“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” -Ann Dillard
I am a bibliophile, a person who collects or has a great love of books. And since today is National Book Lovers Day, I just had to share some of my favorite reads for 2017!
Trying to choose my favorite books is like trying to choose a best friend. Great books can be there for you at different times, in different seasons. I was browsing through my Goodreads profile and just kept jumping back and forth between recommendations. I finally came down to five. While I refuse to say these are my top five favorites, I will say that these are books I highly recommend for you to check out this summer!
The Book Thief
Okay, admittedly, this is my favorite book. Markus Zusak (also my favorite author) has a voice unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s so distinct and mesmerizing that you could just read it for the sake of prose. But the plot and characterization in The Book Thief are also unprecedented. I dare you not to fall in love with Rudy or Hans. But be warned. This book is narrated by Death. And while it is soulful, insightful, moving, and even funny, it is desperately tragic.
Here’s Amazon’s summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
During a career counseling session, I was told to read this book. I jotted down the name, and promptly avoided it for several years. Every time I reached out to touch it, something about it pushed me away. My loss. I finally hunkered down and read this beautiful, beautiful book. It can be a little odd at times, I’ll admit. But the spiritual undertones, the symbolism, and the themes will have you clamoring for more and more. Oh, and the ending? You’ll never forget it.
Here is Amazon’s summary: Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
When my best friend first recommended this book, I was intrigued. But then I started it and I was bored… I was confused as to how someone with such good taste could recommend something so slow. But then I got to chapter three. Since then, I’ve recommended this to all of my fellow book lovers. They complain too. Until they hit chapter three. I’m on book five of this series, and let me tell you – it’s addictive. It’s fantasy, history, and science-fiction all wrapped into one. And by the end, I guarantee you’ll long for the Scottish Highlands too.
Here is Amazon’s summary: Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
I didn’t board the Harry Potter bandwagon during it’s heyday. In fact, I belligerently refused. But last year one of my girls told me, “It’s just a story Paige. Read it. You’ll like it.” So I did. And she was right. I finished the series in about a month – and now I’m proudly aboard the Hogwarts Express, a Ravenclaw (although in all seriousness, Hermione is me.) There is a reason this is one of the most popular books in the world. Because it’s not just a story. It’s a great one.
Here is Amazon’s summary: Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
The Power of Habit
I’m a big fiction reader, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a great non-fiction piece. The Power of Habit is an absolute must-read. Charles Duhigg does remarkable work in explaining the intricacies of what we do and why we do it – but more importantly, how to change the pattern. With incredible anecdotes and delicious data (my favorite), it’s a non-fiction page-turner.
Here is Amazon’s summary: In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
There you have it folks! My top five list for National Book Lovers Day. To find out what I’m currently reading, check out my Goodreads widget in the sidebar! Feel free to add me as a friend if you’re on Goodreads too! Happy reading!
Are you a book lover? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What are your top recommendations for book lovers day? Share your answers in the comments!