The lovely books6259 has asked for some reading recommendations, and I figured I’d make a whole post for them in case anyone else wanted some, especially with the long weekend coming up!
Now this is by no means a comprehensive list, nor does it include my absolute favorite books, but I feel secure in the knowledge that no book blogger needs me to tell them to read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. Rather, here are 12 books I love that, tragically, I haven’t seen much of (or at all) on either booktube or wordpress.
I’m trying to include a wide variety because I have bizarre, eclectic taste that spans many genres and everyone reads differently, and has different reading moods. Hopefully, everyone reading this finds something they’d like to read on this list. And let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you’d like some “similar reads” recommendations afterwards. Many this can become a regular thing!
- The Gallager Girls Series by Ally Carter <- A series about teenaged girls who attend a school for spies. The first book is a bit more middle grade, and is mostly about sneaking out to meet a boy, but if you get past the first book, it really gets amazing. Full of romance, badass spy girls, and dark assassin boys. There are six books, each just barely reaching 300 pages, there are short, cute reads, if you like that sort of thing.
- Crush by Richard Siken <- A collection of poems by my favorite poet, all freeverse. Even if you don’t like poetry, I’d urge you to give it a go. This is the man that gave us the lines: “What is a ghost, something dead that seems to be alive, something dead that doesn’t know it’s dead” (Landscape of Fruit Rot and Millipede) and
“Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future.” (Litany In Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out). Read it.
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman <- I don’t know if this is technically a classic, but it might as well be. And no synopsis I could give would do a better job than the tagline its self “S. Morganstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure”, and it really is. It is a story within a story, and that story is all about the inherent unfairness of life, and true love conquering, and revenge, and royalty. And even if a love for the book hadn’t been instilled in me since before I could read I would still love it. Everyone should read this book. And watch the movie, because it is what all adaptations should aspire to be.
- Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender <- I first read this in the fifth grade, it was a birthday present. Its a ghost story that deals with matters of faith, belief, mystery, friendship, family, love, and pasts that refuse to stay there. It is the first of a trilogy, but can mostly be read as a standalone. Maybe it isn’t the absolute best YA ghost story but I really loved it. It had all the elements I love + creepy children and creepy dolls. Every character is well fleshed out and if you like ghost stories, I feel it is well worth your time. Its good for fans of Anna Dressed In Blood.
- You’re Never Weird On The Internet by Felicia Day <- One of the two book blogs popular books on this list, but I still feel more people need to read it. It is a biography told in a series of anecdotes, from odd childhood, to difficult adulthood. It is funny, heartwarming, inspiring, and I think its important for every girl whose been told she couldn’t do something, couldn’t game, couldn’t watch or act in fantasy, couldn’t be smart of good at math, really should read this. These are problems in today’s world. And while her intention of the book isn’t entirely to confront this, she does, in a really uplifting way. So if your a girl or you’ve watched a show with Felicia Day and fallen in love, read this.
- It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini <- It’s a story about depression that somehow manages to not be depressing. Its a story about mental illness that shows everything doesn’t have to end in death and gloom, and instead that, asking for help isn’t a weakness, it can actually be the best thing. It is funny and at times heart-wrenching, with amazing characters that feel real. There is also a movie, but that is kind of terrible. If you struggle with depression, or know someone who does, you should read this.
- Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder <- Most people have heard of these books, but few to my knowledge have read them. This is the only book in the series I ever read, but my god did I read it a lot. I must have read it once a year minimum from the second grade to the seventh. Its an amazing story about family and growing up, and makes for a great comfort read, especially in the winter.
- The Catastrophic History Of You And Me by Jess Rothenberg <- The story starts with our main character dying of a broken heart. And no, thats not a spoiler. The story follows our MC in the in-between space, between her life and her afterlife, as she learns to let go of the past, accept her fate, and fall in love with a mysterious boy who knows more about her than he should. The story is nicely paced, and what starts as a story of death and love and revenge and acceptance turns into far more. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you like love stories, afterlife stories, or drama of the unusual variety spicing up your contemporaries, read it, it is a highly entertaining story, and by the end, you won’t want to put it down.
- The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks <- This is a series of clinical tales from Dr. Sack’s case files, written up in anecdote form by the doctor himself, each with a section at the end, explaining the science behind these odd neurological diseases. I love this book, not only because I find the science fascinating (I do want to be a neurologist after all), but the short stories could be fiction for how entertaining there are. If you want to learn more about weird disorders in a non-dry way, pick it up, it really is quite good. Plus, it’ll educate you.
- Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas <- Part contemporary, part science fiction, you never really know which way this book is going to go until it gets there. Told in the alternating points of views of pen-pals Oliver who is allergic to electricity, and Mortiz, who is blind and has a pacemaker in his heart, the boys can never meet, for they will literally kill each other. As you read their letters, you learn their pasts, their lives, their loves, and the history of their connection. It is refreshing to read, I cannot think of an accurate comparison for it. Its science is believable, as are the characters, and yo9u find your self confused when Oliver is, and angry with Mortiz is. If you like either genre, or want something new, pick it up. Its a really lovely book, and while the action isn’t fast paced, you’ll find yourself too intrigued to put it down.
- The Martian by Andy Weir <- This would be the other fairly popular book on the list, but I feel it had to be included because SO MANY people either said “eh i’m not that into sci-fi” or only saw the movie/saw the movie first and didn’t want to read the book after. I’m telling, read the book. It is hilarious and much better than the movie (which is amazing into its own right, it even has Sebastian Stan, whose appearance, though minor, made me and my best friend happy squeal and scare our guy friends). I think you should know enough about this book that I don’t need to explain it, just read it.
- You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle <- The last book on this mini-list! This is a book I read about 2 years ago and its stuck with me. I remember very few of the details, but I remember the story being vastly interesting, and each character being wonderfully fleshed out. The story follows a group of kids who are stars of a documentary series that follows their lives once every five years. They were brought together by a combination of factors (mostly luck and 5-year-old cuteness) and rarely speak when not contractually obligated to do so. We follow one girl in the group who has completely changed since the last documentary, and is reluctant to film this one. We follow her, and the rest of the group through her eyes, as they film. Following all the drama involved in being a teenager trying to find yourself with the whole world watching. Its a sweet story, and I really enjoyed it. It isn’t a very heavy or serious reads from what I remember, perfect now for summer!
So, has anyone read any of these? Planning to now that I’ve told you about them? Got any recommendations for me? Let me know!
~Sam the Rivermoose