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Ten Reads to Establish Your Fictional Sense of Direction

By Melina Lynne • September 02, 2015

Have you ever solicited new book ideas from your friends, or posted your inquiry on Facebook, Twitter or some other form of social media? What you hear back is generally a pitch for their favorite author, genre, series, etc., and, ultimately, you realize you are no further in your quest for a new read than when you started. Plus you will now have to answer the question, "So, did you read it?" several times over the weeks and months to come. Sounding familiar?

With two readers in my house, there is constant conversation about whose book choices are best (mine, obviously). For example, after much persuading, I finally convinced my husband to start reading the Harry Potter books. He's seen the movies (who hasn't?), but like most books turned into motion pictures, the book is way better!

There are so many other good books and great authors out there that while they may get some attention (especially with a movie adaptation), they deserve so much more. These books stand on their own two feet, and have helped pave the road for new readers in every generation. Added to that, Thrift Books will be discounting most fiction titles by 15% starting after Labor Day (Sept 7th.) I don't know what code they will be using, but it'll be advertised on the home page after Labor Day.

Now, I will preface this with the disclaimer that I am not trying to "convince" you to read a book you don't want to; and I promise not to call or text asking if you took my advice. However, I want to try and give you a place to start because, let's be honest, that is usually the hardest part (and when you do start looking, keep an eye out for sales and discounts, as your new found book addiction will drain the piggy bank!)

The Shining by Stephen King or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson: While some aspects may jolt you, you find yourself continuing to turn page after page after page. You're not sure you want to know what happens, but you keep reading anyway.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez: This book touches upon a utopian magic, but roots you enough in the realities of a metaphorical Columbia that you can still call it an informative and incredibly thought-provoking read.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien: (OK – I'm cheating a little with a series, but try picking just one!) If Solitude touches on the slightly unrealistic, this series plunges you into it. Be prepared to enter a world that you will not want to escape.

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice: This book gives you a heavy dose of the supernatural, without the sparkles. (See Twilight for the sparkly version.)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: This takes the unrealistic and makes it flat out hilarious. You will be "LOL"ing!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: From an author's perspective, and a biographer's words comes a story that makes you question where its reality lies.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman: Get ready to buy a plane ticket to Great Britain, as the beauty and historical detail in these books are as intriguing as they are mesmerizing. (More to come on the historical fiction side later, so keep an eye out for my next posting!)

...ring, ring. Have you read one yet?

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