7 Books To Revisit This 2019
1/7 Something Romantic: The Essential Rumi (1995)
This lengthy book features more than a hundred poems by persian writer, Rumi. Known for his passionate verse and lyrical technique, Rumi is a widely-cited and beloved writer/ philosopher. His works tackle various topics (almost everything under the sun) — love, death, friendship, religion, and mysticism — he is regarded as one of the greatest Persian poets. The 2004 translated version is edited and translated by Coleman Barks who adds a lenghty introduction and engages with Rumi's original work through his own lyricism and adaptation.
This book contains one of his more famous poems entitled, "Like This" in English. A known reading of which was recited by actress Tilda Swinton for a perfume by Etat Libre d’Orange. If you're looking to read through some incredibly romantic or mystical lyrics, this book is the way to go. It is often a prized selection for poetry/ literature lovers — a perfect addition to one's bookshelf!
2/7 A Dose of Sci-Fi: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968)
A fan of Bladerunner — the Harrison Ford or Ryan Gosling version? Eitherway, you'll be glad to know that the Bladerunner universe was created by famous science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick, in his novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A fun yet beguiling read, the novel is at the narrative level, already incredibly interesting. If one wants to go deeper, the layered storytelling and character development opens up a lot of philosophical questions about humanity, morality, and connections between living things. Electric Sheep is one of those books that are easy to re-read every now and again; there's always something new to discover.
3/7 More on Poetry: Domestic Violence by Eavan Boland (2007)
For something heart-wrenching and poignant, Domestic Violence is a must-have for anyone who enjoys poetry. Written by Irish writer and scholar, Eavan Boland, it is a series of poems that muses upon Boland's Ireland and the memories that come with it. An interesting engagement with romance and loss, Boland carefully employs alliteration and metaphors of nature and nation to expound on personal memories. Touching on love, marriage, and identity, there is a lot to engage with here.
4/7 Something inspiring: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (2013)
If you're looking for something to inspire yet provides thought-provoking questions at the same time, Malcom Gladwell's David and Goliath will surely provide interesting commentary. It ruminates on the eponymous tale and speculates on how exactly David defeats the giant. This literary investigation provides a good backdrop for some encouraging and challenging points that one might consider in their own life. What does it mean to be faced with a challenge that seems impossible to overcome? Is there a way to defeat our own Goliaths? Gladwell brings all this to the fore with his conversational tone and peppery anecdotes.
5/7 For A Few Laughs: White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008)
Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2008, Aravind Adiga takes advantage of epistolary story-telling in his book, The White Tiger. The novel provides a darkly humorous perspective of India's class struggle in a globalised world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy.
A touching yet comedic tale that talks about poverty, struggle, and entrepreneurship in the modern world, Adiga engages with his readers as if nonchalantly, unraveling the narrative effortlessly and with rich detail. A coming-of-age story, The White Tiger is so much more than the sucess of Balram, but moreover, its muses upon the difficulties of getting ahead.
6/7 Thrilling & Suspenseful: Sharp Objects by Gilian Flyn (2006)
If you're looking for some southern mystery drama, Sharp Objects is an easy choice! Following a series of teenage murders in a small town called Wind Gap in Missouri, USA, crime reporter Camille Preaker is forced to move back-in with her family as she follows the investigation. As the novel progresses, the mystery unfolds and Camille's complicated relationship with her mother Adora and sister Ama are slowly revealed. Although the plot can be a tad predictable at times, the read is no less exciting due to Flynn's writing style and coversational yet mysterious approach — she always leaves you wanting for more. A sure page-turner, this crime drama is a largely entertaining read, especially if you have a leisurely afternoon to spare. The TV adaptation is lead by Amy Adams which is as exciting as its novel antecedent!
7/7 A Dash of Philosophy: Discipline and Punish — Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault (1975)
In Discipline and Punish, French philosopher Michel Foucault talks about his theories on docile bodies (how one is molded by systems of discipline, i.e. School, Military, Factory, and others) and how prisons and subsequent punishment have delveoped across time. As a son of a surgeon, Foucault was expected to be a physician himself and was raised to be a respected scholar and member of French society.
To rebel against his family's standards, Foucault decided to pursue what was then dubbed as a bohemian life, taking up with artists and forward-thinking liberals. He was able to create several books that historicised punishment and social abberations. A truly engaging read, Discipline and Punish has been a canonical book in sociology and other fields.
This can be read alongside The Birth of the Clinic, which in turn discusses the policing and institutionalization of mental diseases and other discriminations in the field of medicine and public health.
For more book recommendations: 7 Books To Revisit This 2018, 7 Quirky Summer Reads and Drinks To Pair Them With