When was the last time you’ve read a really good book? To get you back on the literary path, we asked our resident book lovers for their top picks
Social media may have introduced the world to a whole new era of headline-grabbers (hello, fake news), but for some—and we really mean us—the constant buzz of unfiltered information can be overwhelming. One convenient and cost-effective way to get away from it all, is to revisit the ever-so-reliable hardback or NLB Mobile app. If you’ve fallen off the literary wagon, it’s time to pick yourselves up with some of our top reads – as revealed by the Honeycombers team.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
What is it: A must-read for fans of horror flicks, this page turner follows a disgraced investigative journalist who is determined to find out the truth behind the death of the young and beautiful daughter of a famous horror filmmaker.
Why it’s a must-read: “Night Film is probably not the best book to read before bedtime if you scare easily (like me). However, I can’t resist a good thriller that gets my adrenaline pumping, so the semi-sleepless nights are worth it. The plot is a gripping one, and Marisha Pessl takes it to another level with mixed media elements such as photographs and newspaper clippings. This is a must-read if you are a fan of horror flicks (think Stanley Kubrick or Lars Von Trier), or if you want a suspenseful novel that will keep you glued to the very last page.” – Venessa Thor, Creative Services Writer
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
What is it: A modern classic with all the elements of a dramatic family saga, The God of Small Things is both a forbidden love story and political critique. It follows the lives of seven year-old twins Estha and Rahel, whose worlds are shaken by the arrival of their cousin, Sophie.
Why it’s a must-read: “If there’s one book you have to read for its prose, it’s The God of Small Things. Part family saga, part political critique, the book is set in Ayemenem (India) – what saves the story’s bleak themes of tragedy and the loss of innocence is Roy’s poignant and masterful way of weaving flashbacks and flash-forwards through her lyrical writing.” – Nafeesa Saini, Lifestyle Writer
Dracula by Bram Stoker
What is it: This 1897 gothic horror tome needs no introduction. An epic tale that traces one young lawyer’s quest to destroy the legendary vampire, readers will be introduced to famous protagonists such as Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray.
Why it’s a must-read: “Dracula has always been a childhood favourite of mine. It’s a classic and one that I still revisit sometimes. What’s intriguing about the novel was how the story eschewed the conventional chapter format, but was written as letters and diary entries instead. For me, that made it more “real” and suspenseful – ditch the Twilight series, and get on the OG vampire literature!” – Delfina Utomo, Lifestyle Writer
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama
What is it: Addressing the age-old question of “What is happiness?”, this philosophical book covers the fundamentals of Buddhism, with introspective reflections from psychiatrist Howard Cutler and the Dalai Lama himself.
Why it’s a must-read: “I have always been interested in the philosophy of Buddhism and the spiritual teachings of the Dalai Lama. The Art of Happiness is an inspirational read – I would hesitate to call it a self-help piece, but the book’s insightful concepts has opened my mind to an alternative approach to living. The journey to ‘inner peace’ may be a trying one in today’s context, but this is a great first step.” – Chelsia Tan, Creative Services Editor
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
What is it: A dystopian North America may not sound all that unfamiliar today, but in 1996, David Foster Wallace penned a vision where addiction manifests itself in different forms. This complex, post-modern commentary explores the topics of tennis, substance addiction, family relationships, the role of advertising and popular entertainment – and our constant need for instant gratification.
Why it’s a must-read: “David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest—when you have a month free to invest in it—is the all-time greatest novel written especially with jaw-dropping language and late 20th-century malaise.” – Hamish McDougall, Managing Director
Tip! While Infinite Jest is widely regarded as Wallace’s magnum opus, its advanced vocabulary and writing style may make it a difficult one to undertake. Beginners can start by understanding the late author’s psyche through David Foster Wallace: the Last Interview and Other Conversations, a collection of intimate conversations touching on his views on on literature, politics, entertainment and discipline, and the state of modern America.
Inspired? These titles can be found through the NLB Mobile app. This handy tool allows readers to browse and bookmark their favourite books on the library catalogue, and read these e-titles on-the-go. It also functions as a nifty scanner, so you can beat the queues at the borrowing stations.
This article is sponsored by the National Library Board