The Magicians by Lev Grossman
One of the books I credit with getting me back into modern fantasy, The Magicians is a bit like The Catcher in the Rye meets Harry Potter. Quentin Coldwater is an incredibly self-centered and troubled protagonist, and he is a joy to read about.
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
I was fortunate enough to read this classic on my own outside of school—I discovered many favorites through English class, but it’s nice to read and analyze a classic at your own pace. This book is a divisive one, but I will always find the innermost thoughts of Holden Caulfield fascinating.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
From the very first pages, I knew that this book was a magical artifact. And of course, Ged would get along well with Holden and Quentin.
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
I’ve probably re-read this book more than just about any other, and its uniquely dystopian steampunk setting will always captivate me. The whole quartet is wonderful, and the first book stands on its own as a great sci-fi adventure.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
This is without a doubt the book that got me hooked on sci-fi in middle school, and every re-read through the years has only improvised it.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I read this one for the first time my freshman year of high school and I’ve read it nearly every year since. It’s an inspiring book and I always find something new in it upon each re-read.
Educated by Tara Westover
I read this one with my dad last year and it’s an incredibly powerful book that my brain had come back to several times since reading; with certain scenes seared into my memory. I’m grateful to have read it along with my dad and to share in such an intense experience.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
This one really got me into reading as a kid. I read it along with my mom and it was a really special experience that has stuck with me all these years later.
Anything by Joan Didion
Her writing and perspective have always drawn me in and taught me a great deal. From Slouching Towards Bethlehem to Where I Was From and all the works in between, I’m grateful to have read them all.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Before reading this one, I didn’t think I could love libraries any more than I already did. But Orlean gives readers a much deeper understanding of the incredible value of our libraries, and what it took to get them to where they are today.