Books You Must Read in 2017

Books You Must Read in 2017

We have entered a turbulent and troubling time in America. It’s becoming harder to separate the lies from the truth. It’s becoming easier to fear or even hate someone based on their race, religion or political views. You might feel upset, scared or maybe you don’t even know how to feel. In a world of alternative facts and fake news, these powerful works of literature might help you gain some perspective and open your mind. A little knowledge never hurt anybody.

1984
1984
George Orwell’s 1984 tells the tale of Winston Smith. He lives in a time encompassed by perpetual war, intense government surveillance and public manipulation. His job in the Ministry of Truth is quite simple. He rewrites news articles to always reflect the all-powerful Inner Party’s interests. In this age even a thought against the leader, Big Brother, is treason and voicing or acting upon these thoughts is certain death. Winston soon finds himself falling in love and joining the Brotherhood-a resistance group hell bent on destroying the Inner Party. But, he is soon arrested by the Thought Police and faces electroshock therapy so that he may be cured of his wrong and individualistic thoughts. 1984 is gruesome and terrifying depiction of what can happen when evil and fear reign supreme.

Persepolis
Persepolis
Persepolis is an autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi portraying her life during and after the Islamic revolution. Under the new order, her once free and loving world has turned into a violent and oppressive one. As the stability of her country continues to weaken, her parents send her away to Vienna. She spends her teenage years abroad stuck somewhere between assimilating and becoming a proud Iranian woman while simultaneously dealing with issues all teenagers face like puberty, love and heartbreak. After four years she returns to Iran only to find it’s worse than when she left. Despite this, she continues to grow and blossom into womanhood, attending university and pursuing the arts. Eventually she leaves for Paris, where she still lives today. Persepolis teaches us empathy for the struggles beyond our vision and that no matter what makes us different, we are more alike than you know.


Cosmos
Cosmos
Carl Sagan’s Cosmos is renowned for explaining complex scientific ideas to anyone interested in educating themselves. The book discusses a variety of anthropological, cosmological, biological and historical matters that are all not only incredibly interesting but also detrimental to truly understanding our world. Outside of science, his book is also filled with brilliant philosophical ideas. The most important perhaps being that we are all connected through the Cosmos. Sagan says that “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” If you take anything away from Cosmos it should be this; it doesn’t matter when or where you were born, who you pray to or what your political stances are. We are all connected and we are all the same.

Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
Imagine a place where books are outlawed and burned by firemen in the name of public happiness. The public seems content with dull television shows compared to intelligent conversations. This is the world of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Guy Montag works as a fireman, earning a living by burning books. One day he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, whose free spirited nature makes him question everything about himself and the world he lives in. Guy slowly begins hoarding books and expanding his mind. He is soon found out by his supervisor and flees to find the exiled book lovers living on the country side. Here, he begins a new life for himself. Fahrenheit 451 teaches us to always question authority and that it’s never too late to change.

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