The holidays are the perfect time for some much needed R&R after a busy semester of papers upon research papers and work on top of even more work. I just got home from the dorm life and am ready to live it up for the next four and a half weeks. ‘Living it up’ as in catching upon on Grey’s Anatomy on the DVR, watching that last episode of The Walking Dead that Instagram spoiled for me, playing some Xbox, working on writing, and one of my favorite pastimes I am never able to enjoy during the school semesters: reading.
I never have time to actually sit down and read amidst all of the papers and assigned readings I have as an English Major with a creative writing concentration. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely enjoy reading works I’ve never read before and expanding my genre horizons. (Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the old historical documents of American authors. Yeah, our history is interesting and has made us into who we are today, but really, some authors are just too long-winded when they could have just gotten their point across and made an argument in the first few pages.) But I also really enjoy a good book that I saw on the shelf at the local bookstore or heard about online or through friends. There’s something completely different about choosing what you want to read and sitting down to read it versus a work that’s assigned to you and that you have to writer critical response papers on. Over the semester, my bookshelf fills with books I had to get but hadn’t had the chance to read yet. So the first thing I do when I make the drive home and change into comfy sweats, fuzzy socks, and a t-shirt is climb in bed and curl up with my puppy and the first book I’ve been dying to read.
Now finding the perfect book is complicated, but when I finally hit the jackpot, I can’t put a good book down. My biggest problem is getting so addicted to a book, the plot and the style of writing, that I literally cannot stop reading it until I’ve turned that last page and read that last line. Needless to say, I spend many sleepless nights huddled under my covers with my bed lamp on and my nose in a book. And then once that cover is shut, I’m left semi-empty, unsure of where to start next on my quest for a new and intriguing tale to suck me in.
For those who get stuck on deciding what to read, I’m creating a list of some of my favorite books in a variety of genres: stories that are different, that sucked me in, that moved me, that opened my mind to new ideas. Now I know not everyone has the same tastes as I do, but checking out any of these amazing books are definitely worth the shot, especially since the holidays mean we have so much free time. So why not try something semi-productive. Opening your mind to a whole new world. You never know what the right book might inspire you to do. My challenge for you is to pick one of these books and read it, and if you want, shoot me a message or leave a comment on what you think.
- The Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson
- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- How It Ends by Laura Wiess
- Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
- Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
- Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- The Complete Fiction of H.P Lovecraft
- Run with the Hunted by Charles Bukowski
- The Complete Work of Elizabeth Bishop