Top Ten Tuesday,the weekly meme hosted by The BrokeandBookish,is this week asking us to list 10 books to people who have never read a specific genre.Given that I read mainly classics,I’ll list 10 different ones to 10 different types of readers.
1.For those who think classics are boring: The Picture of Dorian by Oscar Wilde. This book is perfect.It is a compendious novel filled with Wilde’s trademark wittiness and which is excellently written; the language is light and splendid,while Wilde’s mastery of the plot is evident throughout the story.This little gem is the proof that classics are not always books which contain boring,dull and exhausting texts.
2.For the cynics: The Trial by Franz Kafka In this well-known classic,Kafka denounces the doings of those ever so powerful organizations and companies which make the common man their puppet.After reading this book,it will grow on you and open your eyes on the myriad of ways in which the layman is cornered and taken control of.
3.For those who wish to have goosebumps: Lord of the Flies by William Golding The language of this book is so descriptive and flowery that we have no difficulty imagining the different scenes taking place on the island.Therefore as from the middle of the book and onwards,when things get heated up,readers are shocked,horrified and find themselves silently praying for one character! The climax of the book is exceptional – the way Golding gets to it is strikingly intelligent and the words of that particular scene,although absurd and horrifying,make perfect sense and provide great food for thought.
4.For those who want another outlook on life: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaKundera’s well-known masterpiece is a very strange book that comprises some very disturbing (?) scenes.However it also makes us see life in a totally different way with Kundera’s multiple credos which are as perplexing as enlightening.
5.For those seeking mesmerizing poetry: The Great Gatsby by F.Scott FitzgeraldI really love the plot because it has the charm and efficiency of a typical American play set in the 60s,which I’m fond of.But above everything is Fitzgerald’s writing style which turns the book into sheer poetry.Indeed everything,even the dullest and most ordinary things,suddenly becomes magical and beautiful.Every word is a joy to read.I wonder if we will ever see an author so inclined to poetry again.
6.For those who want to read a contemporary classic: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy The Booker Prize in 1997.Even if it was written at the end of the last century,it is already being accepted in the canon of classics.Following its coronation as the Booker,it was a best-seller,but shortly after sank into anonymity.That’s why you maybe haven’t heard much about it.It often becomes the favourite of those who like it,as was the case with me.Roy’s writing is touching and very poetic,and the liberty she takes with her writing style is what makes this book so peculiar.The plot is also original and heartbreaking.
7.For those who want an adventure: Peter Pan by J.M Barrie An absolute delight to read.From the colloquial and teasing tone of the narrative voice,you could tell that J.M Barrie was totally immersed in this world he was writing for children.As is seldom seen in children literature,’Peter Pan’ comprises as many funny scenes as it does sad scenes.Also Peter is not your usual boring hero.He is very innocently mischievous,which makes our adventure with him at the Neverland all the more memorable.I read one chapter per night and,for a very short while,I became a kid again.
8.For those who want a heart-warming read: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeAn absolute fan-favourite.It is heart-warming in the sense that it is funny,sad,and filled with a myriad of moral lessons.On top of that it is very simply written.You will be a changed person once you’ve finished reading it.I’m never quick to judge a person ever since I read this book.Life changing.
9.For those who want to read something very simple: Animal Farm by George OrwellOrwell’s classic allegorical novel is so simply written that its readers can be as young as 8-10.But let not the simple language plot and language deceive you,for underneath both lies Orwell’s genius.It is highly allegorical and even the most seemingly-trivial object is an allegorical allusion to the Bolchevik Revolution and Stalin’s rise to power.
10.For those who want be overwhelmed from start to end: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy This book is beauty and art incarnated.The translation was very light,compared to that of Dostoevsky’s Crime&Punishment,and I was indeed overwhelmed from the first page to the last.I savoured every word and sometimes I would find myself reading the same paragraph twice so that no ounce of beauty emanating from these words would escape me.In this book,Russia is divinely beautiful,the characters are depicted with so much psychological intensity and the literary techniques employed are impressive and unexpected.Also the fact that the cast of characters is wide means that we follow the lives of many people,intermittently switching from one setting to another; I was never bored with that book and always read it with much interest.If you want to read this wonderful novel,buy the Maudes’s translation. (The Maudes were friends with Tolstoy – they even played Tennis with him – and worked closely together in regard to the translation of his books).