I love to read. In the last year alone, I read about 18 books, 15 completed stories online, and my reading list indicates that I am still reading (as they are posted) quite a number of stories at once. I also read my stuff for school, but for obvious reasons, they are far less interesting. I read to feel as if I'm experiencing things that I am too much of a coward to actually experience. I read so that I can learn and that I can appreciate life. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. I don't read like uber inspirational stuff - except for Mitch Albom's works because he is just awesome. I don't really go looking for books that were on the top 10 of the Bestseller's list. I don't have anything against it, but I am a really huge fan of first-time authors. Their work isn't tainted by the pressure to be better than their previous work.
Yesterday I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I loved it. I had heard about it a few years ago from a story called Infinite which is based off of the character in the book. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was published in 1999 by MTV. It's written from high school freshman, Charlie's perspective as he writes anonymous letters to an anonymous reader. He writes the way he talks. He is honest, and compassionate. He is sensitive and loyal. He loves his family and loves his friends. His innocence to the world makes him believe whatever people tell him but he can stand up for himself and not be manipulated. What I really loved about his character was that he knows the distinction between what is right and what is not. He does not judge people. He understands. He is awkward. He overanalyzes things and gets confused when he doesn't understand people and the things they do. It is all really endearing.
Like High Fidelity made me search tirelessly for the songs listed in Rob's Top Fives, The Perks of Being a Wallflower names many great books, all of which I am trying to locate. It would honestly be so much easier if I had a Skybox to send them to instead of running around bookstores. I just got Walden by Henry David Thoreau and I will start reading that later today after I get my work done.