1. Looking For Alaska
This book is hands-down one of my favorite books. I’ve already read it more than once, and it is the one book that I recommend to anyone who asks me what book they should read next. This is a story of a boy named Miles Halter who has an affinity for famous last words, and is sick of the familiar. He leaves his home to go to boarding school to seek the “Great Perhaps.” At Culver Creek, his “Great Perhaps” awaits, as does a girl named Alaska Young. If this hasn’t made you want to read this book, just read this quote –
“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.”- John Green, Looking For Alaska.
2. Water For Elephants
This novel by Sara Gruen chronicles the story of star-crossed lovers, and is set in the circus world of 1932. It is written as if told through a series of memories of a 93-year-old Jacob Jankowski. The memories begin with Jankowski as a 23-year-old veterinary student who learns of a tragedy in his family, which sends him on a downward spiral, that eventually leads him to jumping into the world of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.
3. This Lullaby
Remy’s father, a famous musician, died before she was born. The one thing that he was able to leave her before he went was a song called “This Lullaby.” Since her dad died, her mother has had a series of unfortunate husbands, five to be exact. Remy consequently had trouble believing in love. Could a boy named Dexter change it all?
4. Three Nights in August
Three Nights in August captures the complexities, strategically and emotionally, of the three-game series. As told through the eyes of legendary baseball manager Tony La Russa, we are able to watch as the St. Louis Cardinals battle it out with the rival Chicago Cubs. This is a good read for both active baseball fans, and reads easy enough for those passive fans.
5. Catcher in the Rye
Of course this book is a classic, and an obvious must-read, but I just read it again recently and almost forgot how much I enjoyed this book. This was one of the required reading for high school that I actually didn’t hate reading, so if somehow you still haven’t read this one – do it. Right now, seriously, just go buy it right this minute. This novel follows the narrator, Holden Caulfield, who leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania, and heads to New York City for three days. This story is both simple and complex and deals with themes of teenage confusion, angst, alienation and rebellion.