allisonleighann♥: my bookshelf.
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my bookshelf.

I read a lot.
I mean, really. A lot.
Reading and dancing are my two getaways from the real world, so I spend much of my time looking for new books. I peruse my local book stores, online stores, and thrift shops on a regular basis. And over the years, I've found some pretty incredible ones. I'm sure I'll continue to add to this page as I think of more or come across more, but here's my list for now.

You all should read-

^ My favorite book of all time. It's a beautiful story about realizing why life is worth living. About teenage years and suffering and finding out who you are. It's definitely not for kids though. One of my tattoos is mentioned in passing in this book, and it's one of the most inspiring (and yet depressing) books I've ever read.

^ If you're a woman between the ages of 20-29, you should read/do this book. It's a journey that explains why 20 somethings tend to have "mini crises" and how to get past it. It's a workbook as well. There are lists to write, questions to ask others...etc. It's a beautifully written book and definitely worth the buy.

^ This is an actual journal that was released for publication a few years ago. It's an extremely serious novel, and it's definitely for 13+. I love journals, and the fact that this one is so powerful makes it my favorite out of all that I've read. Most would say that it should be 16+ or 18+, but I know that I read dark, serious content when I was younger, and teens nowadays see and do so much more than adults expect them to (not that i'm all that old, but still).

^ This novel satisfies my want for weird. I'm an avid lover of anything odd, morbid, or just all the way out there weird. It deals with a boy, an island, an orphanage, monsters, and time warps. Along the way, the author includes photos of the occupants as well. I tore through this book and I need to buy the next one.

^ It's a series about magic, love, and it's set in the Victorian era. What could be better? There are three books in this series, and it's one of my favorites. I recommend these to everyone. The end has a twist that you definitely won't see coming. The magic in these books is so incredibly written that it's one of those books that almost come to life while you read it.

^ I keep this book on or in my nightstand at all times. I'll loan it out to people when I think they need it, and friends and I have sat down to watch the movie accompanied with wine and tears on multiple occasions. Elizabeth Gilbert gives a soul shatteringly good story of her own life in this book and I'm not sure that I've ever read anything more inspiring. It makes you question almost everything in your life, but it also makes you appreciate more than probably do.

^ I'm not a huge fan of feel good, romance type novels. Call me crazy. But I picked up this book one day and decided to give it a try because I literally had nothing else to read. Surprisingly, it ended up being much better than I thought. It's deeper than I thought it would be, and though on the surface it's just another teen story with the same ending, it's also a moving story of one girl and one guy dealing with everything from eating disorders to immense anger issues. 

^ I know that this book has had a lot of hype lately because of the movie (which, by the way, is INCREDIBLE), but it's worth all of the fame that it's getting. It's a coming-of-age story in the best way. I wish I had written it. I hope I can write something this beautiful someday and get Emma Watson to play the main girl. It's gritty and it's written like a journal so it's a fast read. You could honestly read it in a day if you wanted to. And you should want to.

^ Philippa Gregory is a genius. Historical fiction has always been one of my favorites and she really did her research with this book. This book convinced me to research a lot of it myself, and I now love Anne Boleyn, in all of her awful glory. The book is 10x better than the movie, as well. It follows the sister of Anne Boleyn (the woman who Henry VII beheaded and caused a religious upheavel over because he wanted to annul his marriage) who was [partially fictitiously] almost the wife of Henry as well. It's complicated, cruel, and extremely telling of how the court acted around the king during that time.

^ Last, but certainly not least, is the Harry Potter series. These books were my childhood, preteen years, teenage years, and they're now following me into my 20s. I love and adore and cherish everything about them. They do start out somewhat childish and gain depth as you continue throughout the series. Half Blood Prince is my favorite. Snape is my favorite character. I hate Ginny. [And I'm in love with Draco/Tom Felton.] I'm not actually sure that we can be friends if you haven't read these books. So get to it!


  1. I am totally inspired to now go purchase this book, "20 Something." I just celebrated a birthday last month and in my post about it, mentioned that I was pretty sure I had experienced my "quarter-life crisis" this past year, so this book immediately grabbed my attention! Thanks for sharing! ;)

  2. New follower!! I am seriously in love with your blog. Reading is my favorite thing to do, and I have read all these books except for 20 Something and The Other Boleyn Girl. I would recommend the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield - it is one of my favorites! I also love your tattoo page. Your tattoos are gorgeous, and I completely agree that all MEANINGFUL tattoos are beautiful. :) I also love your love for God...something I am striving to do. So excited to follow along!

  3. I just got The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the mail yesterday. Can't wait to read it!!

  4. A friend recommended "Go Ask Alice" to me and, holy cow, I think of so many things so differently now. I read it in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down!

  5. I am obsessed with EVERY single book you mentioned here. But, for reals. I'm so glad you commented on my blog, and so happy to be following you. English nerds for life <3

  6. I'm currently in the works of creating a Summer Reading List on my blog, but here's a preview:

    The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
    It's an interesting look at friendship and success as it tracks a group of kids from an arts camp throughout their adult lives -who made it, who gave in to "the man." I really recommend it.

    Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by George Klosterman
    Hilariously spot-on commentary on pop culture.

    Native Son by Richard Wright
    Part murder mystery, part socio-political commentary about the African-American condition in the United States during the mid-20th century. One that tops most of the "Top 100 Book of All Time."


  7. I love to see what other people are reading. My bookshelf is full of the weirdest things. lol

  8. Hello I am a new follower :) so glad to be here and thanks so much for sharing this with all of us,,, I guess I have some catching up to do loll

  9. I really liked the comment about favorite is the pepper spray for my keychain, but I also love the door alarm. I am concerned about Granddaughters who go to school or work odd hours.

  10. I am still putting my book list together, so many books that I want to read and catch up on, right now though I am happy keeping my face in the bible :) thanks for share

  11. I know that you know from page one that she dies, but the entire time I sat wishing and hoping and praying that she would live. That John Green was just pulling our leg when he told us she died. After I read the book - in one sitting - I sat for hours and cried. I was just so depressed. But it was one of those books that I could never regret reading, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  12. I've been meaning to read Eat, Pray, Love I just haven't had the time. I'm so behind on my reading. Looking for Alaska sounds really good too!

  13. I love John Green. I'll have to read that book.

  14. I love to read too. I see quite a few I will have to read from your list. Awesome!


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