Literature

30 Books I Always Recommend

One of the best things about studying English is the number of people who ask me for book recommendations. I get asked for lists frequently, and I feel very honored whenever it happens. I also maybe take it a little too seriously.

I try to personalize my recommendations as much as I can, but I’ve noticed over the years that there are some books that end up on nearly everybody’s “personalized” list. Below, I’ve compiled some of these favorite books, with explanations for why I love them. I’ve included Amazon links to the versions I own so that you can order them. Better yet, pick them up at your library!

BEAUTIFUL STORIES FROM THE 1800s THAT WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO EMIGRATE TO EUROPE

Penguin Classics is releasing this new version of the original 1818 text at the beginning of 2018.

 

1.  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

3. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Why I love these books:

  • mastery of language
  • inspired by the ideals and history of the French Revolution

 

SOME RECTANGLES THAT WILL LEAVE YOU FEELING KIND OF DEPRESSED

 

5. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

6. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

8. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Why I love these books:

  • haunting, dark, raw
  • emotionally charged

 

BESTSELLERS THAT YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN

 

9. Atonement by Ian McEwan

10. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

11. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

12. Possession by A.S. Byatt

13. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

14. The Chosen by Chaim Potok

Why I love these books:

  • intense plots
  • deep emotional attachment to characters

 

LETTERS AND MEMOIRS THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT ALONE

 

15. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

16. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

17. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

18. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov

19. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

20. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Why I love these books:

  • intricate language
  • focused on the individual and exploring the past

 

NONFICTION THAT WILL MAKE YOU A SMARTER, BETTER PERSON

 

21. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

22. The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

23. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

24. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Why I love these books:

  • thought-provoking, insightful
  • helped me learn something about myself, changed my way of thinking

 

YOUNG ADULT LIT THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR AGE IS

 

25. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen 

26. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

27. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

28. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

29. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

30. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Why I love these books:

  • relatable characters
  • address heavy themes with humor and compassion

 

If you like this list and are interested in seeing more books that I love, check out my ratings and reviews on Goodreads. Also, be on the look-out for more posts like this—I’d like to do one for poetry soon!

Happy reading. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do!

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply veganandherbooks

    So many great books on this list!

    January 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm
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