• Natalya Sharp

10 Books Everyone Should Read

Reading is an incredible luxury and it can do wonders to allow yourself to fully be immersed in and transported by the world of literature. Literature not only entertains us for hours it also educates us on sensitive and important topics from sexism and racism to economic poverty and mental health. This article aims to provide you with a bucket list of books you need to read and the reasons they are so important as works of literature in the world today!


The Other Black Girl

The Other Black Girl is an incredibly powerful novel that delves into the issues of racism and whitewashing in the workplace. Through a troubling storyline of minimising individuality and becoming more ‘suitable’ and ‘likeable’ in a mostly white publishing house, the struggles faced by minorities have never been more transparent. Harris successfully balances both the political truth and the storytelling element of literature and leaves you questioning just how equal our society truly is. Following the Black Lives Matter protests that have recently occurred, Harris’ novel is vitally important in continuing the fight for equality by demonstrating the lack of it.


An American Marriage

Just as The Other Black Girl demonstrates the importance of educating society on the continuation and effects of racism, Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage demonstrates the devasting consequences of racism with the justice system that is supposed to protect us. This novel has been gifted the stamp of approval by both Barack Obama and Oprah, which is enough reason to read it alone, but if you require further convincing then this story is an incredibly fast-paced read that allows you to educate yourself on an issue you were perhaps unaware of while still enjoying this emotional-rollercoaster of a story.


The Vindication of the Rights of Women

This book is an essential read for anyone with an interest in feminism and political literature as Wollstonecraft was titled the founding feminist! This short manifesto argues for the equal and rational education of women by demonstrating their vital place within society. Wollstonecraft states how women are expected to raise the politicians of the world and act as respectable companions to their husbands, and therefore, their education should reflect this importance. However, this work is perhaps more important in the question it poses- is Wollstonecraft actually a feminist?


The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library is an essential read for anyone. It demonstrates the importance of embracing and being grateful for what we have in life. The character in the novel feels defeated by life and decides it is simply not worth living, but through exploring the other options she could have made she learns to appreciate the small things in life! This book is uplifting, encouraging, and addresses many anxieties and issues people face, but often feel unable to discuss.


The Beekeeper of Aleppo

This book was an impressively moving read and opened my eyes to the trauma and experiences of asylum seekers and refugees. The story takes you from country to country, family to family, and hardship to hardship, so if you’re looking for a novel that will take you on a journey like no other, then look no further. Full of twists and turns and surprising revelations this story will not only fill your heart, but also break it.


Blackberry and Wildrose

Blackberry and Wildrose takes you back to a time in which women were often left with a difficult choice choosing between illegal prostitution work and low-paid maid work. Sonia Velton presents the little rights of women economically and socially through an interesting portrayal of choosing between right and wrong, money and morality. This story of religious redemption resonates today with the debates regarding sex work and is not only an interesting read but also relevant to today.


Where the Crawdads sing

This novel will likely come as no surprise, as it has surpassed expectation and even won the British Book Awards Pageturner Book of the Year 2021! This novel is a coming-of-age story, but not like any other you will have come across. It contains heartbreak, love, family, crime, and demonstrates the incredible importance of the past, especially our childhood. Owens explores the damaging notions of alienation and fearing those who are different to us. The novel presents the truly horrific and violent actions and secrets that this causes. For a fast-paced and eye-opening story, pick up this book!


The Puppet Show-

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven is the first of an amazingly gripping series that delves into the lives of Detective Washington Poe and his analyst Tilly. In this book, they uncover the reasons of a serial killer who appears to be satanically killing people in the stone circles of the Lake District! It is both amusing and disturbing, you feel an instant connection with both characters, especially Tilly who demonstrates the importance of not judging people based on their differences but rather celebrating it. A brand-new entry into the world of detective stories and crime writing!


People of Abandoned Character

Clare Whitfield has successfully written a psychological dramatic novel that follows the suspicions of a wife who believes her husband to be Jack the Ripper! This story is wildly unique and allows the reader to delve into the mind of a frustrated, scared, and confused wife who has no option but to uncover the truth herself. With lots of surprising revelations and twists, this ending is anything but predictable! I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a murder mystery, historical drama, or a psychological and chilling read!

Hamnet

Maggie O’Farrell has made it onto this bucket list of reads for her retelling of a famous playwright Shakespeare and his only son Hamnet. O’Farrell explores the connection and intense bond that surfaces between twins and the love and sacrifice of family when pushed to extreme levels of grief. This book is a must-read, as it tells the life of a boy whose name was given to one of the most famous plays in history! O’Farrell is making the world remember children who were forgotten in the literary world of Shakespeare and open our eyes to an alternative story.


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