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Great books of all ages that you must read!

By Sophie Rasmussen  

 

During quarantine one of the greatest forms of entertainment for you to consider, is reading. There is such a wide variety of genres for one to explore depending on what you are interested in and what kind of imaginative world you’d like to find yourself experiencing. Here is a list of books that consist of good writing and creativity, provided with a little background on the book without any spoilers. 

 

Classics

There are many excellent books that are well recognized by people of all ages and are considered classics among many. Here are a few of them that are certainly an experience to read.

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

One of the most popular classics, The Great Gatsby follows the story of a man named Jay Gatsby, living in the 1920s after the end of the Great War, who plans on reuniting with his greatest love who he has not been with for five years, and on his journey to doing so faces trials and tribulations. Some genres that could describe this novel would be tragedy and realism.

 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 

This story explores themes of human nature’s complexity and how it leads Dr Jekyll to delve into complex and abnormal sciences. The narrative is followed from the third-person perspective, mainly revolving around the old lawyer Mr Utterson’s experiences and the reader having his limited knowledge of the situation leads to the build-up of suspense as he uncovers more about the truth of these scientific discoveries.

 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The novel gives insight into the psychology of youths alienated from society when a group of schoolboys are stranded on an island following a dramatic plane crash and are left to fend for themselves as a collective. With no role models, or adults in positions of authority the boys give into primal impulses and start to become detached from the civilized lives they used to live. The genre of this novel could be seen as psychological fiction.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

This novel takes place during World War II in England, where many children were evacuated from the cities to the countryside for safety from bombings. When four siblings are sent to live with another family, they uncover a wardrobe that leads to a fantastical land called Narnia. Here they have to overcome problems, and fight against villains, whilst making interesting friends along the way. The genre of this novel is fantasy.

 

The Iliad by Homer 

The Iliad is a poetic story, whose complex language and intricate detailing covers the story of a period of the Trojan war and the conflicts it entailed. The story retains many moralistic lessons from start to finish, that a person can experience throughout their lifetime. This story could fit within the genre of epic poetry.

 

Those are only a few of the countless well written classic literary works, but below are some more novels of each genre that are very entertaining or spark thought after reading them.

 

In relation to fantasy books you should read, a well-known work by J.R.R Tolkien “The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring” is a great contender. The first of the Lord of the Rings series opens up a new exciting world, in which Frodo Baggins becomes the ringbearer of a powerful Ring that others are searching for, but Frodo has a different agenda for what to do with the ring. The story has strong themes of friendship and adventure as well as fantasy aspects. Another fantasy book that has recently been made into a TV series adaptation, and is followed by two other books in the series, is The Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman. It’s about a young girl named Lyra living at Jordan College, who’s life is changed as she has to embark on a journey where she uncovers family secrets and encounters suspicious people as she tries to find her friend who is taken away. The story could be classed as science fantasy.

 

Many eye-opening, captivating non-fiction books exist and one of the most intriguing is “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking as it covers aspects of cosmology such as events like the big bang and other scientific happenings, in such a manner that the reader doesn’t need an expansive knowledge on these topics, and can learn from reading it.

 

 

Romance books often make for emotional and dramatic reads, and Wuthering Heights is no exception. It is a tale about the life of a man named Heathcliff and living in the manor of Wuthering Heights, and the novel explores complex relationships and passionate love, whilst also incorporating certain parts of tragedy.

 

One of the most exciting, suspenseful and creative adventure novels that must be read at least once, is Tonke Dragt’s “A Letter For the King”. The main character Tiuri, who lives in a medieval fantasy world, is sent on an expedition to deliver a letter to the King after he is forced to make an important decision. 

 

An intriguing domestic fiction book that is embraced by many avid readers is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. The story revolves around a trial that takes place during The Great Depression in the predominantly racist fictional town of Maycomb, in which a black man is wrongly accused of raping a white woman. The story has profound undertones that bring out the message of the novel.

 

An interesting genre that can often be intense and engaging to the imagination is the “dystopian” genre. A great book that starts off an amazing series and fits into this genre is “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner. A collection of teenagers find themselves in a Glade, without memories of how they arrived there and a maze filled with dangers surrounds the glade.

 

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey is a psychological fiction that gives insight into the lives of people staying in a psychiatric hospital. The story critiques the institution’s workers and mannerisms to their patients, as well as highlighting how important individuality is and how it plays a fundamental role in life.

 

Some fantastic narratives are also depicted in manga, so an honorable mention to finish this list is “Akira” by Katsuhiro Otomo. The sci-fi theme of the manga is prevalent in its narrative in which the story takes place in a future Tokyo that has been devastated by a huge explosion. The story has two interesting main characters named Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima. 

 

Hopefully, any of these books appeal to you and get you motivated to read a lot during this quarantine!

High School News February 2021