1. Evelina – Fanny Burney. This is actually the first book I ever reviewed for this blog! I had read it for a class called “Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries,” and I liked it quite a bit more than I thought I would. It was my first epistolary novel as well as the first I’d read by Burney.
2. The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins. I’d heard a lot about this series and finally picked up The Hunger Games probably less than a month after I started my blog. I was hooked and finally managed to get my hands on Catching Fire and Mockingjay that summer!
3. Bossypants – Tina Fey. This book is just plain old hilarious. I always liked Tina Fey, but didn’t know much about her other than that she reminded me a lot of a choral instructor I had in college, but reading Bossypants has made me like her and appreciate her talent so much more.
4. 11/22/63 – Stephen King. This book was utterly thrilling and totally heartbreaking, and my boyfriend should NOT have given it to me when we were in Niagara Falls together because all I wanted to do was sit in the hotel and read. Fan-freaking-tastic. Read it, especially if you’re into historical fiction.
5. On Writing – Stephen King. On Writing was such an amazing insight into my favorite author. It was so cool not only to get some more biographical information than the bit I knew, but also to get a view into his actual writing process. I don’t aspire to write as much as I aspire to understand and appreciate good writing, and On Writing helped me see just how much really goes into a novel. Plus it was fun to geek out over grammar with Stephen King. SWOON.
6. The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis. Having not gotten into these so much when I was younger, I decided that 2012 would be the year that I finally found out what was so great about Narnia. And I’m SO SAD that I was so stubborn about not reading them when I was younger! They are so amazingly wonderful, and I can’t wait to share them with my younger brother and sister (3 and 4), not to mention my own children one day.
7. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand. I know there’s been a lot of political mud-flinging over Ayn Rand’s magnum opus of objectivism recently, and I can’t say I honestly agree with either side (I’m far too conflicted about politics for my own good), but I can’t deny that Atlas Shrugged is an incredible work of literature. I could have done without the 60+ page John Galt speech near the end (or, you know, it could have just not been 60 pages), but I truly loved the rest of it as a work of literature, not so much for its political implications.
8. Divergent series – Veronica Roth. I loveloveLOVE Divergent. Love. For serious. I’m so excited Nicole made me read it. I can’t wait for the third one!!! Divergent fans: what do you think she’s going to call it? Nicole made the really good point that it would probably be something like “Convergent,” which I never would have thought of in a million years. Veronica Roth apparently still thinks of it as “Detergent,” though 😀
9. The Invisible Man – H. G. Wells. I’ve actually loved all of Wells’ books that I’ve read so far, but I think I liked this one the best. I think that’s partially because it’s the one I read most consistently (that is, since I had it in a hard copy, I didn’t forget about it for weeks at a time like I did with the other ones, which I read on iBooks), but it was also just a good story and I love old-timey horror.
10. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. A story about an orphan girl during the Holocaust who loves books, narrated by Death, and written in incredibly beautiful and inspired imagery? YES. PLEASE. Out of anything on this list, if you haven’t read The Book Thief yet, do it now. Please and thank you.by