Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Books You Have to Read at Least Once

Top 10 Picks is hosted each week by Jillian @
Random Ramblings. This week’s topic is books you “have” to read at least once in your life. Make sure to stop by Jillian’s blog to see her list!

1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
This was one of the first dystopia books I ever read. I was a wee kidlet at the time, but it left a haunting impression that I have never been quite able to shake. I have since re-read this book several times. I consider it a classic that everyone should read (at least once).

2. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I have found that people either love or hate Rand. I personally had no aspirations to read any of her works until a close friend recommend and then proceeded to buy a copy of Fountainhead for me. True, it takes a while to get into Rand's writting, but trust me, this book is worth it.

3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Okay, okay, bear with me here. :P Once you have read The Fountainhead, you should really read Atlas Shrugged. Rand's writting is much less raw and the characters are more relatable. Plus, this is Rand's mouthpiece, so to speak. Her meaning is made quite clear, and it actually changed the way I precieve certain life situations. It was a very memorable book for me.

4. The Shining by Stephen King
Ah, the master storyteller himself, Stephen King. The Shining is my favorite horror novel by Mr. King. I was completely scared out of my skin while reading this. Also, I have never been able to look at hedged topiaries the same.

5. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Another great storyteller, Niel Gaiman. :) I have read many of Gaiman's works, but American Gods is by far my favorite. I loved how Gaiman wove Norse mythology throughout the story, while maintaining a modern theme. If I had to recommend only one book of Gaiman's, it would definitely be American Gods.

6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
A feminist classic. I absolutely love Atwood's voice. The Handmaid's Tale captures Atwood at her best. If you haven't read any of Atwood's works, start here. An other great book by Atwood is Oryx and Crake, which I would definitely recommend as a close second.

7. Night by Elie Wiesel
I read this for a religion class I took in college. I was so moved, then I eventually went out and bought my own copy to read and think over without the pressure of the classroom. Night is a book that everyone should read. Try to ignore the Oprah sticker. I do.

8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madelieine L'Engle
This is a wonderful introduction to science fiction. I first read this in 6th grade and absolutely fell in love with it! I have since purchased the box set of the series and have re-read A Wrinkle in Time and read the second book, A Wind at the Door. I plan on finishing the other 2 books in the near future.

9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Okay, so by now I am sure that you getting the feel that I rather enjoy dystopian novels. To that effect, you would be correct. :P Collins' has created a wonderful piece of fiction that is horrifically not that too-far-off! If you haven't read this book yet, you must do so immediately!

10. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
I must credit the Harry Potter series. J. K Rowling has created a wonderfully magical world in which anything is possible. I had set aside reading for quite a few years until I decided to pick up The Scorer's Stone. From there, it was true love. I fell in love with the series, as well as reading, again. I would love to see Rowling write another series in the future.


  1. From your list I've read:

    1, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.

  2. Shame on me, I haven't read any books on your list. Should I hurry and run to the library and get me some books of the list? :)

  3. Oh wait I did saw the Shining on dvd..way too scary!

  4. FAB list :)
    I LOVE Hunger Game and The Giver and really really really must read Atlas Shrugged.

  5. I need to re-read American Gods one of these days...

  6. Great list! I'm a dystopian nut too-- glad you added Hunger Games. Ditto on Handmaid's Tale. I wanted to but decided to stick with older books. I'm not familiar with The Giver-- must check it out since it has shown up on a couple of top tens. Have you read the Uglies trilogy? Kinda Logan's Run-esque.

    Gaiman is one of my fave's. I read all his books and shortstories.


  7. @Lenore
    Nice ratio! :)

    I definitely recommend all of them!

    If you read Atlas Shrugged, I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Did you like it?

    @Book Nook
    I have read the Uglies series, but I wasn't a big fan. The Handmaid's Tale is definitely a classic! I am glad to find another Gaiman fan!!!

  8. Agree with you about American Gods, is was so different! I loved that book. I have Hunger Games on my TBR, the others besides S. King, I need to check into. I'm not a S. King fan, which freaks my dad and brother out -- they love his work.

  9. I definitely agree with your last 4 picks! I read Night for an AP Lit class I took in high school, and it was definitely one of those books that stuck with me. I've never read Atlas Shrugged, but I read The Fountainhead when I was 16 and absolutely hated it. Then again, I might have been a little too young to really appreciate it, so I might give it another shot some day. I liked Anthem by Ayn Rand though. Great list! :)

  10. Yay thanks for joining! I'm happy to say the only book I have not read yet is #5 and #7. I do love Neil Gaiman, so that's definitely going to my tbr list! And gosh, if The Shining -- both the book and the movie -- doesn't scare you.. I don't know what's wrong with you! Haha. Such classic horror, isn't it?
    As for Ayn Rand, I agree that it's either you love or hate her books. Personally, I didn't like The Fountainhead as much, but I have to agree with you again, it's something everyone should try to read at least once.

    Awesome list! :D

  11. @Donna
    It's okay. Not everyone is a SK fan! :P I love American Gods! Gaiman is such a fantastic author! :)

    I am so glad you enjoyed Night. Such an amazing book! When I read the Rand books, I had someone to discuss them with, which was really helpful. They're definitely books to talk over. I agree, you should try re-reading Fountainhead. It's really a complex book. You might like it better now that you're older. :)

    Thanks! It's such a fun concept! :) I found the Shining totally scary, which is what I loved about it! I definitely think you should read American Gods. So good! I look forward to next weeks list!

  12. I loved The Giver. Gathering Blue is good, too. American Gods was fun to read. I read it after is listened to Anansi Boys on audio. So much fun. I love Margaret Atwood. Be sure to read The Year of the Flood, too. I'm hoping she'll make a trilogy of it. A Wrinkle in Time is classic. Great list!

  13. @Kim
    I have Gathering Blue, but I haven't read it yet. I really should. Same thing with Ananasi Boys. Yay! Another Atwood fan! :) I definitely plan on reading YotF! Thanks for all the suggestions! :)

  14. Wonderful choices Lesa! I remember Night was very emotional. Hadn't heard of A Wrinkle in Time but that looks good. I chose Atlas Shrugged as one of my picks too.