15. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris – A friend of mine suggested this new series (well, not so much “series,” as “bunch of books starring the same characters” – I think each novella can stand on its own) about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse. This first installment, she falls in love with, you guessed it, a vampire. Not much of a goth-reader, and yet here I am, starting another vampire love saga. I liked the first one okay, and liked that the books are only about five bucks each at Target. Harris writes cleanly and efficiently, which is to say I don’t get enough of her characters to care very much, and the story fits neatly in about two hundred pages. Her Sookie Stackhouse books are also the basis for HBO’s True Blood series, which I hear is pretty fantastic. I’m not actually sure if I’m going to get anymore, unless I come across the next one during my next library expedition.
16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky – I’m going to count this on my list to fifty, even though I technically re-read it. I read it once in high school as a reading assignment, and like all assigned reading, I didn’t actually read it all the way through and probably studied the Cliffs Notes more thoroughly. After reading it again, I wish I had paid more attention back when I had the chance to discuss and dissect it as a student. Of course, nothing becomes a cult classic for just being fun to read. It’s intelligent, it’s funny, poignant, relevant, and incredibly sad. These are the types of books that truly inspire.