How do you organize your bookshelf? Do you line up the books by author last name, just like you learned from the library? Do you sort them by publication date, so the classics like Jane Eyre and Northanger Abbey find a home together, and you can see the latest trends in lit on your 2016 shelf? Do you arrange them by book cover color, so you end up with a rainbow bookshelf that lights up your room? I have a new idea for you: Take books with numbers in the title and put them together to see the fun match-ups that will find a shelf home together.
Your "ones" will be abundant, and then you'll find A Tale of Two Cities mingling with the Lord of the Rings book The Two Towers ; The Crying of Lot 49 finding an unusual home next to Fifty Shades of Grey ; One Hundred Years of Solitude with The 100 and a childhood favorite The Hundred Dresses; and then you have to battle for the first book on the shelf, if it's Ready Player One , One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , One Day, or, perhaps fittingly, The Lucky One (Zac Efron not included).
If you're like me, pretty soon you'll be trying to see if you can count your books up to Farenheit 451 or even 1984. While we're not there yet, this list of books with numbers in the title from one to 13 will kickstart your own counting.
1. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
You should probably just bring out your old photo albums now because This One Summer is going to give you all the nostalgia feels. This graphic novel by cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki will take you back to the summers when you were a pre-teen, when you first starting having crushes but you still wanted your parents to tuck you in at night.
2. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Speaking of nostalgia, if you haven't read Walk Two Moons since you were in grade school, it's time to pick it up again because Walk Two Moons resonates even more today. This story-within-a-story is narrated by Salamanca "Sal" Tree Hiddle, who, on a roadtrip to find her mom with her grandparents, relates the tale of Phoebe Winterbottom, a woman whose mother also leaves. The title is based on a saying Creech found: "Don't judge a person until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."
3. Three Blind Mice by Agatha Christie
I might be biased because Agatha Christie is partly to thank for my childhood love of reading, but trust me, you're going to get wrapped up in this book of short stories by the iconic mystery author. Three Blind Mice takes a beautifully simple set up — a snowstorm traps friends together in an isolated mansion alongside a killer — and twists your brain all around until you come to the end. Because it's a short story collection, this is one to toss in your tote for waiting rooms and subway commutes.
4. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
The fictional Pittacus Lore (actual James Frey) made a whole writing career writing books with numbers in the title, but let's start at the original, I Am Number Four . This kickoff novel of The Lorien Legacies tells the story of nine aliens who come to Earth and live secretly among humans after escaping their planet during an invasion from a rival species. Now those aliens are hunting them on Earth, and they've already killed Number One, Two, and Three. This is Number Four's story.
5. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I shouldn't have to tell you to read Slaughterhouse-Five , but I'm going to anyway. The classic science fiction novel follows Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time and travels to all different phases of his life. It's absurd, poignant, and clever, and just because your high school English teacher made you read it (and you skimmed), doesn't make it lame.
6. Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo
Jennifer Longo's quirky, dark coming-of-age story follows a teenage girl whose family owns a cemetery. Leigh is forced to work in the front office, awkwardly speaking with devastated family after family, and guessing which headstone material and gravesite they'd like. The YA novel is very, very funny, if you are also the kind of person who laughs at all the best, most inappropriate times, and it's a unique exploration of grief.
7. Seven Years In Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
Heinrich Harrer's classic memoir recounts his experiences as one of the first ever Europeans to enter Tibet, travelling over the Himalayas from India as World War II broke out. It might not have the Brad Pitt the movie does, but trust me when I say it's still 100 percent worth the read.
8. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
Not one but two sets of eights in this numerical title! Salman Rushdie is an unmatched story teller, and his latest release Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights is no exception. This re-imagining of One Thousand and One Nights (count up the title!) is wondrous, magical universe filled with jinni and fairy-tale-esque stories.
9. Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis
This heartbreaking story of two young women in love in deeply conservative post-revolution Iran is based on a true story. If either girl, Farrin or Sadira, is caught, the crime of being together has a penalty of death. Meanwhile Farrin's mother is engaging in the Bring Back the Shah movement, which also brings danger. The story is tense and difficult, but it's a powerful one you won't soon forget.
10. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Gretchen McNeil was clearly influenced by Agatha Christie in her murder mystery YA novel Ten , loosely aligned with Christie's And Then There Were None (originally titled 10 Little Indians). A group of teenagers gets stranded in a house on a remote island, when one by one, they start to get murdered. The book is super fun and legit chilling, so don't read it when you're home alone.
11. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven exploded onto the literary scene in 2014, racking up lit award noms left and right. In case you missed it, you should definitely pick up this beautifully unique post-apocalyptic tale that follows a traveling band of actors who perform Shakespeare for groups of survivors across the Great Lakes area.
12. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
You saw the Academy Award-winning movie, so now you must look back to the source material, Solomon Northup's life-changing memoir Twelve Years a Slave . It's the true story of a man who was drugged, kidnapped from his home in New York, and sold into slavery in the South. Once you read this (yes, incredibly difficult, graphic) story, you'll feel like a human being who has hope and spirit can do anything.
13. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
Mona Awad's 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl is a must-read. Awad takes on our fat-shaming, body-obsessed culture in this story of Lizzie who struggles to lose weight and conform to society's ideals. It will make you laugh out loud, but it will also break your heart in a way that you'll never see the world around you the same.