10 Timeless Books You've Been Missing Out On

Whether to take your mind off chores or to broaden your horizons, these books will get you going.

When there's not much to do outside, sometimes binge-streaming isn't enough to keep oneself content. Yet, believe it or not, with a bit of compressed parchment, it's possible.

Out of wishing to try something new, or because you've exhausted all your Netflix recommendations, books are a great way to keep yourself entertained at home. But how do you decide what to indulge in?

Here are 10 books that will help you broaden your horizons:

1. "The Dark Tower" series by Stephen King

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Each entry in this series is too memorable to single out in this list; by the same token, they all deserve a shoutout. From firsthand experience, these titles are a swell contrast to the grim horror King is known for.

The Dark Tower takes its readers on a grand journey spanning nine books, in which the protagonist searches for the titular tower and learns some things along the way. Some of which makes him question the very foundations of reality.

The ways in which the books describe the Tower and its effects on the fabric of existence are what keep the reader engaged, making them question the legitimacy of this primordial structure that remains shrouded in mystery.

All the books are great in their own way, as they each offer their own plot and settings. In all due respect, the books are considered King's magnum opus by many, which still holds true, in spite of the 16% Tomatometer rating of the film. 

2. The "Skulduggery Pleasant" series by Derek Landy

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As with Tower, Skulduggery Pleasant has too many good elements in each book that make it impossible to single out a single entry worth reading, disregarding the larger plot. 

The time spent with Mr. Pleasant and his apprentice Valkyrie make these books worth reading, as they divulge, much like Harry Potter, the very reasons why muggles such as us should not dabble in the world of magic. 

The subplots in each title allow the characters to learn more about themselves and the world of magic, from their own inner conflicts to the world-ending threats just beyond their reckoning. 

Landy keeps the reader engaged thanks to his dedication to character development, in addition to the many left turns these books make. 

3. "Lolita" by Vladimir Lobokov

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From fantasy to fetishes, here is the single most disturbing impression of the common pervert's mindset in literature. Lobokov delivers to his readers the infatuation Humbert Humbert expresses with his stepdaughter via visualization. 

In only the first few lines of the story, the reader becomes blatantly aware of the type of person HH is, as he seeks love with the only woman who can satisfy his carnal pleasures. Even if that woman is underage.

The story follows H.H. as he tries to give the impression of an upstanding, law-abiding citizen, while all the while getting down and dirty with the only person that can satisfy his needs.

To say this story is not for the faint of heart is only half-true. Upon first reading, one could either be turned off by the rancid language of Mr. Humbert or end up with cramping sides from laughing too hard at the outrageous dialogue.

4. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson

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As with HH's need to conceal another side of himself, so too does a particularly inquisitive scientist have to do the same with his more impulsive persona. Through different points of view, Stevenson shows the reader the very contrasts that can exist in all of us.

To passersby, Hyde is your run-of-the-mill degenerate, knocking children over without batting an eye and just being a generally ominous individual. Yet, he is also the best representation of unrestrained humanity literature has to offer.

As Jekyll struggles to keep his alter-ego hidden, the latter is too tempted not to cause mischief among the locals, hard as Jekyll tries to seek a cure for his condition. 

Though this story is aged, it certainly is not worth sweeping under the rug. Certain occurrences in this chaotic world can make people act in ways they wouldn't typically, and this book offers an opportunity for self-reflection.

5. "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. D-ick

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In many ways, the world feels apocalyptic to some, which couldn't be more apparent than in this classic, which follows one of the few humans stranded on Earth after a devastating war. 

Rick Deckard struggles to enjoy what little he can of the world in spite of the constantly dreary atmosphere. Despite the depressing world and the futileness of it all, however, Rick persists because of his ambitions.

Tired of his old, electric sheep, Rick goes bounty hunting to save up for a genuine terrestrial mammal in order to give himself some iota of satisfaction in that bleak world. 

Anyone who is a fan of post-apocalyptic media will find this book to be a treat. It is as much a trip for Rick as it is for the reader to see him try and make it in a world that constantly tries to isolate the hardest working. 

6. "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" by Peter Hedges

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Continuing with the theme of exhausting struggles, this novel sees the titular protagonist having to take care of his ailing mother and special needs brother, in addition to working as a clerk in a mom-and-pop shop for pocket change.

Life is tough for Gilbert, who wishes to see the world, but cannot, as he is shackled to his responsibilities at home. Though he is tired of it all, Gilbert presses onward in the hopes things will eventually get better.

Gilbert's siblings can only help so much, for one has a habit of climbing water towers, while the other just wants to live for herself. Life is tough for this family, and all they can do is wait for something that will turn their lives around.

Being stuck at home is one of those things many young adults can relate to, which may allow sympathy to this text, for those individuals must also chip in for family while trying to attempt to build savings and move on.

7. "Being Wrong" by Kathryn Schulz

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To make mistakes is to be human, and that's what this book is for; to open the reader's eyes to bad habits they themselves may have been up to without their knowing. 

Aside from one's own discomfiture, this work is essential for explaining why it's important to step back and look at situations from an outside perspective, as the actions and responses one makes to another person may look and sound different from an outside view 

Being Wrong can prime someone who does not know the ins and outs of human interaction find where they stand in certain sociological circles by helping them help themselves improve their social behaviors.

A few years ago, I received a copy of this book as a Christmas gift. Shoutout to my sister, because without her generosity, I may not have become aware of the social awkwardness I was emanating from.

To get an idea of what others are thinking, sometimes it helps to take a step back and consider what it is others expect from the individual.

8. "The Dark Game" by Paul B. Janeczko

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When Criminal Minds just isn't enough, it helps to have a book that offers another leap into the Mystery genre. 

Dark Game features a collection of real-life spy stories, which span from the Revolutionary War to the present day, and shows how not everything is as it seems behind enemy lines.

Without giving too much away, the tales contained in this anthology reveal the tactics of those who took risks to infiltrate foreign entities and bring vital intelligence to their homeland. 

The fun of Mystery in fiction is that it allows the audience to make theories on what will happen based on what little evidence is provided. In some ways, Dark Game is the closest foray one will have to become a true spy. 

9. "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

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Zoom permits palaver for distant peers, but sometimes individuals can be put off by what's on the other side of that camera.

This title sees Auggie, a boy who struggles to get by in school because of a physical deformity that makes socializing difficult.

The story jumps between Auggie's perspective and that of his peers, which allows the reader to witness different perspectives given in the story, how some people see Auggie and how Auggie sees himself.

This work shows the pains one can endure when operating under predetermined circumstances. It's what's inside that counts, and this book gives the reader the chance to contemplate such a lesson.

10. "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury 

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When one wishes to relax during these stressful times, they may pick out a good book. But what happens when society decides that books are evil and must all be destroyed?

Bradbury's dystopian tale sees Guy Montag, an upstanding firefighter, whose job it is to burn down any homes containing literature. Yet, over time, he becomes aware of the absurdity in doing this.

The story follows Guy as he seeks to uncover the irrationality of the populous in their quest to end reading, and how his peers attempt to sway his judgment along the way.

In a time where many people are streaming content, some lose track of the morals in stories such as this, and the possibility that there is more to literature than meets the eye, at least compared to a computer screen. 

. . .

Though there are countless options out there to satiate the metaphorical bookworm, it's important to remember that no two books are alike, which is why it's important to have a point of reference when diving in.

I'm just the average bear trying to find his place among other aspiring writers. Also please consider following me on Twitter @good_wickham

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