Whoever said that a dog is a man's best friend obviously wasn't into books. According to me, books are clear winners there. Think about it. Books don't demand anything, books don't need to be fed, books don't need a time or a day or a purpose. Books, they are just there, for whenever you want them, and for whatever you need them. They inspire, they entertain, they educate, they stall, they oblige, they strengthen, and they keep company. With so much going on and about, why would one not get into books? And at an early age, that too?
The thing is, and I learned this quite early on in life, books take you into a completely different world. You learn to think and analyze, you learn to critique and understand, and you learn about so many things by simply sitting and reading through. Why the insistence on teenage years? Because teenage years are the building blocks for your life ahead, so if you get into the magic that books can create for you, you are quite set for life, really. With that in mind and clarity of thought, presenting some good books that you can read.
What should teenagers read? Any and everything. I'll tell you why. Unless you read different genre and forms you will not get the essence of what you like and what you don't. Don't limit yourself to a particular genre or a particular type of book. Also, when you read a book in your teen years and then go read it maybe, years later as an adult, you'll draw something different from the book. Here are my favorite picks.
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
If you like humor, wit, sarcasm, and more of where that came from, then you'll love this novel. Archer's unique style of simplicity infused with great story telling skills will get you hooked on this one. The story is simple and interesting and the twist in the end (so characteristic of Archer, really) will make you want to read it all over again, the minute you put it down. In fact, Jeffrey Archer has several other collections of short stories as well. Pick up any of these and you're set.
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
How should I describe this novel? The story is excellent. The build up to the end is totally, totally awesome, and the number of times that Brown manages to take our hearts plummeting high can't be accounted for. Read this one if you love thrillers and are looking for a great story.
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
At first it might seem that there is too much of a hype being created about these books, but when you get to them, you'll realize that it's not only about the magic and the supernatural that catches your fancy. Yes, the world of magic potions and charms and dark lords does enthrall you, but if you read closely, J.K. Rowling has had every human emotion down right pat. The simplicity and the complexity is what keeps you hooked on to the series.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Being stuck on a boat with a tiger for company. That's what the book is about. Can you imagine what can come out of this one? You really can't. There are so many instances when your heart simply races, then it calms down, then it races again. Reflect. The book teaches you to reflect.
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
There's something about this book, I don't quite know what... and I have a feeling that what some will like in this book, others won't, and vice versa. For me, the internal struggles of the protagonist portrayed with such lucidity makes the book a must read. Trying to get behind the complexity of human behavior, their insecurities and fears can be very, very depressing, and while the book does have the loom of depression running throughout, it is something that you identify with and don't begrudge, because sometime, somewhere, you've been there as well, you've felt it too.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
It's a book that causes a tumult of emotions, to say the least. With a war stricken Afghanistan as a background, it portrays raw human behavior and emotions. The horrors of war, it makes you want to cry for the destruction that war causes, for how cruel human behavior can be, and wish for nothing but peace. The message of hope does shine through though, and for that we are very thankful.
There are so many of these good books for teenagers, that there really is no doing complete justice to the task at hand. What I can do instead is that I can give you a list of some good books that teenagers can read.
- To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Harper Lee
- The Da Vinci Code ~ Dan Brown
- The Alchemist ~ Paulo Coelho
- Memoirs of a Geisha ~ Arthur Golden
- Charlotte's Web ~ E.B. White
- Sherlock Holmes ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Chronicles of Narnia ~ C. S. Lewis
- A Thousand Splendid Suns ~ Khaled Hosseini
- Catch-22 ~ Joseph Heller
- Gone with the Wind ~ Margaret Mitchel
- Love Story ~ Eric Segal
- The Lord of the Rings ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Hobbit ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
- Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~ Mark Twain
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ~ Roald Dahl
- Tuesdays with Morrie ~ Mitch Albom
- Chicken Soup Series ~ Jack Canfield