Reading a good book is such a great way to escape the doom and gloom of daily life but reading one that can change the way you think is even better. Here are 5 amazing mind-opening books that I would highly recommend reading:
The curious incident of the dog in the night time
This critically-acclaimed book is both hilarious and heart-warming, occasionally bringing a liccle tear to my eye. It is narrated in first person by Christopher Boone who suffers from Asperger syndrome, although this is not made clear at first. The story is based on Christopher’s search to solve the case of his next door neighbours’ dog who was killed with a garden fork. Due to his Asperger’s, the story is told in such beautiful and creative way, focusing more on sounds and touch rather than the speech itself and offers a great insight into the mind of someone who suffers from this disability.
My mum challenged me to read this book from beginning to end when I was 12 years old and I can be a competitive little terror when I want to be. At 12 years old, I didn’t have a f****** clue what Sophie was on about or why she kept getting postcards and I was more concerned with why no one was writing me postcards and then I got a little sad. I picked the book up again when I was 17 and I FINALLY understood that this was more than just postcards, this was a philosophical exploration of both life and the western way of thinking. I also realised that my mum had given it to me to shut me up for three hours a day so she could clean the garden. Quite a philosophically-loaded one but definitely worth a good read!
To kill a mockingbird
I first read this book as part of GCSE literature examination and found it very tedious and slow-paced, quite frankly I couldn’t wait to finish it so I could sit the exam and forget all about it. 5 years later I picked it up again and the book took on a whole new perspective. Set in the early 1930’s during a time of great depression, poverty and unemployment, the book addresses issues such as racial segregation, injustice, crime, violence and discrimination. The story is told through the eyes of Scout Finch but focuses more on her father Atticus, who is something of a role model of courage compassion and integrity during such an oppressive and sombre time.
This is a classic world-renowned book that still holds strong relevance in todays society. It is set in ‘Airstrip One’ (formerly known as Great Britain), an authoritarian society run by a powerful and elite political system known as ‘Big Brother’. The society is home to perpetual war, secret surveillance, public manipulation, propaganda and deceit and prohibits free thought, expression or individualism. The story focuses on Winston Smith, a low-ranking member of the party who begins to question big brother and its oppressive actions which leads him on a path to a not-so-happy ending. Definitely worth a read but will probably leave you angry and government-hating and wondering if someone really is watching you in the sower.
This is a book I have recently finished reading after my brother constantly questioned why I hadn’t. I won’t lie, at first this book was reaaaaaaaaall slow and I didn’t really see how the rest of it could form ‘a good read’. But I pushed through anyway because quitting just aint my style and I really didn’t want to have to listen to my brother harp on about it anymore. The book is based on a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who decides to travel to Egypt in search of treasure that he has had recurring dreams about. However, during his travels he encounters a gypsy woman, a king and an alchemist whom all influence the way he thinks and teach him the importance of listening to our hearts. The resonating themes of the book-for me at least- are humanity, love and learning to approach life with a less materialistic mind-set, all of which have stuck with me since I finished it.