Even though what I mostly read is YA, I do love to jump out of that genre once in a while and fall in the land of the classics.
There are thousands of wonderful books out there, unfortunately, if I spoke of all of them (well, I haven’t read all of them anyway, so…) this post would be endless. So here are only six, six books that I fell in love with and still remember with excitement and love. They are probably my favourite six books of all time.
A Handful of Dust
By Evelyn Waugh
This book changed my life. I had run out of things to read and couldn’t afford to buy more books so I asked my grandfather to lend me something to read and he gave me A Handful of Dust. Why did he do this to me?! I’m not sure, but after finishing it, we spent two hours talking about the book.
Because this book deserves to be talked about. When you first start reading it, it seems quite simple and maybe it is. A young couple living on the outskirts, bored with their lives and routine. So, the wife ends up with a lover and spends more time in London than at home. The first half of the book is about their lives, the way they live, meeting up with friends, life in London, etc. It’s fast-paced and quite fun, because honestly, these characters are quite ridiculous, which was, of course, Waugh’s intention.
And then you start the second half and because of a terrible circumstance, the entire book changes. The characters change and become distant and suddenly everything has transformed. And suddenly you feel like you’re reading a completely different book to the first half. Usually this would annoy me, but Waugh is so masterful at what he does, that you enjoy it, and you’re so involved in these characters’ lives and what’s happening that you just go with it. What I loved so much about the change in the book is that to me, this really symbolises life. One moment you’re living in a certain way, doing certain things with certain people… then, without warning, something happens and your entire life changes.
The ending to this book will leave you leaning back, eyes wide open and jaw dropped. I was so surprised I spent two days thinking about this book, wondering how the hell I didn’t see that ending coming. It was brilliant! And this book needs more people to read it, because it’s a masterpiece!
By George Orwell
Probably by now everyone knows about this book. There isn’t much to say except how brilliant it is. What I love about this is that you spend the entire time thinking…”That’s what’s happening nowadays! He’s brilliant, he knew way back then that this would happen, how did he see that coming? Oh my God, that’s going to happen in a couple of years… oh and that too!” I spent the entire novel thinking like this. And that’s what’s so terrifyingly brilliant about it. It’s true. Most of this is already happening, maybe not all in our country, but somewhere in the world, it is. This isn’t the future anymore, it’s our present. And yet, for some reason, when we read this, most believe it’s some sort of futuristic fiction.
George Orwell understood all too well what would happen, he just got the title wrong. It shouldn’t be 1984, but 2015.
Never Let Me Go
By Kazuo Ishiguro
Well, what is there to say about such a wonderful book? I watched the movie first, fell in love with it and then found the book in my grandfather’s bookshelf. I read and fell in love with it, and then reread it at university for one of my seminars.
It may tell a simple story, but there is so much behind this story than what meets the eye. It talks about humanity, it talks about friendship, love, fear… It’s a brilliant book that will truly make you question that one question Ishiguro makes throughout the novel;
What does it mean to be human?
The movie is more centred around love, which in the novel, isn’t. Of course, the movie had to make it all about love because if not they couldn’t sell it as a love story. This book is NOT a love story, it is so much more. Yes, it has love in it, but it’s not a love story. It’s about three people trying to understand what they are, trying to deal with their emotions, experiences and trying to deal with the fate that awaits them.
How to kill a mockingbird
By Harper Lee
I read this book when I was in high school. Unfortunately, where I’m from we are not made to read this book at school, but I decided to pick it up and read it on my own means. The thing about this book is that the author does a brilliant job at exploring the nature of humans and then asks us the question, “Are we good or are we evil?” We discover this through the eyes of the two kids in the novel. At first we watch them as children, believing everything and everyone is good, essentially because they haven’t witnessed evil. And then they grow up, and with a more adult perspective we watch as their opinions start to change. An important theme in this book talks about how hate, ignorance and prejudice can affect people in a bad way, such is the case with Boo Radley and Tom Robinson.
The Long Song
By Andrea Levi
This book was on my reading list for one of my seminars at university. I remember that nearly everyone in class found it boring and didn’t like it. I was one of the few that truly fell in love with this story.
Here’s an extract
“The book you are now holding within your hand was born of a craving. My mama had a story—a story that lay so fat within her breast that she felt impelled, by some force which was mightier than her own will, to relay this tale to me, her son. Her intention was that, once knowing the tale, I would then, at some other date, convey its narrative to my own daughters. And so it would go on. The fable would never be lost and, in its several recitals, might gain a majesty to rival the legends told whilst pointing at the portraits or busts in any fancy great house upon this island of Jamaica.”
The story is actually told in the perspective of a woman called Miss July. She is a brilliant character, that immerses you into the story and makes you think you’re actually there. She lives with her mother on a sugar plantation until the widow that lives at the house decides to move her into the house with her. This story is incredible, and talks about the meaning of freedom and love, it is an incredibly powerful story of slavery and revolution.
The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood
This is another all time favourite. What is there not to love? Atwood is a master in her craft and incredibly frightening. It is based in an America where women have to cover their bodies and the main lead’s dury is to give birth. It is terrifying the way they do this. (I won’t explain because it’ll ruin it for you)
The thing that most affected me was that this is actually happening in many parts of the world. Now, in my opinion, if a woman chooses to cover herself because that’s what she wants then she should be allowed to, but we should never be FORCED to do something.
This book is truly amazing and if you havent read it yet, do so! You won’t regret it!
What books did you completely fall in love with? Let me know!