Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best Books EVER - An Unbiased Review

With all the hubbub ongoing about the Harry Potter final movie premiere tonight, I started thinking about what is that It factor about the Harry Potter series that turned it into, well, the phenomenon it is today.

I'll admit it- I'm not the biggest Harry Potter fan. I just never understood what all the fuss was about. Granted, I've heard that you have to get a few books into the series to truly appreciate its addicting quality, and I only read the first book before formulating my grand judgment. I do think I'll give it another chance (I can't COMPLETELY miss out on a worldwide phenomenon!), but let's just say it's not exactly at the top of my priority list.

There are just so MANY good books out there! As such, I have taken the liberty of outlining some of my favorite books of all time.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee - Hands down, my favorite book of ALL TIME. I try to read it at least once a year, and each year, I seem to pick out new little details that I'd seemingly overlooked in the past million or so reads. You just can't HELP but fall in love with Jem, Scout and Dill. And who are we kidding, everyone should aspire to be an Atticus Finch.

2. Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert Massie - I love history. I love royalty. I love intrigue. I love suspense. There is absolutely NO better story to fulfill all of the above-stated interests than the Romanov legacy. This book reads like a story, yet simultaneously brilliantly weaves together all the historical facts involved with this family. It's long, sure, but I can assure that you will NOT be able to put this down (if you are interested in the Romanov tragedy... which you should be).

3. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides - This book was a big surprise to me. I picked it up because it was super popular, but I didn't think the story would appeal to me all that much. I was dead wrong, to say the least. The reason this book quickly escalated into a "favorite" of mine is because of the amazing way the author details the (wide) variety of stories across multiple generations of a family.

4. The Shopaholic Series, by Sophie Kinsella - Without fail, ALL of the books in this series cracks. me. UP. I have to say that my favorite would be the first one (Confessions of a Shopaholic) but you really can't go wrong with ANY of them. The main character is so ridiculously off the wall with her spending habits that, while I can't relate at ALL (I hate shopping), I still LOVE reading about how she gets herself into (and out of) her little life pickles.

5. Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult - So Picoult is one of the most prolific writers ever, but unfortunately, her books are totally hit or miss for me. I've read QUITE a few of her works, and while I liked a fair amount, I disliked a fair amount as well. Nineteen Minutes is the one work of hers that I absolutely fell in love with. Granted, it's about a school shooting and to say it is a bit depressing is an UNDER-STATEMENT. I was literally crying in my car at points, when I was listening to this book on tape as I drove to work. Amazing.

6. Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin - This book was a surprising delight for me. When I read the synopsis, I really didn't think I was going to enjoy the story, since it starts OFF with a guy cheating on his fiancee with her best friend. But you'll quickly realize WHY this story won me over, despite the seemingly questionable morals initially portrayed. You really grow attached to the characters and, oh who are we kidding here, this book is HILARIOUS. Yet another one of those laugh out loud ones. Consider yourself fairly warned, in case you decide to read it in a public setting. :) Something Blue is the "sequel" to this book and is also quite a gem, but Something Borrowed by FAR reigns superior in my mind.

7. The BabySitters Club series, by Ann M. Martin - I grew up on these books and to say I was addicted is an understatement. I wish there were more childrens' series like this in today's day and age. I know that they've brought back the BabySitters Club series, but sadly, I don't think it's nearly as popular as it was back in the day. A travesty, in my opinion. These books are timeless- teaching you all about friendships, family, running a pretty SWEET business, etc...

8. The Undomestic Goddess, by Sophie Kinsella - Clearly, when I find an author I like, I stick with her. Again, this book is quite literally LAUGH out LOUD funny. I read this one over and over again and without fail, am bound to laugh aloud multiple times.

Sure, some may call it an eclectic collection. Some may call it a random collection. I prefer to think of it as a unique, well-ROUNDED collection, thank you very much. A collection to suit anyone's reading needs, if you will.

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