Through all of the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season, the one thing that everyone craves is "Me Time". When the sliver of free time finally reveals itself in all of its glory, my favorite thing to do is use it up to the last drop reading a good book. Below I have compiled a list of my top ten all-time favorite reads. Many that made the list could be old friends of yours, too. Reading for the first time, or re-reading for the hundredth, any and all of these treasures could quite possibly be the best gift you give yourself this Holiday season. As always, these can be found at your local library. So, find a cozy spot, brew a tasty, piping hot pot of your favorite beverage, snuggle up under a warm blanket, and escape the craziness of the season with one of these fantastic gems! You won't be disappointed!
10) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- by Douglas Adams
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
9) The Alchemist- by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho's enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
8) Pride and Prejudice- by Jane Austen
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
7) Great Expectations- by Charles Dickens
In what may be Dickens's best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride
6) The Hobbit- by J.R.R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum
5) The Complete Sherlock Holmes- by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This book contains all the investigations and adventures of the world's most popular detective. Follow the illustrious career of this quintessential British hero from his university days to his final case. His efforts to uncover the truth take him all over the world and into conflict with all manner of devious criminals.
4) Hills Like White Elephants- by Ernest Hemmingway
A man and his girlfriend wait for a train to Madrid at station in rural Spain, the almost casual nature of their conversation evading the true emotional depth of what’s happening between the two of them. “Hills Like White Elephants” is considered to be among Ernest Hemingway’s best short fiction, showcasing the author’s powerful ability to strip writing down to its bare bones and allow the reader’s imagination to fill in the subtext.
3) The Bell Jar- by Sylvia Plath
This novel is Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
2) On the Road- by Jack Kerouac
On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a side burned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance. Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "Beat" and has inspired every generation since its initial publication.
1) Rappaccini’s Daughter- by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Part fairy tale, part Gothic horror story, "Rappaccini’s Daughter" is an inspired tale of creation and control. Giovanni Guasconti, a student at the University of Padua, is enchanted to discover a nearby garden of the most exquisite beauty. In it abides a young woman, perhaps the most beautiful Giovanni has ever seen; yet as he looks out from an upstairs window, he soon learns that the garden--and the matchless Beatrice--are not the work of Mother Nature but rather the result of a monstrous abomination of creativity.
(All Summaries were taken from GoodReads)