I know I did a similar post a few years ago about my favorite books, but I feel like this one is different. I’m not talking about books that once I put it down I was like “wow this book just blew me away, I must read it another five times,” I’m talking about books that maybe you read once, but they have so much meaning and there is more than the story it tells. I’m a big fan of those books that one simple word actually has a lot of different meanings, every word you read is a metaphor or has a deeper meaning that what it seems. So this are the kind of books that are in this list:
1. The Catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger
Are you surprise this book is the first one in the list? You really shouldn’t. If we are being honest, the first time you read this book without any background information you probably wonder “what’s the big deal about this Holden Caulfield kid?” but when you dig more into it and you realize this is actually a representation of how a teenager feels about growing up, this is the kind of book you will fall in love.
2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
After I finish this book, I remember needing sometime to think the whole book again. I just one of those books that the ending suddenly makes you question your entire life. I’m currently re reading it and being a big fan of marking things on book this one is full of post-it and pencils scribbles, there are so many pieces of this book that makes you reflect. I recommended this book to my brother and to my friend and they both come back to me and were blown away but how good it was.
3. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
I look for this book for a while and I had officially given up until a week after I started university. We were assigned to read the first one “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” and the teacher told us that Nine Stories was a book everyone who wanted to become a writer needed to have. Of course I raced to the closest book store and got it. Some of the stories might be a little hard to read and confusing but just like The Catcher in the Rye, you have to look under the iceberg.
4. Bestiario by Julio Cortazar
I think every single person needs to at least read one story by Julio Cortazar. Pick any story by him, the craziest one, the funniest one or the easiest one, but you must read it. I read this collection of short stories for school and once I was done I feel in love with Cortazar and after learning more about him in university, I realize he was the best Argentinean writer ever (Sorry Borges). The way he writes is pure poetry, every single word is there for a reason and every story has a bigger meaning behind. This story have been translated to English and they are around the internet but I believe the book has not been publish. My favorites are “Lejana” (“The Distances”) and “Carta a una señorita en París" (Letter to a Young Lady in Paris").
5. One Hundred Days of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is defiantly not a book to read many times, it is a long and one of those book that are just hard to read. The first few chapters of this book was a constant: “what is going on here?”, but then my teacher would help us understand and everything made sense. It is just one of those books that you need to read once, and do your best to understand that the writer is not crazy. By the way, I highly recommend having a family tree, it really helped.
6. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Don’t worry my first reaction to this book was also “this is disgusting, I can’t read it,” but I don’t think there is anything more beautiful that the metaphors and the symbols on this book. I love the way we discussed this book in university more than I did in school, because this is one of those book that to really enjoy it you have to read it twice. But really what really got me when reading once that I was older was how we can all feel a little bit identified with the main character.
7. No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre
I’ve been hearing about this book for a long time and after I was assigned to read it for my Culture class I think I finished it in like a day. Maybe I’m a fan of the whole idea of questioning your existence but this book just touches a subject that we all question but we do not really get into it. What is hell?