Throughout my years in school, from about second grade to college, books have played a strong role in my education. From the moment I read my first sentence, I was in love with reading. This passion remains with me to this day; I am a huge book fan! In fact, I loved getting the required reading lists for my classes in elementary and middle school because I couldn’t wait to read the next story. To honor this love of mine, I am dedicating this blog post to some of the best books I have ever read. Coincidentally, most of them were required readings in school. So without further ado, here is the list of my top 5 favorite books/book series (in no particular order):
1. Freak the Mighty – This book, written by Rodman Philbrick, is an absolute gem! It’s the story of a troubled boy named Max, who struggles with his resemblance to his estranged father who was just recently released from prison. In the midst of this, a crippled boy named Kevin moves in next door to him and they become best friends. Kevin, nicknamed “Freak” by the kids at school, begins riding on Max’s shoulders and deems them “Freak the Mighty”. They begin to go on adventures to escape from the real world, and relentless teasing they endure at school. All the while, Kevin is in a constant struggle with his deteriorating health. Throughout the book he hides this from Max, because he wants him to stay hopeful amidst his trials. At the end of the book Kevin gives Max a blank book and tells him to write down all of the adventures of “Freak the Mighty”. This story will definitely tug at your heart strings, but I would recommend it for a good read anytime.
2. The Chronicles of Narnia – This classic series by C.S. Lewis, will go down in history as my all-time favorite. I remember reading the first book on accident. I picked up a copy from my middle school library and got hooked. The books tell the story, from the beginning to the end, of a land called Narnia. They include the stories of several different children making their way into this fantasy land of talking animals, mythical creatures, and magic. Aslan, a lion who created the world, calls in each group of children from “the real world” for the sake of restoring order in Narnia. C.S. Lewis included in his novels an allegory of Christianity that was both easily understood and enjoyed by children. For this reason, there has been much debate about the series. All themes aside, The Chronicles of Narnia really envelopes the reader and transport you to a different world. I love these books so much I’ve read through the entire series upwards of 20 times.
3. Thirteen Reasons Why – I can honestly say that this book changed my life. It is the story of a girl who has chosen to commit suicide, and before that deters you from reading it, listen to the rest of the story. Before the girl died, she recorded and mailed a set of thirteen cassette tapes to one of her peers. It was then up to that person to send the tapes on to the next person when they had finished them. If they didn’t comply, the tapes (including some of their most guarded secrets) would be made public. The story is narrated by one of the students who received the tapes. The story is brilliantly told, and I couldn’t put it down when I started reading it. I actually ended up reading the entirety of the book in less than 8 hours. This is a powerful story, written by Jay Asher, which really changed my perspective on how my actions, both direct and indirect, affect others.
4. The Island of Dr. Moreau – I was given this novel for a reading assignment my sophomore year of high school. I had immediate reserves about it because it was such an old book, published in 1896. I couldn’t imagine that I could ever enjoy reading it, but I was proven wrong immediately. Within the first few pages, I was transported onto the island, myself. This is a fantastic sci-fi novel written about a man, named Edward, who becomes shipwrecked on an island with a man who calls himself Dr. Moreau. The doctor tells the stranded man of the many experiments he has been attempting on the island throughout his years there, and at first, they seem innocent. Edward starts to notice some strange “creatures” on the island, and in his shock, tries to flee. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the rest, or I’ll ruin it. So if you get the chance, this novel by H. G. Wells is a true classic.
5. A Night to Remember – Last, but certainly not least, is a beautifully written real-time account of what happened the night the Titanic sank, entitled A Night to Remember. Walter Lord, the author of the novel, sat down with as many of the survivors of the night as he could and compiled each of their stories into a minute by minute account of that fateful night. It is an interesting read for anyone who enjoys history, or just wants to know more about the Titanic. Personally, my guilty pleasure is Titanic history. I have several books, movies, and artifacts concerning the Titanic, and one of my hobbies is to learn as much as I can about the tragedy. I actually found this novel accidentally at a used book store, and have loved it ever since. For those of you who love the movie, this book gives a more accurate, less dramatized version of what happened the night the Titanic sank. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone, whether you want to learn more about the Titanic, or just want to read an edge-of-your-seat, thrilling narrative.
One of the great things about attending LMU is that our library offers leisure books to check out, such as the ones I mentioned above, in addition to thousands of resource books. Also, the staff is amazing! They are super friendly and always willing to help you out with anything you need. Another cool feature of our library is the ever changing “featured books” displays. At least once a month the library staff will set up a display of “featured” reads all centered around one theme. This month was cats! Yeah, you read that correctly…CATS! Words cannot describe how ecstatic I was when I saw it. This is just one more reason LMU is amazing.
If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about my ‘wild’life, please feel free to follow my blog! I’d love to read comments with your favorite books, too, so drop me a line below! I shall leave you all with a picture of the cat display currently in our library:
Have a good week, y’all!