There’s something about literature that intrigued me from a young age, prompting a love that I hope will last forever. I’ve always been in awe of stories and interested in finding out little details of lives I’ve never known, in whichever form of storytelling I come to know of them, but the beauty and effortlessness of literature is something I find hard to be matched in other forms of storytelling. I don’t claim to have read everything, and this list is bound to change almost immediately, but these are the books that have made some form of lasting impression in my life. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed reading the books.
Nineteen Eighty-Four // George Orwell
George Orwell’s promotion of democratic socialism with his portrayal of a totalitarian dystopia is the single most exciting, harrowing and astonishing piece of prose I have ever read; I do think I looked at the world differently after reading it. The story follows Winston Smith, a fairly normal man with an innate desire to rebel. Under Big Brother’s constant watch, Winston and his girlfriend Julia, who is “only a rebel below the waist,” should never be allowed to even think about rebelling against the state, but they try. This book was a direct threat to Stalinist Russia, making it terrifying to think that the events could easily happen or are lurking somewhere, whether we know it or not.
I saw this as a theatre production in the Liverpool Playhouse before I read it, but even knowing the story didn’t ruin it for me; I do think there’s nothing more horrifically pleasing than reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. I just wish I could forget this horrific tale so I could experience again the thrill of reading it for the first time.