Book list, part II: Depressing but good

To anyone who doesn’t care about skiing: you’re weird, it’s a great sport. But also sorry for all of the skiing-only posts the last few days. Here’s the promised (first) continuation of “Books everyone needs to read:”

  • The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini): it’s hard to say which is better, or which is more heartbreaking. The Kite Runner got a lot of  press when it came out and it deserved all of it.  A Thousand Splendid Suns deserves a lot more exposure than it got.
  • Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery): read it in French if you can, it’s just better (I know, not everyone knows French…). Many people think this is a children’s book, and they are partially correct, because you have to know what it is like to be a child to understand it, but adults (or at least people with more life experience…I don’t know if I’m an adult yet…) might have a better appreciation of the importance of imagination and all that. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a short book. With pictures. If you can read this, you have no excuse.
  • 1984 (Eric Arthur Blair…his name wasn’t really George Orwell, you know): it’s depressing and overwhelmingly hopeless… in fact, all of these books except The Little Prince is REALLY depressing.

A quick note on some things not on this list: stuff like Lord of the Rings (to use my favorite book not on the list) is important to read (seeing as it influenced almost all of modern fantasy and all that) is not here because it’s not terribly accessible (1112 pages and all that). Same goes for The Baroque Cycle (about 1000 pages…per book). You should read both of the above if you can, by the way. They’re great.

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