Happy Book Lovers Day! To celebrate, we’re going to take a look at some of the TGS writer’s favorite books of all time.
- 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult // As a 15 year old high school girl, reading was never on my radar. I cared a lot more about volleyball practice, hanging out with friends, and any other typical high school activity. That is until a friend gave me a copy of 19 Minutes and told me I should read it. It was the first book I ever really read outside of the Harry Potter series and it did not disappoint. Suddenly I found myself reading this book, among other Jodi Picoult classics under my desk in class, before bed at night, and literally any other chance I got. I probably burned through eight Jodi books by the end of that school year. Often over shadowed by Jodi’s biggest hit My Sister’s Keeper, 19 Minutes flies under the radar in her line up of best sellers. The book itself follows the aftermath, as well as the lead up to a high school shooting and how things elevated to that level with each character, victim, the shooter, and more. Jodi for life!
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling // For the first time I got to read a book about someone who just keeps things real. Mindy talks about her relationship with her body, finding her voice, and finding success in the TV industry. I laughed constantly and loved that this book made me feel like Mindy and I had been friends for years. The number of times I said “YAAS MINDY, SAME GIRL” are astronomical. It’s not often I get a feeling like that from a book written by a celebrity.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket // I can’t talk about my favorite books without referencing this series. These 13 books DEFINED MY CHILDHOOD. Growing up, I had not understood the joy of reading until I came across these books. Each was clever, imaginative, and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. As an only child, I felt like I was going on an adventure with these three siblings from one book to another and for a bit, I was part of the magic and the tragedy. If I had all the time in the world, I would re-read these books in a heartbeat, but sadly, law school is consuming my life with books that don’t include three orphans and a man obsessed with stealing their fortune.
- Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman // It’s rare I find a book that makes me cry the whole way through but Fragile Things did just that. I’ve read a few things by Gaiman before, but this book was different somehow. It’s full of short stories and poems that I maybe didn’t completely understand but they spoke to me enough to stir something up in my heart. The stories are inspiring, thought-provoking and beautifully written. It opens with an introduction that discusses why he wrote each short story, what it’s about, and how he wrote it. As an aspiring writer myself, this might have been one of my favorite parts of the book. It’s rare you find an author with so much talent and thoughts on so many different subjects, and being able to peek into his process was a fascinating read. As I finished the book, I kept thinking to myself, “what a weird place his head must be.” Knowing someone else’s head is a weird place was incredibly comforting to me, a person who often feels like her head is full of too many thoughts. If you like a little fantasy and maybe a little darkness but a lot of imagination, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky // This was one of those books that I just happened to read at the perfect time in life. It’s one of the first times I remember connecting so deeply with a literary character and being emotionally affected by a story. It’s full of cliches and quotable moments but that doesn’t diminish the depth of the story. I can go back to Perks at any moment, especially when I’m needing an emotional release. I’m sure a good majority of you have read this book or seen the movie but I’m here to remind you of it’s greatness. If you haven’t, Perks is a quick read with endless human moments that will force you to look inside and stir up some emotions. Thank you Perks for being there for me when I needed you most and reminding me it’s okay to throw myself into life even when it feels most daunting.
- Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed // I adore Tiny Beautiful Things. Cheryl Strayed is an incredible writer who also used to moonlight as the woman behind “Dear Sugar,” an advice column that ran in The Rumpus. Now years later, Strayed has compiled some of her most popular columns into Tiny Beautiful Things for the mass public. In this compilation you will find advice on marriage, loss, love, ambition, career and life in general. I take something new from Tiny Beautiful Things each time I read it because each story hits me differently dependent on where I am in my life. If I haven’t sung it’s praises enough, I’ve also given the book as a gift over five times.
- Tuesday’s with Moorie by Mitch Albom // Like the rest of the additions on here, Tuesdays with Moorie came to me at the right time in my life. I was nineteen and grasping for anything that would help to ground me – then I found Moorie. Tuesday’s with Moorie is the true story of a dying man and the life lessons he hopes to pass along after he has left. Moorie speaks to Albom on youth, love, life, death, family and everything in between. It’s a fairly quick read (only a bit over 200 pages) and such a pleasure to read when you’re looking for a bit of guidance or even just a reminder of what is important in life.