I got up crazy late today and even though I’ve got work in the morning (yawn) I know there’s no way I’m going to be able to sleep. But before I head off to bed with A Street Cat Named Bob (what I’m currently reading- sorry, I realise that sounded more than a little strange) I thought I’d make a quick post. I’m going to recommend ten books off the top of my head and give a brief reason why- these won’t be books I’ve mentioned in previous posts. So! Here goes:
1. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. It’s a really thought provoking, gritty and very realistic story of racism and friendship. But there’s a twist; it’s been reversed so that white people- the Noughts- are discriminated against rather than black Crosses. Difficult to put down and a fascinating examination of racism and society.
2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. You may think you know the story of Victor Frankenstein and his Promethean ambition, but unless you’ve read the book, you probably don’t. It’s more than just a green man with bolts in his neck (the Creature is not green nor does he have bolts in his neck) running around and terrorising villages. It’s about relationships, society, family, ambition and prejudice, and although it’s an imperfect novel in many ways, it’s a fantastic read. It’s quite wordy in places but much easier to read than I expected.
3. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard. More for girls than boys, this is an addictive tale of friendship, duplicity and murder… Easy to read and impossible to put down!
4. The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley. A story of lost innocence, nostalgia and yearning, which examines the ‘Golden Age’ of the early 19th century and asks whether it was really that golden.
5. 1984 by George Orwell. Although I found it difficult to get into, it is undoubtedly an iconic and fascinating book. It’s incredibly thought provoking and although the protagonist is unlikeable, he is also quite sympathetic. What struck me most about this book was the ending- if Winston had died, it would have been sad but also hopeful, as he would have died fighting, but instead his spirit is crushed and he lives on, loving his oppressors, which is infinitely more depressing.
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell. A short political allegory, beautifully written and a very interesting read.
7. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker. A truly brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning work of fiction. An aspect of the book that I liked was that it included no male surnames, reflecting upon how males were perhaps all the same to the protagonist; alien, violent, unknowable.
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A brilliant and touching book, incredibly difficult to put down! It’s very funny in places and intensely sad in others- a true masterpiece and I look forward to watching the film.
9. Othello by William Shakespeare. It really is a great story and ahead of its time- if you don’t want to read it then at least go and see the play!
10. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Absolutely tragic and a must for anyone who’s interested in literature. Most of you probably will have read it anyway though- generations have studied this book for GCSE (or O-Levels, as they were once called…)
Anyway, that’s my random list of good reads. Night!
P.S. What are YOUR reading recommendations? Please let me know in a comment!