Five Books You Must Read at Least Once

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Avery Kibbey, Business Manager

Reading is known to many as one of the most relaxing and worthwhile ways to spend spare time. Books contain worlds of knowledge, and also a feeling of accomplishment once completed. If you’re having trouble choosing a book, here are some of the top-rated books that you should read at least once in your life: 

  1. The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom:

This book will alter your perspective on the meaning of life itself. It is extremely captivating through Albom’s effective strategy of bringing in the characters by providing detailed backstories for each of them. The Stranger in the Lifeboat centers around a crowd of politicians, writers, and world-renowned people who have all gathered on a yacht to create friendships. The plot focuses on a millionaire who created this experience for all of the characters to connect, and yet was the one to blame for all of the subsequent deaths. The yacht sank, leaving people fleeing for the lifeboat only to realize that the boat was sinking too fast. Only a small number of the attendees were saved by the lifeboat and had to try to survive on the sea with little materials or resources. After the survivors fled on the lifeboat, a man appeared out of nowhere and greeted them with the striking claim that he is God. Throughout the novel, the characters unfold their true selves and eventually uncover the mystery of how the yacht sank, as well as the mystery of who the stranger on the lifeboat is. 

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 

This book portrays the importance of relationships, as it directly relates to self-worth, through the development of unique characters.  Mary Shelley incorporated the overarching message of a human being’s endless longing for the companionship of another human being. In this instance, it is a creature longing for acceptance and affection from another person. The book is about a scientist who is interested in human anatomy and electricity, as well as his resulting obsession with the idea of giving a creature life. The novel navigates the ups and downs of how someone who does not fit into society has to learn how to get back into a lost life that they have yet to learn about. Overall, this book provides the reader with a different perspective through the eyes of someone who is untangling the mystery of life and the impact of societal standards. 

  1. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Handmaid’s Tale is a novel that gives readers a look into a dystopian society where everyone is assigned a job and must obey any commands they are given. This book is set in New England, where women play a vital role in carrying the message of this book. If the women are fertile, they are given the job of Handmaid, where their only livelihood is to carry a child for the family that they are assigned to, reflecting an extreme version of societal ideas surrounding gender. This book is mature with some graphic and difficult scenes to read. However, it gives incredible insight into a hopelessly futuristic life that makes one wonder what life could be if societal shortcomings continue. 

  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 

Another book that you will not be able to put down is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This book is about a family who moves to Canada whilst bringing along their entire zoo on a carrier ship. After the boat sinks along with everything inside of it, three exotic animals are left on a lifeboat alongside a young survivor named Pi. At the end of the book, right when you think the journey is over, the plot will take a turn that makes many questions about the way the whole book is written, as well as the deeper meaning behind the author’s choices.  

  1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Another masterpiece by Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie is a heartfelt book that will create a deep emotional connection,  making readers want to change how they are currently living their life. This memoir details Albom’s conversations with his college professor, as he visits him every day to spend time with him. The professor is slowly dying of ALS, which causes an intense sense of urgency and admiration for Mitch Albom, prompting him to make the most of the final moments. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster as the author portrays the journey of a person with a terminal disease. 

While reading these books, you are likely to discover inspiration for a new perspective, challenging how you see life. These books have given me new insight into the ways people live and have lived, and also the reasons that people act as they do.