Books, that are worth reading…At any age
Books are always worth reading! And you know, ever since I was a little girl, books were an integral part of my life. My mum used to read to me, but she chose no ordinary bedtime stories. Pippi Longstocking, Harry Potter… I thought to share with you my ultimate favorites, what’s coming and what’s stuck on the “to-read” list.
Now that I think about it, my love for reading books developed mostly when my mum was reading to me. This is absolutely critical for young children. I can see how my godson is trying to read and it is so adorable. Reading on a beach or in the garden was my portal to another world…
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Oh, I still remember: my brother and I were lying on a couch, mum in the middle. She was reading the first book – The Philosopher’s stone – which my brother has read like 2 times till then. But for me it was new. And from the first pages, I was hooked. As a kid, I was a slow reader, so I was always 3rd in line, after my brother (usually one-night-reader) and my mum (usually 3-night-reader).
I like coming back to this magical world every once in a while, and reading marathons is often followed by movie nights. Question: when was the last time you have read this series? Maybe it’s time to get it off the shelf? 😊
2. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Ahh, I think there is something with me with Sweden and Nordics in general. Adventures of Pippi were my favorite to read! She was so fun, so rebellious and thinking outside of the box. She had 4 best friends – a monkey, a horse and the neighbor’s children, Tommy and Annika. Which… When you think about it now, it is a pretty accurate image of adult life.
3. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Classic. Absolute, without question –most important books in my childhood life. I adored Pooh and his friends. That sweet, adorable little bear was created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. Named after a teddy bear owned by his son – none other than Christopher Robin! All other toys that the boy owned were introduced to young readers across the world: Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore.
What do I remember about this one? Huh… I think the times my godmother was living with us, when she was studying in Wroclaw. We were often mistaken as sisters; though I have this one story to share: it was Mother’s Day in PL (May 26th) and we were both wearing flowery dresses. We wanted to go to the movies, so… Why not? It was such a beautiful day! We went to the cinema and there were some kind of contests for kids.
So, obviously I took part and won VHS tape with Mole (Zdeněk Miler character; and side note – LOVED IT) and the guy who was leading all of it, asked me to say hi to my mum (and technically, he was not wrong, she is my godmother) and I played along, saying that I love my mum very much. And yes, we did see a movie that day: Piglet’s Big Movie. Also, this song, am I right?
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Kind of bittersweet memory, but a beautiful one. Never read it as a kid, but let me explain why these books, the series are in this bucket. My grandpa (the one that left me his chess) gifted me with the most beautiful edition, when I was a teenager.
But he kept telling me about it when I was a little girl, he even offered me it as bedtime stories, but when I was staying at my grandparents at the seaside, there was no time for reading before bed. There was so much to discover on the beach!!!
I read it a few years ago, when I finally gathered the courage to pick it up from the bookshelf. And guess what? My godson will get it for his birthday as well! 😊
5. Moomins by Tove Jansson
I must admit, I only own one book of the series, and I haven’t read it yet. But! BUT! There is an explanation. Okay, there is none, but oh Gods, I have so many books to read!!! I promise to read it soon, but I loved the TV series, I absolutely fell in love with it.
I have 6 original VHS tapes with Moomins, but these are not that valuable as the one my mum made… So, back in the 90s and early 00s, recording on VHS was a big thing. Every summer I was staying at my grandparent’s and did not watch the 7pm short animated cartoons (like Mole, Winnie the Pooh or my fav Moomins). My mum was recording it for me for 2 months, but she also could not miss one episode of Texas Ranger so I am a proud owner of 3-hours-long tape with Moomins and a random episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.
6. Ulysses Moore series by Pierdomenico Baccalario
Now, if you don’t know this series, I BEG YOU!!! Find the e-books and give it a read. I still love coming back to these wonderful, thrilling and smart adventures of Jason, Julia and Rick. They feel like summer time on a beach or my grandfather’s garden.
I have to restock my library, because I only have 6 books, the rest of them are digital read. Aw, damn. It’s a shame they are buried in the basement for the move-out time, but… Soon.
Fiction but not only scientific one
7. Dune series by Frank Herbert
Discovery of 2020 for me, hands down the best sci-fi book, well – series – I read in YEARS. Sure, I knew it existed in the literature stratosphere. But I am re-discovering my love for science fiction now, and I couldn’t be happier. The dangers of charismatic leadership, creating a cult… Good read for all future leaders.
I also am interested in the work of his son, based on the many notes Frank left behind, but I am still 2 books away from finishing up the original series. You know that syndrome? Not wanting to finish a book or series, because it’s that good? Yeah, I see you. I hear you.
8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Another absolute classic and I just became the proud owner of my own paperback trilogy. Sure, I had it in English on my e-book reader. But I am still this analog girl in the digital world, and I borrowed it from my brother – he owns all of Tolkien’s work.
I like to read it every few years and guess what? It’s this time of year again!!! Especially that I just rewatched the extended trilogy a few weeks ago.
9. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
WHAT A GREAT SERIES OH MY GOD!!!! It was such a great idea to re-read it before watching the new film (still on “to-watch” list). It broke my heart more than once (Manchee), but it was a really good idea. I read it first back in high school but back then I missed a lot of context.
Like female empowerment, true soul mates and the pointlessness of war. And the concept of “Noise”? Wow. I have to write about it one day.
10. The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
Ahh, there is only one true version of The Witcher, and it’s not the Netflix one. Team Zebrowski, if you know what I mean! 😉 No, but seriously – I really enjoy reading the adventures of Geralt, Jaskier and Yennefer.
There are still some stories ahead of me, and the game to walk through but it’s a great world to explore. And with season 2 coming to Netflix this year… It makes it much more exciting.
Important books, that changed my perspective on many things
11. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
This book was sacred for me – when I was a kid, it felt like a forbidden fruit. I knew that the film with Marlon Brando was violent and full of death, not very appropriate for a young girl. But one time during summer time at the seaside, I ordered a lot of books. This was a moment when I increased my reading speed and in two months, I could read around 10 books.
I bought all of Puzo’s books, but The Godfather taught me most about the importance of family and friendship.
12. The Martian by Andy Weir
This one has been around for quite some time! And I don’t see the point to tell its story again, you should know by now how much this book means to me.
And if you feel like you need a reminder, please go here.
13. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey
With this one, I read it after watching the movie with Jack Nicholson. Set in the psychiatric hospital, this book is a study of the human mind, and… Critique of psychiatry. It is a beautiful tribute to individual principles that moved me to the core.
14. To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
Deemed as the “absolute classic”, often read in middle and high schools by kids in the US. Sadly not in Poland, but hey – we have Hobbit now 😉 Lee based it loosely on observations about her family and event that happened when she was ten years old.
Even though it deals with difficult issues, what stroke me most was the warm and humorous narrative. Honestly, considering the weight of living…
15. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
This book is experiencing a great come back and I couldn’t be happier. It is heavy on symbolism, and full of universal truths about human nature. It is also important in terms of preserving wild-living whales that are in constant danger from hunters.
It is beautifully layered with structures of different narratives. For sure, one of the greatest books I’ve ever read.
“I don’t want to read this yet, because once I do, it will never be ‘the first time’ again”
And here we are at the section I love most – something that is still waiting for me to read. Why do I keep slacking off / struggling? Well, it’s a tricky one. I love doing things for the first time – it’s magical. Sure, after some time I go back to the books I loved, but hey – it’s never the same.
16. The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan by Tom Shone – this one comes like a surprise, right? But damn!!! I don’t want to be through with this book. You know how I feel about Nolan and I want to cherish it for the longest time possible.
17. Ahsoka by E. K. Johnston – I have so many SW books to read, but this one was recommended by a friend (thanks, Skyguy) and it’s first on my SW list.
18. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick – one of the best sci-fi authors ever, with a visionary outlook on human race, world and, well, androids. I loved Blade Runner and I can’t wait to read the source material.
19. The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick – another great recommendation from a friend (thank you Kate!) with a twisted version of reality. What would happen, if Hitler won?
20. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – classic. I don’t even know why I haven’t read it before, but does it matter? It’s all ahead of me, for the first time.
And so many, many more – but I want to be realistic. But I do read at least 2 hours a day, no matter what. So, this is my current list, Lot. What about you? I can’t wait to read your tiny lists!!!