By Jean Jackson
1) A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Filled with an interesting personal opinion, factual evidence and humble hilarity, this book will inspire you to walk the Appalachian Trail. It will at least make you imagine the success of walking 2,200 miles. An easy read, with a few big words thrown in, it’s a quite reflection of how interesting and scary the wilderness is, despite our constant evolving society.
2) Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
Yes it’s a book! Pride and Prejudice came first, but Bridget Jones gave women everywhere a reason to stand up to their “fuckwit” emotionally unavailable hook-up things who maybe identify as a boyfriend or maybe don’t want to label things because society is stupid and he wants other ladies on the side. Encouraging vodka, diaries, and chasing your dreams, Bridget will be the first girl to tell you “SLEEP WITH THAT MAN HE WANTS YOU” then console you the next morning when sober and realizing his goonish tendencies.
3) Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Putting life into perspective, this somewhat exaggerated memoir follows her life growing up in rural Texas with a taxidermy-enthusiast father and a flock of angry vultures. Lawson discusses living and coping with crippling anxiety, her struggle to have children and achieving her dream of quitting a job to become a blogger, all with a dry wit that dance on the line of self-loathing and satire.
4) The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
I read this series in about a week. That might not be impressive, considering it is written for 8 – 12 year olds, but the themes are beyond anything I could handle at that age. Based on the Greek myth of the Minotaur, where Cyprus was forced to send 12 of the most attractive boys and girls as punishment for trying to rebel, The Hunger Games is perhaps the most terrifying portrayal of the unforgiving and surprising shapes humanity can take. As someone who personally does not enjoy post-apocalyptic scenarios, it relays the age-old classic question of good versus power, and if the two can exist.
5) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
First reading this in high school, I couldn’t get past magical realism. If it’s magic, and it happens as an everyday aspect of life, why isn’t it considered fantasy? Recently re-reading this book opened my eyes to get past technicalities. Marquez has a fantastic writing ability, with simplistic fascination to question and validate all emotions that come with solitude. A must read for history buffs!