As you may have read on the Meet The Guest Bloggers page, I am currently studying English – and before you say it, no I do not want to be a teacher - however, as a literary scholar, I am introduced to plenty of great books so without any spoilers, here are 5 that change the way you think!
Down Second Avenue by Es’kia Mphahlele
Do you ever play a song for your friend and at first, they’re like “well this is rubbish” then weeks down the line they just won’t stop blasting it – this is definitely one of those. At first it may seem like it’s not going anywhere but by the end you really appreciate this story which is based on real-life events such as the apartheid – for me, it is the success of Eseki despite all the odds placed against him that makes this such an incredible, inspiring book.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
I have read a whole lot of books on my course and I can honestly say this is the only book that actually brought a tear to my eye. Once again, it is based on real-life events and really makes you think about inequality and issues regarding colourism – despite being written in 1982, it is still very much relevant today. Morrison is known for her sassy, unapologetic style of writing. Whilst you may not have even thought about the effects of colourism for children – this book will allow you to understand from a child’s point of view.
How to Kill Your Husband by Kathy Lette
I read this book when I was aged 10 or 11 – I probably shouldn’t have been reading such saucy books at such a young age but do I regret it? Not one bit. If I could change the title of this book, it would be How To Be A Boss Lady because Claire certainly earns her stripes. This book really makes you think about the strength of a determined woman.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
If no book in the past has changed the way you think, this one will. It's about depression, suicide, bereavement, about life. The concept of this book is great – it offers an authentic account on how one may cope with the suicide of a loved one; not only do I recommend this book to those dealing with bereavement, but anyone who may feel like they are not loved or cared about.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This is a best-selling novel, that alone says quite a bit. It is pretty gloomy but definitely an eye-opener and really makes you appreciate the little things in life that we often take for granted. It sheds light on issues such as ethnic discrimination and violation of basic human rights as well socio-economic issues. Personally, this one is very touching because I have been fortunate enough to not have to experience some of the horrible issues that this book tackles, yet it really gives you an insight of what is happening around the world, not only to adults but innocent children.
Sometimes we become so busy reading books that are forced down our throats to achieve that shining first-class grade that its almost impossible to find the time to read anything else. But it is important to take time out and start that book you’ve had on hold for a year; remember, reading is a great stress-reliever and will also help improve your memory.
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