In an epic trilogy, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to a world parallel to our own, but with a mysterious slant all its own. Demons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes–if it isn’t destroyed first.
I always have such ambitious plans going into breaks and honestly they’re not even really that ambitious.
As an English major, I read a lot of stuff and while I went into break wanting to read more stuff, I quickly realized that my brain wanted a break, rejecting any attempt to open a book that was written pre-1950 or had received some kind of literary award. Instead, my soul desired mindless entertainment and to consume internet garbage. It was spring break. I deserved this.
“But, Noreen” cry the people who know me in real life, “All you do is consume internet garbage.”
Fools! Never underestimate the amount of internet garbage I can welcome into my life, especially when I had one week of unlimited free time (which, now that I say it, isn’t really unlimited at all).
I spent the majority of my break sitting around my house watching TV shows on my laptop, having brief, yet intense moments of panic as I searched for a summer job, and being a general useless blob. I regret nothing.
So anyway, here is, in no particular order, my top ten list of books I wanted to read over break but didn’t:
1. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
“Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.
But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.”
I like Greek mythology. I like LGBT themes. I find the ongoing debate over whether or not Achilles and Patroclus were lovers both fascinating and kind of hilarious.
2. The Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany or Any book from the Harry Potter Series
“It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”
You’ll have to pry my at-times-illogical-desire to hold on to the Harry Potter series out of my cold dead hands.
3. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
““It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.”
I’ve heard good things about this book and got it for free like a year ago and by God do I love things that are free.
4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
“The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
I read this quote somewhere I can’t remember and it hit every single one of my sense of humor bones and I decided I needed to read this series. This was five years ago.
5. Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
““Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete.”
In my last blog post I talked about how I started to actually feel like I was growing older because I no longer like stuff I used to like when I was a kid. Well The Mysterious Benedict Society is a thing I used to like when I was a kid and I read a few pages of it and it looks like it holds up. I sure hope it holds up.
6. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
“In an epic trilogy, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to a world parallel to our own, but with a mysterious slant all its own. Demons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes–if it isn’t destroyed first. “
So apparently the movie adaptation of this was terrible, an insult to the original series, and a blight upon this world as all book-to-movie adaptations tend to be, but I watched it and I enjoyed it. To be fair it came out when I was nine and nine year old me had terrible taste in everything. I’ve heard good things about the series though from Actual AdultsTM so I’m hoping this holds up too.
7. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
“Kurt Vonnegut’s absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore.”
I’ve read this before, but I wanted to read it again.If you like not knowing whether or not the narrator is time traveling or has PTSD, then this is the book for you. I love Kurt Vonnegut.
8. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
“A storm is coming…
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.”
I read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett so I know I like this guy’s style, I like the premise, and there’s a TV adaptation of it coming out at some point so I thought that I’d finally read it. Nope.
9. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
“Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. ” – Goodreads
I got this as a Christmas present and at the moment it has been sitting on my desk in my dorm room as decoration since then. Oops.
10. Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
“It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?” – Melissa de la Cruz
Okay so I actually did go outside a couple times during break, you know, once the streets were no longer covered in snow and I ended up at the library, which I would say is typical me if I hadn’t just written 500+ words about how I didn’t read anything over break. I saw this, thought it was cool, realized I’d never actually seen a book with a Filipino protagonist, then put it on this list.
Anyway, I hope you take a page out of my book (hehehehe, I’m so funny) and add some of these books to your to-read list but, unlike me, actually read them.