Hey! It’s difficult to know what to recommend as everyone has such different tastes, but the last two I read were great. Over the past couple of days I re-read Mockingbird by Walter Tevis - one of my favourite ever books. It’s easy, entertaining, beautiful and I’d recommend it to anyone. Don’t let any sci-fi cover art put you off; there’s so much more to it! Before Mockingbird, I read The Giver, which is really short and simple but very good; it’s currently getting a lot of attention because it has finally been adapted for film. Other than those two, if you’re ready for something a little surreal that will make you think, then read anything by Haruki Murakami. He is probably my favourite author. Kafka on the Shore is my favourite by him. If you pick one of the above, then my safest bet would be: Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. A novel which should be read by everyone; it is a truly amazing book.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
Pretty accurate description of real life too.
"The Chrysalids" by John Wyndham
My rating: 5/5
I was gripped from the beginning of The Chrysalids, and my attention was fully held until the end. The writing style that John Wyndham employs within this novel is somehow eloquent whilst retaining striking directness and simplicity. This directness moves the narrative along wonderfully, and the reader is introduced to a fantastic array of drama and adventure. The unique theme that runs throughout lends itself beautifully to some sublime character work. Through his fiction, the author repeatedly proposes excellent observations on the world, specifically regarding society and community in this case; I adore John Wyndham’s ability to fit the grand ideas and sense of wonder you might find in a novel of 500 pages or more in a mere 200. He doesn’t mess around. Every word is dynamic, and character motives are understated yet truly heartfelt. A brilliant story, by a man who I am growing to admire very much for his cleverness, which is sheathed in simplicity and presented via his glowing ability as a storyteller.
As a side note, the cover artwork on my 1980’s Penguin edition of The Chrysalids shows a green, intimidating, alien looking creature. This is absolutely baffling as it relates in no way at all to the story. Perhaps it was to capitalise on a science fiction readership and the success of The Day of the Triffids, apparently proposing that the creature is a “Chrysalid”. The title actually refers to a major theme in the book, being conceptual and meant in reflection of the story; it is not relating to a race of creatures called Chrysalids. Whatever the reason behind this cover artwork may be, don’t let it put you off. This is an engrossing, addictive piece of storytelling that is hugely entertaining on a number of levels.