My good friend asked me to put together a list of books to read before you die. Before I launched into my kick of YA fantasy, I’ve always loved (and still am highly fond of) books that make you think. So a lot of these books still do that for me. A lot of them have splendid writing as well, to top it all off. Nevertheless, here’s to all that!

13 Books to read before you die with a ~short~ explanation of why.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood—Utter brilliance. The first *serious* book I ever (remember) reading as a pre-teen/teen and would read again 100/10.
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zukus—Because everyone should know and understand every setting in WW2.
  3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini—The first book I got lost in and has stayed with me. So much wisdom in his words.
  4. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell—I haven’t read all of this book, but the parts I did read were top notch. The whole book is a message in itself.
  5. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling—Not only because it’s Harry Potter and will give you a connection to everyone on earth, but the characters are real and stand out.
  6. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng—Currently my new obsession. I absolutely love this book, not only for the plot, but because the relationships are explored so thoroughly as well as prejudice and ~casual~ racism.
  7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman—A much more thorough and well done modern dystopian. It’s discussion of ethical questions is top notch even though the writing is pre-teen/mid teen level.
  8. Battle Royal by Koushun Takumi—Well thought out and good analysis with lots of heavy character analysis.
  9. Room by Emma Donnoghue—Haunting and terrifying; a book about survival, sacrifice and mothers.
  10. The Road by Cormac McCarthy—Because even in the worst situations the instinct for survival and hope drives us forward.
  11. Animal Farm by George Orwell—His analogy is pretty straightforward and obvious. But apparently there’s still people in the world who don’t believe what he wrote, so everyone should still read it.
  12. Speak by Laurie Anderson—A window into the terror that is depression, misunderstandings, and the consequences that come from judging.
  13. The Giver by Lowis Lowery—It’s short, sweet and to the point. (Perhaps) the last modern dystopian novel to be written before the descent into madness.

What are your favorite books? Which books have made you think the most?