Bubble baths, steaming mugs of hot chocolate and endlessly twirling your hair. What do these three things have in common? They go well with reading!
As reading week rounds the corner you might be planning to catch up on your reading. Heck, you might even be planning to get a few friends to join you in a book marathon. Should you decide to go down this path, here are some great reads our staff recommend.
For fiction lovers…
Rage of Dragons
Tau is of the Omehi people who have been fighting an unwinnable war for almost two hundred years. Young and gift-less, he plans to escape the war by getting himself injured and then settling down to marriage, children, and land. Only, he doesn’t get the chance. Those closest to him are brutally murdered, and his grief swiftly turns to anger. Fixated on revenge, Tau dedicates himself to an unthinkable path. He’ll become the greatest swordsman to ever live, a man willing to die a hundred thousand times for the chance to kill the three who betrayed him.
Why Bryan loves it:
This book is a wellspring of hedonism for those with a fondness for grim settings, gritty, fast-paced action and heart-rending betrayals. It is also a delicate exploration of how individuals navigate entrenched inequality, how they contend with the societal, worldly and personal costs of their actions, and of how two cultures might explore reconciliation after centuries of internecine violence.
Sunny, who recently moved from the US to Nigeria, is struggling to fit in. Her albino skin makes her “other” in her new community. Then she makes a discovery that makes her even more of an outcast – she has magical powers. Little by little, she makes friends who also have magic and who help her find the best within herself. She and her new friends must pool their talents to stop Black Hat Otokoto from ending the world.
Why Bryan loves it:
In Akata Witch the significance centers on Sunny’s identity. Early in the novel, we see Sunny struggling against her otherness. Through the course of the story, she learns that her otherness is valuable and must be embraced and not rejected. She wants to fit in, but in order to fulfill her destiny, she needs to be herself. This story offers complex, likable characters, terrifying protagonists and an exploration of personal identity amidst prejudice and uncertainty.
For sci-fi fanatics…
Perdido Street Station
Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies the sprawling city of New Crobuzon. Issac, a gifted and eccentric scientist is approached with an impossible request by a half-bird, half-human creature. An eerie metamorphosis occurs that permeates every fibre New Crobuzon–and not even the Ambassador of Hell will challenge the malignant terror it evokes. Issac struggles to rid the city of this terror even as the city’s government and underworld turn against him.
Why Bryan loves it:
Perdido street station explores ideas such as interspecies relationships, the nature of consciousness, and humanity’s relationship with a nascent artificial intelligence amidst a backdrop of a diverse, beautiful metropolis with political intrigue and heart-thumping action between creatures breathtaking in their magnificent and grotesque dimensions. This story is an enthralling blend of the weird, the horrific and the melancholy.
For an emotional journey…
Afghani immigrant Amir is summoned from his California home to Pakistan by Rahim Khan, an old, dying friend of his father. As a boy in Afghanistan, wealthy Amir was best friends with servant’s son Hassan, but when Hassan was brutally assaulted by a local bully, Amir was too scared to save him and has been tormented by guilt ever since.
Why Matrieyi loves it:
Kite runner addresses friendship, betrayal, guilt and redemption. It shows how these notions can impact your life and that of those around you. It made me rethink how drastically life circumstances or the ravages of war can affect our life experience, and just how much of a privilege it is to be born in a stable country with easy access to life’s basic needs.
For insight into the human mind…
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
The book is a collection of psychological clinical tales by neurologist Oliver Sacks. It describes 24 stories of patients with particular brain dysfunctions. The intriguing tales range from a man with visual agnosia who mistook his wife for a hat to the anterograde amnesia of a man who struggles to piece together his life.
Why our reader loves it:
This is a fun collection of stories that helps any student who wants to take a break from the academic aspect of learning. It collects real stories of patients that seem bizarre and is a great read for those interested in the human mind or psychology.
For a thrilling read…
A struggling writer is asked by the famous author Verity Crawford’s husband to complete her best-selling book series. As the writer goes through Verity’s notes, she finds an incomplete manuscript with disturbing confessions related to her family and the death of her daughters.
Why Rachel loves it:
The plot, the pacing—everything about this book kept me at the edge of my seat. It’s creepy, comedic, and the ending keeps you thinking about the story long after you’re done. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so I’ll stop here, but anyone into thrillers should give this a shot!
For dynamic relationships…
Pride and Prejudice
The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.
Why Alex loves it:
It’s a classic for a reason! If you read this, then you can also enjoy the amazing 1995 mini-series made by the BBC, starring Colin Firth (think Mama Mia) as Mr. Darcy. A book AND a mini-series sounds like a great way to spend reading the week to me. I recommend the following order: First, watching the 2005 movie with Kiera Knightly; second, reading or listening to the book; then watching the 1995 mini-series.
The House on Mango Street
It follows the story of an American-Mexican girl called Esperanza (which means Hope in English). The book revolved around important social topics: Coming of Age, Home, Gender and Inequality.
Why Valentina loves it:
While untangling the process of growing up in an environment where people are trying to survive and reach the vaunted American dream, Cisneros reveals harsh truths about immigration through euphemism and symbolism.
Now, you can slide into that warm, bubbly tub, curl your fingers around that hot, steaming mug and lose yourself between the pages of a book.
If you have any great reads you’d love to share, please put them in the comments below!