In no way are these in order I can never choose one I like the most. I have hundred of favorite books but I spent the last couple of months deciding which I liked best and these were my top five. I didn't choose series or else The Harry Potter books would be here, I just chose single books.
The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby begins in the 1920's, specifically the Jazz Age and our narrator, Nick Carraway moving to West Egg. He is neighbors with the wealthy and mysterious Jay Gatsby. Gatsby spends a good chunk of his money on lavish parties but all he really does is stand next to a window and stares at a green light, across the bay. Great Gatsby is a ninety year old classic, that is still popular and rightly so. It's one of the few love stories that is not formulaic. It is ripe with symbolic imagery. I loved the imagery, style, and the characters.
Fanrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Story is about a world where books are illegal, houses are fireproof, firefighters job is not to put out fires, but to burn books. This book was frighteningly amazing. The predictions that Bradbury hit a little to close to our current world. At the same time, it made me feel defiant. The government will not be taking my books and they can burn me with them, if need be. Also gives a gentle reminder that the establishment is not always telling the truth.
Les Misèrables by Victor Hugo
It is common for people to think Les Misèrables happens during the French Revolution but it actually happens during the French Uprising which was after the French Recoltion. Our story begins with the main character, Jean Valjean who gets five years for stealing a piece of bread, the extra fourteen years he got because he tried to escape multiple times. His life changes when one person shows him kindness, he decides to spend the rest of his life making up for it. It would be a tragedy for a person with poetic mind to not read this book.
You will not forget this book in fact the 1463 pages felt short to me. The movie is almost as good as the book. Almost. My only complaints are that it annoys me that they cut parts of one of the characters personality, so that she seemed like a hero. When she was quite selfish. Plus the person who plays her in the movie is far too pretty compared to how she is described in the book. It also annoys me that they cut another characters personality so that she seemed naive and stupid when really she is smart and kind. Vive la France!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book is about black maids in Jackson, Mississippi in the 60's. They form an alliance with a white magazine writer and tell her their stories working for an organization called, the help. I bought this book for a dollar at my library and went home and asked my book club on Facebook about their thoughts on the book and they told me to start on it immediately. So I did and I loved it. It made me laugh, cry, and everything in between. I truly believe this is a classic in the making. You can feel the desperation of the protagonists, the bitchiness of the antagonists is portrayed vividly. The movie is almost as good as the book. Almost though.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book is about two women, Mariam and Laila. The book follows them over the span of thirty years as the author accurately depicts what life is like for women in the Middle East. This author has the rare talent to make his characters feel a great amount of empathy, I cried four times. But I promise you it was amazing. I also loved how the author came up with original ways to describe something. That includes original similes and metaphors. The author paints a stark picture of how much harm radical religion and intolerance can cause.