Confession time: I love big nerdy fantasy books.  I love horror novels. I love books written for teenagers.  I love Gothic romances.  I just love books.
So I have decided to compile a list of my favorites, because I like making lists, and because I love gaving new books suggested to me.  These aren't in any particular order, just some that I love :)
Lisey's Story- Stephen King.  This is my favorite book in all the world.  I love King's scary stuff (more on that further down), but this story is different.  It's about a woman who loses her husband, and how the people that you love become a part of you that never goes away. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking story about the grieving process and love.  It's wonderful.  If you don't read anything else on this list, read this book.
The Seer and The Sword - Victoria Hanley.  I read this when I was in fifth grade, and read it at least five more times after that.  This is a great "starter" fantasy novel for girls and fine for your kids to read, because there isn't any language or "thematic material" bum bum BUUUM.  I read it again last year, and I still love it. This book is old, so you aren't going to stumble across it on accident, making it a great gift for a preteen who loves to read.
A Great and Terrible Beauty - Libba Bray. This is the first in a book series that I DEVOURED in high school.  It's kind of like Charmed plus scary plus Wuthering Heights.  I wouldn't recommend these for anyone under 16, but after that, these are a must-read that will scare you just enough to be fun (these are fine to read before bedtime.  Others are not, such as...)
The Shining - Stephen King. I'll go ahead and tell you that King is my favorite writer.  I read pretty much everything he publishes (which is A LOT.)  This is probably my favorite of his "scary" set.  Also, the movie is good, but completely misses the point, but that is a long and involved term paper of a rant that I will not burden you with.  Anyway, this book is worth the hype, just don't read it anytime after dark because you WILL get the heebie jeebies.
The Passage - Justin Cronin. This one is not for the faint of heart.  Not only is the plot literally century-spanning, Cronin has an awesome vocabulary and he makes good use of it.  You may need to make yourself a flow chart to keep track of all the characters, but this book is super good and very hard to put down.  It also has one of the most unique plots I have encountered in my 21 years of book-devouring.
Pretty Little Liars - Sara Shepherd. Yep.  I read these.  And yep.  I super enjoy them.  Not as much as I enjoy the TV show because the show makes the characters more accessible, but for a guilty pleasure yarn you really can't beat these (I'm looking at you, Gossip Girl, and shaking my disappointed head.)
Scar Tissue - Anthony Kiedis. The best part about reading is that you get to live a life that isn't yours that you would never get the chance to experience otherwise.  In this case, the drugs and sex and other questionable decision-ridden life of the RHCP frontman.  Don't read it if you're squeamish, but it is certainly insightful.
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk.  Another one not to read if you're the least bit squeamish.  The book has all the shock value and violence of the movie, but told a bit more artfully, I think.  There isn't a shirtless Brad Pitt anywhere but I'm ok with this since I still haven't forgiven him for the Jen vs. Angie debacle.
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller.  A Christian book that doesn't read like a Christian book.  Miller is refreshingly candid when talking about his time as a Christ follower at a super-liberal college.  The prose in this book is beautiful. Even if you aren't a Christian, you will appreciate this book.
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones.  I love how simple her books are.  This one is particularly entertaining.  The movie is good too, I've heard, though I haven't seen it and I don't know if I could get past the fact that Batman is Howl's voice.
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon. Time travel and Scottish men.  Seriously, what more could you want?  I haven't kept up with this series (since there are like 10 books now and they are all roughly the size of a brick), but the first book and it's sequel Dragonfly in Amber had me in tears of happy and sad and laughing and crying and it was a bog snotty wonderful mess.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green. Speaking of big snotty messes, I dare you to get through this book without having a teary meltdown.  It cannot be done.  But really, this story is so well done and delicate matters are handled perfectly. His best book to date, in my opinion.
The Great Hunt - Robert Jordan. Another series I haven't kept up with like I should.  There was a time  when plots were concise and the character count didn't number in the thousands. It was a simpler time and it was pure fantasy fun. This book is one of those times.
The Name of The Wind - Patrick Rothfuss.  I love this book, and the sequel The Wise Man's Fear is just as good. Rothfuss is a master world-builder and I love his narrative voice.  His characters are likable and his frame story is relatable. Now he just needs to finish the third book. Like, now.

Happy reading!

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