Next On My List? – Part 1

What should I read next?

I know this questions isn’t as deep as, say, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?,” but it’s a conundrum that has plagued readers since Gutenberg’s press spat more than just the Bible. The problem isn’t that it’s hard to come up with an answer; the problem is that there are SO MANY answers.

I received this text this morning:

It took me forever because of school stuff, but I finally finished “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Once I got to the second half, it was hard to put down. Is there another book I should read?

As I have a deep love for this question, especially when it is asked by a high school senior, I responded immediately. In hopes of narrowing down the options, however, I asked the questioner a few preferences.



Literary Classic?

These responses, alas, still left me hundreds of options. I quickly began to jot down the books that popped into my mind. The original list had well over 20 books (which I was reasonably proud of considering it took me less than 5 minutes), but I whittled it down to these current top picks.

Wuthering Heights
The classic love story of Heathcliff and Catherine. I’m never quite sure whom to love in this tale. It’s a classic, with a sad twist, and a tormented ending.

Farewell to Arms
The love story of Fredric and Catherine (yup, another one). The dry humor is a delightful backdrop to the war the story is set in. It’s a classic, with a sad twist, and a tormented ending.

The Great Gatsby
The love story of Gatsby and Daisy, and fast cars, parties, and swimming pools. It’s a classic, with a sad twist, and a tormented ending.

The Scarlet Letter
Hester Prynne’s journey to turn old-school Boston on its head as she blew stereotypes out of the water (OR: How red thread changed a women’s life and killed a man). It’s a classic, with a sad twist, and a tormented ending.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
“Fred” and Holly Golightly take on New York (sort of). Capote answers the questions: What is an American Geisha? I think a part (no matter how small) of every women wants live in Holly’s shoes. It’s a classic, with a sad twist, and a tormented ending.

Did you notice a theme? Surprisingly enough, I love all these books save one. Bet you can’t guess which one!

As I was composing this post, I received the following text:

Book recommendations? (Yup, twice in one day! I could have hugged my sis-in-law when she texted me this!)

Quite giddy with excitement, I responded…

Genre? Classic or modern?


All of the above!

…Challenge accepted! My top picks at the moment are…

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
22 essays and the full spectrum of human emotions. Clever, witty, and charming.

The life of Jesus as told by his best friend (and hell of a sinner), Biff. This is a DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER moment, if I ever saw one.

Perks of Being a Wallflower
Letters, all letters. But poignant and powerful in the way a teenager is honest and real and raw.

Hike a trail, find yourself. It’s an emotional workout hiking everyday with the author, but the end is worth the journey.

Fight Club
The first rule of Fight Club is…. This must be the first Chuck Palahniuk book you read. Why? Don’t ask questions; just do it! No really, it’s a great book and an incredibly clever writing style. I appreciate how you can almost step into Chuck’s mind.

And Then There Were None
Possibly my favorite murder mystery. Agatha is a genius… and everyone dies. Whodunit?!

The Host
(Sigh) It pains me a bit to add this to the list (just because I have issues with the author), but it’s the best book Ms. Stephanie wrote and if you want something light, this isn’t a bad weekend read. It’s pretty clever, actually.

So there you have it. This concludes
Part 1 of Next On My List?. 
Tune in next time for a new batch of books!

On a side note, if you want to check out my thoughts on book censorship, click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: