In a fast-paced world surrounded by technology, movies and other kinds of distraction, we tend to hear people talking less and less about books. The excuses are diverse: lack of time, too much work to do or not finding an interesting book.
The truth is that the world of books and good stories is still varied enough, and there are plenty to choose from. Below you’ll find a short list with a few titles that should be read at least once in a lifetime.
Author Thomas Michael Keneally tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a war profiteer and factory director who courageously managed to save more than one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust.
This is a perfect portrayal of a growing soul – from a womanizer, heavy drinker, and an avid businessman, Schindler becomes the savior of many generations of Jews, risking his own life and losing all his fortune in the process.
The book was written in 1982, using actual testimonies of Schindler’s Jews. The novel is also the basis of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed movie, with the same name.Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.99)
The Book Thief
Although the story is set in the Second World War, in Germany, The Book Thief is recommended as one of the most popular books for teens.
Written by Markus Zusak, the story revolves around young Liesel, who is taken from her mother who cannot afford to keep her, and placed into another family, during WWII.
As if the situation is not bad enough, her brother dies on their way to the new family. Grieved and bewildered, Liesel finds a way to cope with the situation, by stealing books.
Interestingly enough, the storyteller is none other than Death itself.Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.22)
Man’s Search for Meaning
The author and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in Nazi concentration camps throughout 1942 and 1945, losing his pregnant wife, parents, and brother.
He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning based on his own experience, but also on the people’s he treated in his practice. He got to the conclusion that one cannot evade from suffering, but one can decide how to cope with it and find meaning in it.
Frankl developed a theory known as logotherapy, which states that our primary drive in life is the finding and chasing of what we find meaningful, not pleasure, as Freud sustained.Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.91)
Tuesdays with Morrie
Morrie is a teacher who loves what he does and who made connections with many of his students. One of them is Mitch Albom (the author), who, after graduation, moves on with his life and grows apart from his teacher.
After hearing about Morrie’s terminal disease, Mitch decides to visit his former teacher and together they schedule meetings every Tuesday.
During these meetings, Morrie teaches his former student things about life, mistakes, discoveries, things that change Mitch’s perspective of life forever. And what other kinds of presents could anyone offer someone, then the gift of wisdom?Buy from Amazon.com
Love Story by Erich Segal is the tale of Oliver Barrett and Jenny Cavilleri. But these are not two people simply meeting and falling in love.
Oliver is a wealthy jock with an emotionless father, whereas Jenny comes from a poor background with a father who provides for his family as a baker. Needless to say, their romance comes to an abrupt end much sooner than they expect.
Although Oliver breaks ties with his family, after his father’s adamant refusal to accept his relationship with Jenny and gets married to her, life strikes the couple with the heartbreaking news of Jenny’s disease.Buy from Amazon.com for ($6.17)
The Man in the High Castle
In The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick imagines an America that lost the Second World War and twenty years later is still occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
This depiction of an alternative history shows what happens to free people when ruled by tyranny. The Eastern United States is controlled by the Nazis, while the West Coast is ruled by Japan.
The Midwest is a neutral area but still influenced by their conquerors. In 1962, slavery is legal again and the Jews who survive must hide under assumed names.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.59)
Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Tess d’Urbervilles, whose actual name is Durbeyfield, is a young woman with tragedy and bad luck following her. The stage is set in the late 19th century, rural England.
Upon finding out that they might be related to a wealthy family, the d’Urbervilles, her drunk parents send their daughter to the family with the same name to work and maybe to reclaim the name.
Not only does she find out that this family only took this name to have more success in their business endeavors, but tragedy strikes Tess every step physically, financially and in her love life.
Critics state that this novel is a great representation of how far the women statute has changed for the better in the past two centuries.Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.75)
The Annotated Lolita: Revised and Updated
The play was written by Vladimir Nabokov, in 1954, and it depicts the obsession of a middle-aged European man for a 12-years-old American girl.
The annotated edition was done by Alfred Appel who states that the reason for his additions is to help the reader make sense of the whole meaning of the story.
The book received mixed critics as, on one hand, the image of a relationship between a middle-aged man and such a young girl is quite repulsive, but on the other hand the sexual content is very poor, leaving more room for their adventures touring the country.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.39)
The Hobbit is a well-known term for any Lord of The Ring fan. J.R.R. Tolkien describes the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who is not adventurous at all and rarely travels anywhere far from home.
All of this changes when the wizard Gandalf arrives at his home and takes him on a life-changing adventure to raid the treasure hoard guarded by a large dragon, named Smaug. In his travel, Bilbo encounters magical creatures and comes into the possession of a ring with mystical powers.
Suitable to be in the children’s books collection, the story is enjoyed by young or adult readers all over the world.Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.16)
Joyland (Hard Case Crime)
Joyland is another novel out of the many written by the American acclaimed author Stephen King. The story is set in the summer of 1973, in an amusement park from a small town in North Carolina.
The main character is Devin Jones who is a college student, arriving to work for the summer as a carny at the Joyland park. The novel contains elements that are familiar to Stephen King’s readers: an inauspicious carnival, a ghastly unsolved murder, a haunted ride all blended with mystery and a little bit of supernatural.
Like in many of King’s stories, all these elements have a deep impact on the main character’s life.Buy from Amazon.com for ($8.44)
How to find a cool book to read
The problem with reading is that people tend to think that not all of us can do it. Either we’re demotivated because it takes too much time and work, or we’re simply not interested in changing this aspect of our lives.
Reading does a lot to an individual in terms of personal development, whether you choose non-fiction books or not. Finding cool books to read can be a truly daunting task if you’ve never tried it before or if you’ve lost interest because of a novel that has been recommended to you in school. The teaching curriculum of most educational institutions across the world is often incorrectly developed.
Those who mostly experience difficulties each time they try to read are kids and teenagers. It’s difficult to explain to them the benefits of reading in general, and that’s because it seems a static activity that requires a good deal of time, and time could always be better spent. Classic literature doesn’t speak to modern adolescents or adults in the same way that it did two hundred years ago.
While these issues are all understandable, reading remains one of the greatest and simplest ways of building yourself as a person, understanding what you want to do with your life or developing new skills.
How we chose the coolest books you can read in a lifetime
To make it a bit easier for you to select the titles that best speak to your personality or what you are trying to achieve in the future, we have created a comprehensive guide to finding shorter and longer books, and even some coffee table books.
Do you have a purpose?
While some read for pleasure, others are focused on finding and reading books that can help them solve problems. Whether they want to develop their creativity or skills further or learn to cope with some personal issues, some individuals look at books as means of escaping a harsh reality.
From a professional standpoint, various titles can help you do different things. Are you passionate about raising money and defining your future financial life? Or are you planning to become a leader or manager? Do you want to build your own company and hardly know how to go about things? For every one of these questions, there is an answer, and it consists of dozens of books.
If you’re not into non-fiction, and most people don’t start out with this genre, you can learn a lot from classic and modern literature. In theory, the world around us and all of the people who surround us should be able to let us know everything about the values that define evil and good. Education matters, without a doubt, but sometimes our modern lives can be so unaffected by tragedies that we might end up taking everything for granted.
Tragedies can help us better cope with difficult moments. Books like Tess of the D’Urbervilles can teach us the dangers of being gullible, while Nineteen Eighty-Four can assist us in understanding the risks of any society becoming all-powerful and controlling.
What are your personal preferences?
While it might not be a good idea to say that the coolest books for guys aren’t the same as those for girls, sometimes the reader’s gender does make a difference. If you are aware of the fact that you do not relate to anything that might pertain to your gender, you probably know what you like already.
The simplest way of starting to read is to look at your hobbies. Most people have gone to the movies at least once in their life, so they know whether they prefer genres like comedy or drama. Watching movies can be correlated to reading, in that you might find that you prefer the same literary genre as that of your favorite films.
Does age matter or is it just a number?
If you go online and check out the best books to read reviews, you’ll probably notice that the titles you will come across are categorized depending on the age they are intended for. While some might work for toddlers as they might not have polished their ability to understand Shakespeare’s Hamlet, others are marketed for teens and young adults.
While this general perspective is not wrong, it might not be the right one for some individuals. After all, some teenagers prefer reading Forsyte Saga instead of John Green’s latest books. So, in a way, you have to understand whether the age of the person you’re getting the book for or your own really matters. Sometimes it does, but many times, it does not.
Other tips that can get you started
If you have never read a book in your life, the sight of a tome might be off-putting. Besides, the broad array of books available for sale nowadays can leave you feeling just a bit confused as to which one ought to be your first.
We recommend going online and searching for books that are under 100 pages long. The average reading speed of a person is about sixty pages per hour, but if you don’t want to overdo it, you can take it easy and go through a 100-page book in two hours and a half.
Something else you might be interested in is joining a book club or creating a Goodreads account. Many apps and websites can help you keep track of your reading progress, and most of them can motive you to read and learn more and ultimately, become a better person because you have a deeper grasp of the world around you.
Most readers are part of a community, whether it is local or international. Once you start reading, you’ll find out more about yourself and you’ll even get recommendations either from the formerly mentioned apps or from other readers like you. You’ll learn whether you prefer physical or e-books and you will be tempted to buy an e-reader in no time. Just take a leap and trust yourself on the way.