I’m currently writing this list of top 5 books I wish I could make everyone read while sat in a lecture not doing what I should be doing (at least I am being somewhat productive).
Some of these books contain controversial and touchy subjects so they won’t be for everyone, but if you think they’re something you’d be interested in then PLEASE give them a try they’re amazing I promise.
- The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
This book I can only describe as WEIRD. It is set in a future America where the main character Evelyn feels very lost in his life, he doesn’t know who he is or what his purpose is in life and so he moves from England to America to start over with a new job and a new life. His new job doesn’t work out too well but he succeeds with his new life, although it is definitely not what he had in mind. This book highlights how prominent male privilege is, and shows very well the effects of it been taken away so easily, showing Evelyn just how dangerous and manipulating men like he was can be to women. This book features very touchy subjects including rape, domestic abuse, abortion and violence quite prominently so if you don’t like reading about these things then maybe it’s not for you; but if not then definitely give this a read!
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
This novel, like the last one I mentioned features very controversial subjects including, paedophilia, rape, male dominance and manipulation. Humber Humbert is the leading character, a middle-aged man, working as a scholar, who “falls in love” with his land lady’s confident and witty twelve year old daughter Lolita. This novel I found very disturbing yet so interesting; it shows the how obsessed Humbert Humbert is with Lolita and how he tries everything to make her completely his own. Lolita however is quite aware I think of what is happening and being as head strong and as smart as she is, she also uses manipulation herself to make her situation a little better for herself.
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea is a sort of retelling of Jane Eyre, telling the story of Bertha, Rochester’s mad wife who lives in the attic. It tells the story of Bertha’s life before she married Rochester, and her gradual decent into madness. We see how in love with Rochester she was when she married him, and we also see the damage her love for him has on her mental health, how Rochester’s power over he eventually destroys her. It’s so so interesting to go into the book already knowing how her story ends, but getting to learn about her journey there is amazing. As in Jane Eyre, we know nothing about the mad woman in the attic, in Wide Sargasso Sea we get to know her personality and how she is just simply a naive and innocent young girl who has not seen much kindness.
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Shadow of the Wind is a historical mystery novel set in Barcelona in 1945 just after the war. The main character, Daniel, goes to a forgotten book shop where his father tells him to choose a book. He chooses The Shadow of the Wind written by Julien Carax. Daniel loves this book so much that he goes on search of other works by the author, only to find that someone has been going round destroying each of his books this author has written; meaning that Daniel may have found that last book of Carax’s to exist.
This was the first mystery book I ever read and obviously made me love the genre. It is full of twists and unexpected turns and it’s a book about books so what’s not to love!
- I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
This final book is another mystery/thriller. The protagonist Ed Kenny is portrayed as a very average man, who has been hopelessly in love with his best friend Audrey for as long as he can remember. Because of a “wrong place wrong time” moment one day, he manages to stop a bank robbery, which is then followed by him receiving a playing card in the mail, the Ace of Diamonds. The Card has an instruction on it that Ed has no other option but to follow, and throughout the novel he receives all 4 ace cards, each with different tasks he must complete written on them. I love this novel because it shows how even the most ordinary of people have the power to be extraordinary and to make a huge difference to people’s lives and sometimes ever people’s worlds. Although it doesn’t seem like it at the start, it really is an uplifting- feel good book!
Let me know if you’re interested in any of these novels or if you’ve already read them and what you think!
Book recommendations are also always appreciated!
(Didn’t have a book related picture on hand and didn’t want to use someone elses so enjoy the small monkey)