Books You MUST Read

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I’m sure you’ll recall that last week I wrote about several books that I would never read under any circumstances. If not, you can read that post here. Immediately after writing that post I thought it only fair that I write the opposite post. So now you guys get a few books that you absolutely positively must read. Ready? Off we go.

1. The Diary of a Young Girl

I was lying in bed trying to come up with a short list of books to include on this list and this one was a given. It took about eight seconds for me to come up with it. Any person over the age of probably 12 who has studied any bit of world history knows something about the story of Anne Frank. I learned about it in high school and I’d already known a bit about it before. The thing is that when you’re being taught about the happenings of her family in the middle of a curriculum that is already overloaded with information you get to spend so little time on specific topics. Which is why her diary is a must read. You get EVERYTHING. From her. Fear. Hope. Depression. Happiness. Everything. You should have read this by now. I wrote a post about this book as part of my journey to read the Amazon 100 books list that you can read here.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This needs little to no explanation. My reasoning for naming the first in the series is because I’d never recommend reading any series from a middle book, and especially not one as great as this. I’ve also written a post about this book for the same reason as Anne Frank that can be read here.

3. Dracula

This was another easy pick for me. I surely hope you’ve read it by now because this is definitely one of my favorite books that I somehow don’t own! But seriously, when I think vampire I think Dracula. When I think evil I think Dracula. When I think monster or man vs monster I think of this book. It makes no difference that it was published over a hundred years ago. This is one of those books that will remain for all time. At least I hope so.

4. The Hunger Games

You didn’t think I would write a post like this and leave my favorite series ever out of it, did you? No. I couldn’t do that. Honestly, I like Catching Fire just a bit more than the first in the trilogy but again, I can’t recommend that you begin a series with the middle book. That’s crazy. I stated in my post about my favorite series that Suzanne Collins had me crying within the first chapter of the first book of her series. The rest of the book was just as well written, paced, and truly fantastic as that opening chapter. If you don’t want to read this, fine, leave my slice of the blogging world. Leave now!

5. Divided Within

Did you catch what I did there? That’s MY book! Ha. No, I don’t think my book is anywhere near any of these others. BUT I would love for you guys to read it. It’s my baby. I’ll stop short of demanding that you buy it as soon as you read this post because, quite frankly, I’m not that worried about it at this point. If you’d like to read it thennnnn please go ahead. If not, I still like you. Okay, I like you a little less now. Can’t be helped.

A little note about this list. I only included books I’ve actually read. So I’m sure some of you guys will wonder how come none of the all-time greats are listed. That’s why. Because I haven’t read them. Remember, that’s the whole point of my tackling the Amazon list. One book that I almost included on this list was The Great Gatsby. But I read that book so long ago and so many since that I just don’t remember hardly any of it. And I haven’t read LOTR. Yet. So don’t yell at me that my list is flawed. It can always be updated.

What do you think of my little list here? Like? Dislike? Want to throw me out a window? Let me know!

Books I Will NEVER Read

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I’m not a fan of bashing authors, but I’m not bashing authors really, I’m bashing their books. There’s a difference!

Okay, so I know most avid readers like myself have a number of books that will not ever be read for any reason. Not even if there’s a zombie apocalypse taking place and I’m the lone survivor with just the one book thrown on the floor in front of me. They are to remain off-limits forever and a day. Let me just give you the list.

1. Fifty Shades of anything

If you’re a fan of EL James, great. I’m not and never will be. I’ve known the very basic concept of the book for a long time now, but I just read a little of the Wikipedia page that made me want to slap someone. The first book sounds absolutely horrible. I mean, if you want to read about that stuff then partake in it yourself. Or go watch a movie. Or find a website. Do something. Don’t read about it. Makes me think you’re kind of gross. Don’t get angry at me for saying that. It’s my blog.

2. Twilight

I know Stephenie Meyer has been heavily criticized for her writing skills and the way she portrays Bella. Those are pretty much the two reasons why I won’t be reading any of the books in the series. Let me be clear, though, I would read this entire series 100 times before ever reading the first book from the above mentioned series. My reasoning for not reading these books is mostly because they don’t seem like they’d be interesting reads to me. Sure the writing may not be great and Bella isn’t the most memorable literary character of all-time, but the only book I’ve ever read about vampires was Dracula. Yes, I loved it.

3. Divergent

I think some of you may be thinking how I’m putting this series of books in with the other two. What I’ve read and heard about this series of books has mostly been that the first two books were pretty good and the last one was disappointing. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve read. Those have nothing to do with my decision not to read this series. There’s only one reason why I won’t read these books. It’s going to sound crazy, but oh well. I won’t read them because of all the comparisons they get to The Hunger Games. THG is my adult obsession. I LOVE those books. LOVE them. You’ll recall that I named the trilogy my favorite series ever in a previous post. Well, it’s because of the very slim off chance that I like Divergent more than THG that I won’t read them. I’m in love with Jennifer Lawrence and Katniss and Effie and Prim. I don’t want that to be overshadowed by Veronica Roth.

4. Anything written by a celebrity

I fully realize that most celebrities who ‘write’ books don’t actually write them. They have the help of a journalist or author or someone who actually writes the book for them. It’s not that I think the books are poorly written, it’s that the books are generally bad. For instance, I don’t have any interest reading about the whole rags to riches stories that so many athletes claim. It’s great that you went from food stamps when you were little to millions of dollars a year in salary, truly, BUT you won’t find me reading about it. I’m not including former presidents in this group. I think their books would be rather interesting to read. I look forward to reading George W. Bush’s book at some point. Not necessarily because I’m a supporter of his, but because his presidency was the first of my life that I actually understood a little about what was going on.

5. Anything with seductive people on the cover

I mean, come on. What’s the point? I work in a store that carries a very selective section of books. You’ll pretty much only find the major bestselling authors there. The ones I can name off the top of my head who I can recall seeing this past weekend are James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. BUT half of the books that I don’t recognize the author names have half-naked people on the front. It’s annoying. Won’t ever be reading those books. Not a one.

This would be my reaction to reading any book on the list.

Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

Okay, so I know my list wasn’t exactly a list of particular books so much as it was a list of types of books I won’t read. But that’s it. Do you have any books that you’ll never find yourself reading? Tell me why.

In other news, I just passed 500 WordPress followers less than a month after reaching 200! You guys seriously make me happy.