The voracious reader in me found it quite challenging to narrow down my favourites to just five. So I whittled them down to the ones that made me think and motivated me to dream on.
My Favourite Reads
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley (1976)
A book about slavery might not be everyone’s idea of a good read but this was my first on the topic. First published in 1976, Roots follows the life of Kunta Kinte, a slave brought to America in the 18th century. The book gives an insight into young African lives, culture during that perioed, how slaves were sold and African-American history.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943)
Touted as a childrens’ book, The Little Prince is a philosophical tale. This is a story of a stranded pilot who meets a young prince who has fallen from an asteroid. It talks about the adult world, the journey of life. There’s a lot of food for thought throughout, and the themes will no doubt leave you questioning the world around us.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
A futuristic novel written in 1931, Brave New World delves into how the human brain is conditioned as well as sleep, learning and reproductive technology. The book is a social satire and questions the norms of society and how we are all conditioned to believe in certain ideas and beliefs. A fascinating read and one that definitely left me thinking.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922)
This book deals with the spiritual journey of Siddhartha who became Buddha. Human life and how to take the journey to enlightenment is what encompasses Siddhartha. Having grown up on Buddha’s life stories, I gained a foreign view of who others perceive Siddhartha to be. The book also talks about Indian philosophy, which is interesting in itself.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (1970)
Bach’s succinct story is about a seagull who is learning how to fly and how he gains life lessons along the way. It also focuses on self-perfection. The bird is not a conformist and is soon ostracised. He learns everything about flying and then moves on to live a happier life. It will likely resonate with those who perhaps don’t fit perfectly into society.