KELLY: Suggestions from a bookworm.

By Kelly Duncan

In last month’s column, I scratched the surface on some of my favorite books growing up. I figured for this month, what better way to follow that up than by sharing some of my favorite books I’ve read as an adult? Some of my favorites are classics that you might have read in high school, while others are more recent releases that I’ve read. 

It Happened to Nancy: By an Anonymous Teenager, A True Story From Her Diary edited by Beatrice Sparks: I mentioned this book in my last column, but it’s one of those books I can read over and over without getting tired of it. It chronicles (no pun intended) the story of Nancy, a 14-year-old who meets an 18-year-old boy named Collin. Collin date rapes Nancy, leaving her HIV-infected. Parts of this book are graphic, so beware. 

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks as Anonymous: From research I’ve done, it’s debatable whether this book, first published in 1971, is based off of a real person or not. Regardless, this is another difficult read that tackles teenage addiction. Again, the content could be triggering to some readers so proceed with caution. 

A Child Called “It”: One Child’s Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer: There seems to be a theme going on here (if you couldn’t tell), because this is another book that I found hard to read, but really enjoyed. This is a true story about Pelzer’s childhood – a childhood filled with abuse, starvation, and an alcoholic mother who nearly killed him. This book is part of a trilogy about Pelzer’s life. There’s the sequel The Lost Boy: A Foster Child’s Search for the Love of a Family and the final book called A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness, also written by Pelzer. I haven’t read either of these, but maybe I need to add them to my list.

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: I read this book in two days, it was that good. In just nineteen minutes, a small town is shaken when a school shooting occurs. One of the main characters Josie Cormier, is a prime witness as to what happened that day. But the thing is, she can’t remember anything and her mom is the judge sitting on the trial. From the Simon & Schuster website it says, “Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.”

Swallowing Stones by Joyce McDonald: I’ll keep this short, sweet and to the point. A boy named Michael fires his brand new rifle in the air on his 17th birthday, but ends up killing an innocent bystander working on a roof. 

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: This was another book that I knocked out in about three or four days. It’s at least 600 pages so I had to pace myself and that’s hard for me to do because I will sit and read for hours on end. Reading this took me back to high school when Twilight was at its peak. In a nutshell, Midnight Sun is Twilight told from Edward Cullen’s perspective instead of Bella Swan’s. I’ve seen mixed reviews on it, but I thought it was pretty good. And I have no shame in admitting that I hid a copy of this book behind a bunch of records at Walmart so no one else would take the only copy.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: The last time I read this was in high school, but I’ve recently acquired a copy during one of my excursions to 2nd and Charles. You cannot mention The Scarlet Letter without mentioning that infamous “A” or the name Hester Prynne. 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Another good read from high school, The Great Gatsby tells the story of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but I did see the movie when it came out in 2013 and really enjoyed it.

It by Stephen King: This is quite possibly the biggest book I’ve ever read coming in at over 1,000 pages. It took me a month to read this book and I do not recommend it to anyone who does not like clowns. Stephen King really knows how to creep you out and this book can do just that if you’re easily spooked. 

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: And last, but certainly not least, I’m rounding out my favorite reads with another King classic. This book is about vampires, but not like Edward Cullen Twilight vampire. This is Stephen King we’re talking about. These are going to be creepy vampires. And it was creepy. And weird. So weird it’s hard for me to explain in just a few sentences. But it was an overall good read. 


Kelly Duncan is a staff writer at The Clinton Chronicle. She is always open to new book suggestions and can be reached at

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