Books I Think You Should Read


So, it's completely devastating to fathom how when I type in book titles, the first thing that comes up is the film adaptation. I know films are taking over the world and I should think so too. Films are great and I am a huge fan and supporter of the film industry. BUT, when you've read the book first, no matter how cliche it sounds- the book is undoubtedly always better than the film (in most cases). Books capture a whole lot more than a film can ever portray in 120 minutes.

Take for example, John Green's Paper Towns, great book and full of intense teenage drama but the film only touches upon it. I wanted more. However, the Fault in Our Stars book is pretty straight forward, whilst it missed out some of the idioms, purposeful metaphors and description, the film stuck rather well to the format of the book. The film was casted greatly and the whole persona of the characters stayed true to Green's description. Whether they did that because it was about a more sensitive topic than Paper Towns is unknown but seeing Cara Delevingne transition into an actress so soon into a really profoundly famous book is a little daunting for a die hard book fan. Nevertheless, Alex Wolff was great as always and from my perspective he captured Quentin perfectly.

So, there goes two of my recommendations.
 Paper Towns - John Green
 The Fault in Our Stars - John Green 

But we seriously cannot forget;
Looking for Alaska - John Green 
Now this book does something we really cannot forget. It delves into the fantasy of teenage scandal and the desires of what every teenage girl and boy want - DRAMA and LOVE. The mystery, sexual tension and comedic backdrop literally envelop the entire plot line and although I have progressed in my reading ability since I read this around 4 years ago; I am still entirely captivated by it and I hope to see this made into a film (but from what I heard from John himself from his VlogBrothers channel, it isn't going to happen for some time or at all, seen as he sold the rights over 10 years ago and they have done nothing with them. [1:57] )

Now I guess I've already gone into way too much critical opinion for people to carry on reading and care, so from now a perfectly captivating picture of the front cover will appear with the title, author and a brief description. (If not a line of opinion to make a suggestive passive aggressive comment about the fact you PROBABLY HAVEN'T READ IT?!?!?)

 Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov 
 Okay, not sure how to word this one. Still haven't quite made a decision on how I feel about this book but it's literary genius and hats off to Nabokov for writing such a provocative book and finally getting it published after endless criticism and threats. Whilst the plot line is creepy and fully about a pedophile who loves a little girl, it is written beautifully (surely I have just used the best oxymoron of my life there? How can it both be beautiful and creepy?) But it's a must to read and I will no doubt trust that you will be lost half way through because of the difficulty to understand if 'he just did what I think he just did'.

 Rogue Laywer - John Grisham 
Funny, clever and witty. This book is truly a testament to the stereotypes of lawyers and the legal system. Whilst using legitimate terms, it challenges the norms of lawyers, humanity and ethics and it does all this whilst making sure it doesn't leave out the comedy.

 In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
I'll be honest, I was expecting more than what I read. However, the fact it is based on real life is truly captivating and being so interested in criminal law it was good to read a journalistic format, even though it's classed as literature. I lost some interest in the middle but I did read this book during and after my exams, so my lack of concentration probably had something to do with the disjointed way I read it. But it's a must to read because it's CAPOTE!

 House of Night - P.C Cast and Kristin Cast
Now this is a throwback and a half.
I must have read these books when I was about 10/11. Whilst it started innocently, it took a turn with gore, sexual intrigue and fantasy. The full series were immensely interesting and I even got my older sister to read them, which at the time was like finding out you get free refills in TGI Fridays. It was amazing. 
Seriously though, the books are really well written for a teen fantasy genre and I think the series really captured the teen demographic and while I probably wouldn't recommend these books to the age of 10/11, my mum liked to think I was a mature reader. So read with caution.

 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
This book truly changed my outlook on race, ethnicity and history. I read this book in my English class as my teacher wanted us to read something beyond what was requested of us to pass an exam. We spent about 3 weeks reading, acting and researching the book. It challenges the norms of life at the time and the dynamic of characters in the novel encompasses everything I wanted out of my first classic literature genre book. If you haven't read this book, you really must.

 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
"Whenever you feel like criticising anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had".
This book has drama, scandal and is truly a 1920's dream. You have to read it, see the movie and re read the book again.

 The BFG - Roald Dahl 
I don't know if it was because I loved the book so much as a child but I switched the film off about 10 minutes in. So if you didn't enjoy the film, I am sure the book will actually do Dahl some justice. It's a nostalgic dream and I would pick this book up at any age, any time and any place. Dahl is my childhood and whilst my mother did encourage me to read all his books because she did, I can confirm that the BFG is my favourite (along with his poetry collections).

 Apt Pupil - Stephen King
After reading this, I wanted to read all of King's books in one day. I've currently got my nan on the case of finding his books because dang his books are expensive on Amazon. (I think it may have something to do with the fact 'IT' is coming out in film again).
I'd heard of him and I knew he was good but jesus, he is truly one of the best writers I have ever had the privilege to read. He captures adventure and terror cleverly and this book, although only a novela (a short one of that), it was like reading Orwell's '1984' in one chapter. The plot twists, drama and scandal happened in every word I read. It was dark and hauntingly chilling.

 The Death Penalty - Scott Turow 
So not the ideal light genre to read but it's insightful, academic and inspiring. I can't really say anymore than that because the book speaks for itself. It isn't a story, it's fact and a lot of it too. But if you're interested in Law, history and the truth then I would read this.

 A Light in the Attic - Shel Silverstein [poetry] 
Whilst I still have my mums copy, she bought me my very own for my 15th Birthday. I read it now and again to bring back some cathartic feeling from being a child. The collection is goofy and funny and it's just a great read for some simple rhyming and someone who isn't a huge fan of poetry to indulge in over a cup of tea.

 Harry Potter - JK Rowling
*cue dramatic description*
I would be lying if I said I have read them all because I haven't and I know it's really bad of me. I am a huge fan of the films and I mean die hard fan. But I can't quite bring myself to read the rest of the books and this is for a selfish reason. Every time I binge watch the films, I go through a week of mourning because I know it's all over. So maybe I will read the rest of them at some point, but as of now I will just keep the first one in my mind until I can bring myself to read the rest.

 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker 
It is truly beautiful and whilst I can analyse this book to the high heavens because I studied it for my A Level Coursework, it's still a book I would happily read for pleasure.
It's about self love, self worth and realising that women are strong, powerful and beautiful.

 It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini 
Just read my blogpost:
It's worth reading to reassure you that you're not crazy.

Now there are many more books I have read in my 18 years. I've read Orwell, Shakespeare, Huxley, Bronte and The Hunger Games.
But I don't necessarily like them all and they haven't made me excited enough to re read them all. There are some other books I could recommend like, 'Just Friends' by Billy Taylor or 'True Story' by Michael Finkel (watch the film too) but I would be wasting word count.

One thing I will say is that writing and reading is amazing and it's a forever tool, meaning you will always have an escape somehow through these materials.
Like it has been reiterated in a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver:

'I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.' - What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver 

Reading and writing is about waiting for the room to go dark and listening to the beating heart so we are able to analyse and think about what we just read or what we just wrote. 



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