Books Will Blow Your Mind

Books are awesome and you should read them. 

Not just any books difficult, challenging, earth-shattering books.

reading is classy   

  A month ago I was on a trip with some high school teachers and their students. I started a conversation with their English teacher who had a Masters in Literature. We started talking about what we were reading. I talked about reading Kristen Lavransdatter. She talked about her book club and how they had recently read: The Hunger Games, Twilight and Ender's Game.

Hold the phone. 

Masters in Literature? Those books are fun. I understand that. I have a Gryffindor tie. But they are mostly for kids in junior high.

Read. Not just fun books - challenging books. It is worth it.

Things that are awesome about reading great works of literature:

1. Great books jump-start deep and meaningful conversations with the people in your life.

      Have you ever gone to coffee with someone and had a conversation that followed this outline:

         -work problems and challenges

         -relationship problems and challenges

         -loosing weight problems and...

and you are both kind of bored of complaining to each other. You are sitting there sort of quietly because it is good to catch up with people but this conversation doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

           Read good books with your friends. Read East of Eden by Steinbeck and change that humdrum Starbucks conversation into a conversation about the nature of humanity. The people next to you will stop and eavesdrop on your conversation out of jealousy. 

2. Reading is something you can be proud of. 

  Ever finish a season of Bones and say to yourself, "Wow I did a great job. This is an accomplishment I can feel proud of." Me neither, but when I finished War and Peace I felt like a champion.

3. Great books help you to get back your sense of wonder.

Today is another day in which I drink coffee and am generally bored with the things and people around me.

OR - I spent today thinking about the influence that stories have on the human race. 

Help me I want to read more awesome books! I made a list for you.

"I am not ready to dive into tomes like Crime and Punishment but I want to move away from novels with shirtless ripped guys on the front." You don't have to stop reading those christian romance novels- but you could switch off. 

Try some of these: 

- Ray Bradbury's  Fahrenheit 451

- Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird

Weirder But still awesome books:

 Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

 

"Bring on the Russians"- ready for the battle? These ones are long but worth it make sure to fight it all the way through. If you don't finish it you will probably start it again later and have to re-read 500 pages. 

  Dostoevsky- The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment

  Tolstoy - Anna Karenina, War and Peace

 

"Bring on the not-Russians who still write long books."

Sigrid Undset's- Gunnar's daughter (shorter and gives you a taste of her writing style) Kristen Lavransdatter (she won the Nobel prize for this trilogy and she deserved it).

Victor Hugo's Les Miserables

Gabriel Garcia Marquez- One Hundred Years of Solitude

 

Are there more books that I could add here? Only a million - ask me about them.

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