A students’ guide: the top 10 must-read books

  The-Catcher-in-the-Rye-the-catcher-in-the-rye-6057181-264-4001Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951).

 Although not a recent novel, The Catcher in the Rye is a coming of age story which shares the experiences and challenges faced during a young boy’s transition from adolescence to adulthood.

 

 

 

9780349106533 2. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (1995)

 A truly inspirational and tear-jerking autobiography that tells the story of the life of the late former president, Nelson Mandela. Mandela narrates his struggles under Apartheid before, during and after his 27 years in  prison on Robben Island.

 

 

 

lotr3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien (1937)

Famous today for its film portrayal, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a timeless classic which explores the fantasy world of Middle Earth. It follows the journey of Frodo, a young hobbit who discovers a ring of great power that could destroy Middle Earth if it falls into the hands of the evil Sauron. 

 

 

the-help-stockett4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)

Set in the midst of segregation in the American South during the 1960’s, The Help tells the story of three different women living in Jackson, Mississippi. Two are black maids working for white families and the third an aspiring writer who takes it upon herself to tell the life stories of the black maids of Jackson.

 

 

 

gatsby_book_preview5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

An American classic which scrutinises the lifestyle, aspiration and wealth of the “roaring 20’s” in New York City. The story is narrated through the eyes of Nick Carraway who becomes entangled with the mysterious Jay Gatsby – a wealthy tycoon who throws elaborate parties in his mansion on Long Island

 


1360673-1681590371-l6. Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda (1996)

Ways of Dying can be described as an unconventional love story that takes place during South Africa’s transitional period from Apartheid to democracy. It has a magical-realist aspect and looks at the violence and dilemmas that blacks across South Africa faced during the transition. 

 

 

atonement7. Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)

Atonement tells the story of how a simple error in judgement can have damaging repercussions for the present and future for oneself and ones loved ones. The story is set in three different time periods – pre, post and during World War Two – when two lovers are separated by a mistake that could cost them their future.

 

 

 

Hunger_games8. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (2008)

Set in a post-apocalyptic North America, The Hunger Games is a story of strength, endurance and eventual dissent against the autocratic regime of “The Capital”. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is forced to battle it out against 11 other “tributes”–teenagers like herself–in the annual event of “The Hunger Games”.

 

 

 

HalfYellowSun9. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)

Set in Nigeria, the lives of four individuals are thrown into chaos as the  Nigerian-Biafran Civil War breaks out during 1967. The lives a young houseboy,  a British citizen, a professor and a political figure are deeply affected by the difficulties that befall them during and after this tragic period. 

 

 

 

 

14192900_12071222222410. The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)

The Perks of being a Wallflower  looks at the life of Charlie through  a series of letters that he writes to an unnamed friend. He describes his difficulties as a high school freshman, his life, love and his new found friends – all in their final year of high school.