5 Book Series to Read
Before you Die
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Sometimes we find ourselves yearning for travel and adventure, but unfortunately we can’t afford much more than exploring the streets of our neighborhood. Books give us that extra little push outside of “normal life,” and encourage us to view the world and its inhabitants through a new lens.
Although there are many a series that would be wonderful to read, there are a few that I would pick out as particularly important. These books can grow character, open your mind, and encourage you to view life from new perspectives.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say Harry Potter is my favorite book series I’ve ever read through. I know it’s almost considered cliche to say that; however, J.K. Rowling brings this world of characters to life that one can’t help but love. Harry, Ron, and Hermione, although wonderful main characters, don’t even begin to sum up the beauty of the serious.
There are so many impressive characters I can’t begin to name them all, but I can try. Hagrid is by far my favorite, followed by Luna Lovegood. Their devotion to their friends and quirky attitudes are lovable and praiseworthy. Then there is Dumbledore, the wise, old fellow that lays the groundwork for destroying the dark lord. A wonderful Neville Longbottom who may have been in Harry’s situation, but you ache for the situation he’s been left in with his parents. Sirius Black and Professor Lupin, the bravest of men, and that stinkin’ rat Scabbers that we wish we could all do without.
There is adventure, romance, mystery, trials, friendship, but most importantly MAGIC.
I may have dressed up as Luna Lovegood to attend a midnight screening, I also may have created my own personal radish earrings to keep tucked in my nerd of a closet. I’ve stayed up nights reading the series and pushed off bedtime to read them over again. I have not yet experienced the wonder of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but believe you me, it is high on my to-do list.
This series is definitely a must! Even better, Jim Dale, the man behind the audio books is an amazing voice to listen to, and my family did many a car ride where we enjoyed the tremor of his pipes.
I recently started rereading the first of this series. Kendra and Seth Sorenson are faced with a world of mystery when they first go to visit their grandparents. At first it seems like there are just many frustrating rules, but as time goes on the children recognize that there are secrets glaring right in front of them.
They’re sent on an adventure in a magical realm complete with naiads, fairies, witches, golems, dragons, and more. Brandon Mull brings fantasy to life.
I remember reading the fourth book of this series, sitting on my bed, and reading to no avail. This, next to the Harry Potter series, is the only series that has actually left me in tears. I remember closing the book calmly, only halfway through a chapter, wiping a tear from my face and walking to my kitchen where I let out my frustration to my mother and brother who already understood the anger I was feeling. The only problem was that they saw this plot twist coming, I totally didn’t.
Any book that can force a realistic perspective on such a fake, silly, fantasy world is worth a read, and this is one of those books.
Milk will never be the same again.
The Hunger Games
Although I never cried reading this book I left it unbelievably impressed that the world wasn’t flowers, rainbows, and butterflies. Yes, there are good things in the world, and evil will not prevail; however, that does not mean life will end up perfect. In fact, sometimes the reasons we start our journeys are the same reasons our journeys end.
I do get tired of frilly books that are afraid to give the readers a dose of reality. In books with a poor plot-line all the characters survive, the trials subside, and everything works out perfectly, but heaven knows that is NOT the point of life.
The Hunger Games gives one a gruesome dose of reality. Not that these things would actually happen, but that these kinds of people do actually exist somewhere, and given the right amount of power they would watch the world burn.
The Lord of the Rings
Golem, Nazguls, and Orcs: oh my! The in-depth depiction of war, heroism, friendship, and adventure that Tolkien can paint is impressive. The character development the reader experiences cannot be compared to. You also meet a character otherwise unheard of in the movies, Tom Bombadil, who just so happens to be a character of comic relief. I have to admit that in the moment I was reading these stories I found them rather dry because I was reading for the sake of an English class. I rather enjoyed the stories, but I also rather despise reading for “comprehension’s” sake.
Tolkien started by creating an elven language and from there wrote a story. Lord of the Rings is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are more moral lessons and deep implications to be understood through his storytelling abilities.
But that’s not all! Tolkien expounds even further on this “Middle Earth” that we’ve come to love, and far beyond just The Hobbit. The Silmarillion as well as The Histories of Middle-Earth delve so deeply into the mysteries of this world that it is hard to think it isn’t actually a real history.
Tolkien didn’t just ‘come up with a story,’ he discovered a world that we now have the privilege to explore.
The Chronicles of Narnia
C.S. Lewis was actually a friend of Tolkien, and without their relationship and shared love for fairytales and Christianity, we may never have received either of the two stories. Middle Earth and Narnia would be nonexistent. Although both stories can be thoroughly enjoyed at face value they have an immense number of religious implications that are interesting and thought provoking.
Although I love Lewis’s Prince Caspian for the sake of good looks and being a Prince, the most interesting of the stories I found was the first. No, not The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The first of the books, often skipped over and ignored, is The Magician’s Nephew, where you will find the creation story and learn where the wardrobe came from. Thought provoking indeed!
Moving into the experiences of the Pevensies we learn of their relationship with Aslan and the creatures of Narnia, talking animals mythical creatures alike. This is a story of bravery, overcoming weakness, imperfection, and family. There is something that everyone can relate to in this story.
We all struggle and we all have things to learn. Why would a character in a book experience anything different? I have to admit, I was never impressed with Twilight, even though my peers were obsessed. I found that the characters seemed shallow, and the plot line lacked real essence for my taste, but I’m just one in a million.
There are far more deep and compelling stories to uncover in our libraries and bookstores. I love stories like Inkheart and Wings, and I have a rather unhealthy appreciation for The Series of Unfortunate Events. My husband would 100% suggest Eragon, and there are thousands of series to explore beyond those.