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Back to School Book Week {Fiction}

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This book, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, has been and will probably always be my favorite book. Ever since reading it in Sophomore English class, I absolutely loved it. The poetry, the prose, the story & the metaphor! Yeesh, I could gush about this book all day. If you haven't read it or know nothing about Sylvia Plath (also my favorite poet) let me tell you know: it's a dark storyline, a semi-autobiography about the mental illnesses women faced in mid-century from changing roles & expectations. Subject matter is grave, ironic, and very dark, but the way this book is written is absolutely beautiful; brimming with honesty, truth, and redemption around every corner.
As an English major in college, I love talking books, so not only is this a fun week for me, I love sharing my favorite books with all of you, and getting recommendations, too, to make my ever-growing book list even longer! I love finding redemptive truths in art, whether that be film, music, or literature, also called 'themes'. This book has many deep themes running in it, but to know what they are...you'll have to read it yourself!

Honorable Mention (aka, My Other Top 4, in no particular order):
  • Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. This book is fan-tas-tic. I love it. At 500+ pages, it's a commitment, but after about 100 pages it's smooth sailing. This is a story about a little girl (12? 13?) who discovers notes & letters written to her throughout a 12 month period about philosophies & great thinkers, leaving her with her own conclusion on how the world works, the existence of God, and other natural wonders of the Earth. This book is very well-written and has wonderful historical/philosophical accuracy. The conclusion is well done. Although a high school student could read it, it's probably more for adults.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Hello creepy Big-Brother British lit, I love this book. Think 1985 by George Orwell only a heck of a lot more interesting and much more well-written. The story of a man who has to decide between good and evil in his creepy Scientific-Futuristic-Laboratory-Experiment life where children are hatched out of petri dishes and orgies are the norm of society (not even kidding). Huxley was a 60s psychedelic drug user but his writing is crystal clear and very good. Moral of the story and redemptive truths written all over this. Crazy, but true. You can read it completely free, HERE!
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This SHOULD be on Every American Should Read This list, because there is so much to get out of this little (big) book. I've even been to Miss Alcott's house on the East Coast! Think of a theme, and it's written in here. Although this is an older book (1800s) I read it for the first time last Christmas and every bit of it is still as relevant today as it was then. I laughed, I cried, I quoted, I wrote to remember, and I loved it. Read it (especially in winter)...you won't be disappointed! (And no, the movie isn't nearly as good as the book!)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Here's another heavy hitter from a mid-century writer that has become a classic today. This is another huge book (400+ pages) but the main character, Francie, is so great. A coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in poverty in New York City and the trails her and her family over come through 9 years, including jobs, love, loss of family + friends, and dreams shattered and new dreams fulfilled. A truly lovely work of art, also written extremely well.

What is your favorite fiction book of all time?

Tomorrow we'll talk nonfiction!

Comments

Sharon said…
I will definitely check it out (literally)! Thanks!

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