Books To Read Today
As we are living in an era where printed reading is morally unjustified and the use of digital screens threaten the health of the individual, reading books are becoming a shadow of the past. In a bold attempt, the following list of novels are recommended in a way that aims to serve a variety of people and to enhance the genuine truth of the importance of reading, despite the contemporary obstacles.
“Reading the world precedes reading the word, and the subsequent reading of the word cannot dispense with continually reading the world.” explains Paulo Freire – a Brazilian professor and philosopher — at the opening of the Brazilian Reading Congress in 1981. He merely means that reading books and experiencing the world is interconnected and forever linked, therefore can be always only interpreted together
The importance of reading has been discovered by many researchers through countless studies over the years, therefore providing a solid base for its case. Research provided by Sinop University in Turkey, explains that reading is two-folded; it exceeds the dictionary meaning of the “interpretation and explanation of signs and symbols'' that support academic excellence. Reading engages the practitioner in the realisation of themselves and the world. That is why it is most crucial to tailor the list of books to the individual; as each person differs, the essence of the act of reading is changing in accord with them.
Before introducing the line-up, it must be mentioned that contrary to the decline of book purchases, the alternative activities — such as TikTok — can also aid the advocacy of reading in certain cases. The viral trend of “Here is My Coffee and Here is What I Am Currently Reading” reached millions on social platforms. Sometimes embracing unconventional phenomenon can help breathe new life into abandoned activities.
1) Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
I placed this book at the top of the list due to its undeniable relevance to our contemporary society. The storyline follows the life of a family’s five generations. As time passes by the characters the reader discovers the unavoidable changes of existence. The wide range of colourful personas appearing in the book allows every individual to connect with them; not only depending on the readers’ personality, but also their place in life. Consequently, this book should not be a one-time read, I rather recommend to everyone to experience the story first, fall in love with it and come back to it anytime in their life path when they need some solitude.
2) 21 Lessons for the 21st Century - Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari’s outstanding work is second on my list for similar reasons as the first one. This book serves the reader with a contemporary outlook on life itself from a more rational, fact-based point of view. With relevant historical references the author prepares the individual for the struggles of everyday life. As a matter of fact, the novel is a part of a trilogy next to Sapiens and Homo Deus, one of them is unfolding the past while the other one looking out to the future. This creation stands in the middle of them, trying to provide a simple guidance in times when matters are entangled and complex.
3) On the Road - Jack Kerouac
This original piece of the Beatles generation still startles the youth. The true story of the author’s adventures sparks the sleeping desire of youngsters to explore themselves and the world. Kerouac tells the events of his travels through the North
-American continent while depending on his instincts and little-to-no money. While it complicates things, I strongly encourage every reader to benefit from reading the authentic version of Kerouac’s book; the original roll has no layout fragmentation or structure which lend a motion of flow to the piece.
4) Eye in the Sky - Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick’s utopistic novel is built on a variety of ideas and ideologies. While utopia in itself is a strong genre to exploit, the author reflects historic and contemporary events as well. The consequences of our current actions are manifesting themselves in hidden reflections throughout the book. This experimental perception of the future allows the reader to weigh the outcome of their actions and to become observant of their environment.
With The Butterfly Garden I list another genre: thriller. As we sometimes like to let our minds be surprised and shocked, this exceptional creation serves us with exactly that. The story lays down the lifepath of a young woman who is being held captive of a maniac sociopath. Here comes the distinctive aspect of the novel: the abductor imagines himself to be a gardener in possession of a large glass building where he keeps his butterflies - a.k.a. the women he seizes. Dot Hutchison’s work paints a fascinating and terrifying world from which a young woman fights to escape.
6) Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
The forever classic of Daniel Keyes has been added to many reading lists over the years, however I could not have overlooked it either way. Algernon — a laboratory mouse — and Charlie Gordon’s life are tied together when they both undergo a surgery to elevate their intelligence. The reader can evaluate the balance of happiness and intellect through Charlie’s reflection diary before, and after the procedure. As our society faces mental health challenges and moral dilemmas about AI, we can bear in mind the lesson of Keyes' writing.
Each book uncovers a different fragment of our world allowing the reader to evaluate and decide whether that little piece should be included in their life from that point as well. Regardless, the knowledge brought into their life creates a highly significant notion into their possession: awareness.
Edited by: Tom Culf
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