Last night, I was asked for book recommendations.
This is, of course, a fairly common occurrance — I’m shameless in my booksluttery, and I daresay everyone around me has noticed! But this time, however, I was asked to select five books. Five books, from ‘my’ particular genre, that I think everyone should read.
I tilted my head and instantly asked, “…but what if your genre is everything?”
(I run into this sort of problem a lot. Welcome to being a Libra!)
And so this list was the result:
The Top Five Books That Jacey Thinks Everyone Should Read, Regardless of Genre!
1. Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
I’ve mentioned here before that this is my favourite book of all time, and there’s a damn good reason for that. There’s a sense of humour and worldview here that perfectly matches mine — to the point where, if someone enjoys and appreciates this book, I know instantly that we could be friends, just based on that one fact alone. (As evidenced by the fact my own best friend is nothing if not the Crowley to my Aziraphale!)
2. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell.
If you haven’t already read Black Beauty, then for god’s sake what are you doing wasting time on my blog when clearly reading this book should be your priority? You’ll know instantly why I chose it when you’re done.
This book, I think, maybe more than anything, should be required reading for all children as soon as they’re old enough to comprehend it. We’d have a hell of a lot less people growing up into shitty adults, if so.
3. The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
If good literature is supposed to be universal, then The Little Prince is perhaps the greatest piece of literature I have ever come across — to the point where I am genuinely rather concerned for anyone this book doesn’t speak to on at least some level.
4. Lisey’s Story, by Stephen King.
I wonder how many people are going to see King’s name on this list and instantly go, “But I don’t like reading about man-eating cars/clown infestations in the sewer/homicidal maniacs playing baseball/insert lunacy here!”
If King isn’t generally your cup of tea, that’s okay. Lisey’s Story is still the book for you. It’s not just for those people whose suspension of disbelief is still roughly on the same level as that of a twelve-year-old boy.
It’s for anyone who’s ever had a close loved one, be it a spouse, or a lover, or a best friend. (While the book focuses on a married couple, the themes still paint a general portrait of just closeness and love). It’s for anyone who’s ever been abused, or who knows someone who was/is abused, or who doesn’t have any knowledge in that area and so needs to understand. It’s for anyone who’s ever written, anyone who’s ever tapped into their own creativity.
It’s for anyone who wants to learn and experience a deeper truth while reading, and not just that you shouldn’t turn your back to the drain while showering for fear a clown might come out of it and kill you.
(And if you can, get the hardcover edition! My god it is stunning.)
5. Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, by Conor Grennan.
There are a lot of books on the theme of “making a difference!” that I could have chosen for this list. But I picked Little Princes because its theme goes one step farther than that: Anyone can make a difference, even the most unlikely.
And that’s a damn important thing to get out there, if you ask me.
(The writing itself is also incredibly endearing; I admit I was giggling out loud to myself on the train while reading, and I dare you to not at least smile.)
And, looking back over this list, I realised something. These are all books that I picked instinctively, the ones that just pinged something inside my head and struck that happy little chord of yes, without worrying about any particular genre or theme.
But it turns out these books do have a theme after all.
These books, moreso than maybe any others, are the ones that I feel will offer you a newfound respect for and understanding of both the world we live in and everything that lives in it alongside us, and to me they’re important for that one reason alone.
Hippie librarian, indeed. ♥