10 Books You May Have Not Heard Of But Should Read
Books offer many benefits to your mental and emotional health. They, often, lead to increased empathy for plights you haven’t experienced, allowing you to understand different perspectives. Oftentimes, books are a much richer experience than movies or TV shows, because you get to dive into the character’s internal world, see the world through their eyes, and understand their motives.
Currently, this ability to experience the world from another person’s perspective is not within our capability. If you think reading a book is an amazing experience, try writing one. You control the fate of all, so you may need to keep your ego in check. Reading a great book can touch you deep in a place that you may not have known existed, so, without further introduction, here are 10 books you should read during your lifetime.
#1 Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer
A national bestseller, Into The Wild, chronicles the story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a young man who left his well-to-do home to traverse the harsh Alaskan wilderness near Mount McKinley. Christopher got rid of most of his worldly possessions, gave $25,000 to charity, and disappeared. He craved a new life, but four months later, his decomposed body was discovered. Did he find the new life he wanted?
#2 Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov
A searing combination of love, madness, and obsession, Lolita follows the main character, Humbert Humbert, as he ages. Though his body becomes frail, his all-consuming, and unrequited, love for young Dolores Haze burns as bright as a newborn infant. Set against the increasing secularism of postwar America, what will a love-sick supremely civilized European do?
#3 Freedom By Jonathan Franzen
A perfect blend of comedy and tragedy, Freedom, looks at the positives and negatives of liberty. Walter and Patty Berglund traverse the vast landscape of love and marriage, growing more confused every day in a world neither of them understands.
#4 1984 By George Orwell
A classic in the science fiction genre, 1984, follows Winston Smith as he spends his days rewriting the past in order to rewrite the present and future. Nearly all of Winston’s moves are being watched by his totalitarian government. Conformity is mandatory and thinking is a crime. Winston’s world is formed from fear and lies. When Winston decides to join a secret organization bent on taking down the ever-present government, he may find more questions than answers and more indecency than decency.
#5 Middlesex By Jeffrey Eugenide
An epic tale of identity Middlesex chronicles the life of Calliope Helen Stephanides who grew from an infant to a teenage girl to a teenage boy. A hermaphrodite, Callie is hormonally and biologically a boy, but this is not known to her until her voice deepens, hair sprouts from her face, and she falls in love with a girl. Nine years in the making Middlesex explores the relationship between internal and external identity through the life of one person composed of two sexes.
#6 Invisible Man By Ralph Ellison
Narrated by a nameless protagonist Invisible Man is a witty novel that describes this man’s life growing up in the South. Raised in the Black community he is expelled from a Negro college and later becomes the spokesman for Harlem’s branch of “the Brotherhood”. As the violence and confusion grow he retreats to the lair of the Invisible Man he envisions himself to have become. Written with passion, wit, and style, Invisible Man, is a magnificent novel that shouldn’t be missed.
#7 Slaughterhouse-Five By Kurt Vonnegut
Delving into the realms of all the things we are too afraid to know, Slaughterhouse-Five is an anti-war book unlike any other. A classic, this novel focuses on the fire-bombing of Dresden, told through Billy Pilgrim’s involuntary time-leaps through his life. With no control of where he will land, he witnesses his life in a mishmash of snippets that highlight our own fractured existence.
#8 A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories By Flannery O’Connor
Southern Gothic. This unique writing style is typical of this author and is in full force in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories. This collection of short stories are infused with themes of the oddities of human behavior, both tragic and comedic, apocalyptic notions, and religious undertones. The visceral and grotesque view of life within these pages will leave you speechless.
#9 One Hundred Years Of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One family’s history and its town is weaved within the pages of this novel. Born, raised, and buried in the fictional town of Macondo, the Buendia family has a rich history filled with tension, love, and scandal, just like the town of Macondo. Through the life of the Buendias, we see the lives of all the people of their town and many others in the Latin American community through Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
#10 Brave New World By Aldous Huxley
The inhabitants of this utopian world have perfect lives. With no crime, classes to keep everyone in their places, and a happy-inducing, addictive drug called soma, their lives are as anyone would want. Not. Brave New World is a fantastic novel of addiction, the perils of classism, hedonism, and submission to inferiority or superiority that is, literally, programmed into the genes. Children are genetically bred and quickly separated into classes. From the lowest to the highest the ultimate goal is not their happiness, but the subversion of their will. With no original thought that can’t be forgotten with a hit of soma, the inhabitants will remain passive to the ruling order.
Dive into these books with an open mind. Discuss these amazing books with others; their thoughts may surprise you.