Hello all you Nerdfighters! I am in desperate need of a book to read, so I decided to call on you guys, because I trust the Nerdfighter taste in books. I am 12 years old, yet I read at a 30 year old's reading level. Any suggestions for authors or books?
Dune, by Frank Herbert -- The Sci-fi masterpiece! If you're a fan of the genre, or even not one, I highly recommend it.
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card -- The first is harder sci-fi, but it's incredibly interesting, and deals with some deeper philosophical issues. The latter, though, is a wonderful book that can be read without reading the first. It deals with some incredibly interesting concepts, using three races (humans, "piggies", and the buggers) as symbols for three "alien" groups, and how they interact. It's not overwhelmingly sci-fi either.
The Oedipus Trilogy -- Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone -- by Sophocles is a great read. Some of the finest examples of Greek drama and tragedy, you'll probably love them. Two notes though: (1) I have not read Oedipus at Colonus, but if it's anything like the other two, it's great. And (2), I read the Seamus Heaney translation of Antigone, A Burial at Thebes. I highly recommend it.
Finally, my last two recommendations are two (comparatively) easy Shakespeare works: A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. The story lines are hilarious (at least, I thought they were), and they're an excellent introduction into Shakespeare; you may read at a 30-year-old level, but it's probably not a great idea to dive straight into Macbeth or Hamlet. (Trust me -- I was in a similar boat two years ago, and I tried reading Macbeth. Bad idea.)
Also, if you haven't read John's books yet... well, you definitely should.
I Am The Messenger by Marcus Zuzac.
I do not overexagerate when I say this book literally changed my outlook on life. Books rarely pass so deep into my mind, but this one really hit home. Not only are the themes so important to every human being, but the action is great, the suspense... the poetry of the writing. A truly beautiful book.
Anything by Chuck Palahniuk, David Sedaris, or Kurt Vonnegut. Also, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chboksy, 1984 by George Orwell, Anthem by Ayn Rand, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
It amazes me how many people have actually read "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." I met friends because they were carrying the book around. It's a great conversation starter since people have actually read it. Now I will add a book to the list that you have already provided and that will be "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It was one of the most influential books of the last century :)
There's the Mortal Instruments trilogy (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass)... They're really good. I love them. Also, all of the Dan Brown books. I'm just finishing up The Lost Symbol right now... It's really good and has inspired me to start writing again. Although, read Angels and Demons and the Da Vinci Code first because they all follow in a sort of series. It's not totally neccessary, but it definitely helps :D