-in as a reader we can learn from the experiences she had abroad that we may never be able to have.
8. Loser - Jerry Spinelli
Loser is another children's novel, but one that I still love to this day. The novel is about Zinkoff, a very socially inept boy who has no concept of how much of a loser he really is. I love the innocence of this book as well as the adventure Zinkoff is able to take us on through his light-hearted curiosity.
9. We All Fall Down - Eric Walters
We All Fall Down is an amazing story of Will and his father on a ninth grade school assignment where in Will has to go to work with his father. His father happens to hold a high up position at the World Trade Center. Can you guess the date this took place on? Yup, September 11th, 2001. We are taken through the emotional and suspenseful journey of before, during, and after the planes crashed into the buildings. Thankfully Will and his father both make it out of the building safely and Will is also able to have a new found respect for his father who is no less than a hero throughout the terrifying time.
10. The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks
The love story of Will and Ronnie is like none other. The Last Song is such a beautiful romance novel (Nicholas Sparks is the writer of some of the best romance novels of all time, but The Last song is my favourite), but beyond the romance the novel also touches on some very serious family problems. Ronnie has such a poor attitude when the novel begins, but as her heart opens to Will and she discovers the true secrets of her broken family's past she becomes a really sweet, and beautiful young woman. This book never fails to make me cry both from sadness and from happiness.
So these are my top 10 favourite books, in no particular order. If you have any reading suggestions based on what I enjoy reading please do let me know and I will 100% check them out!
Thanks for reading, Katelyn