It’s the holidays now, and with exams over hopefully you’ve got some time to catch up on your reading. And not just because you have to, but reading for fun, for the sheer joy of losing yourself in a story, in other worlds and boldly exploring where your mind may never have gone before. To help make your break more interesting but to still keep your mind active, here’ s a list of some seriously good reads that will inspire, enlighten, and might just change your life. Some of these are instore at the bookshop now, others, you’ll just have to dig up at your local library or let us know and we can order them in! Enjoy.
Cloudstreet, Tim Winton. Tim Winton’s seminal and critically acclaimed Australian classic is an epic story about finding one’s way in the world and ultimately finding love and acceptance. Set in suburban Perth the story follows two unusual families over 2 decades – their hopes , dreams, successes and failures. It is uniquely Australian and a celebration of place of people and of rhythms of life that has fuelled imaginations all over the world.
The Alchemist Paul Coelho. This enchanting novel has been revered around the world as one of those books that will change your life. It may, it may not, but it is a message wrapped in a story wrapped in a life lesson, wrapped in insight. Pick it up, unwrap the layers , open your heart to it and see what happens.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Stephen Covey. This book was ground breaking when it was first published in 1990. It provides 7 simple principles that you can apply to both your professional and personal life as well as some practical tips for making them work. Insightful and interesting and if not exactly life changing, certainly worth a look into.
All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, this epic novel is set during World War 2. This storyline is way too intricate and involved to summarise but it has all the key ingredients. There’s a blind girl, war, an orphan, and some very interesting European scenery. It took 10 years to write and it’s pretty special.
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
This Pulitzer prize winning book has been a bestseller and critically acclaimed novel that has been cited as one of America’s most influential literary works. It takes on all the big themes – racism, kindness, cruelty, love and human behaviour. All through a fascinating story written during an electrifying time in America’s history. The fact that it is told through the eyes of a child makes it all the more poignant. If you haven’t read it, do. You must.
Zen and the Art of Motocrcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
Often cited as one of the most important and influential books written in the last 50 years, this is a powerfully moving and insightful book on life. How to live it better, do it better and get more from it. It is a bit dry at times and a bit “ message-y” but the message is good and worth absorbing. It is disguised as a story ( and the title is deceiving) but definitely worth adding it to your mental library. Journey, growth, discovery, love, acceptance. You know the drill.
The Hobbit JRR Tolkein
If you’ve seen the movie and not read the book you are doing yourself a gross injustice. Read the book. It has it all and more, plus there are lots of twists and turns and nuances that the movie just doesn’t quite nail. Just read the book, already!
The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first of four books in a highly inaccurate trilogy. ( think about that for a minute – it sets the tone). Once you’ve read the first one, you may as well go on to read all four of them. All magic. And all hilariously funny but with unexpected poignant moments and insights on life that will take you around the universe and back again. Learn about the meaning of life ( not what you think) and how to fly ( again not what you think. ) in one fell swoop.
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
Despite being written over 200 years ago, Pride and Prejudice has a biting social commentary that has relevance to even our modern day world. A story of life, love and a lesson in evaluating one’s personal values, it is a journey through one family’s romantic ups and downs in 19th century England. The characters are both lovable and “love to hate-able”, but always interesting. Pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey and curl up.
What books inspire you?