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Now this is a really interesting question and honestly not the type of thing that I have ever actually given a thought when choosing a book. If the book sounds interesting, I would read it regardless of whether or not the protagonist is evil. In fact, now that I think about it, a villain protagonist could actually make the story better because of how unique it is. Since I haven't read that many books from this type of perspective, the only one that I can really think of is the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. I don't think there are any one character in the books that could be highlighted as the protagonist as the author continually switches the viewpoint between characters. Some of these characters are good, some are neutral and some are downright villains. It is one of the things that has made the books, and now the television show, so good.
First you need to figure out what it is that draws you to these types of books specifically? Is it the dragons, like Smaug in The Hobbit or Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal in Game of Thrones? If so, then read the Dragon Keeper trilogy by Robin Hobb. Are you more drawn to stories with powerful wizards like Gandalf that has to master their power? If so, the six titles in the Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin might be to your liking. Does the story arch of seemingly ordinary people who have to step into an important role to save their world intrigue you? Then read the Sword of Truth books by Terry Goodkind. Finally, if you like reading about protagonists who go through extreme hardships before they learn how to use their special talents or gifts, then read the Books of Pellinor Series by Alison Croggon.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It's not often that a book has me on the verge of throwing in the towel, but Atlas Shrugged did this almost every other page. In all honesty it was my first Ayn Rand novel, which in hindsight could have been a mistake, but I had heard so much about it that I know that I had to read it. The book felt very contrived to me and I had a really hard time to empathize with any of the characters. I also disagree with the political and philosophical ideas of the author on a fundamental level, which obviously makes it even harder to read the book. However, I still feel that it is a very important book if for no other reason than the fact that even now people are arguing about it and you can hardly mention the book without people having an opinion about how good or bad it is. In the end, I am glad that I read it, but it is not one for the "easy reading" list.
It is rather interesting how we have all been conditioned to think that the protagonist of a story is always a hero, and will in almost all cases prevail over whatever adversity it is that they are facing. It takes a brave hero to write stories about morally ambiguous heroes and even more so to make the protagonist of your tale an outright villain. It always comes with the risk of alienating or even outright disgusting your readers, which is why few authors risk straying off the well beaten path. If you would like to take a walk on the dark side, these are my recommendations for books that foregoes the typical lilly-white heroes for someone a little darker.

- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov ~ This is perhaps one of the most well-known and controversial books ever written from the perspective of a villain. Not only is a middle-aged literature professor, but he also becomes interested in a 12-year old girl in a very unsavory manner. It progresses to the point where he even becomes the stepfather of the girl just so that he can become involved with her. The whole book is narrated by the villain and reading about his obsession is quite jarring. Nevertheless, it is a very good book even if the subject matter is rather uncomfortable.

- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky ~ Some would call Rodion Raskolnikov, the protagonist of Crime and Punishment, an anti-hero, but in my eyes he is a total villain. While he may believe that his motives are "pure", he still ends up killing people for his own selfish needs. Even the fact that he shows remorse for his deeds and feels the urge to confess doesn't make him a hero.

- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde ~ Dorian Gray is an interesting example of villain protagonist simply because the protagonist doesn't start out as evil. It's a very familiar story, but in recap, it's about a young man who trades his soul in return for a painting of him aging instead of his body. He then goes on to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle that results in him causing people to commit suicide, killing people in anger and blackmailing others. He does eventually repent for his crimes in a way, but he is still a villain for most of the book.

- The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence ~ Just to prove that I do read a couple of more recent books, I would include the Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence. The protagonist, Jorg Ancrath, does a couple of things that would make even serious villains flinch. The fact that he is a very damaged individual due to some of the traumas that he faces explains a lot of his actions, but it is at times very hard to root for a character that sinks to the depths that he does. Due to the fact that he isn't completely irredeemable, he could be considered an anti-hero instead of outright villain, but I think the families and friends of the people who he has murdered in cold blood might be inclined to strongly disagree.
Books that are really meaningful are rare, but one thing that I can tell is to stay far away from all of those so called "self-help" books. Most, if not all, of them are written by charlatans who are only preying on people who are desperate or down on their luck. If you are looking for meaning, it is far better to read books with true accounts of some of the things certain people had to endure. Even fiction titles are much better at providing meaning than those self-help books, trust me on that.
ZGottlieb - Writing Riveting Sci-Fi Adventures
FEATURED AUTHOR - Z Gottlieb was born in Texas and lived all over the world, literally. She joined the Navy after college and retired after a number of years. As our Author of the Day, Gottlieb chats about her latest book, Connor's Gambit, UFO sightings and why she loves writing Sci-Fi. Please give us a short introduction to what Connor's Gambit is about. Connor’s Gambit is a story of a man in his late twenties, who dreams of a life in space and is given an opportunity to fulfill that dream. The story begins… Read more