The Return of the Native    Thomas Hardy

          If you don't fall in love with Eustacia Vye then I just don't know what to tell you. She's vibrant but dark and utterly compelling.

The House of Mirth     Edith Wharton

          Again, if you don't feel for this downtrodden heroine you just might be heartless.

Parnassus on Wheels   Christopher Morely

          Adorable start to this perfect little duo chronicling the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Mifflin from The Parnassus to The Haunted Bookshop as they sell books and dreams!

The Haunted Bookshop   Christopher Morely

         The second in the aforementioned duo. Adorable but mysterious. Just fantastic for any lover of books but especially for a bookseller.

The Catcher in the Rye   J.D. Salinger

           One of the first books that made me feel a lot less alone. It's cliche but I don't care.

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction      J.D. Salinger

           My favorite of the Glass Family tales.

Philosophy Through Film   Mary M. Litch

          The best class I ever took on philosophy was centered around this book. Just as easy to pick up the book, watch the films and learn. Less expensive too.

Leaves of Grass   Walt Whitman

           I don't really enjoy most poetry but Whitman's voice moves me the same as beautiful music. The death-bed is my favorite version but read both to decide for yourself.

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself      Walt Whitman, Allen Crawford

           After you've enjoyed the pure vision of Whitman try out this illuminated text to Song of Myself. The illustrations are bizarre and joyous. Just like Walt.

Einstein: His Life and Universe   Walter Isaacson

          I got interested in the life of Einstein in high school and just about devoured every book my school had on him. When this book was released I could barely wait to get my hands on it. Entertaining as all hell and informative too. Pick it up if you know everything or nothing about Albert.

Keith Haring Journals   Keith Haring

          I remember watching a video on Keith Haring in sixth grade art class.  I was head over heels instantly. These journals articulate his vision for himself and the wider art world. He was razor sharp and innocent as a child.

The Shadow of the Wind   Carlos Ruiz Zafon

          Hidden libraries, masked figures, drama, passion. Everything you could ask for in a single book. This stands apart from the rest as quite possibly my favorite of all time. But only time will tell if that holds true so I hesitate to title it as such. For now, I only tell everyone I know that it is required reading.

Glaciers    Alexis M. Smith

          A shy librarian who loves to shop vintage! This is a book made for my immediate interests but it turned into so much more. A quick and lovely read that begs for sunshine and a cool breeze.

The Fault in our Stars   John Green

          You know all about this book. Now do yourself a favor and read it.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe   Douglas Adams

          If you haven't done this series yet and you're a fan of sci-fi please click on this link right now. Smart and hilarious, this book defined me for most of high school. 42.

Booked to Die   John Dunning (Start of Cliff Janeway series)

          I have a soft spot for books about booksellers and mysteries. This is both. Gritty characters in believable situations with some of the best writing I've read in a mystery.

The Night Circus     Erin Morgenstern

          Just a fun and interesting romance. A smarter beach read, whatever that means.

The Phantom Tollbooth   Norton Juster

           One of my favorites as a kid. Must have read it a dozen times before the age of ten. Also, I'm a huge fan of the 1970 adaptation by Chuck Jones. A favorite moment.  

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature   Steven Pinker 

          I stumbled on this book wasting time in my college's  bookstore. It changed my view of the brain and language and I'm pretty sure all of reality. Let it do the same for you.

The Name of the Star   Maureen Johnson (Start of Shades of London series)

          I thought Maureen was amazing on Twitter but then I read this book (and its sequel) and found out that she's pretty amazing on paper too. Funny, dramatic and some of the best dialogue ever written.

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets   Evan Roskos

          If I have anyone to thank for my love of Whitman it would be Roskos who introduced him to me in my first year of my English degree. So when he wrote this book that entwined Whitman into the story I rushed out to get it. Great writing, important topic tackled- depression and anxiety in teens.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane   Neil Gaiman

          I could put any one of Gaiman's novels on this list but this book really stole my heart. I read it three times in the month I had it from the library. Just a perfect distillation of all the things I love most about Gaiman- scary but beautiful, funny and true.

Revolution   Jennifer Donnelly

           Fans of great music and/or french history will really enjoy this dark YA novel.

Fangirl   Rainbow Rowell

          AH! There is too much to gush about in this novel so I'll just say I read it all in one afternoon because I could not stop taking in her characters!

Eleanor and Park   Rainbow Rowell

          Again, too much. Just pick it up and remember what it's like to be a teenager in love.