It is overwhelming how many books there are in the world, so picking up only a few favourites is not an easy thing to do, but I thought this would give you a better idea of what type of books I like the most and what my preferences are when it comes to reading. And no, you will not be surprised by my favourites if you are already into the art of the written word. I tend to be quite stubborn when it comes to reading, and I decided a long time ago I would read as many classics as I possibly can, as I want to see if they are as good as their recognition, and so my favourites tend to be classic readings that, honestly, everyone should read.
- Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger
As it name announces, this is a compilation of nine short stories written by the Elvis of literature, J.D. Salinger, famous for his “The Catcher in the Rye” (and we all know why). Published in 1953, it has that characteristic simplicity of Salinger, combined with outstanding originality in the theme of his stories. Every single one of them gets you shockingly close to the “fuck-ups” of the world, in a beautiful literary way. Being “A Perfect Day for Banana Fish” my favourite one, none of them is disappointing and it is a great, if not the greatest example of the greatness of Salinger writing skills.
- The Great Gastby, by Francis Scott Fitzgerald
Oh the old 20s! There is something about the literature of this age that I love, and “The Great Gatsby” is the novel that really got me into it. Published in 1925, it can be summed up as a discectomy of the people of that era, with great romantic tones and amazing settings, that will definitely take you back in time. I am not much of a romantic myself, but I have to admit that no one has ever worked as hard as Jay Gatsby in order to get a woman, and I wouldn’t mind to be looked at the way he looked at Daisy Buchanan.
- Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk
Now you don’t know me yet, but if you did you would know that Palahniuk is my little baby. I have not yet disliked one of his novels, and I do not expect to dislike any in the future. Extremely shocking and explicit, his novels are not for everyone, but if you are like me and you like harsh language and difficult characters, then you will definitely add Choke to your favourites. The basics: sex addict with childhood traumas that earns a sad living by pretending to choke in restaurants, luring a “good Samaritan” into saving his life, asking them for money later on. You will probably dislike the character, but you will definitely recognise the greatness in this work.
- The 1984, by George Orwell
I decided to read this book during my uni days, a few years ago (not so many), and I am glad I did not know what the book was about before I got my hands into it. You will be disappointed if what you are expecting is hairspray and bad music, as this book is entirely set in a fictional world. Easy to relate to, the main character lives in a world of oppression, always watched by The Big Brother, unable to feel or express anything freely. It will definitely make you think about the world we live in, and it will show you the worst face of humanity. If you haven’t read it yet, it is a must.
- As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
Last but definitely not least. Harsh and realistic, it will make you go back in time, and the old times were not better. It is the story of Addie Bundren’s family, and their trip to Jefferson after her death (you were not expecting someone not to die with that title, right?). It is a story about honour, selfishness, death and sorrow, and a long trip full of misfortunes. It is also written in proper Faulkner way, so I would not recommend it if you don’t like jumps in the story line and non-expected changes of narrator.
Feel free to let me know which book is your favourite, I am more than happy to extend my already long to-read list.