Reading is one of my hobbies and books one of my passions. As an English Literature student, I am always busy with books. Trying new ones out or rereading my old favourites.
It is always interesting to me what kind of books other people read in comparison to me. That’s why I want to share to you my 7 favourite books or book series to inspire you. Maybe, you will see one of them in your nearby bookstore and think; ‘Let’s try it out’.
I am going to mention books from very different genres or age targeting. Because, I like a lot of different book genres. Even books that are written for children. So, stay with me. Yes, there will be books in this list that are for children but, hey, even if you are not a child anymore, you can still feel like one from time to time.
- The perks of being a wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
When someone asks me what my favourite book is, and they tell me I can’t say Harry Potter, I tell them it’s this one. Having read it now for at least 4 times, it is one of those books that sticks with you.
The story follows Charlie. A boy who finds it hard to fit in with the rest of the world.
The book exists out of letters Charlie writes to someone, addressed as ‘Dear friend’ which is one of the many things I love about this book. It makes it more personal. It does create some small time jumps but Charlie usually recaps what has happened since the last letter.
Throughout the book you read about sex, drugs, partying, relationships, sexual assault but most importantly depression. The book has a very negative tone. Charlie struggles with the suicide of his best friend, which is the reason he writes these letters in the first place. His mind things in a very strange and peculiar way that feels relatable. There are certain things in life that he just can’t seem to understand.
I must add a trigger warning for this book because it does get very dark. The sexual assault, suicide and the depression are a major part of the book and this can be hard.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The lighting thief – Rick Riordan
Yes, a child book. I warned you. This book series is amazing, though. Really, I mean it. If you have an interest in Greek mythology than this is the series to read. It exists out of 5 books. Each with there own adventure but also one big storyline that ties them together.
Because it is written for children aged 9 to 12 (I know), the books are easy to read which can be nice, now and then.
Percy Jackson is a boy who has, instead of two human parents, only one. Instead, his father is Poseidon, the God of the sea. Being accused of having stolen the lightning bolt of Zeus, the God of thunder, he must go on a journey to clear his name. With two of his friends, Grover and Annabeth, he goes on a quest to find the real thief, steal back the bolt and return it to Olympus.
- The lucky one – Nicholas Sparks
Everyone knows that Nicholas Sparks creates wonderful love stories. If you haven’t read this one yet, you should. The story is sweet, intense, adventurous and sometimes funny.
If you do not feel like reading this one, you can always watch the film. It’s one of my favourites.
The story begins with Logan Thibault, a marine, during his third tour in Iraq. He finds a photograph of a girl half buried in the sand. One second he wants to throw it away and the next he is bringing it to the base with him. After asking around if the photo belonged to any one, he decides to keep it because no one claimed it. Not soon after, with the photograph in his pocket, he experiences a streak of luck wherever he goes. He realises this after his friend Victor tells him it must be the photograph.
Back home in Colorado he can’t get the girl on the photo out of his mind. He sets out to find her with the only clue already in his hand. After finding her, a vulnerable but strong woman named Elizabeth, he doesn’t immediately tell her why he’s there. He feels an attraction to this divorced mom of a young son. Will this secret tear them apart when she finds out? To who belonged the photo?
- The DaVinci code – Dan Brown
This book… where do I begin. If you like art and conspiracy theories, this is the book to go. It is written from a lot of research but also a lot of theories Brown made up himself.
I hope you already know something about it because it’s very hard to explain. The book itself is well explained so not difficult to read. But there is a lot happening. I’ll try explaining it as best as I can.
The professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a murder investigation that is quite peculiar. Jacques Saunière is murdered and found lying like the ‘Vitruvian man’ of Leonardo DaVinci. Here is where it all starts. Robert and Sophie, Jacques granddaughter, are going on a journey to find the holy grail faster than the group of people behind the murder.
By first following clues that Jacques himself left behind, they follow the trail DaVinci made years ago. Will they find what they where looking for? And if they do, is it what they expected it to be?
- The maze runner – James Dashner
I think a lot of people will have seen the films of these books. Personally, I like the books better. The story is a little different from the films that where made. There is much more going on in the books. Even if you didn’t like the films, give the books a try. You won’t be disappointed.
When I was reading this, every page was a surprise. You would think you knew what was going to happen on the next page but then Dashner would pull a 180ᵒ and completely surprise you.
Thomas wakes up in an elevator that is going up. He has no idea how he got there or where he is. Once the elevator stops and opens he is greeted by a lot of boys staring at him. They tell him he is in a maze and that they are stuck there. Trying to help he does some work around the farm that the made. But there is only one thing he wants to do, go into the maze.
With only boys around it was quite a shock to see a girl come out of the elevator next. They find a note with her that says, ‘she is the last one’.
Thomas feels a connection with her that he can’t understand. When he and the girl, Theresa, figure out they can communicate with each other in their minds, they get close together.
Soon, after her arrival, all goes to hell. They must race against the clock to find a way out of the maze. Before it is too late.
- Dear John – Nicholas Sparks
Another Nicholas Sparks book. I know. But this one is also very beautiful. Sparks is good in finding a way to make a love story more interesting by adding something new and fresh. Something you didn’t expect. The challenges the characters have to deal with are hard but add so much to the story.
The story is about, you guessed it, John. A college dropout who joint the army because he didn’t know what else to do with his life. During summer he visits his father who has Asperger’s syndrome. He also meets a girl, Savannah. They fall in love pretty quick. But John is still enlisted in the army. He will have to go back. This is a challenge for their relationship. To keep in touch, they write letters to each other.
When John’s enlistment is over they can finally enjoy their happiness. But then 9/11 happens and John feels like it is his duty to go back in. Another hard challenge for the relationship. One that maybe is too hard. Will they make it together? Or will the distance tear them apart?
- The Martian – Andy Weir
I have recommended this book to almost everyone I know. Not only is the story good, the main character is so funny. There where many times, almost all the time, I would be laughing out loud for what he said or did. This adds so much to the story which could have been depressing or sad. But by adding the wittiness it is so much more.
Mark Watney is part of the Ares 3 crew who travelled to mars to stay there for a month to do research. When an enormous storm is rising, they are forced to leave. The hurricane is so bad it rips apart a lot of the equipment. In doing this, a loose antenna impales Watney and he is flung out of sight and presumed dead. Because of the danger the rest of the crew can’t wait but must take off. The commander makes a difficult decision.
When Mark wakes up he can’t believe he is not dead. His own blood stopped the air from his suit to get out. He survived. But, now he is the only living thing on Mars. He has to get in contact with NASA, but the radio is broken. Fortunately, Watney is an engineer and solving problems is something he is good at. He finds a way to contact them and let everyone at home know he is alive. But there is another problem. Flying to mars takes a while. He does not have enough food to sustain him for that long. Again, he must solve a problem. Will he survive long enough for NASA to send more supplies? Will he be saved in the end?