I've been wondering the other day which five books I'd choose if I'd absolutely have to... for example if there's a fire and I only have time to grab five. (And... there's no more bookstores in the entire world. The horror!)
The thought was a stressful one and I would like to point out that I'd rather not choose, at all. But, I had a long think and these are the five books I came up with:
Flowers for Algernon. I only read it the other day but I'm already certain this is one of the books I'd save in case of fire. It had such a huge impact on me and I can't stop thinking about it.
I've reviewed it here.
The book looks at various aspects of humanity that are very important: disability, mental illness, what it means to be human, intelligence, what makes a person a person.
I think the author handles these subjects with great care and I'd like to be able to re-read this gem frequently.
5/5 - I'd walk over hot coals to get to this one.
The Count of Monte Cristo. Possibly one of my favourite books ever written. Ever since I first read it when I was about 12 years old I was madly in love with this book. I think the plot is flawless. I admire how Dumas managed to intertwine all the subplots and to tie them together into a masterful act of revenge.
If you don't know the story: Edmond is doing well in life, he has the girl and the job, sadly he also has envious friends. An intrigue sends him to prison and after losing far too many years of his life he finally manages to flee. Thanks to an inmate he befriended he finds an almost endless treasure and can go back to Paris as the Count, serving revenge to those that ruined his life. And as they say, it's best served cold.
Pride and Prejudice. This book will always be in my list of five books. It's possibly no longer my favourite book and objectively it might no longer belong onto this list. But... I've read this book 25 times. I'm not even kidding. From the age of 13 to today, I've re-read this book at least once a year. I fell head over heels in love with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. I think Austen's writing is refreshing and hilarious at the same time.
You know how my love story with Austen started? My parents watched BBC's 1995 adaptation with Colin Firth without me... because it was late at night and I was only 12. Then they bought all of Jane Austen and declared it's brilliant. So, I picked the books up as soon as they were done... no regrets!
Foucault's Pendulum. Wow. This book... It's filled with words and concepts I didn't understand when I was 15 but I persevered and it's actually possible to enjoy the story without following all of his intellectual orgasms and Umberto Eco has a lot of intellectual orgasms while writing. If you ever decide to start this book and think you need a PhD to understand it, well maybe you do for certain concepts, but the story remains brilliant and readable without being able to follow everything the man decided to bring up.
So in this book... Eco rewrites history, starting way back in the Middle Ages up until today, based on a conspiracy theory and the best part? It's all believable. Suddenly almost every historical event is presented in a new light. Read it, you won't regret it!
IT. I've been going back and forth on my decision to include IT in this list. But the way I got to meet this book will always be special to me. I was eight. Yes, eight. And I read a fairy-tale about a man who wanted to learn fear. And I then decided, I too wanted to learn fear. I asked my father to bring me a scary book. He brought me scary tales for children. They were not scary one bit. I told him those were for babies, I wanted to find out what it means to be really scared. The next day IT was waiting on the dinner table.
That night I slept with the light on.
I love Stephen King's writing. I think he paints characters in a beautiful way and he's really great at giving them depth with just a few paragraphs. Most of his stories had a huge impact on me. IT will always be special to me.
What are the five books you'd pick? Let me know.