It’s been a while guys. I’ve taken a month long hiatus from Kassy On Design to focus on Kassy’s real life and regroup for a great 2018. Along with lots of pregnancy/baby things, I’m also trying to branch out and post more personal things on KOD. The first thing that popped into my head (after being stuck inside twice during winter freezes this year) was to share what I’ve been doing a lot of lately; which happens to be READING! So I’m going to share my Kassy On Design Reading List with you guys!
Fun Fact about me: I’m a TOTAL NERD! I could read ALL day long, every day. My parents used to have to take books away from my sister and I because we would stay up all night and read and totally forget to sleep. Also an odd fact: I love fantasy, historical fiction, and true crime. I’m sure several of you who know me are not surprised by this at all, but some of you may be laughing because you had me pegged as a sappy, romantic, cry your eyes out, only read on the beach kind of girl. In truth, though, I’ve owned several book lights, lots of colorful book covers, and too many e-readers.
Before I start listing out my favorite books and books that I’m dying to read, you should know several things about me. I’m as basic as they come. I love teen fiction and I could reread the same series over and over again. None of these are brand new books. I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest but I’m also not SUPER into the classics. I pretty much stick with stuff that you’ve probably heard of. So this list is my encouragement for you to actually pick up those books that you’ve seen but never read!
Reading is sooooo good for your brain, people. I typically read at least 30 minutes every night before I go to bed and then sometimes throughout the day if I have some down time. It allows you to use your imagination and let your creative juices flow, am I right? If you don’t love to read, I challenge you to pick up a book that you like and MAKE yourself read it. I used to force my best friend, Ashton to have ‘reading time’ with me. She still hates me for it, but at least she’s read some decent books along the way!!!
Ok, enough of that. On to the list.
The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind / Fantasy
This is a TWELVE book series that is every fantasy nerd’s DREAM. If you loved Harry Potter as a kid, this series is like HP for adults. I first started reading it in high school when my fellow ‘I’m cool on the outside, but a totally nerd on the inside’ friend, Trenton, introduced me to them. I reread them over the last few months and they were just as good if not better the second time around! It takes you on the journey of Richard Cypher, an unassuming wood’s guide who discovers he’s much more than just that. He’s introduced to a world raging with magical warfare and is tasked with protecting it from evil. Every book is new adventure that culminates in an EPIC battle between life and death toward the end of the series.
I’m telling you, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this series. It challenged me in so many ways to think about how I would handle a situation when faced with a choice or standing up for what I believe. There are actually 19 books in this series, but I’d stop at 12. I’ve heard that the last few are just filler and totally aren’t necessary. I hope to read them one day to find out for myself and I’ll let you guys know!
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin / Fantasy
For those of you who live under a rock, this is the Game of Thrones book series. First, let me say this, I’ve watched all of the GOT series (duh. it’s amazing. don’t judge me) and the series is pretty darn close to the books for the first little while. But you cannot imagine the level of detail that series leaves out. The books are absolutely magnificent. I prefer them to the series for several reasons. 1. I’m a book girl. The book is always better than the movie. 2. The nudity and sex is a lot to handle when you’re seeing it with your eyes, but the books (while still graphic) allow me to censor it a bit in my own mind. The world that Martin has created it beyond anything you could ever imagine.
BIG HUGE DOWNFALL… George R. R. Martin is on my crap list. He wrote 5 books. Each book parallels a season of the show for the most part. But how many seasons are there? 7!!! And there is another on its way. Martin allowed them to push ahead of the books BEFORE HE WROTE THEM. I’m enraged. I’ll try and get over it, though. This is a definite must read for anyone who loves GOT!
Harry Potter by JK Rowling / Fantasy / Genius / BEST EVER
This is a given, but I don’t want to cheat anyone out of hearing my absolute obsession over HP. I started reading this series when I was 11 (the same age as Harry, NBD) and waited in line to get new books as they came out. I can’t even express to you the magnitude of influence that these novels had on my life.
There are so many people that think that they’re sac-religious or evil (my own grandma still makes a face at them) but I 100% disagree. In fact, I think they helped me understand what the bible meant when it says ‘be the salt and light of the earth’! Even when everyone around you is giving in, you have to do what is right! I learned about the difference between good and evil and the fight that every single one of us has to go through to stay on the side of the light. And about friendship and how important it is to surround yourself with good people who love you and will push you toward the good things in life. I learned that love is the key to the magic in life. If you haven’t read the books, you’re missing out. The movies are just a highlight of all the good stuff in the books. Trust me, I can’t be your friend if you don’t read these books.
For those of you wondering, I’m a Ravenclaw through and through.
The Stranger Beside Me by Anne Rule / True Crime
If you’re a true crime fan, then you’ve heard of Ted Bundy. If you’re a human, you’ve probably heard of Ted Bundy. The charismatic, handsome, unsuspecting serial killer who went on a rampage killing women with brown hair parted down the middle. I’m obsessed with true crime and the people who try and understand the minds of sociopaths and psychopaths. This book is the true accounts of his crimes from the point of view of his friend and coworker, Anne Rule. She never suspected him of the crimes and wrote an entire book about his ability to live a crazy double life. I have to admit that I’m not finished with this one yet (I’m honestly not even halfway through) but I’m already in love. It’s riveting and so so informative.
Plus, they’re making a movie about Ted Bundy (starring Zac Efron) so you’re going to need to be well versed before that comes out!
The Luxe Series by Anna Godberson / YA Fiction / Guilty Pleasure
So I’m embarrased (ok, not THAT embarrased) to say that teen/young adult fiction is a guilty pleasure of mine. This series is set in turn of the century (the 1900s) New York City. Does it get any better than that? It follows the fabulous lives of New Yorks Elite and their not so elite hired help. Think… Gossip Girl in 1903. The character development is fabulous and this book is this one that started me on an Anna Godberson binge. She’s a fantastic writer and she paints the most beautiful (sometimes scandalous) pictures of New York Society.
Bright Young Things Series by Anna Godberson / YA Fiction
I found this series when I plunged headfirst into Anna Godberson’s work. If you liked The Luxe or at least thought it sounded great, you’re going to love this one as well. Same city, new decade. Say hello to NYC in the roaring twenties at the height of prohibition. It follows a Bright Young Thing named Cordelia and her bootlegger family. It’s a fantastic read and of course, a beautiful story of my favorite city.
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory / Historical Fiction
So if you haven’t noticed by now, I get seriously caught in black holes of information. I went on a King Henry VIII tangent for a while and watched/read everything I could on Anne Boleyn. I was so fascinated by her personality and how she used it to become the queen and then she was beheaded! This is obviously a romanticized version of her story, but it’s so captivating! I have a thing for monarchy. They also made a movie of it starring Scarlet Johannson and Natalie Portman but if I’m being real, it didn’t do the book justice AT ALL.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis / Religious Fiction
For those of you who think this is a kid’s book? You could not be more mistaken. I read this as a 23 year old adult (I was cast in the stage version at my church) and I was moved beyond words. C. S. Lewis’ imagery in conveying the Gospel through a story is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. I laughed in the beginning and by the last book, I was weeping. I’ve never read anything quite like it and I could not recommend it enough. You’ll learn more about your faith and you’ll be exposed to the good and the evil that makes the world turn and how God works all things to his good.
I know this is a super random list of books (seriously, it’s all over the place) but it’s a great place to start. So open a book, people. Expand your mind! Learn something new!