As an Undergrad English Literature Major (Class Valedictorian by the way…) who bought his first Television at age 40, I have read so many good books. Here are some of my all time favorites….
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1. The Bible
Helps you get to know the living God, Yahweh. Great histories of miraculous events and amazing people. And terrible stories of sad events and bad people. It teaches life- changing principles guaranteed to give you peace and wisdom. Teaches you that love is the better way.
2. Count of Monte Cristo
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.
3. The Hunger Games
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
What makes this book series so interesting is that “the people of the capital” are so crazy, selfish, and weird. I frequently think of this book and its social commentary on modern day “self expression” and “uniqueness” when I am out in public as I look at all the freaks who “express” themselves through so called enhancements, surgeries, Botox, unnatural hair, tattoos, piercings, and disfigurement…. All of this is so unnatural. I wonder where our culture is heading? What is next?
4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
5. Les Misérables
Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.
6. Henry 5th
William Shakespeare’s “Henry V” is the historical English drama of its title character. King Henry V ascends to the throne of England following the death of his father at the beginning of the play. The King soon makes a claim to parts of France based on some distant ancestral ties. When Dauphin, prince of France responds insultingly to Henry’s claim, King Henry V orders England to invade France and the two nations soon find themselves at war.
7. The Source
In his signature style of grand storytelling, James A. Michener transports us back thousands of years to the Holy Land. Through the discoveries of modern archaeologists excavating the site of Tell Makor, Michener vividly re-creates life in an ancient city and traces the profound history of the Jewish people—from the persecution of the early Hebrews, the rise of Christianity, and the Crusades to the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East. An epic tale of love, strength, and faith, The Source is a richly written saga that encompasses the history of Western civilization and the great religious and cultural ideas that have shaped our world.
8. The Perfect Storm
It was the storm of the century, boasting waves over one hundred feet high―a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it “the perfect storm.” In a book that has become a classic, Sebastian Junger explores the history of the fishing industry, the science of storms, and the candid accounts of the people whose lives the storm touched. The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller that makes us feel like we’ve been caught, helpless, in the grip of a force of nature beyond our understanding or control.
9. Anne Rice’s “Christ the Lord”
With the Holy Land in turmoil, seven-year-old Jesus and his family leave Egypt for the dangerous road home to Jerusalem. As they travel, the boy ponders the mysteries surrounding his birth. Anne Rice’s dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel, based on the gospels and the most respected New Testament scholarship, summons up the voice, the presence, and the words of Jesus, allowing him to tell his own story as he struggles to grasp the holy purpose of his life.
10. Anthology of English Literature
Read by more than 8 million students, The Norton Anthology of English Literature sets the standard and remains an unmatched value.
I know it seems like a lot of work…. But it is sometimes fun to read the classics and this anthology has most of the best.
Tell me which book is your favorite…leave a comment.
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