Every book in the world should give the reader something new to explore and think about, whether it’s space travel or a golden ring containing the dark lord’s soul. The books in this list are some of my favorite to read and offer unique perspectives on topics like liberty, the fragility of society, and vengeance.
For thoughts on liberty, read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
In one of my favorite books of all time, the Moon has been colonized and the nations of the Earth unfairly exploit its resources. The men, women, and supercomputer of the Moon must take up arms and fight for their freedom in a story that highlights the beauty of the liberty which we often take for granted. From one of the best science fiction writers of the twentieth century emerges a thought-provoking American story about breaking free from oppression.
If you’re interested in society, look into Lord of the Flies by William Goldman
The first time I finished Lord of the Flies I was shocked and horrified. A group of British school-boys crash lands on a deserted tropical island. The slow devolution of the boys into a pack of savages seems all too real after some thought. How would we really react when faced with the challenges of survival and conflict? While we may feel safe surrounded by a cocoon of civilization, the rules that hold our society together hang on a thread that can quickly crumble under the dreaded Lord of the Flies.
For a read on the trials of power, try out Dune by Frank Herbert
When I first bought this book, I was shocked at the size. The entire thing was the size of my forearm, maybe bigger, and 412 pages. As I started reading, I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. This is the story of Paul Atreides, a man who could become the superhuman of the universe, and his quest to take back the desert planet Arrakis from the loathsome Baron Harkonnen. Packed with bloody action, cut-throat politics, and valiant sacrifice, this book is one of the crown jewels of science fiction.
For a book on vengeance, try the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This final book is one of my favorite stories of all time. A sailor, Edmond Dantes, has been betrayed by his friends and tossed into a dungeon for a crime he didn’t commit. With the help of a priest, who interestingly knows the whereabouts of a humongous treasure, Dante escapes, seeks out this hidden fortune, and assumes the guise of the cold Count of Monte Cristo. Now, with unimaginable wealth, the Count will make sure his enemies burn in hell for their crimes, and only then will his thirst for revenge be satisfied.