I always gets asked for books recommendation by friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. I thought, why don't I put together a post about my top ten books so I can have an easy-to-retrieve-from-memory answer to that question.

To tell you frankly, this is not an easy post, I will have to rack my brains and try to remember all the books I read. FUN FACT: I started reading novels at 10 years old. Thank you Mark Twain for your Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer for teaching me early on the fun that is READING.

For parents who want to raise adults who read, let them start early. Choose books for them that are suitable for their age. Noli Me Tangere and The Fourth K by Mario Puzo at grade five is a little too much, speaking form experience. I remember staring into space remembering Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra with rage against the Espanyol taking root in my heart. Assassination of the Pope and the President of United States is not a good idea either. Mario Puzo traumatized me. At grade five, I was introduced into the world of conspiracy theories.

Circling back to the objective, the following are my top 10 books of all time based on two criteria-- cool factor and the number of times I read them:



1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger




Catcher in the Rye is probably the one book that made me fall in love with reading. I loved reading as a child, but reading Catcher in the Rye in high school made me a for-life bookworm. It is a coming of age book with simple plot and lovable characters. The part where the protagonist describes his pimply roommate is hilarious. I don't want to spoil it because this old book with its simplicity and very subtle nuances is too good to spoil.

2. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami



Haruki Murakami is my absolute favorite author. I read everything he writes. But if I am to choose just one Murakami book, I'd choose Sputnik Sweetheart. Nothing encapsulates loss as much as this book does. And Murakami's signature darkness is best exhibited here. I read somewhere that Murakami once said that to write, one must find the darkest part of himself.

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn




I discovered Gillian Flynn when the movie Gone Girl became a hit. I searched her other books and decided sharp objects is Flynn's best work so far. What stood out for me in this book is that it is a thriller written by a woman. As far as I know, the genre is dominated by men. I like the femininity of the book. It has the kind of evil that women can identify with. It is no way chic lit-ish. It is a hard core thriller with a deep emotional #hugot.

4. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson



The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is part of the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. This appealed to my nerd-slash-weirdo alter-ego. It has a complicated story with complicated characters with complicated back stories. It broke my heart when I found out Larsson meant to write ten books but managed to write only three, the fourth was only half-way done when he passed away.


5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath




A life that is seemingly perfect to you may be a life that is lived by a depressed beautiful woman who is fighting for her sanity. This one's a classic. Don't read it when you're depressive, baka lumala.

6. History of Love by Strauss




One has to be able to read through lengths of tedious pages to finish this book. The ending is worth all the tiresome hours following the life of an old man. True to its title, this book will make you understand what love is. There are parts that are too sweet for words, not the cheap Wattpad kind of sweet. Basta, it's different.


7. The Virgin Suicides



This is the most depressing book I have read in my life! But I liked it so much I may have read it at least four times. There is something so beautiful in the book. Maybe it's the way it talks of loss of innocence, first love, how crazy some people can be and how we love them with all their flaws. Whenever I read it, a sense of nostalgia washes over me. I feel the ache of remembering that one person who led me into the discovery of my primal desires. I feel the loss of a loved one's death. I feel the helplessness in a big uncontrollable world. It's scary. And beautiful altogether.


8. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice



This started my crazy fantasy of wanting to become a vampire if only to live for hundreds of years. This book has all the ingredients of a vampire book: it's lush, sensual, and action-packed. In high school when I first read it, I missed the fact that the book also talks about homosexuality and other aberrant sexual behavior i.e. the love triangle of Louis, Lestat, and Claudia the child vampire.

9. A Song of Fire and Ice Series



One reason: HBO's Game of Thrones is based on this book series. If you think the TV series is epic, the book is of tenfold epic proportions. If you have no idea why Game of Thrones is so great, then I am totally judging you. And I am judging you hard!

10. Harry Potter Series



Harry Potter is the best. Bow. It is not just a book series but a whole other world that I wish I could live in. I am a Harry Potter nerd with extensive knowledge of spells, beasts, and potions. With that said, I can't say anything more to emphasize how much I love Harry Potter books one to seven.

Let me know your book recommendations, I am constantly in the search for new books. Hit the comments!