Books, glorious books! So many to read, and not enough time. This brand-new series is here to help you narrow down the never ending list of books in the world. To kick it off, I am starting with social issues, since that’s my cup of ~coffee~ and many of the novels I own are based around topical issues. I have read every book in the list below, some multiple times. It was difficult to narrow the list down to 5 but I think I done a good job.. I picked a variety of authors, and each book focuses on a different topic important in today’s day and age even though some were written decades ago. I hope you enjoy the selection!
- ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – Harper Lee
This book is a classic. Chances are, if you are a fan of books, you will have read this masterpiece. Lee has made this book easy to read, even though it deals with prejudice, racism, and gender roles. Taking place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, it is set within the deep south. Jean Louise Finch is the main protagonist and the novel follows her story of discovering dark truths which lie in her “sleepy” town. Of course, we cannot forget her dad, lawyer Atticus Finch – who is the epitome of good nature . If you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for?! (After you read this, watch the black and white film. Gregory Peck, who plays Atticus Finch, is dreamy to watch!)
Rating – 4.5/5
- ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ – Khaled Hosseini
One of my all-time favourite books! I have read this a good four or five times and each time, it just makes me contemplate the never ending injustice women face, all over the world. It is a depressing thought, but being aware of it means that we can understand what these women are going through. Set in Afghanistan, the novel takes a dual narrative approach. Focusing on the lives of two different women, Mariam and Laila. They end up marrying the same guy, but at different points of their lives. The Taliban has gained immense power in Afghanistan and we see this impact the daily routine of the citizens. The story explores themes of love, family and justice. Be prepared to shed a few tears!
(I would recommend many of Hosseini’s books – they are bestsellers for a reason!)
Rating – 5/5
- ‘The Fault in our Stars’ – John Green
You may have seen the movie, but the book is where it all started. The novel begins with Hazel, who is experiencing cancer in her lungs. To cope, her mother sends her to a support group, where she meets dreamy Augustus. From here, the novel continues to show the trials and tribulations faced by the couple, highlighting the harsh reality faced by those suffering from cancer. This novel focuses on heartbreak, cancer and love.
Rating – 4/5
- ‘The Tea Planter’s Wife’ – Dinah Jefferies
Set in the 1920s, this novel focuses on a young woman named Gwendolyn, who has married a wealthy tea plant owner. As a result, she has to move to colonised Sri Lanka, where dark secrets are kept hidden , but crumble as the novel goes on. Spending most days alone, with no family or true friends, Gwendolyn seeks company and the result is tragic. This novel focuses on the themes and issues of intolerance, marriage, and honesty.
Rating – 4.5/5
- ‘Looking for Alaska’ – John Green
Another John Green novel, you say? Well, the guy can write top books! His novels tend to really hit home with those of us who are in our late teens, even early 20’s. This novel is set in America, where Miles is about to start a new school. Here, he will meet the intriguing Alaska, who he falls madly in love with. However, Alaska has had a traumatic past, which leads to dire consequences in this book. The main issues and themes explored here are death, guilt and self discovery.
Rating – 4/5
Reading is a skill we often take for granted. The benefits that come with reading are endless, and most importantly of all, they can help us write better essays and expand our knowledge. Pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read and relax!