9 Books To Share With The People You Love
Sharing the books you love is a dangerous business. On the one hand, lending a favorite book is risky because even your very best friend in the world is capable of dog-earing your property. On the other hand, there's no joy quite like forcing the important people in your life to read the books you recommend. So here are a few books that are perfect for sharing with people you love.
There's something so warm and fuzzy about that feeling you get when your friend begrudgingly admits to enjoying the book you've been pestering them to read. Because reading can be a solitary activity, but books are meant to be shared. Some of my fondest memories from summer camp involve reading bodice-rippers out loud in the cabin. On long car trips with my friend's family, we would listen to A Series of Unfortunate Events on tape (actual tapes, because this was back in the day). And I just recently gave my boyfriend a copy of Jane Eyre, just in case he turns out to have a secret wife hidden in the attic.
Whether you're sharing a book with your best friend, worst enemy, family, significant other, or cat, here are some great options for books to read together:
1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn has a deceptively simple premise: a bookish little girl grows up in Brooklyn at the last turn of the century. But it's a story that every reader will fall in love with. Because Francie Nolan doesn't just love to read, she needs to read and think and imagine in order to survive a life of poverty and dysfunction. A perfect book to share with the other die-hard book lovers in your life.
2. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac is that guy you dated in sophomore year, who was kind of a drunk and a player, but who would whisk you off on once-in-a-lifetime road trips in the middle of finals week. On the Road is a rambling, frenetic journey across America, and it's a book that needs to be shared with that one friend who's always up for an impulsive adventure.
3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Share The Princess Bride with your significant other, because it's a goofy, swashbuckling testament to true love. Share it with your parents, because it's all about the stories we hear as children and the ways we pass them on. Share with your high school friends, because you know that all of you used to watch the movie in your pajamas and swoon when Westley throws himself down that hill for Buttercup.
4. The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Thing Around Your Neck is a collection of short stories, all around the theme of the Nigerian-American immigrant experience, and all vastly, wildly different. The stories tackle everything from writer's workshops to falling for the parent of the kid you babysit. If there's a trusty person in your life who you turn to for debates about politics, gender, race, and love, this is the book to share with them.
5. Blankets by Craig Thompson
Blankets is a gorgeous, heartbreaking graphic novel about losing religion and discovering first love. Maybe don't share this one with your parents. But do share it with the love of your life, with your ex who you feel weird about, your friend who just got dumped, that one buddy from summer camp who you made out with, and any former religious instructors.
6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
When someone in your life is feeling down or discouraged, when they've completely lost sight of their goals, throw a copy of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist at their head and tell them to get it together. It's a sweet, enchanting novel about following your dreams. And it's the perfect, only slightly corny way to remind someone you love that you believe in them.
7. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
This book will take you one day to read, so you can easily share it with pretty much everyone you know in about two weeks. Mindy Kaling is hilarious, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is just a delightful laugh from start to finish (with plenty of insight on what makes a best friend and why rom-coms are basically science fiction). Share with funny friends at once.
8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
This is a book to share simply because everyone will get something different out it. And you'll probably want someone to explain what they thought the thunderstorm of flowers symbolized. It's a strange, beautiful, absurd tale of one family's failures and triumphs over several generations. Márquez is a mesmerizing author, and you're going to want to be able to dissect his stunning imagery with a friend.
9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
If you can make it through this book without crying yourself into a coma, then it simply must be shared. The Little Prince is a very adult allegory in the guise of a children's novel. It's the surrealist adventures of the Little Prince and his travels to Earth, but it's also about loneliness, perspective, and adulthood. Share it with all the imaginative, deep thinkers in your life.