Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Before the Internet, There Were Books

Being a huge nerd and bookworm, reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes, and books are something that I've always felt I had something relevant to say about. And seeing as Pearl did a music-themed post, I thought I would answer back with a post about my most recommended reads. To our readers who know how to enjoy a good book now and again, here are five of my most favorite books/book series that I would very much suggest reading. Enjoy!
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Inheritance Cycle
“It's impossible to go through life unscathed. Nor should you want to. By the hurts we accumulate, we measure both our follies and our accomplishments.” 
― Christopher PaoliniInheritance

The Inheritance Cycle, in my opinion, is one of the best book series there is in the fantasy genre. At first glance it really just sounds like your typical story with magic, elves, dwarves, and a young unlikely hero destined to save the world from an evil king. However, read a little more and you would eventually realize that this world is entirely separate from LOTR or any other fantasy series you can think of, sporting its own fascinating rules on allegiance and the power of simple words. Really, this is one of those "you'd have to read it yourself" cases, because I cannot and will not try to condense four great books into a short, terrible summary.

Why I recommend it:
Anyone one who knows me would know that fantasy stories are some of my most favorite books to read. I first bought Eragon on a whim in high school and have since the first page been hooked into this whole new world that is Alagaesia. More than just an amazing read, though, the Inheritance Cycle, or more specifically Christopher Paolini, is one of the biggest inspirations to me because he has accomplished something that I could only ever hope to do. Paolini first wrote Eragon when he was just 15 years old; by 19, he was already an internationally acclaimed author. 4 books later and he has finished his "practice book" as well as cemented himself as one of the best fantasy authors in the world, showing that you can be successful at any age if you just have skills and determination. For anyone who wants some writing tips and tricks, you can see him sharing his experiences on Twitter with the handle InheritanceCP.
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Les Miserables
“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.” 
― Victor HugoLes Misérables


I remember calling Les Miserables as the first ever romance book that I really enjoyed reading. I don't even know where to begin trying to make a summary of this story, because it is so complex and expertly weaved together that each character has a great story to tell on his own. I would say that this book is all about love: patriotic love for country, the pure love of a mother, fearless love for God, the powerful love between two paired souls, and even a twisted love for justice that could end up corrupting a man. Love, yeah, let's go with that.

Why I recommend it: 
Veering away from my terrible attempt at summarizing this classic, I recommend reading Les Miserables because it is brilliant, simple as that. I confess that the book I borrowed from a friend stayed for quite a few months inside my backpack, but when I eventually got down to reading through it, I found myself awed and genuinely touched. Believe you me, you'll get emotional too when you read of *spoiler* how an abused little girl gets her first real doll.*end spoiler* Having said this, I suggest reading the unabridged version because from what I've read, there are a lot of good bits removed in the abridged version.
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The Solitaire Mystery“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” 
― Jostein GaarderThe Solitaire Mystery

The Solitaire Mystery follows the story of a young boy and his dad as they trek across Europe in search of the little boy's mother. Along the way, the boy receives a tiny book baked inside a sticky bun, which relates a colorful tale involving fate, rainbow fishes, and a particularly temperamental deck of cards. How these all tie up together with reality is the real mystery, and what an exciting mystery it is! 

Why I recommend it: 
Gaarder shows just how clever he is by weaving together this impressive story-within-a-story-within-a-story book. In contrast to Sophie's World, this is less of a history-slash-philosophy lesson and more of a fun puzzle to tear apart and put together. My warning to you is that it can get pretty confusing, especially when you miss out on little details that matter later on in the story. Well worth it, though!
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To Kill a Mockingbird“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.” 
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

This book is definitely my favorite classic out of them all. In this coming-of-age story, readers get to look through the eyes of Jean Louis "Scout" Finch and see how she grows up along  with her brother Jem in a world full of mysterious neighbors, widespread racism, and an ultimately flawed justice system. To kill a mockingbird is a sin, the reader will ultimately learn, because mockingbirds don't really do anything except to make music and "sing their hearts out to us".

Why I recommend it:
I don't know how Harper Lee did it, but she made me feel incredibly nostalgic about a childhood that I didn't really experience. Her story telling is so genuine and timeless that whether you read this tomorrow or 50 years from now, you would always be taken back to the past where being colored is a bigger crime than rape and child abuse. This book shares great morals on being equal, having integrity, and all in all just being decent human beings no matter what day and age you may have been born in. If you haven't read it yet, do it now.
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CRAP“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb..." he murmured.
I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.
What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
What a sick, masochistic lion.” 
― Stephenie MeyerTwilight

Ahhh, Twilight. With the movie series just coming to an end, I figured it would be apt for me to add this particular book series to this list. This book is included for the simple fact that I want people to realize one thing: if Stephanie Meyer managed to get rich out of something like Twilight, then there's hope for anyone out there who has a half-baked idea and a reliable spell checker.  This and this alone makes Meyer a very inspirational person, because despite how many people absolutely hate Twilight, Meyer's still probably laughing along wiping her butt with dollar bills. What do you haters say now?

Why I recommend it:
I DON'T. For the record, I actually have read the series--skimmed, to be more accurate-- so I can talk smack about it all I want. Bella is so whiny in the first book that I actually got drunk reading a few chapters (yay puns!), and it didn't really pick up from there. Let's not even talk about how the ending to this series was the most boring, anti-climactic scene I've ever read, and that's saying something because it had to go against the encyclopedia for that distinction. I'm just bashing now, yes, but Meyer turned vampires, one of the toughest, meanest monsters in the world into shiny, sparkling fairies. This is UNFORGIVABLE. 

Also, 50 Shades of Grey. Enough said.
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Do you have any suggestions for a good (or bad) read? Feel free to comment, like, share on Facebook, or something. In fact, please do. (^(oo)^)

2 comments:

  1. Oh, dear God. Crap. That's just... crap. It's beyond words.

    Oh, and I still haven't managed to finish To Kill a Mockingbird. Lend me a copy?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lol thanks? :D
    I would definitely lend you a copy if you weren't anonymous.
    Who is this again? :P

    ReplyDelete