During college I didn’t read very much fiction, and for the first few years after college I read books in threes — one theology/devotional, one history, and one fiction. But in the last few years I have had a so much less time to read that my reading list has been restricted, with theology taking the front seat, history in the back, and fiction all of the way back in the trunk.
But ever since I joined a book club in the fall of 2012 I have been falling in love with fiction all over again, and I think the honeymoon phase is going to last for a long time. Here are some of my favorites from this last year or so:
- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This book was unlike any other book that I’ve read before — it’s one of those books where you pick it up and can’t really figure out what the author is doing, but within 15 pages you’re utterly hooked. I think I read the first three chapters in one sitting, and then the entire rest of the book in the second. The pieces just fall together like a puzzle – you might not be able to figure out what it’s going to look like at the beginning, but at the end the pieces fit together perfectly.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker. I went into reading this book kicking and screaming. No part of me wanted to read about vampires, and I’m definitely not into horror stories. But this book is awesome. It’s not Twilight. And it’s not like a horror move preview. It’s more like a collection of documents: journals, letters, and records written by doctors, lawyers, and secretaries. Good pitted against evil, with some really interesting (I would argue good, I think) religious themes. The characters exhibit trust in a sovereign God, who is able to both protect them and defeat the evil they’re fighting. There are times when it is dark, so if you mind being nervous and a little scared, don’t read it. But if you like well-written, intense books with deep themes to discuss with friends – this book is high on my list. I’m still surprised.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy. This book has been one of my very favorites for years, and I am just finishing it for the millionth time. If you like history, romance, mystery, or surprises, you must read this. It’s about an Englishman who rescues aristocrats from Paris during the French Revolution. It’s amazing.
- The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green. I know what you’re thinking, and yes I did just write about how much I didn’t like this book. But nonetheless, it’s one of the best new books I’ve read for a long time and you should probably read it. I’ve actually read it twice in the last three months.
There are several that I’ve missed, I’m sure, but this will do for now. I hope that if you read these you enjoy them as much as I have! Let me know what you think.