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International Literacy Day 2021

As always, I’m a day late and a dollar short. 

With September 8th, being International Literacy Day and wanting to promote reading worldwide, I want to share my favorite books. My favorite way to start and end my day is by kickin’ back and enjoying a good book.

I know summer reading is the one that gets the most attention, but YOU GUYS, fall reading is where it’s at. Yea, summer is cool, kicking it at a park, beach, or by the pool sunbathing and reading, but I’ve been burned too many times by that idea. I get too into my story and forget I need to roll over and get a bad sunburn. 

I really want a hallmark movie moment of being able to sit in a cozy sweater and drink tea and read a book next to a window while reveling in the beauty that is autumn. Unfortunately for me, it was 95 degrees here just a few days ago.  

With further ado, these are my favorite books, in no particular order.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. 

James Baldwin is my idol. Everything he wrote was full of emotion, and his characters were people with flaws and just realistic problems. I love, love, love the way James Baldwin describes human emotions and feelings, particularly love and affection. If any book could be a modern-day classic, I would say this is it. 

This story is set in Paris and is about an American man, David, who is in love with both a man, Giovanni, and a woman, Hella. He struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and to reconcile his inner conflict. It does not have a happy ending. Nothing about this book is happy. I love that there’s no hero in the story. You watch them and sympathize with them. 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I still cry to this book. I’ve reread this maybe about ten times. I’ve seen the movie a million times. And it’s just ugly sobbing every time. 

It’s about a woman, Louisa, who is desperate for a job and accepts a position as private caregiver to a young disabled man, a quadriplegic, from a wealthy family. This man, Will Traynor, had once been on the fast track in life — a high-powered businessman who pursued a thrilling life of action and adventure. But that all came to a sudden, tragic halt the day he was the victim of an accident that left most of his body paralyzed. Now faced with the medical reality that he would never recover, his entire outlook on life changed. He made a shocking yet oddly understandable personal decision that he felt was right for him, much to the despair of his family. And that was where Lou came into the picture.

‘Hey, Clark,’ he said. ‘Tell me something good.’ 

I cried and laughed and felt anxious and hopeful.

I just can’t get over how good this book is; it’s both sad and full of life. I can not stress enough how touching and beautiful this story is.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

So. Yes, I’m unashamed to admit that I am that cliché of a woman who loves Pride and Prejudice. Unashamed! 

I just…{insert fangirl screaming and crying}

My first introduction to Pride and Prejudice was the 2005 movie. I was eight years old, I knew nothing about love or relationships, but I fell in love with the story. I was eleven, when I read the book for the first time and fell in love all over again. I prefer the book better, but the movie still has a special place in my heart. 

The banter between Darcy and Elizabeth isn’t empty flirting; it’s a progression, a chart of their ongoing understanding/ misunderstanding, and a way to take stock of plot developments as well as an enjoyable display of wit.

Elizabeth Bennet was the first girl I hopelessly fell in love with. Lizzy is strong-minded and makes hasty judgments, but I adore her loyalty and admire her fierce protectiveness of those she cares about. She soon learns not to judge too quickly after a few too many misunderstandings.

Great Expectations

Great Expectations is an absolute joy to read from start to finish – it is funny, moving, compelling, exciting, thought-provoking, intelligent and insightful. It has an unforgettable and exciting cast of characters, most of them bizarre, extravagant, and almost entirely ridiculous.

It’s a rags to riches story – for more than one character. It’s like reading a soap opera. A book about someone who is given an opportunity to have all their dreams come true, to be better than they ever thought they could be, to be loved by someone who they never thought would look at them. We all yearn for something badly at times.

Pip is an orphan being raised by his strict sister and henpecked husband Joe, a blacksmith. Through a series of chance encounters, Pip rises above his disadvantaged beginnings to become a gentleman in every sense of the word. Pip’s journey is not a straight line, and his strength of character and inner goodness is not unwavering, but, in the end, they shine through, and he is the better for it.

I’ll try to stop gushing over this book now.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I love reading classics because it gave me a peek into days gone by. It may sound a bit simple because we now live in such a vastly different time. Still, it’s good to see how it used to be and how people’s view of the world has changed. It’s the way Steinbeck describes things that gets me. It’s because the scenes he writes and the way he writes make you CARE about these men’s lives. His characters feel human and real! His opinions on the working class gave his character weight and depth while respecting the work and lives that people like this led.

  I suppose pretty much everyone knows the heartbreaking story of Lennie and George. A tragic tale of companionship and destroyed dreams. Lennie and George are such a likable duo. They’re both distinct personalities but compatible. This is the kind of story that rips you raw inside. It’s sad to realize that people like Lennie had no chance to be accepted by society. He’s a dreamer, and his dreams keep him awake. 

There are so many more books I’d love to add to this list. But these would be my faves.


I’d love to hear what your favorite books are in the comment section down below. So let me know. 

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