I have come to realize that the worst question you could ask any bibliophile is what their favorite book is, or what their top 10 favorite books are? If you do, you will just be met with a blank stare and a sassy response in which you will be told that asking what someone’s favorite books are is equivalent to asking who their favorite child is. Personally I think that picking your favorite books might be harder than deciding on your favorite offspring, but that’s just me (besides the fact that both will drain your bank account, books will never cry, scream, wail or give you any sort of attitude). Therefore, you can imagine the difficulty I had when trying to decide on the top ten books that I think you should read before you die. There was a lot of huffing, pacing, and some good old human suffering while I was putting together this list, and while you can’t see the blood, sweat, and tears on this list, trust me, they are there. So without further ado…
“Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke was my introduction to young adult fantasy fiction, and it helped me to value the beauty of books and the way in which they provide a platform for the most fantastical of stories to be told. So while my friends were obsessing over the Harry Potter series, I was obsessing over the Inkheart series.
“A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a novel that I will never forget, despite the years that have passed since I cracked it open. Just looking back, I cannot help but smile a little bit. As a young girl, or a little princess myself, this was a book that helped me to appreciate the literary world of classical novelists such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte.
“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. I am sure that I am not the only one that has this on their list. While reading this book, I experienced anger, pain, love, and triumph. While some of these emotions are incredibly uncomfortable, Alice Walker had this beautiful way of making me embrace these feelings. This book made me appreciate both the good times and the hard times in life.
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a book that I absolutely loved not only because of the story itself, but the way in which it was told. It was so beautiful because it told the relatable struggles of living in a new country as an immigrant, and the ebbs and flow of love that one experiences along the way.
Books such as “Just Mercy”, “A Long Way Gone”, and “Little Bee” are all incredibly special because they each tell the story of endurance in a world of injustice and tragedy. “Three Cups of Tea” is a story of bravery and selflessness, and in different ways, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and “A People’s History of the United States” grant a unique perspective, whether that's looking at the history of our country differently, or the viewing the world through the eyes of a dog.
These are all books that have been unforgettable in the way in which the stories were told, and have had a profound effect on the way in which I have come to view the world around me. In some way or another, they have become landmarks for my life, different checkpoints of my own maturity, and so I have come to associate different times of my life with these books. Everybody has their Top 10 Books that have had an irreversible effect upon themselves as individuals. These books are special because while reading them I was not a reader from the outside looking in, but it was I who was enduring, I who was experiencing, and I who experienced every single written word to the core.