There are lame books, okay books, good books, and great books. Some books can be very good, but still lack that incessant urge which keeps you reading. My favorite books are those I struggle to put down. I want to devour them, word-for-word, until they are finished. Even then, I’ll want more. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but for now I’ve compiled a short list of the books I absolutely LOVED and also struggled having to take breaks from.
These three are my favorite of his though, and also, had that I can’t put it down quality. This author does such an excellent job of taking our simple fairy tales from childhood and turning them into riveting novels for adults. Wicked, most especially, stand out for it’s underlying themes of racial segregation and political turmoil. (And we’re talking about the characters from the land of Oz here, THAT’S how fantastic it is!)
Memoirs of a Geisha
A captivating book that follows the life of a young girl into her adulthood as a Geisha. The story is full of depth, and emotionally touching. I remember reading this while I was in college and struggling to force myself to put in down in order to get some homework done! Definitely one of those I can’t put it down books, I highly recommend.
Clearly a triumph for author Neil Gaiman. This novel is truly catching. Reading it will not only make you fall in love with America again, but it will give you an entirely new perspective on the mythology of Gods and worshiping, all within the excellently written pages of a spell-binding story. The novel follows Shadow, a newly released prisoner whose life is struck my immense tragedy. He ends up working for one of the mysterious gods, and becomes a large part of plot much bigger than he could have ever imagined. You will on the edge of your seat for the entire ride.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge Stephen King fan. Above are just a few of the author’s books that I L-O-V-E-D. Most recently I finished his newest, 11/22/63. It’s an in-depth novel about a man who receives the opportunity to travel back in time in an attempt to stop the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. One of the great things about this novel is even the “bad guys” are shown in their absolute humane light, and the relationships the main character becomes involved with are ever more touching. King expertly handles the themes of political extremism (and its consequences) all while engaging the reader is his fantastic story telling abilities.
Warning: you will start talking in a southern accent while reading this book! Author Kathryn Stockett provides readers with an engaging story, following 3 narrators during the early sixties in one of the most racially segregated places in America: Jackson, Mississippi. Despite the heavy underlying theme, the story manages to remain fun while maintaining a level of suspense. You will find yourself cheering on the characters as they handle the ordeals given to them by society. This books has been such a long-time best-seller for a reason. It’s fully engaging and hard to take a break from.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
Those of us who have spent many years reading the bible know that there are a few years missing from Jesus’ life from the chronicles. What went on during his young teen years? Humorous author Christopher Moore attempts a hilarious, fictitious answer with this book. The novel is told through the point of view of Christ’s best friend, lovingly called Biff. Note: this novel is for those with a certain sense of humor. There is a lot of adult “raunchiness” and language throughout. However, if you CAN go for that sort of thing, this novel guaranteed laugh-out-load sequences and constant page-flipping. I have read several of the author’s books after this one, and it still ranks highest on my favorites list.
The Hunger Games
Once you start you will not be able to stop. I can’t remember how quickly I devoured all 3 books in the trilogy, but I remember it being abnormally fast. Every time I could snag a spare second I had my kindle out, reading away. Suzanne Collins expertly creates a world of intense action, adventure, and relationships. All the while I marvel at her relative comparisons to today’s world of reality-television and inequality. While I am eagerly awaiting the film remake of this novel, I implore you to read it before it comes out. Goodness knows, the books are always “better” in the end.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
This book is reason I had to write this post. It was so engaging, that I couldn’t bare to put it down for a second. Although I experienced a love-hate relationship with the narrator (how could she not love her own son!?!) the story line kept me intrigued every single moment. From the beginning, readers are aware that Kevin ends up killing 7 classmates, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker at his high school just before turning 16. As we read through his mothers story (told in letter to her estranged husband), we debate right along with her if the results were because of a lack of affection from the boys mother, or if he was born in such a way he was destined to conduct such an evil deed. Enormous recommendation from me here.
Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century
It’s 1912, and Europe is replaced to an entirely different world. A phenomenon creates a land of strange jungle and deadly, alien creatures which inhabit it. The U.S. views the disaster as a sign of wrath from God, and becomes ruled by Christian fundamentalism. Despite the deep themes and mind-blowing science fiction, this novel has a delicate story line that will touch your heart and put history into perspective.
There are also many books I have picked up that were fabulously good, but didn’t quite make this list. Also some I though FOR SURE would be can’t-put-it-down books, but weren’t quite. Some of these include Water for Elephants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (I honestly had no desire to read the other books in the series after reading this one), Odd Thomas (a good book, especially considering that I typically can’t stand works by Dean Koontz, but still no desire to read the sequel), Uglies, I am Legend, America on Purpose, Anasi Boys (I recommend this book if you enjoyed American Gods and want a funnier take on the same themes), Geek Love, Bossypants, Nervous Conditions, & Happy Accidents.