I have been a book nerd for as long as I can remember; when I was six years old, my sister forced me to read Harry Potter, and since then, I have picked up every book I can find with an avarice like no other.
Here are some of my book recommendations:
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief details a young girl named Liesel's journey of adapting to a new life during World War II after her mother is forced to relinquish custody of her and give her to a couple in Germany. She grows up while watching the horror of the Nazi regime, and her whole life is altered when her family harbors a Jewish fist fighter named Max. She finds comfort in learning to read alongside her foster father and eventually begins to steal books in order to further her reading.
I read this book in two days despite it being over 500 pages; it is told from the perspective of Death, which gives it a unique viewpoint and makes it even more intriguing. I found myself very drawn to Liesel because of her determination to continue reading.
2. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five is one of the biggest mind-messing books I have ever read. Vonnegut's most popular work, it documents the life of Billy Pilgrim in a non-sequential way (as he claims he has come "unstuck" in time), showing scenes from his old age followed by fond childhood memories. It is one of the most famous anti-war books to date because it showed the horrors soldiers had to face during World War II, as Billy Pilgrim was Prisoner of War when the Allies bombed Dresden.
3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
You all know it, and you all either love it or hate it.
To the people that complain about how nothing happens in this book, I concur that there is little action, but that is the whole point. The book portrays Holden Caulfield's dissatisfaction with life and his constant thoughts about everything. He is aware of the "phoniness" of the world around him, but also realizes he is powerless to stop it. Nothing happens in the book because nothing is happening around him.
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I originally didn't like this book when I first started it, but grew to love it. It tells the story of a young girl named Frances growing up in one of the poorest parts of Brooklyn, and the struggles of her family to survive. Although it may sound like a basic coming-of-age story, I cannot explain the power and passion Smith's words bring about.
5. Harry Potter (series) by JK Rowling
The Harry Potter series has been passed down through all my siblings, and it has something that has bonded us like nothing else. Harry Potter finds out he's a wizard and attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, while dealing with the fact that as a young child he successfully beat the most powerful and evil wizard of all time.
Read the books before watching the movies!
6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel in which all books are banned and anyone found with books will have their houses set on fire by firemen. Crazy, right?
I found this one to be slow at first, but it soon picked up and actually ended up being one of the best books I have ever read.