“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
If you’re not familiar with this one, I can only conclude that you’ve not only been living in a cave, but that said cave is located deep beneath the ice-capped oceans of Europa, in a corner that gets really bad wifi. Jennifer Lawrence’s purpose in this life seems to be to prove her status as one of the most self-deprecating, un-Hollywood actresses on the planet, but in between that she pretends to be a girl called Katniss Everdeen in the movie adaptations of Collins’ book series, which has currently grossed…let me check…seventy bajillion dollars. Seriously though, they’re screening those movies in vitro these days. And while The Hunger Games does continue this list’s mopey obsession with unhappy futures, it does at least compensate by packing the movies with a surprisingly interesting cast, and being leagues better than Twilight.
“The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe
Our second nonfiction entry on this list is Tom Wolfe’s look at the bold men of the “Mercury Seven,” the astronauts of the United States’ first manned spaceflight program. Their names are instantly familiar to most, and functionally immortal for space junkies such as ourselves: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton. If you’re the CliffsNotes sort, you could always check out the 1973 film adaptation starring Sam Shepard (Yeager), Scott Glenn (Shepard), Ed Harris (Glenn), Dennis Quaid (Cooper), Fred Ward (Grissom), Charles Frank (Carpenter), and Lance Henriksen (Schirra). Or watch the early episodes of the excellent HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, for that matter.