5 Must-Read Books for Autumn 2017Posted by: The Stairlift Company · on 15th September 2017
Summer is over, which means that it’s time to get ready for the cold, drizzly autumn to come. Here are a few must-read books that I’ve enjoyed this year, and are simply perfect for snuggling up with on a rainy afternoon.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This summer I enjoyed the gripping TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, shown on Channel 4 in ten engrossing installments. Afterwards, I immediately went out and bought the bestselling dystopian novel, authored by veteran writer Margaret Atwood. Like the TV series, the book did not disappoint. The Handmaid’s Tale manages to achieve a perfect balance of both hopelessness and hopefulness throughout, and covers the difficult subjects of sexism, environmentalism, societal issues, and homophobia, with Atwood using her fictional land of Gilead to identify problems in the real world.
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past seven years, no doubt you will have heard of HBO’s wildly successful TV series, Game of Thrones. But if seeing gory and shocking scenes on screen isn’t your cup of tea, you may fare better reading the novels instead. Entitled A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, this ongoing fantasy series explores the world of Westeros and its huge cast of characters, establishing Martin as the 21st century’s answer to Tolkien. The qualities of these intricate and well-written stories make for an absorbing read; complex characters, tactical politics, swashbuckling swordplay, and epic moral struggles. However, Martin’s masterpiece is most famous for not shying away from the unpredictable reality of life, so be prepared for plenty of surprises.
The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton
If non-fiction is more up your street, one book that grabbed my interest was The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton. Described as popularising philosophy, this self-help book guides the reader through a variety of human problems, such as a broken heart, frustration, not having enough money, etc. Each chapter is focussed on a different issue, using the outlook and quotations of philosophers including Socrates, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. It certainly gave me a new perspective, as well as a basic foundation of philosophical ideas that were described to the reader in clear and simple terms.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
One of the more bizarre books to emerge from 2017 is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. This bestselling novel examines the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son and how the president coped with the loss. The majority of the novel takes place in the bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist concept that describes a transitional state of being between death and reincarnation. In this unusual setting dwells an assortment of ghosts, all of whom have distinct personalities of their own, and whose voices are at the heart of the book. Saunders’ first novel is a strange, imaginative, and thoroughly enjoyable read for those who favour more unconventional stories.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
During the chilly months of autumn, there’s nothing like curling up with an old favourite, and for me The Secret History by Donna Tartt falls into that category. Published in 1992, this modern classic never loses its freshness or its impact. Set in an elite American university, our narrator Richard Papen finds himself caught up in increasingly sinister activities as a member of a small, select group of classics students cut off from the rest of university society. The claustrophobic and ominous atmosphere of this whydunit novel will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
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