The Greatest Books You Will Ever Read

It’s no secret that I am totally, completely, absolutely obsessed with reading. I believe a good book is the answer to all of life’s problems, and if I don’t have one in my hand, it would be a pretty safe bet that I have one open on my iPhone. I just can’t live without them. 
So, in the spirit of procrastination, here is a list of my favourite books of all time


1. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green. 
What it’s about:
16 year old Hazel Grace Lancaster is dying of cancer, and accepting this, she is content to spend her days watching reality tv and reading. But then her mum makes her go to a cancer support group, and there she meets Augustus Waters who changes her life forever. 
Why it’s on the list: 
Two words: Augustus. Waters. 
Okay. Augustus Waters, but also the beauty of the story, the metaphors, the writing, just…everything. My first copy (I have numerous) of this book is almost completely highlighted because I couldn’t choose from all the perfection. 
Favourite Line:
“It occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again” 



2. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky.
What it’s about: 

Perks is a series of letters written from Freshman Charlie to an unknown (to us) recipient referred to simply as ‘friend’. The letters detail a year in Charlie’s life, as he tries to make sense of everything going on around him.  
Why it’s on the list: 
I was trying to describe my love for this book to one of my best friends the other day, and I believe I said, “Haven’t you ever just read something and the words combine into sentences so beautiful you could cry because it’s so perfect it actually hurts?” She hadn’t, but still, that’s what this book is. I re-read it last week and I tweeted my favourite lines with the hashtags #thisbook #thisbookman because it’s the kind of novel that cannot be forgotten because it’s so many shades of brilliant. 
Favourite Line:
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite” 

3. Looking For Alaska – John Green.
What it’s about: 

Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter seeks a Great Perhaps and so he leaves his Florida home to attend boarding school in Alabama. It is here he finds his first friends, including the enigmatic Alaska. When tragedy strikes, Pudge has to work out how to rebuild his world and discover just what he was searching for. 
Why it’s on the list: Before The Fault In Our Stars was released, this was my Ultimate Favourite Book Ever because I just fell in love with absolutely every part of it. The characters. The pain. The sentences. I just loved it all, and every other person I have ever spoken to who has read it feels the same way. 
Favourite Line:
“Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail” 

4. Paper Towns – John Green. 
What it’s about: 

Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen believes his personal miracle was growing up next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman. When he goes on a late-night adventure with Margo only to discover that she has disappeared the next day, Q starts a quest to find not only where Margo is, but who she is. 
Why it’s on the list:
John Green has this way of writing books that are just beautifully written. 
Favourite Line:
“Each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen – these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. And I mean, yeah, once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable…But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And it’s only in that time that we can see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs.”

5. On The Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta.
What it’s about: 

Two stories told at once that don’t quite make sense until you get to the end and everything clicks into place and everything becomes exciting and perfect. The “present” story is about 17yr old Lily who is at boarding school somewhere in Australia. Once a year they have a ‘war’ with the ‘townies’ and the cadets who camp near their school. This year, Lily is chosen to lead the boarding school, and that means facing cadet leader Jonah Griggs. At the beginning of every chapter there is an excerpt from a story about the past, and about five best friends in the 1980s. 
Why it’s on the list: 
This book is like a two-for-one deal, you get two awesome stories in one novel. The characters are so deep and exciting, and working out the connections makes you realise how much thought and planning went into the story. It stays with you for a long time. 
Favourite Line:
“My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die. I counted.” 

6. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger. 
What it’s about: 

Holden Caulfield has been kicked out of yet another school, but seeing no point in sticking around the school longer than he has to, or informing his parents of his expulsion before they need to know, he embarks on a three day trip through New York. Holden is quite possibly the most annoying protagonist ever, but his (lack of) charm is part of what makes the book so memorable. 
Why it’s on the list: I have a shirt that says “Holden Caulfield Thinks Your A Phony”, so The Catcher In The Rye is definitely up there on my list of literary obsessions. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find Holden strangely endearing (and also can relate to his view of the world in many ways)
Favourite Line:
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

7. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller. 
What it’s about: 
Set in WWII, Catch-22 is, well, hard to describe. It follows around a squadron of American soldiers on an island off Italy called Pianosa as they undertake life in the war. The main character is Yossarian, who will do anything possible to get out of combat duty and away from everyone who is trying to kill him, and in each chapter we are introduced to a new character largely through their relationships to Yossarian. The book isn’t told in chronological order, and on first read it can be quite confusing, but it’s hilarious and amazingly written. 
Why it’s on the list: I had to read this book for school, and so was pleasantly surprised when I couldn’t put it down. It’s not a book for everyone, but I fell in love with the insane plot and never-ending cast of crazy characters

Favourite Line:
“He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt”


What are your all time favourite books? 

frangipani princess xoxo
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5 thoughts on “The Greatest Books You Will Ever Read

  1. I actually could not stand Catcher in the Rye. I can understand why it's a classic and all it represents etc, but they way he kept repeating everything was annoying and to me he came off as a whiny bitch.I do still love references in nerdfighteria etc and am glad I read it.

  2. i just couldn't agree more with Toongen.TCITR annoyed me so much.And at first, Looking for Alaska's Miles reminded me of Holden, but then I read and…whoa.John Green is so inexplicably and utterly talented, I sincerely have no words.Thanks for posting 🙂

  3. I actually haven't read any of those, but I've heard of John Green and I'd like to read some of his work. I like Fairest by Gail Carson Levine; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (and pretty much anything Jodi Picoul) and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

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