It’s Top Ten Tuesday Time! This weekly feature is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish
Confession: I love giving book recommendations. Here are some of the ones I recommend the most often.
Most Recommended Author
ALL OF JOHN GREEN’S BOOKS FOREVER AND EVER
Who: I recommend John Green to people who are new to the YA genre and/or think that YA is just “dumbed-down” books for kids.
Why: John Green writes thoughtful, funny, and often heartbreaking prose. His characters are lovable and nerdy and awesome. HE’S GOOD. For those who aren’t familiar with him, I specifically recommend Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns.
Most Recommended Literary Fiction
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Johnathan Safran Foer
Who: I recommend Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to people who enjoy literary fiction and people who like quirky and precocious main characters (or at least those who don’t want to kick precocious children in the shins).
Why: Jonathan Safran Foer’s writing is poetic. This is a language lover’s book for sure. This story makes me laugh and cry and it’s one that I find myself returning to whenever I need a little inspiration in my life.
Most Recommended Memoir
MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING by Viktor Frankl
Who: I recommend this gem to people who are interested in psychology and/or Holocaust history.
Why: This book changed my life. Viktor Frankl writes an inspiring tale about survival and finding meaning in suffering. The first part of this memoir tells the story of Frankl’s imprisonment and survival in several concentration camps during the Holocaust. The second part of the book describes a form of therapy that Frankl developed as a result of his experience. Bonus: This book is packed with SO MANY quotable lines.
Most Recommended “Quick Read” Book
THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho
Who: I recommend The Alchemist to people who enjoy parable style stories. It’s also beneficial during a quarter-life crisis (and I’m assuming that it’d be beneficial during a mid-life crisis or any “what the hell am I doing with my life?” type crisis). Warning: A lot of people hate this book, but it’s a short one so the suffering doesn’t last long.
Why: I first read this book for a Psychology of Identity and Fulfillment class and I found it to be quite…uh… fulfilling. To me, there’s a lot of beauty in the simplicity of this story–both in the way that it’s written and in its message. It was thought-provoking.
Most Recommended Classic
THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath
Who: I recommend The Bell Jar to readers who appreciate Plath’s poetry and those who don’t shy away from a depressing/bleak story-line.
Why: Sometimes when I hear the words “classic literature” I imagine stabbing pencils in my eyes. That’s not to say I don’t like any classic literature– I just hate the dry, slow-paced kind. The Bell Jar is not one of those pencil stabbing classics. Sylvia Plath is a fantastic writer and The Bell Jar is a ride into mental illness that’s peppered so perfectly with metaphor. It’s an EXPERIENCE.
Most Recommended Middle Grade Book
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle
Who: I recommend this lovely little book to anyone and everyone. I want to scream it from the rooftops. It’s especially good for those who aren’t ready to commit to a hard-core science fiction fantasy series, but who want to test the waters. It’s great for those interested in both science and faith and for girls who feel like they don’t quite fit in.
Why: This was my favorite book as a child. This is still one of my favorite books as an adult. This story is an adventure and there’s so much depth underneath it all, that I discover something new each time I read it.
Most Recommended Young Adult Book
THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
Who: I recommend The Book Thief to people who like experimental fiction and to people who aren’t afraid of long books. Bonus if you like to cry a lot. Double bonus if you are a writer. But really, this is another one that I think every single reading human being should read.
Why: So there’s this small obsession I have with books written about the Holocaust and then there’s a very large obsession I have with books that make me FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS. This particular story is an interesting take on the Holocaust in that it’s narrated by death. Mark Zusak is an exciting writer who does AMAZING things with these pages.
Most Recommended Graphic Novel
MAUS (MAUS #1-#2) by Art Spiegelman
Who: I recommend this set to people who have never read a graphic novel and people who are hesitant to do so. This is also a great pick if you already read graphic novels and love them. Actually, I’ve yet to find a person who didn’t love these books.
Why: Surprise surprise! It’s another story that takes place during the Nazi occupation. Spiegelman’s story pairs perfectly with his drawings (all characters are drawn as animals). It is unique and beautiful and thoughtful.
Most Recommended How-To Book
BACKYARD HOMESTEAD by Carleen Madigan
Who: I recommend this book to every single person who says to me, “So I’m thinking about planting a garden this year.” This is also great for people who want to eat healthier and/or control where their food is coming from.
Why: This book has everything you need to learn how to produce your own food. Learn how to keep bees, milk a goat, make cheese, brew beer, raise chickens, prune a fruit tree and a crap-load more. Backyard Homestead is so informative and all the instructions are easy to follow. It’s been a great resource for me!
Most Recommended Beauty Book
THE GREEN BEAUTY GUIDE by Julie Gabriel
Who: I most often recommend the Green Beauty Guide to my crafty, hippie, “crunchy” friends. It’s great for anyone interested in organic products or for anyone interested in saving money by making their own beauty products.
Why: This book has a ton of recipes to make your own beauty goods. I’ve made a lot of the scrubs and treatments (even deodorant!) and they are all really wonderful.
Talk it out: What are some of your most recommended books? Have any recommendations for me?