I wanted to do a little overview of the last year and which books really made an impact. I chose five of my favorite books I read last year, which all have different reasons and ways in which they affected me. Some because the writing was just amazing, some because it made me think. It’s a bit late to post an overview, I somehow lost December and didn’t have time to write at all.
So a little late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR. May it bring nothing but good times.
1984 – George Orwell
Quite rightfully a classic. Firstly published in 1949, it follows the life of Winston, a rank-and-file Party member who pretends to like ‘ Big Brother‘ but secretly doubts it. The party controls everything the party-members do and watches what they do, all the time. Winston starts to rebel is his own way, and the story goes from there.
The aspects of complete control, especially the social control, complete visibility and blindly needing to trust the authorities even though you might question their truthfulness are issues in modern day society as well, which makes the novel extra cool. Also, the novel features ‘newspeak’ which is just hilarious. For example, ‘warm’ becomes ‘uncold’ and ‘great’ becomes ‘plusgood’. Now that I’m thinking about it, it would be really fun to write a review of 1984 in newspeak. Maybe in the new year…
Jurassic Park – Micheal Crichton
I loved reading Jurassic Park for two main reasons. I really liked the movies and it turns out to be an amazingly written book, and my best friend in Sydney read it and was lyrical about it. Since I haven’t seen her in years (But that’s about to change! 2019 I love you already), reading the novel made me feel closer to her. And we got to discuss it a bit over Skype and WhatsApp as well.
The novel is of course very similar to the movie, but with more focus on the theoretical part of it all. The beginning is quite intense with a lot of science and biological explanations but once you get through that it’s amazing and very captivating. Crighton has such an eye for details that it gave me nightmares (literally, you can read about that here: Let’s park it in the Jurassic era).
Nooit meer slapen –
Willem Frederik Hermans
Beyond sleep is a Dutch classic, written by Willem Frederik Hermans. It’s intellectual and full of metaphors, which can make it an acquired taste as well. I’m not one for reading very much into a book, I normally just read what the writer wrote and I’m not trying to find hidden meanings behind everything, but with Beyond sleep it’s inevitable.
The story follows Alfred, a Geology student who goes to Norway to find support his professor thesis about meteor craters. An old friend of his is willing to guide him and invites two others students to come as well. Once Alfred is in Norway, nothing goes as planned and he’s forced to rethink his life and his motives.
Read more about it here: Beyond land and sleep
Normal people – Sally Rooney
An instant classic, one that while reading you just know is going to be talked about a lot. Sally Rooney really manages to let you connect to her characters in a way that makes you miss them once you’ve finished the book. A romantic story but not a romance, taking place in real life without princes or princess of white horses. It’s about growing up and learning about life.
Connel and Marianne grew up in the same place but also worlds apart. Marianne‘s family is rich and they have a great house, but Marianne herself doesn’t fit in. Connel grew up with just his mom, who got pregnant young, and fits like a glove at his high school. They know and learn from each other. Also cool, the story (mostly) takes place in Ireland, which really is an awesome country. You’ll have to imagine the accent though yourself though.
I’ve written more about it here: Some are people, some are normal
The princess bride – William Goldman
I didn’t know what book to pick for number 5. Number 1 to 4 was very clear to me, but the last one was a bit harder. I thought of ‘American Gods’ but I only finished that 2 days ago, so technically in 2019. I almost went for ‘Sleeping Beauties’ but even though that book is amazing, it didn’t feel right. And then I remembered ‘The Princess Bride‘. I read it at the beginning of the year, and it was the perfect combination between everything. I brought it with me on the company ski trip, so it gives me that feeling of being back there.
In short, the book involves a little bit of everything: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautiful Ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles. There is a beautiful princess, a stableboy, a rhyming giant and a swordmaster looking for revenge.
Read all about it here: About a princess who is also a bride
So here they are, my top 5 of my favorite books in 2018! Have you read them? What were your favorites?