Required Reading #1

Looking for books for the summer? I just got done putting my list of summer reading together. I’ll post that next. First, though, is a few of the novels I read over the school year that were really phenomenal.

1) The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach                                                                             Fielding is such a great book because it forces you to develop feelings for the characters regardless. Harbach did a wonderful job crafting honest, believable characters. There are no “manic-pixie dream” characters that come across in some other novels. Every character has a flaw, and it is a beautiful experience to be a part of every time I read it.

2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky                                                           Perks is a book for anyone who has ever felt completely and utterly alone. So, what I mean is Perks is a book for everyone. It is weird, and charming. The plot makes you want to laugh, cry, and throw up all at once. I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but it is. It’s a pretty short read. I read it in a day, and passed it on to a friend, who passed it on to another one of our friends. We’re like a really poor book club.

3) The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee                                                       As a science nerd, I found this book to be incredibly informational. Above that though, it was incredibly refreshing to read a novel written by a doctor about medicine that was so incredibly warm, and personable. Doctors get a bad rap for being cold and unattached. Mukherjee writes with such a warm tone that learning about such an abysmal topic seems comfortable. Another author/doctor who does very similar things is Atul Gawande.

4) This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper                                                               Reading this book is like watching a slow motion car crash. It is painful and difficult and messy, but you look on anyways. You know the second you open the book that you are going to watch the main character’s life fall apart. It reads in such a way that makes everything inside you hurt for this character. Tropper manipulates his readers in the best sort of way.

5) Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi                                                                                                     This is an important read for anyone who grew up in the US during the war with Iraq/Afghanistan/Etc. It is important for those of us still growing up in the middle of these wars. It is written comic book style to appeal to a young audience,and outlines a young girls growing up during the time before the US invaded the middle east. It shows the struggle, and trial that she goes through. I read this as an assignment for a Young Adult Literature course, and hated it for the first few chapters. As I begun to understand it, I grew to love it. Persepolis does a great job of reminding us that perspective is all a matter of where we stand.

6) Looking For Alaska, John Green                                                                                         Because it’s not a book list if it doesn’t contain a John Green novel. His book TFiOS has done quite well, but I am considerably more fond of Alaska. It is a tragic coming of age novel. It shows that pain occurs in everyone. And that we all believe in our own invincibility, even if it is only for a short time. It reminds us to let the people around us know that they are loved, they are forgiven, and they are not alone.

There you have it: six books you need to read. Enjoy!


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