10 Books to Read Before You Die

Without trying to make this a list of books that most people are forced to read at school, I will try and list the top 10 books to read before you die!

Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

A 2003 mystery thriller that follows Harvard professor Robert Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu after a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The novel portrays an alternative religious history, concerning the Holy Grail legend and Mary Magdalene’s role in the history of Christianity.

A 2003 mystery novel that’s title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1892 short story “The Adventure of Silver Blaze”.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

The protagonist Christopher John Francis Boone is a 15 year old boy that describes himself as a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties.

Although Christopher’s condition isn’t stated, it is believed that he suffers with asperger syndrome.

The novel portrays the life of being an outsider and seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

A dystopian novel published in 1985.

Set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian state resembling a theonomy, which has overthrown the US government.

The novel looks at the journey of the handmaid Offred; her name deriving from the man that she belongs to “of Fred”.

The novel explores themes of women in subjugation in a patriarchal society where these women attempt to gain individualism and independence.

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

A non-fiction novel first published in 1966 that looks into the murders of the Clutter family, that lived in Holcomb Kansas.

As a part of the research for the novel, Capote went Kansas to speak with the neighbours and, when captured, the murderers.

The novel is a reflection of the family themselves, the lives they lived, as well as the murderers.

The book can be considered as a way to give the readers a forgiven view towards the murderers.

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

A science novel on cosmology that was first published in 1988.

Hawking wrote the book for non-specialist readers with no prior knowledge of scientific theories.

He discusses basic concepts like space and time, basic building blocks that mark up the universe and the fundamental forces that govern it.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

A Canadian fantasy advernture novel published in 2001.

The protagonist Piscine Molitor, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age.

He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Published in 1952, the novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans early in the twentieth century, including black nationalism.

The narrator is an unnamed black man that reflects on the various ways in which he has experienced social invisibility during his life and beings telling his story, returning to his teenage years.

Brave New World – Aldous Haxley

A dystopian novel written in 1931, set in a futuristic World State of genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy.

The novel anticipates huge technological developments that are combined to make a utopian society that goes challenged only by a single outsider.

Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk

A transgressive fiction novel published in 1999.

The protagonist is an unnamed disfigured woman who goes by multiple identities.

Her identities were given to her by Brandy Alexander, with whom she spends the majority of the book.

Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

A dystopian science fiction novel published in 2005.

In the dystopian worlds, human clones are created so that they can donate their organs as young adults.

The novel follows the life of Kathy, a clone who is raised at a boarding school for future donors.