Now that 2016 is almost over, many book lovers are thinking about which novels they’ll read in 2017. If this is the case for you, now is the time to develop a list of great books that will keep your mind active and alive in the upcoming year. Below you will find five incredible books that you should put on your reading list right now:
1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
If you’re into feminist fiction, sci-fi, dystopic novels, or well-written prose, this is the novel for you. Set in a future where women can no longer read, write, or vote, the narrative marks the experiences of a young woman who struggles to maintain an independent identity in a patriarchal world where she is reduced to the status of “breeder.” Containing numerous flashbacks and evocative language that keeps the reader intrigued with the protagonist’s story, this text is an information-rich, exciting work that will cause you to think about the “Woman Question” in a new way!
2. The Stranger by Albert Camus.
A rightfully famous novel, Camus’s The Stranger details the life of a young man who finds himself falling into legal and social trouble following the death of his mother. With lucid prose and narratorial genius, Camus creates a complex protagonist whose life story draws attention to the existentialist questions that gained primacy during the era in which the novel was written. Specifically, the narrative addresses issues of free will and agency by drawing attention to the role that supposedly independent decision-making processes can play in leading an individual to kill another human being and suffer consequences under the law. Individuals who enjoy maintaining a philosophical outlook towards life while also engaging incredibly well-written texts will love The Stranger.
3. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Written by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera is marked by an innovative literary style that is just as compelling as the story’s ever-evolving plot. In this work, central figures Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza fall madly in love. However, Fermina opts to marry a well-born, wealthy doctor, leaving Florentino devastated. In her absence, Florentino goes through a series of affairs while rising in his professional career. Throughout the ups and downs of his personal and professional life, Florentino remains enamored with Fermina. When Fermina’s husband finally dies, Florentino attends the funeral and the two are thrust back into a world of complicated, emotionally charged passion that shaped their youth.
4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize winner known for constructing incredibly compelling, emotionally charged narratives that leave the reader changed forever. In this narrative, Morrison tells the story of a young woman of color who experiences extensive, ongoing challenges due to the racist, sexist nature of society. Throughout the story, the reader becomes increasingly conscious of the problematic nature of a social world that consistently deprives its most vulnerable citizens of the economic and emotional support necessary to promote survival and growth.
5. Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys.
Voyage in the Dark is a provocative narrative which details the ongoing challenges experienced by central protagonist Anna Morgan. After relocating from the Caribbean to England, Anna experiences a culture shock and finds that she is continually pressured to modify her mode of thinking and acting in order to conform to society’s principles regarding how a woman should behave. Her economic hardships are made worse by the fact that she is left by a lover who appears to view women as objects to be used and discarded. Readers who are interested in stunning prose and narratorial strategies that forestall a “happy ending” will love this book!
A Side Note
While this list provides you with a wide range of excellent literature, know that you can do internet research to find even more books. Sources like Wikipedia will provide you with a wide range of information on writers like Daniel Handler. Handler has written several novels, including but not limited to The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, Why We Broke Up, and We Are Pirates.