2015 Reading Challenge – Recommendations

So, I ran across the 2015 Reading Challenge which is going around the internet, and was intrigued by the list. I got a little ways into it and realized that I was mostly putting down things that I’ve already read, so here is a list of my recommendations based on the Challenge list! (With commentary, because I can.) I’ve tried to list a mix of things, with some stuff that is hopefully new to anyone who’s looking to do the Challenge. With a few necessary exceptions, the following books are ones that I, a) have read, and b) do actually recommend (I’ve stated if that’s not the case).

I plan to make a separate version of the list as a challenge for myself, with things that I haven’t read yet, but I doubt I’ll worry about trying to finish them all this year.

Enjoy!

  • A book with more than 500 pages: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

This is one of my all-time favorites, and I definitely recommend that everyone read it for themselves. Whatever you think of Rand’s philosophy, there’s a lot of encouragement in her works for you to take a look at your own life and what you’d really like to get out of it, which I’ve always found very uplifting.

  • A classic romance: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

When I started this, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not, but I ended up loving it. Good story of two people overcoming initial bad impressions and misunderstandings and discovering that they are actually quite compatible. I like that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are honest enough to let their opinions change as they learn more about each other.

  • A book that became a movie: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the book very well (as compared to the movie), but I have no strong memory of disliking it.

  • A book published this year: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

This is the sequel to Hartman’s first book, Seraphina, which I really enjoyed; one of those books where I was hooked ten pages in. Interesting take on a world where humans and dragons are in conflict with each other. I just requested this one from the library and will hopefully be able to read it shortly.

  • A book with a number in the title: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

A classic, and definitely worth reading, though unfortunately one of those that I read once years ago and don’t remember too well now.

  • A book written by someone under 30: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I haven’t ever gotten to the rest of the series, but I definitely enjoyed this one.

  • A book with nonhuman characters: Raptor Red by Robert Bakker

If you have the slightest interest in dinosaurs, you should read this book. Part of me would say that you should read this book even if you have no interest in dinosaurs. More seriously, it’s a dinosaur book set in the Cretaceous Period, written by a paleontologist who knows his stuff. Not only does he make the character of Raptor Red sympathetic and believable, but he paints a rich, fascinating picture of the life and environment that she would have lived in. Another of my all-time favorites.

  • A funny book: Next of Kin by Eric Frank Russell

This is one of those books that made me cry because I was laughing so hard. I recommend pretty much all of Russell’s work, but this one is top-notch. If you’re looking for humor and sci-fi, this is a good one. Continue reading