By Santiago Serrano
Sometimes you got an hour or three or forty five to kill, and burning your retina by watching the same YouTube video over and over just seems unappealing. Well, worry not, for I, Santi Claus, bring a treasure trove of late Christmas presents for all who simply want to have good ol’ fashioned, fun reading.
For those of you out there that love comic books of all kinds (or just happen to love cold war drama) I have just the series for you. This short graphic novel follows the murder mystery of the century as outlined superheros attempt to find out who killed one of their own during the height of cold war tensions. I love the fact that it manages to both be more than a comic book and more than a traditional novel by using the art to express a story with serious matters. If you like gorgeously drawn action or morally grey characters, this novel might be perfect for you– plus, HBO is making a series based off of it set in Tulsa…neat!
Chronicles of Narnia
Admit it, you watched “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” as a kid and absolutely loved it, and if you’re a nerd like me, you imagined your own adventures in the fantasy world of Narnia. Well do I have good news for you, there is an entire series that fully fleshes out the background and future Narnia. It’s kind of like Lord of the Rings except not hundreds of pages long, and you replace an old man with a talking lion. Being not particularly long, each of the books can be perfect to read when you don’t have the time to invest in a longer novel.
Remember how awesome Ender’s Game was? Remember how awesome lovable side-man Bean was? Even if you don’t have an idea what I am talking about, Ender’s Shadow remains one of my favorite sci fi books aimed for teens. It parallels Ender’s game by telling the story of Bean, an extremely small genius who does not let anything get in his way. It is a wonderful coming of age story that has one of the most realistic characters I have seen in a long time. So don’t wait– there is whole series following this lovable kid.
We all have that one friend who reads Russian literature in their free time and speaks French or something. You want to impress him? I have just the book for you. This goliath of a reading project is arguably one of the most iconic pieces of science fiction ever written. Reading more like a greek epic then your traditional sci joint, Dune tells the life story of a boy whose family is slaughtered, and he is forced to grow up in the inhospitable deserts of the most important planet in the galaxy. Did I mention that this epic struggle for survival and revenge has giant sand worms that could eat a car like it’s nothing? Trust me, it is well worth the lengthy read.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Reading this book is like going on a roadtrip with a complete stranger, weird stuff happens and you never know where you are going to go, but in the end, you treasure the memory. This book follows the last surviving earthman as he travels the galaxy with the president of the universe who is currently being chased for kidnapping himself. (Yeah, I was not kidding with how odd this book can get, but I am also not kidding with how clever and funny it can be, either.) This exhilarating ride will have you confused and laughing and multiple occasions as you wonder how in the world did someone come up with this inane logic.
Ahh this one brings back good memories. While this is definitely meant for a slightly younger audience, I could not resist putting this book on the list. It’s got everything a young boy would want: epic sword fight, brutal betrayals, dragons, and hidden magics. This book is to me the epitome of what teen fantasy should be: a unique realistic world populated by memorable and lovable characters. This is one of the few series in my life I was legitimately sad to finish because it meant that there was nothing left to read. I sincerely recommend this series with all of my heart.