Literature: 10 Books You Must Read

How do you compile a list of ten must read books? It’s not as easy as it seems. You must consider every person who picks up a book. The people who hang out at the book store or library. They all want great characters woven into an interesting tale. Here are some great stories that are worth your time:

1. The Stand- The master of horror, Stephen King gives us an incredible tale of good versus evil. The story begins after a plague has wiped out most of the world’s population. Survivors are chosen to do battle from both sides. The characters are so real, they seem to leap off the pages and sit beside you as you read about them. Each one is so distinct and memorable that they will stay with you long after you put the book away. The battle itself will leave you breathless from start to finish.

2. East of Eden- John Steinbeck introduces us to the Trasks and the Hamiltons. Their stories are woven together in an intricate and thought provoking way. Two brothers maintain a love hate relationship throughout their lives. They clash over a woman who proves to be one of the most monstrous characters in all of literature. This story brilliantly illustrates sibling rivalry and yet offer us hope for survival under extreme conditions. We can not help but notice the similarity to the story of Cain and Abel. Thus the title East of Eden.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird- This is Harper Lee’s one and only novel. We will find a true hero in Atticus Finch. The novel is written through the eyes of Scout Finch. She tells us how her father agrees to defend a black man who has been falsely accused of raping a white woman. Atticus continues to fight for the man’s rights even as his friends and neighbors rage against him. Atticus Finch is considered by many to be the symbol of integrity by which we should all aspire to live. The title comes from the idea that you should never kill a mockingbird because they do no harm. „Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.“

4. Gone With The Wind- Margaret Mitchell’s sweeping epic of the old south is a classic. Many consider this to be the greatest love story of all time. Woven through the pages is an incredible depiction of the devastation of war and the undying spirit of a civilization. The novel is best known for the love story between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Their relationship is stormy to say the least. It should be noted that anyone who is looking for examples of strong female characters should look no further than this book. It features two female characters who each in their own way stay true to themselves.

5. The Harry Potter Series- J.K. Rowling and her teenage wizard keep us coming back for each installment. These inspiring books have kept adults and children mezmerized for years. We follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione through each adventure. The stories and characters are so well written that we feel as if we are right there living the stories with them. Each character has their own unique style. We get to know each and every one of them better as the series continues. We run through a lot of emotions as we read on. We laugh, we cry, we even do both at the same time. The Harry Potter books are timeless classics that will enchant readers for many years to come.

6. The Pillars of the Earth- Ken Follett takes us way back to the year 1135. This novel centers around the building of a great Gothic cathedral. The story itself is a spellbinding tale. There is constant conflict among the incredible characters. Everytime something good happens to one of them, something else goes wrong. Who would have thought there would be non-stop action surrounding the tale of a church. This novel is so well written that it seems effortless. Each character is so natural that you either love them or hate them. This is an absolute must read.

7. The Godfather- An outstanding film. It is an outstanding novel as well. Mario Puzo adopts us into the Corleone family. Does the novel romanticize organized crime? Maybe a little. We are intrigued as we travel through the pages. It is a fast paced novel that packs a lot of story in less than 500 pages. We get to know the characters and what makes them tick. We get a sense of how they feel about the life they lead. We see the effect it has on their families. We get a bird’s eye view of life in the mob.

8. The Lovely Bones- Alice Sebold horrifies us and gives us hope. This is an original tale told through the eyes of a fourteen year old girl who has been brutally murdered. This novel explores the idea of heaven and life after death. It offers us a glimpse into a family shattered by tragedy. It takes us on a rollercoaster ride while we laugh and cry, often over the same paragraph. This story is not for the faint of heart, yet it has so much heart that you can’t help but love it.

9. The Life of Pi- Yann Martel takes on a 227 day sea adventure. We travel with his young character Pi. We set sail with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Sound interesting? It is. Pi is a young man struggling to survive. He finds himself alone with the tiger. The two slowly begin to trust each other. We find that Pi begins to think about God. He embraces a combination of religions. He finds each one rewarding in their own way. This is a refreshing story and a must read.

10. The DaVinci Code- Dan Brown gives us Robert Langdon. Mr. Langdon is a symbologist and therefore an unlikely hero. This novel takes us on a wild adventure. It asks us to question some long help beliefs. The main character is thrown into situations that he is forced to deal with. He does, and with remarkable flair. This is a fast paced novel that keeps un interested from start to finish. A must read for anyone who loves an excellent plot and plenty of action.

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