must read book list

My friends and I have been sharing book lists a lot lately. {One is moving to Alaska for a few months and needs a few good books to keep her occupied on those cold nights.}

You know, springtime, it's the best time to read: grab a blanket, chai and sit outside with a good book. I thought I'd share my 'must read' list with you... here are a few books I've read lately that I think everyone should read.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Set in turbulent, violent Afghanistan, it is a beautifully written story and offers a glimpse into a hidden world. While I absolutely loved Hosseini's first book, The Kite Runner, I'd argue that A Thousand Splendid Suns is just as good if not better. Probably better.

Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
An amazing account of E Company paratroopers from their landing on the beaches of Normandy through the capture of Hitler's Eagle Nest. I really enjoyed how the story was just as much about the soldiers as the military strategy. The HBO series was also quite fantastic.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
His story is inspirational. It's incredible to think that a man who went to Pakistan simply to climb K2 to honor his sister ended up changing so many lives. His second book, Stones into Schools, is also great.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Another great book by Eugenides {I also loved The Virgin Suicides}. It is an interesting, though-provoking multi-generational story that
is definitely not expected. The voice in the story makes you swear the writer actually lived though these moments.
Great historical commentary. It is a very well-written book and lovely, though uncomfortable at times, story.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I wasn't going to read it at first because it takes place aboard a prohibition-era circus train, but it was absolutely fantastic. The details included were so small but meant a great deal to the story as a whole. And it was a fantastic story. {I talked about this book in an earlier post already.}

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Another book I wasn't interested in reading at first, but then I saw the movie. I usually have a rule against watching the movie before I read the book but I wasn't planning on reading the book so I ignored that rule. It turns out that this is a great story, though I will admit there were parts of the book and movie that I liked more than the other. Check them both out.

The People are the News by Grant Pick
A friend from grad school turned me on to Pick {and Studs Terkel} and I will be forever grateful. Pick, a former Chicago Reader feature writer, is honestly one of the best writers and storytellers that I've ever read. He doesn't glamorize or exaggerate his subjects. He writes honest and incredibly detailed descriptions of every people in Chicago with a voice that leaves you feeling like you may have walked past these people on the street. He once told a journalism student, "There is no news peg. The people are the news."

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
Just for fun. It is entertaining collection of essays {as long as you know something about the chapter topics}. I thought the chapter 'Being Zach Morris' was hilarious, mostly because I had a crush on him growing up.

A few others I suggest: Sin the the Second City, Devil in the White City, The Kite Runner, The Reader, The Secret Life of Bees, Reading Lolita in Tehran and, of course, my all time favorite, To Kill a Mocking Bird.

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