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5 Books Everyone Should Read

Updated on October 21, 2013

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, is a perfect book for children and adults alike. This imaginative book is full of black and white illustrations to take you on a wild journey through an amazing land. Milo, the main character, is a bored 10-year-old that can't seem to find anything fun to do, until a phantom tollbooth appears in his room, beckoning him to travel along its unknown road. The book is full of amazing characters, with wonderful plays on words, including the Humbug, The Mathematician, Tock (a forceful watchdog), and many others. The two dueling lands of Math and Words, have been missing their beautiful princesses, Rhyme and Reason, and Milo must go on the treacherous journey to recover them. This book can be read on so many levels to a point where anyone can enjoy the story. Every twist and turn is enjoyable and memorable. So whether you just want to escape reality for an imaginative tale, or find a new story to read with your child, this is it.

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Interred With Their Bones

Written by Jennifer Lee Carrell, this amazing book takes a wonderful look at the long standing argument about whether or not Shakespeare really wrote his tales. If you have a love for Shakespeare than this book will enchant you until the end. The search for Shakespeare's lost play and his identity sends shivers down your spine and really allows you to feel as if your along for the ride, you laugh, cry, and love with the characters. The question that has haunted Shakespeare scholars for most of their careers is addressed in such a way that keeps you from putting down the book—is Shakespeare real? The twists and turns within the book are entirely unexpected and the writing is fantastic. Jennifer Lee Carrell is enchanting in the way she weaves her tales. The novel is loaded with intense conversations of the mystery surrounding Shakespeare and his plays and that plot moves steadily onward without any interruptions. The jet setting action by the main character, Kate Stanley, and the mysterious death of her mentor and friend, Rosalind, takes you around the world with every page turn. As for those who have every pondered themselves about going on a hunt for Shakespeare's mysterious lost transcripts, this is the way to do it and never leave the room. The shift from London in 1613, to London in 2004, allows for a fast paced story that poses innuendo, rumor, and the kind of intellectual debate that has followed the Bard for generations. As Kate goes through her journey, she turns on friends she thought once were, gets in fights no theater director should ever be in, and traveling the world, and gets caught up in a very serious debate that people are willing to draw blood over. Will Shakespeare's script ever be found? This amazing book also has a sequel, going on with the beautiful story and continues to push the question of whether or not Shakespeare was truly the genius we all think he is.

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Dracula

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is one the most amazing books ever written. It has spawned so many different outlooks on a situation. Dracula is the grandfather of all vampire novels, it has also bred many debates on whether or not Dracula is supposedly based on a real person or not. It was a fantastic story to undertake despite the supposed historical references or not. Although Dracula is not the first vampire in history, he happens to be the most literally famous vampire in history. A seductive story of a man going after what he wants, the dark undertones of this beautiful (and dangerous) love will leave you mesmerized. It's a classic tale that will never be forgotten and remain a staple in literary history. The way this book is written has its own story behind. The way this book is written, through journal entires, really takes you word by word and day by day through the turmoil in our characters' mind. There's truly an edge of the seat ride minute by minute where you can't shut the book. Whether the book sparks a flame of love in you, or it makes you terrified of the dark, you'll never forget it.

The Lives of Christopher Chant

Another children's book, by Diana Wynne Joans, will still delight any age. This beautiful story holds the fantasy of a younger generation but it allows the bond of a parent and a child to thicken through the words that blend our world with a world of magic. Not quite Harry Potter, but in a better way. There isn't necessarily a cult following behind it but the magic is just as true as anything else. This book takes the normally thought of pictures of wizards and turns them into a whole new light as we meet a boy who aspires to grow up to simply be a cricket player, but finds out he has nine lives and can travel through parallel worlds. These worlds and characters are so well written that one might think they were true places and real people likely enough to jump off the page and sit in bed with you. This book comes from a series from four and if you love this first one, you're sure enough to love the others. Any fans of Harry Potter, or The Chronicles of Narnia, will absolutely love these stories. I've never been a huge person to follow the a huge book that "you have to read", however this book is a diamond in the rough. The storyline is beautifully original and the words that are written in a way that you'll hope you can fall asleep and travel the lands just like Christopher Chant. This book is amazing for an escape to someone's person neverland.

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, is a disturbing book not to be taken lightly, and certainly to be read with an open mind. This amazing book follows a young boy who lives in a time where criminals take control after dark. It's a story about good versus evil and that battle within each one of us (and in the open) and the meaning of having full human freedom. After a horrid attack on a poor woman (seriously a disturbing scene if you have ever watched the movie) the state takes control of Alex, the main character, to try and reform him and return him to a normal boy who won't turn to violence but there's a question of how much will it take them? It's a disturbing tale that is certainly amazing and one-of-a-kind. It's an aversion therapy that turns his life around in a way that leaves him unable to enjoy anything, and a victim to those he has victimized, but the unsympathetic main character leaves us wanting more. This book is hard to read, not only for its controversial matter, but for the language in which Burgess has written the book, as his main character has their own language so be prepared to take some time with it.

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