Whenever someone asks me what my favorite books are, I realize I’m at a loss. I’ve been reading since I was five because my parents were kind enough to teach me early on account of them not wanting to read the subtitles to foreign movies anymore. I love languages and grammar and have always felt that one can do anything with words.
So, having literally read thousands of books in just about thirty-five years I’ve been on the Earth, I find it very difficult to focus on several. However, I decided to make a list that I would show to my friends in case someone asks me that again.
Blindness by Jose Saramago
This is probably my all-time favorite dystopian novel. I’m not into the likes of The Hunger Games because they seem too childish and unlikely to me.
But Saramago’s novels have their own charm, and this one is the best if you’d like to give the Portuguese author a try. It’s about a blindness epidemic that affects everyone in a community except the wife of a doctor. When people start being put in institutions because the law officials understand that it’s a contagious condition, she goes to the hospital with her husband even if she isn’t blind. She tells everyone that she is, though.
This novel had a profound impact on me because I got to read about how people can really be when they’re struck by a disaster. They aren’t capable of working together. Instead, they will always seek to be above others and have more food, better shelter, and even abuse other individuals if they have enough power. It might seem dark, but it’s a great read, and I suggest you give it a try.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
This book was another surprise for me because I had already read some stuff by Eugenides. However, the only novel I had the opportunity of reading before was The Marriage Plot, and that one didn’t really strike a chord with me.
This one, however, blew me away. It starts as the story of a Greek family and how a husband and wife moved to America. But pretty soon in the book, we find out that these two are brothers, and while they might love each other, something bad (genetics) would happen due to their blood bound. Even if that mutation doesn’t occur when they have kids, it does when they have grandkids. And that bizarre development consists of Cal Stephanides, a little girl who later on becomes a man.
While it might sound weird, I loved every page of this book, and the parts where the saga of the family is described are truly the best. Eugenides is a very talented writer, and he manages to make his readers empathize with his characters even if they have nothing in common with them.