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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom Vandevelde | 17 comments Mod
Are there any books (recent publications or older works, doesn't matter) you would wholeheartedly recommend?

(If, instead, you are looking for recommendations within a certain genre, time period, etc., you can inquire about them here as well of course!)

message 2: by Elisabeth (last edited May 26, 2017 08:29AM) (new)

Elisabeth Goemans | 1 comments One of my very favourite books is The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. The book is actually a series of short stories that can be read separately, but you only get the "full effect" if you read them in the correct order.
The stories are about a group of young American soldiers in the Vietnam War, but it is rather a book about friendship, hope, and mostly about telling stories. Also, there are interesting correlations between protagonist - narrator - author.
It's the book I like to recommend to everyone who is into literature!

message 3: by Manon (new)

Manon (manonbuysse) | 2 comments Mod
I'd most definitely recommend most of Jonathan Safran Foer's work - Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals. (I think I've mentioned him in my grammar classes; I like to borrow examples from Foer.) I'm not as convinced by his latest, Here I Am, though.

Another one of my favourite contemporary authors is Jonathan Franzen (yeah, another Jonathan). I loved Freedom, The Corrections and Purity.

I also loved what I've read so far by John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath). Will be trying my hand at East of Eden soon.

A recently hyped book, deeply sad and beautiful at the same time: Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life. Same judgement and same hype a couple of years ago: John Williams' Stoner.

And everything by J.K. Rowling and her alter ego Robert Galbraith, obviously.

message 4: by Tom (last edited Jul 24, 2017 05:31AM) (new)

Tom Vandevelde | 17 comments Mod
I should really read Franzen.

message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Vandevelde | 17 comments Mod
A recent read I'd recommend to anyone interested in politics and philosophy is Karel Capek's War with the Newts (Oorlog met de Salamanders in Dutch). Written in 1936 against the backdrop of the rise of Nazism, the fantastic dystopia (if such a thing exists) it describes and cheerily (implicitly) dissects through witty irony is simply chilling when read against the backdrop of societal issues today. Still hugely relevant and worth a read.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (flowersarah) | 2 comments I just finished Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and it turned out to be one of those books you simply must have read.

I recommend it to anyone who likes novels with big ideas, a sketch of humanity and a hint of philosophy in a delicate, yet direct style.
Kundera uses his characters as exempla for mankind, touching all kinds of topics without writing a strong plot.

It caused a shift in my perspective on life and its meaning, while being strikingly beautiful and real.

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom Vandevelde | 17 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "I just finished Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and it turned out to be one of those books you simply must have read.

I can only second that thought. It is easily in my Top 5 ever. Brilliant book.

message 8: by Emma (new)

Emma Bogaert | 1 comments I finished "Flood" by Stephen Baxter a couple of months ago and still find myself thinking about the story quite often.

Baxter is a British science fiction writer, he forms a certain hypothesis and works it out with scientific accuracy and logic. In Flood we follow 5 main characters while they try to survive in a drowning world. Sea levels have begun to rise and won't stop anytime soon.
He meticulously works out all the details: how does humanity react when faced with such disaster? What could be a plausible cause of the sudden sea level rise? Can humans ultimately survive? And if so, how, and by what means?

I really recommend it. Stephen Baxter's scientific approach and accuracy, all the while maintaining an interesting storyline, make for an incredible book.

message 9: by Anuriet (new)

Anuriet Chatrath | 1 comments I truly recommend you read "The Tattooist of Auschwitz", a beautiful fictional roman written by Heather Morris and set during the Holocaust. When I first heard of this novel, I was totally sold. This roman is based on the heart—wrenching true love-story between Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who had to mark numbers on other prisoner’s flesh in order to survive himself, and Gita Furman, the scared girl Lale tried to comfort when he first saw her. He was in love with her at first sight.

“I don’t think I could do that. Scar someone, hurt someone – it does hurt, you know.”

For everyone who thinks war books are not exactly his/her cup of tea, please don’t let this scare you off. This book is not a bed of roses, but reading Lale and Gita’s romance in between makes everything good. It was just fascinating to see how their relationship blossomed more and more as time passed by. People came and died, disease after disease and slaughter after slaughter, their love always remained strong.

“I saw a half-starved young man risk his life to save you. I figure you must be someone worth saving.”

And that was right, because for the next three years Lale used his privileges for the best and smuggled food to the weakest prisoners… He became their hope.

message 10: by Stijn (new)

Stijn Oosterlinck | 1 comments "The Giver" by Lois Lowry is a phenomenal piece of literature. Lowry creates a dystopian world where everyone forgot what colour, race, war and even love is. Only one person, The Giver, remembers all of the things people can not. Unfortunately, his age enforces a difficult decision of chosing a new Giver. Jonas is chosen, but is he able to withstand the pain and suffering that comes with remembering?

After the first book, Lowry wrote three more dystopian novels and bundled them in "The Giver quartet". The reason for me recommending these novels and especially the first one, is because Lowry succeeds in having the reader feel as though they have forgotten what colours and scents feel like and having them experience wonderful moments such as sleigh rides or a walk through a forest as if they experienced it for the very first time.

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry is by far one of my favorite novels and can always be borrowed from my personal library. ;)

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