Books have always been my favorite gift, both to give and receive. There's something primordial about story-telling. These are some of the stories that have stayed with me, and so while on Thanksgiving, or soon after on Winter Break, and you need a book to read look no further!
1. The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller
Starting off with something fun, if you only have so much time to read, or enjoy awesome drawings more than words, look no further then one of the inspirations for several Batman movies.
2. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce
Looking for a classic to read or writing that explores whole new ways of using written language? This is definitely the book for you. And if you really enjoy it, you can follow it up with Joyce's sequel "Ulysses."
3. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
Another classic, but so short you could finish it in a day, and so good it'll stick with you for a lifetime.
4. Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Waterson
5. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
6. All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
This remarkable story is from the point of view of German soldiers during World War I. Written by a veteran, it's hard to find a better novel that shows you the psychic scarring affects war has on soldiers, and how one war lead to a "lost" generation.
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kassey
Ever wonder what it might have been like to live in an institution for the mentally ill, back when a valid treatment was electrocution? What about a story written by a member of the "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (another book you should definitely read if you've never heard of it. The gist is a bunch of people have kool-aid infused acid and drive around the country in a school bus). "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" shows that writing can be more than storytelling, prose, and important messages can go hand-in-hand. And speaking of using fiction to get a message out...
8. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
This book is synonymous with the pairing of journalism and fiction. A heartbreaking story of immigrants trying to find their fortune by coming to the United States and how the United States greats them. While reading it, you might find some things to be not so different than they were when this was written, over a century ago.
9. East of Eden - John Steinbeck
There was something about this story that has stuck with me. The characters feel real, as though I felt like I was with them in every location. The novel touches on something fundamentally human that is hard to describe and can only be experienced. Steinbeck said it was his magnum opus, and it shows.
I hope that some of you try, and enjoy this books! I know I certainly loved each of them.