# 5 Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Think Lord of the Rings, but in this version Sauron has won. In this world, the Lord Ruler oppresses the people and has done so for a thousand years. Kelsier is a thief and he organizes a group of other thieves to pull off the ultimate “heist” of overthrowing the Lord Ruler. The group’s primary hope ends up being a young girl named Vin, who is exceptional in the art of allomancy—magic that involves ingesting metals and the drawing on them for specific powers.
# 4 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bruno is the young son of the man who is assigned to oversee the prison camp in Auschwitz, during World War II. Completely naïve about what his father does or the purpose of the camp, Bruno ends up befriending a boy his own age through the fence. Seen through the eyes of innocence, this historical travesty is made even more tragic.
# 3 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Told in first person from five different points of view, this is an incredibly well-written book just because of how distinct each voice is. In many places, it’s downright poetic. Four daughters of a missionary and his wife describe their time in 1959 Congo. Although Scripture is misrepresented more than once, the representation of religion gone bad is very effective. It is worth reading just for the sake of experiencing such a wildly unusual setting through the eyes of these five people.
# 2 So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
This book changed my perspective on many aspects of the woman and her role designated by God. It will be highly offensive to the reader who does not hold to God’s design for men and women. But for a Christian, it confirms the blessings that wait for anyone who trusts God’s plan for daughters, wives, and mothers. I didn’t agree with absolutely everything, but the parts based solidly on Scripture were undeniable and eye-opening.
# 1 Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss
Every year, the average American eats thirty-three pounds of cheese and seventy pounds of sugar. Every day, we ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt, double the recommended amount, almost none of which comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food, an industry that hauls in $1 trillion in annual sales. In Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Michael Moss shows how we ended up here. Featuring examples from Kraft, Coca-Cola, Lunchables, Frito-Lay, Nestlé, Oreos, Capri Sun, and many more, Moss’s explosive, empowering narrative is grounded in meticulous, eye-opening research. He takes us into labs where scientists calculate the “bliss point” of sugary beverages, unearths marketing techniques taken straight from tobacco company playbooks, and talks to concerned insiders who make startling confessions. Just as millions of “heavy users” are addicted to salt, sugar, and fat, so too are the companies that peddle them. You will never look at a nutrition label the same way again.