Happy World Book Day!! (I bet you didn’t know that was a day; did you? haha) I learned last week that today was in fact World Book Day and I wanted to celebrate that since I am huge reader / book nerd. To do so, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite books of all time as well as the books that I am currently reading / enjoying.
My Favorite Books:
1. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
If you haven’t read East of Eden, seriously drop everything and go read it right now. I definitely do not always like books that are considered classics (do not get me started on my hatred of The Great Gatsby) but East of Eden is an absolute masterpiece. It’s a slow start setting the scene but stick with it. East of Eden is essentially a story about decisions – and how our lives end up the way they do. It’s examination on free will told through a number of family relationships in two families over generations. One of my favorite passages is the following:
“I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . .
Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers
and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and
generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story.
A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will
have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil?
Have I done well—or ill?”
2. An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty First Century – Dr. James Orbinski
warning: Emotionally, this book is one of the hardest things i have
ever read. It’s heartbreaking, but so, so important. The author, Dr.
Orbinski, is the former head of Doctors Without Borders. An Imperfect
Offering is a memoir of Dr. Orbinski’s work, primarily while working in
Rwanda in the mid-nineties. I repeat, this book is really upsetting in a
lot of ways, but it’s also incredibly uplifting in his focus on the
human spirit and the kindness in the midst of tragedy. It’s also a great
look read into the world of modern day humanitarian work and where we
need to improve vs. what aspects are working. As someone who started out
in international development (I actually got my Master’s degree in
International Relations and worked for a non-profit before going to law
school) I found this book fascinating and inspirational. Dr. Orbinski is one of my personal heroes.
3. Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
I first read this book in high school and was immediately hooked. I’ve always loved stories surrounding the French Revolution. A Tale of Two Cities is set in both London and Paris in the years preceding and during the French Revolution. It’s a great read that deals with a number of big issues all while providing a fast-paced narrative (especially once we get to mid-revolution France).
4. Eat Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
This book was a game-changer for me. In 2008 I got out of an 8 year relationship, and was given this book. It helped me gain perspective and see the forest through the trees (so to speak). If you’ve seen the movie, but not read the book, it’s definitely worth a read. The movie actually does quite a good job of covering her story (in my opinion) but you just get so much more depth with her written work. I think every woman should read this book at least once in their life.
5. The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
I had to include this haha. I’m convinced that every child who grew up in the 90’s has this on their favorites list. I recently decided to buy the (below) box set just so I could have the whole collection together.
1. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
My mom recommended this to me, and so far it’s an incredible read. Author Paul Kalanithi was in his residency on the way to becoming a neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The book serves as his memoir and a guide for not taking life for granted and appreciating all that life has to offer.
2. American War – Omar El Akkad
I received this book last month and am only a few chapters in so far. So far though I would give it a 9/10. American War is a fictional futuristic story of, you guessed it, war in America. It’s set in the 2070’s in the American south – which is in the middle of a civil war with the North over, from what i can tell, a refusal to abide by federal government bans on the use of fossil fuels. I love fiction that is ‘other worldly’ and this is just the right amount of that with a scary amount of ‘holy s**t, this could actually happen’.
This is sitting on my desk, but I haven’t had the chance to open it yet (I want to get through American War first). From the book jacket though, it looks really interesting and I am excited to start it. The book is based on the true story of a series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered. There deaths are wrapped up in issues of the American hunt for oil as well as the creation of the FBI. Interesting stuff.
4. Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss & Tell – Rob Thomas
First things first; if you have never watched the show Veronica Mars you absolutely need to. This is my favorite show of all time. The heroine Veronica, is a bad ass teenage detective who is all kinds of dark and twisty and intelligent. I am obsessed with all things Veronica Mars (I even pledged in money to the Kickstarter that got the feature film made a few years back). I read the first V Mars book by Rob Thomas, but somehow didn’t realize that there was a second one! I am trying to savor ever page. If you like strong female leads and mystery / crime solving, this is the book for you.
Have you read any of these books?? I would love to hear your thoughts if you have! What are your favorite books?
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linking up with: weekend blog hop //