“Sleep is good, he said, but books are better.”

He that loves reading has everything within his reach.

William Godwin

 

If you are teetering on whether or not to create a New Years’ Resolution for yourself, or are interested in the idea of a resolution but don’t have any brillant ideas, let me urge you with the possibility of this resolution:

To read 6 books purely for pleasure in 12 months.

That’s only 1 book every 2 months, or 1 book every 60.83333 days or 1 books every 1447.2 hours.

According to the Huffington Post, the average page length of a book in 2015 is 240 pages. So reading 6 240-paged books in 12 months is also the equivalent of reading about 4 pages of a book per day. Only 4! That’s nothing!

I literally believe in you.

A study was done of the most influential leaders of our time (leaders including Nelson Mandela, MLKJr., Churchill, Lincoln, etc.) on what made them so grand and so intelligent. A correlational factor was that all of them read before bed. It ranged from the most trivial of reading children’s bedtime stories to the kiddos before tucking them into bed to the Philosophies of Thoreau and Emerson with a cigar and brandy.

You see, reading empowers your mind. It shapes it and molds it and turns it from play-dough to an intellectual structure of some kind. It’s so incredibly beneficial neurologically. And not to mention, literature is the doorway to the world. It is perspective. It is culture. It is humanity in it’s truest form.

So this post is about encouraging the masses to add reading as a resolution this year by purposefully finishing 6 books in 12 months. And my top 6 book recommendations for you I have posted. (Note: it was incredibly hard to narrow my long list of great literature down to merely 6 wonderful reads. Also these novels are not in any specific order.)

{Summaries and Pictures provided by the http://www.goodreads.com}

  1. The Alchemist- Paulo Coehlo                                  865
    “Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.” 
    Paperback, 197 pages
    Published May 1st 1993 by HarperCollins (first published 1988)
  2. The Kite Runner – Khalad Hosseini                        77203

    “Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

    The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

    A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.”

    Paperback, 371 pages
    Published April 27th 2004 by Penguin Berkley Publishing Group Riverhead Books
  3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne 21082694
    “The story begins when a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax is a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story; as he happens to be in America at the time and is a recognized expert in his field, he is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts. Canadian master harpoonist Ned Land and Aronnax’s faithful assistant Conseil are also brought along. The expedition sets sail and after much fruitless searching, the monster is found. The ship charges into battle. During the fight, the ship’s steering is damaged, and the three protagonists are thrown overboard. They find themselves stranded on the hide of the creature, only to discover to their surprise that it is a large metal construct. They are quickly captured and brought inside the vessel, where they meet its enigmatic creator and commander, Captain Nemo. It is here the adventure truly begins! This edition is lavishly illustrated with twelve illustrations by James Zimmerman.”
    Kindle Edition, 432 pages
  4. The Maze Runner – James Dashner6186357.jpg 

    “If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

    When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

    Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

    Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

    Everything is going to change.

    Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

    Remember. Survive. Run.”

    Hardcover, First Edition, 384 pages
  5. 1984 – George Orwell                                                    5470 
    “The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia” -a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions -a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.”
    Mass Market Paperback, Signet Classics, 268 pages

6. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens        

 1953 

“‘Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!’

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

This edition uses the text as it appeared in its serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens’s vision, and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne (‘Phiz’). Richard Maxwell’s introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.”

Paperback, 489 pages

 

I really hope you take my advice and try making reading a resolution for the year. These are a group of 6 of my personal favorite books (ranging from true Dickens classics to Dystopian novels to Young Adult Fiction to novels about the essence of humanity) that have done me personally a world of good. If you need more recommendations…hit me up.

 

Peace and Blessings and Happy Holidays!

Josie

 

 

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