No doubt every single person on this earth (or at least the majority of them) has a favorite book. They don’t necessarily have to be the most sophisticated in terms of plot and vocabulary, filled to the brim with long, flowery sentences. They can be utterly simplistic and about pale vampires who never go out in the sun because they’re shiny and also vegetarian. Granted, not all the books I like are Twilight, or Twilight-adjacent, but there’s nothing wrong with liking sappy teen romance novels either. Here are my recommendations for the book you should pick up next:
Ah, the iconic scene from the book where Bella is saved by a mysterious hunk in expensive clothes who lowkey looks like he hates her (a.k.a Edward the Vegetarian Vampire who is soon to be the problematic love of her life). I don’t care what anyone says -- this will forever be immortalized in my heart and many other teen fans who were gripped by the riveting storyline (read: the icy good looks of literally all the protagonists, and let’s face it, some of the antagonists too!). It’s actually well written, even if Edward is a borderline emotionally abusive jerk of a boyfriend (I know, it took me 3 years to figure that out).
2. Inheritance of Loss
READ THIS! Anita Desai has wonderfully written about compellingly realistic characters, so anti-hero-like that they’re deeply sympathetic. It’s set in the idyllic Kalimpong region of India as well as the United States. The cast of characters includes misunderstood churlish Judge Jemubhai Patel who is perennially cloistered in frustrations and insecurity, his dreamy granddaughter Sai who falls in love with her revolutionary Nepalese mathematics tutor, their frantic cook who is preoccupied with his son Biju who migrated to the USA, and their motley collection of eclectic neighbors. They never cease to delight and upset in equal measure, which makes for a poignant read.
3. Don Quixote
He’s every fairytale’s nightmare; neither particularly charming nor good-looking or even skilled in any way, this knight canonized by Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote, is the epitome of tragically comic figures. He is plagued by an incurable madness of sight that causes him to wrongly perceive windmills as giants to be slain and peasant women as elegant princesses. Fortunately for him, he is accompanied by his faithful squire Sancho who acts as the simple-minded voice of reason to his master’s more outlandish fantasies. A classic entertaining read.
It could not be more fitting and perhaps terrifying that we should read 1984 in this day and age. We find that the dystopian totalitarian regime that the main character, Winston, finds himself living in is not too far off from the near future if we do not pay heed to Orwell’s important message. Media is completely regulated, and fake news is peddled instead by the Ministry of Propaganda. The government controls every aspect of everyone’s life by watching them through a ‘telescreen,’ a state-sanctioned spying device that is incapable of being turned off by those being watched. There is sexual repression on the grandest scale which makes the fate of the two star-crossed lovers, Winston and Julia, doomed from the start. It is definitely thought-provoking and should be a staple on any reader’s bookshelf-- but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Bewarned: there are no happy endings to be found here.
5. Alice In Wonderland
An imaginary world where nothing makes sense and everyone’s mad is quite the opposite of logical, but that’s what makes it so good. Fantasy is the welcome route of escapism for most of us, and there are few better books that deal with the realm of the impossible than Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Madhatters, cakes that make you shrink and then grow, rabbits that are late, queens who want your head off and pesky Cheshire Cats are the way to go. Somehow it’s weird without being pretentious. The only way to truly experience the wonder and magic of Wonderland is to discover it for yourself.
Well, those were just some of my favorite books that I could not live without if I was stranded on a desert island (besides a survival guide on how to GET OUT OF THERE!) I hope you enjoyed reading them and hopefully pick them up next time you're looking for a book.