Vacation by Matthew J. Costello – This book definitely was just a fun read. Being about a zombie apocalypse and concluding with a bug explosion to save the day this book was exciting, humorous, and pure joy. However it wasn’t very challenging. Hard concepts, tricking working and the need to go back and think were not characteristics of this book. Any time I would go back and think was mainly just to remember how exciting it was. Although it didn’t really help me grow as a reader it did help have fun and enjoy the time while I was reading it. This is definitely a young adult read and identifies as Science fiction and Fantasy.
Grew and loved:
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers – This was my very first book in English class. I stumbled across this book by actually not having a book prepared for class and a friend letting me use this one. It didn’t take long for me know that I would not return this book anytime soon. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is a collection of short stories; each one being interesting, descriptive and introducing a new perspective on something important. At the end of each story I was wanting more. In addition after each portion I had to sit back and think/analyze what the lesson was behind that story. After I figured that out I was definitely satisfied and after finishing the whole book I felt I had grown as a reader. I believe this is an adult read and identified as Southern Gothic
The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – This was one of my very books. This book is one out three in a trinity. I read the other two books and love them too. This book helped me grow as a reader by not only having challenging words and concepts but making me think and make detailed connections to the other books and parts of the book itself. Not only did this book keep me on the edge of my seat, it was beautifully written and very detailed. The fact that this book switches back and forth between time periods focusing on different characters per time period made it somewhat challenging to keep up. The Prisoner of Heaven was amazing from beginning to end. I believe it would be appealing for adults and young adults and definitely identifies as a mystery.
Everfound by Neal Shusterman – Again this book is only one of a series. I admire Neal Shusterman’s books a lot. Especially this “Skinjacker series.” This is actually a very interesting and exciting story where a girl dies at a young age and is introduced into a new afterlife. Every paragraph I read I saw what the author was describing. The intriguing story and detailed descriptions is what made me love it. I grew from it by furthering how I actually enjoy reading. This book didn’t seem like a chore to read. In addition it made me make connections to the other books in it’s series which also made me realize how helpful stopping and thinking about the book really is.
The Wind up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – This book was a total adventure. Every page was something new and actually pretty random. Every day I’m still puzzled by this book and even know I am wondering what the plot is. When the main character loses his cat, everything in his world starts to spin out of control. The main character is also very relatable as times like when we felt like crawling in a dark place and actually crawled down into a well and stayed there for some time, coming out somehow changed. The randomness and excitement was why I loved it. The confusing concepts, dense text, challenging words and and overall random plot was what made it challenging. This book is definitely an adult book partially because of the adult content in it as times, however it can be satisfying, funny and confusing for any age. The genre of this book is classified as Fiction, Novel, Science Fiction, Speculative fiction, and Fantastique. This is a wide variety also proving genres I’m not so familiar with, helping me expand the variety of books I read.
The Joy of X by Steven Strogatz – Yes, this was a math book. Yes, I actually like math. No, I was not forced to read it. I came across this book while we were in Houston visiting their college. I saw the intriguing cover and decided to give it a try. I loved it because it gave me insight and expanded my thinking on a topic that I like. I grew from it because never have I ever read a book like this one. The author gives amazing examples of math in real life, how it can help and why more people should enjoy it. Not only that but it was quite humorous as well. This book can be both an adult book and young adult book but identifies in the science genre. Not only did I grow because it was a new genre but because it expanded my understand and knowledge of math.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – I’ve seen the movie of The Secret Garden and absolutely fell in love with everything about it. I was young when I watched them but I know I enjoyed them a lot. When I came across the book I decided to give it a try and right away I loved it. Th main character and her soon to be new friend discover a garden that as been locked up for years. She also makes friends with a maid who talks quiet differently. This is part of how the book helped me grew. It introduced me to a new culture and helped me understand by using their language and stories. In addition I learned a new perspective through each person because they all had different, unique and interesting personalities. I loved it becuase it was even better than the movies and it reminded me of how free and optimistic childhoods are.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – I came across this book from my neighborhood free library. The picture on the back of the cover was what made me choose it. It reads, “What would you miss?” It also had a background with aesthetically pleasing pictures. This book describes an end of the world scenario and goes through it through different people’s perspectives. A massive epidemic hits and it changed the world forever. I loved this book because of how excite it made me. Every page was interesting and there was never a dull moment. This was also a book where I got slightly emotionally attached to the characters. It helped me grow by making me think; not necessarily on one specific idea or part of the book but as the world as a whole. It made me think about how they world is now and if something were to happen how would we survive and how would we adapt. It also made me generally think about me. It made me think about who I am and who my people are and what I would and wouldn’t do. It’s scary to think about such an event where most of the people die in the world and electricity was no longer an aspect of life. Although this book is identified as Science Fiction or Post-Apocalyptic fiction it helped me grow in many ways while also being highly enjoyable.
Animal Farm by George Orwell – This book helped me grow by introducing me to a book that identifies as a dystopian society. Not ony that but this book was written in animals points of view. This helped me grow by giving me a new and unique perspective on how power works and how different people see and use it. It made me notice how their society and our reality are actually quite similar. Different people in the chain of power were identified and helped me realize how important some people are for people of power to stay in power.
Antigone by Sophocles – We read this with the class. It definitely wasn’t my favorite. Something about ready plays makes me uncomfortable. I’d rather just listen to them and watch. However this piece of text helped me grow by introducing me to a style that I don’t often read and that was hard for me to understand. It also somewhat expanded my views on sexism and how men undermined and still undermine women. The project we did after this was also quite fun and helped the development of all of my thoughts. Being exposed to a time period from a long time ago also helped me grow as a reader.
Malinche by Laura Esquivel
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse