Reading 57 books during the year of 2017 was a really great feeling. I cried when 30% of the books ended, and wished to somehow have the glamorous life of one of the girls’ in Nicholas Sparks novel. Even though life is not a romance novel, and I certainly cannot enter the scene of a James Patterson murder mystery, it still is great to discuss all of the books I’ve read. More importantly, the books I think you should read.
1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
If you are looking for an action-packed book with adventures that give you the chills, yet also have meaning as well as history, Unbroken is the novel for you. It entails telling the remarkable story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympian runner during World War Two. In 1941, he enlisted in the military, earned commission as bombardier. The plane he and his crew were flying ended up crashing into the Pacific. He and two other survivors, Phil and Mac, floated around for 47 days. Zamperini and Phil made it to shore on an Japanese island where they were held as POW’s (Prisoner of war) for over two years. This is my favorite book of all time, and I read it cover to cover every year. It is a story of resilience and courage. One particular lesson this book taught me is that you can always take a lot more stress, and deal with so much more than you think.
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This was a phenomenal read, and although I often don’t rate books with five stars, I would most definitely give this one full marks. Narrating the novel is sixteen year old Starr Carter, who is the sole witness to her childhood friend being murdered. With an intense plot and a narrative that only makes you want to read on, Thomas writes about issues that are often not talked about enough; it discusses how we need to talk about these issues, equal opportunities and rights which may not be so equal after all. Furthermore, speaking out and fighting for our rights is extremely important. This book touches on all of these important things, and makes you want to stand up and speak out.
3. The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
This is clearly a classic, and it truly made me cry. The title is somewhat self explanatory, but this novel definitely dives deeper than just what the title says itself. Hemingway writes about a fisherman who has not caught a fish in 84 days. He finally gets a great catch, but unfortunately he is far out in the middle of the ocean, drifting a long way from home. As the man tries to stay determined and make it back home, we hear about life, and lessons that he realizes along the way.
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This is a great read for anyone who loves classic literature, and it contains an intense plot line. It is a tale of resilience, and refusing to give up. To be completely honest, I haven’t exactly finished the novel yet, but I cannot wait to find out what Ms. Eyre will do. Hopefully, she’ll fall madly in love…
5. The Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks
Nicolas Sparks is a master of romance, passion, and the love we wish we all had. The Longest Ride is two beautiful stories intertwined, hearts tangled somewhere in the middle. First there’s college senior Sophia, who falls for the smoldering, and literally hazardous bull rider Luke Collins. (You should see him in the movie!) The pair connects over the little things, and even though they come from two different worlds, they have an undeniable bond. They find a man in a car wreck, Ira, who was going back to the place where he and his late wife spent much of their time. The characters spend time untangling the messy web that is and will become love. Sparks perfectly depicts something that everyone wants, the uncertainty, and passion of meeting the one.
Books make everything better. They give people hope when it seems like there is none left. There are so many more wonderful books you should read, but these are at the top of my list. They are all phenomenal reads. I hope you find them as wonderful as I did!