11 Fascinating Book Suggestions

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Have some time on your hands, but not sure what to read?  Here is a list of eleven novels guaranteed to entertain and spark new ideas.

  1.  1984 by George Orwell:  This modern classic is a seminal work exploring the consequences of an out of control police state.  The quintessential dystopian novel.
  2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe:  The crown jewel of the storied career of the late, great Achebe is a powerful novel that reads like a Greek tragedy.  Never have the mysteries of African tribal culture been more beautifully captured in literary fiction.
  3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:  This epic follows the lives of the members of the Buendia family through a century of trials and tribulations in a fictional rendering of the author’s native Colombia.  It breaks new ground, expanding the expectations of what a novel can be.
  4. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse:  East meets West in this slender volume.  Siddhartha is a young man who explores what it means to be alive and finds some astonishing answers.  The prose is as beautiful as breeze rippling a pond on a tranquil summer’s day.
  5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:  This refreshing novella has been read by artists and leaders all over the world.  It is a refreshingly accessible work that asks the reader to consider the personal journeys that we all embark upon.
  6. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano:  This romp through the reality of a group of poets takes the reader from the back alleys of Mexico City to the heart of Africa.  It is a trailblazing novel that is told in both first and third person.  After reading this book you will never view poetry, dare I say life, the same.
  7. On the Road by Jack Kerouac:  The book that is considered by many to have defined a generation is a treatise on a passion for life.  A band of friends traverse North America, searching for fun, adventure, love, and art; what they find is fascinating.
  8. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins:  In his inimitable way Tom Robbins ponders eternity with some of the most amusing and outlandish characters created in modern fiction.  Gods have sex with humans and the fountain of youth lives in a perfume bottle.  If you haven’t read Robbins, this is an excellent place to start.
  9. The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa:  The Nobel Prize-winning author is quoted as saying that this book was his greatest achievement.  He transports the reader to the surreal setting of the backlands of Brazil in the 19th century during the Canudos Rebellion.
  10. Animal Farm by George Orwell:  Orwell is the only author who could show up twice on a Can the Man fiction list.  This fable tells the story of the ability of power to corrupt and addresses basic questions about political organization.  If you read it in school rereading it is guaranteed to challenge your ideas in a whole new way.
  11. The Pearl by John Steinbeck:  The exquisite simplicity of this novella makes for pleasurable reading.  Kino, a pearl-diver in Mexico thinks he has found the answer to all of his problems when he finds an extraordinary pearl.  The pearl transforms the destiny of Kino and his family in unforeseen ways as the author deftly explores the depths of greed and humanities penchant for evil.

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