Five Books You Should Read This Year

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone." -Tyrion Lannister.

Books enrich our lives, if you pick the right ones. Their characters can become like friends. The places and adventures they can take you on can seem as real (and sometimes even more real) than the world in front of our eyes. But with legions of books published every year, it would take many lifetimes to read them all. So which do we pick?

Here is a list of five great books that deserve to be at the top of your reading list:

# 1 The Road (Cormac McCarthy)

Rarely does a writer as unique and talented as Cormac McCarthy come along. His books are dark and violent, yet stuffed with gorgeous prose, unique action and a style that is impossible to emulate. His 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Road , is arguably his best. Haunting, challenging, and unforgettable, this incredible novel will change how you view post-apocalyptic literature, not to mention life and family, forever.

# 2 Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

A boy stuck on a life raft with a tiger! This spectacular novel is part treatise on religious philosophy, part Robinson Cruesoe-esque survival story, and part coming-of-age bildungsroman. The incredible action leaves you guessing until the end and will keep you talking about it long after you've moved on.

# 3 The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss)

This novel may fall into the category of fantasy, but it is an incredible tour de force that exercises the incredible power of storytelling. Don't expect a Lord of the Rings copycat, this story is unique and engaging and is destined to be the new avant-garde in the realm of epic fantasy. Fans of Game of Thrones will love it, as will people who have never picked up a fantasy novel in their lives.

# 4 Beloved (Toni Morrison)

This Pulitzer Prize winning novel is regarded as one of the must-read classics of the second half of the 20th century. It is challenging, emotional, intense, beautiful and classic. There is no question that Beloved was a big part of the reason Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

# 5 Rabbit, Run (John Updike)

Only three authors have won multiple Pulitzer Prize awards and one was John Updike. Rabbit, Run is the first is a four-book series that spans the length of Updike's career. In terms of sheer skill, Updike is the definitive master of late 20th century. His sentences are staggeringly brilliant, and his command of the language is next to none.

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