Ten Must Read Novels
1) 1984 by George Orwell
The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literature, in which big brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspires.
2) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
This is my personal favorite. It is set in London and Paris before and during the French revolution. Its opening sentence introduces the universal approach of the book, the French revolution and the drama depicted with in.
3) Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and loses his sanity. I remember how I was laughing out loud when I was reading this book, felt the urge to tell all my friends or lend to someone. Of course I did and they never returned it. The best thing about Don Quixote is that you will always find new jokes and references no matter how many times you read it.
4) Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
It is a murder story, told from a murderer’s point of view that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a daring book that will make you question your moral values.
5) Arabian Nights
One thousand and one nights is a collection of middle-eastern and south Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic golden age. This is probably the first book I fell in love with when I was a kid.
6) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
First published in 1851 Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature”. It is worth the read.
7) To kill a mocking bird by Harper lee
A child’s eye view of racial prejudice and freaky neighbors.
8) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
An ex-convict tries to become a force for good, but ends badly. I remember when I was around ten or eleven Sundays were special because I get to listen to the translated version of this book on a radio show called “ከመጻህፍት አለም”.
9) Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro
We read of course to entertain, to feel empathy and learn about lives that are not our own. With this in mind many of us like to be challenged by the books we read. And I hope this book serves its purpose of getting you out of your comfort zone.
10) A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini
A very dear friend of mine suggested this book and it is simply amazing. It is way too original that makes you forget it is just book; instead you are willingly dragged in to the lives and emotions of the characters and will end up cursing, swearing and sometimes crying. Well, at least that is what I did.
By Feven Tadesse