Hey there! If you don’t know: reading is love, reading is life. As a high schooler, I am beyond lucky to get two weeks of Spring Break this year where I can finally binge read and indulge in one of my favourite past times: reading (you guessed it)!
I’ve read a lot of books in my seventeen years of life, but these books have really popped up in my mind so I decided to share these jems! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo– This book was one of the most recent books that I read non stop from cover to cover. It describes the increasing poverty gap in a beautiful story style but it is actually all based on real life. Follow families living in poverty on the outskirts of Dubai, in the slums. The rawness of emotions and ideas that came out of reading this book is phenomenal. Never before did I really see an inside perspective of what it’s like to work day in and day out but never ease your family out of poverty. I saw the desperation within those who would do anything for a better life. This book will introduce you to things we may have never took much thought of. And it also added more fuel to the fire that I need to do something to help those living in poverty.
- A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout– This book is a recount of the experience Amanda had when she was held hostage in Somalia. When I started reading this book, I simply could not put it down. But at the same time I thought the author was telling a story and not their own real life experience until I had finished the book where an author’s note lay. Even without knowing this however, I felt for Amanda through all the terrible things she had to go through. I learned a lot about the various countries she travelled and unfortunately the horrific abuses she endured by her tormentors. Eye opening in a new sense about how really one’s life can change in the blink of a moment either for better or for worse.
- The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald- If you haven’t read any classics outside of obligations (like school or university) I suggest you read some more because they’re famous for a reason! Starting to read classics a few years ago, I fell in love with the Great Gatsby (not just Leonardo DiCaprio but the book itself). I really enjoyed Fitzgerald’s writing and the complex themes discussed under such seemingly simple places, people, and things. It got me to ponder on a deeper level about many societal themes like the American Dream and it got me thinking about what makes people the way they are, like the characters Daisy and Tom. Every time I read the Great Gatsby I pick up another aspect about the theme, the characters, and the morals of the book. It’s astonishing because you would think maybe after two times I would have understood the characters, but no! With every reading, I am able to uncover another complex layer of the characters within this story.
- Animal Farm/ 1984- George Orwell- Honestly, read anything of Orwells and you cannot go wrong (that’s just my opinion though). His writing is so thought provoking that I almost think about the themes and ideas raised in both his books everyday! If you’re an expert on literature, history, philosophy, or psychology you may not find this book as too much of a surprise, but being the young student I am, I was mind blown by the writing and complexity of thought that accompanied this book. Read this book if you want to be challenged both intellectually and idealistically. Read this book if you want to learn more about history (Russian Revolution, communism, dictatorship, Stalin, etc) and people. I included these two books because they’re the two major novels, but Orwell has written countless amazing essays that also need to be checked out!
- Steve Jobs-Walter Isaacson I put this in here because biographies/autobiographies might be boring for some but honestly we learn a lot from one another. This was a major autobiography (quite big and famous) that I read most recently considering I have yet to finish others. But try reading about someone’s life that you’re curious about or want to learn more about. I picked up this autobiography because I wanted to see the work ethic of Jobs and how he made it to the top. I won’t reveal too much but I loved the honesty of the author as the book was consisted of raw real life moments of a person society high values. It’s quite amazing to catch a glimpse of a famous person’s life to understand that we all have our struggles but it’s what we do to conquer them that initiates our path to success. There are countless other autobiographies or biographies to read, some that I have seen around are: Malala, Carly Fiorina, Michael Phelps, etc
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway- Call me crazy but I had not heard of Hemingway up until a few years ago (I was fourteen). And I am currently reading A Farewell to Arms and about to tackle For Whom the Bell Tolls. I would not say that I’m ecstatic about his writing just yet but his writing does do wonders. The first book I read which is quite short: The Old Man and the Sea really got me to think about life in a completely new aspect. An aspect I had considered before but it wasn’t until reading this book that I fully comprehended it in the context of my own life taking it from the boy and his grandfather. Honestly, read it for the themes and for Hemingway’s writing! If you don’t enjoy it, at least you can say that you read Hemingway!
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnman- I picked this book up in the summer at the Harvard Book Store (so I will cherish the memories that come with it) and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. It was on the shelf of MUST READS and the fact that Dr. Kahnman has won the Nobel Peace Prize for Economics further reiterated my need to get the book. Due to school I am not completely finished but I am around half way. It definitely is different from a typical snuggle up rainy day kind of book. It’s again a thought provoking book about Dr. Kahnman’s research on our thinking in regards to our intuition and our slower thought processes. He discusses a lot of experiments and the results to further explore his research and introduces new data that I had certainly not given a lot of thought to before.
I hope you enjoy that reading list! I am also writing an amalgamation of book reviews for some of my other books on the free reading/writing site: Wattpad! You can find some romantic/comedic books that I’m reviewing here: Best Wattpad Novels
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