7 Books I Always Recommend

Today marks the halfway point of 12 Days of Book Lists! I now present the 7 Books I Always Recommend. I’ve just now realized that the majority of these books have been adapted into movies. So if you’ve watched any of these movies, definitely check out the corresponding book. Even if you hated the movie. It’s worth it.

7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game is one of my favorite books ever. I would recommend it to anyone from middle grade on. If you like sci-fi or psychological thrillers, Ender’s story is one you will enjoy immensely. Or if you’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book, READ THE BOOK. The movie was okay, but it doesn’t even come close to the magnificence of the book.

6. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
I actually watched the movie version of Angels and Demons before I read the book. This does not happen to me very often. The movie was great. I might not have thought so if I had read the book first. But that’s because I am super-critical of book-to-movie adaptations. The movie was good, however, it left out huge story arcs. If you enjoyed the movie, or have read any of Dan Brown’s other marvelous books, or like National Treasure-type adventures, I would highly highly recommend this book. I’ve reread it a countless amount of times, and it is still remarkable every time. I have heard that the facts are not completely reliable, but the book is still very entertaining and complex.

5. The Kite Runner By Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is so so so so so good. I’ve also reread this at least five times. I think every single person should read this.

4. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut was a genius. His writing style has a perfect combination of humor and irony and complexity. If you’re looking explore the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, I would start with Slaughterhouse Five. It can be confusing because the protagonist is unstuck in time. So if you get easily confused, this might not be the best book to read. You don’t really get the full picture of the story until you finish it, which is a beautiful writing tactic. It is also a book that everyone should reread once they’ve read it. Once you know the whole story, revisiting it allows you to understand the implications of the characters’ actions on the established future. Definitely read this if you like sci-fi, especially if you enjoy space-time theories such as string theory.

3. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Alas, Babylon was one of the first apocalyptic books. Though it was meant to inform the governments of the Cold War of the possible effects of their actions, Alas, Babylon can be a wake up call to readers of any time. I first read it for school, but once the story started picking up, I read the entire book in a couple of hours. It’s that good. It is one of my most favorite books, so I think everyone should read it.

2. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
Since most of the public has been exposed to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, or at least watched the movies (though I do know at least three people that haven’t even watched the movies), I think HPMOR is a great addition to this list. This incredibly popular fan fiction explores how Harry’s first year at Hogwarts would progress if his aunt had married a distinguished professor instead of the brutish Vernon Dursley. They would have treated Harry well and instilled in him the values of education and science. In this epic retelling, Harry is not an idiot first-year, but a genius rational who wants to optimize the universe. It can also be confusing at times, but it is incredibly funny and incredibly wonderous.

1. World War Z by Max Brooks
So…World War Z. This movie sucked. So much. I watched the movie first, and thought it was thrilling, but the logic was screwed up and the production was also screwed up and the story was also screwed up. If the movie was off-putting to you as well, give the book a chance. The movie is nothing like the book at all. The book is written in a really cool way. The narrator is a journalist who is going around the world after the Zombie War has passed to collect stories about the War from its start to its finish. It shows the amazing ways that the human race can come together to fix our problems, and how our thirst for innovation and survival can save us from almost anything.

Which books do you find yourself recommending?

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