Gift of Stories: Five Memorable Books

I thank God for the gift of stories. Books have been my constant companion this 2013, offering me entertainment, comfort, and solace through the dullest of days and the emptiest of nights. And this 2013, I’ve been able to read thirty-plus books, according to my Goodreads “read” list. Hurray! So which were the five most memorable? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The List:

  1. 1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother is watching you. I’m so happy to have finally read the father of dystopian novels. Winston and Julia are very memorable characters. And all the talk about Newspeak, Ingsoc, and thoughtcrimes — I tell you, even though the book’s a bit highfalutin, you must read it.  After reading the book, I knew I had to watch the film filmed in 1984, too. But when I got to the third part where things got depressing — I realized I just couldn’t finish it anymore. The movie, not the book. The book I finished. And the picture it painted of the possible future (and what may also be happening in the present) is very chilling. An officemate was telling stories about his hometown in Iraq the other day. Somehow, I realized parts of the world are actually, in a way, living the nightmare that is 1984.
  2. After Dark by Haruki Murakami. Simple yet surreal. Murakami tells a tale of what goes on after dark — from midnight to dawn — in Tokyo, Japan. It juxtaposes scenes of Mari and Eri, two sisters in which the former shuns sleep and the latter embraces an eternal one. A couple of other characters are thrown in as well, and their stories also gets told as the night unfolds. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Murakami after this.
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. So now I finally get why so many women have swooned over Mr. Darcy! It took me a while to plow through this book, but once I got to the middle, I knew it was worth it. Read my more detailed review here, wonderful people. ;)
  4. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol. I liked Through the Looking Glass more than Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because it had more elements of surprise in it. Probably because I’ve seen far too many adaptations of the first Alice book already. But TTLG had Humpty Dumpty in it and The Red Queen who kept offering Alice biscuits even though the poor girl was practically dying of thirst. So… yeah. TTLG, FTW!
  5. Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley. No, I haven’t been spending the whole year reading “just” fiction. And no, please never ever reduce fiction to “just” fiction, because you get as much from them (and sometimes even more) as you do when you read business or inspirational books. Anyway, enough literary ranting. Deep and Wide. This thought-provoking book by Andy Stanley about the way churches “do things” made me want to rethink a lot of things. Sometimes we spend too much time being church-y that we forget about being relevant, you know? But then there’s the danger of trying to be too relevant and then losing the spirit of it all.

Thus ends the list. More books await this 2014. :)

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