As I have gotten older, I have been pretty horrible at reading new books. I still buy them. Oh buddy, you bet your Nimbus 3000, I do. They all sit on my bookcase unexplored. Abandoned even.
After this crazy long stint of hardly reading anything the past 5 years, it dawned on me that a change has gotta come. I have decided that my New Year’s Resolution is to read at least 20 books by the end of 2017. I remember my Non Fiction professor in college once told me, “If you don’t have a different book on your bedside table every night, you have failed as a writer.” While that feels a little extreme to label myself a failure in my craft, I will say that the words have given me that little push to read and broaden my horizons.
In honor of one very book-less year for me coming to an end and a new year of tales in front of me, I thought I would bring you a list of my five favorite books!
5. A Scanner Darkly by Phillip K. Dick.
Phillip K. Dick is a Sci Fi genius. I am not gonna lie, I absolutely watched the movie first. I know, I know. Please do forgive me. I read the book soon after. The movie is in my top 10 list of favorite films and I still enjoyed the book more. Dick captured paranoia perfectly while still painting a beautiful picture of a world that hadn’t existed yet. Solid read.
4. Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov.
Why it’s a favorite: I decided that it would be fun to take a Science Fiction class my senior year in college. I thought, “Oh hell yeah. Reading a bunch of good books and analyzing themes in Science Fiction? Sign me up!” However, pair this class with shitty winters in Indiana, senioritis, and a very unreliable car, you get an unmotivated Faren. However, this novel stood out among the pack. I stayed up reading this through the reddest, sleepiest eyes and I grew enamored. Just looking at the cover reminds me of how much growth I’ve made as a person since reading it. 🙂 It’s also just a rad book!
3. The Harry Potter series by: the goddess herself, J.K. Rowling.
Why it’s a favorite: Yes. All of them. And yes, you read correctly. Faren, self-proclaimed Harry Potter FREAK, put the HP series at # 3 and not #1. I am allowed to be spontaneous, dangit. Anyway, I didn’t read the HP series until I was in my early 20s. I almost feel like reading them while I was a bit older was better. I read them during a pretty dark time in my adulthood (just moved out of the house, lost my grandpa) and these books taught me you can be strong even when the entire world is against you.
2. Dismantled by: Jennifer McMahon.
Why it’s a favorite: No one really knows of this novel’s existence or really even the pure beauty that is Jennifer McMahon, but this book is amazing. If I had to pick one book in existence that hasn’t been made into a movie, I would choose this one.
1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
Why it’s a favorite: This is the first book that ever made me cry. It allowed me to feel some of the most intense pain while never experiencing any of the events that spiral through this book. That is crazy powerful.
Bonus: In case you guys wanted to know, here are some of the books I have decided I want to read and finish in 2017. Just FYI:
I started some of these in 2016 (and some I am ashamed to admit, years ago) and due to being so easily distracted, I haven’t. I make it my mission to finish them!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher In The Rye by: J.D. Salinger
The Night Gwen Stacy Died by: Sarah Bruni
A Song Of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by: Ransom Riggs
The One I Left Behind by: Jennifer McMahon
If you guys have any suggestions, shoot them my way via our Facebook page or tweeting at OJ with the hashtag #FarensReadingList. I’d love to hear what you all are reading!
Featured image courtesy of Shape Collage.