Time to give Netflix a little break
We all watch too much television. Even I, a self-professed book worm, have failed time and time again to pick up a piece of fiction in preference for some drama or crime documentary on Netflix. Well, it’s officially National Literature Month and it’s about time to drop the act, pick up a book and tire ourselves out for a different reason.
A Long Way From Home
Image via Instagram/aportmanteau
Husband and wife Titch and Irene Bobs enter a 10,000-mile race around the country, which lasts 17 days, in order to get some publicity for their used-car business. They ask their neighbor and expert navigator, Willie Bachhuber, to help. But on the journey, Willie uncovers so much more about himself and his heritage, bridging the individuals together in a bond that not one of them expected.
It isn’t talked about often enough, but this rights that wrong as it uncomfortably discusses the shameful treatment of Australia’s Indigenous people—weird thought, huh?
Enlightenment Now: The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism And Progress
Image via Instagram/zuckerprince
Are we all falling into a pit of despair and doom? Is our morality escaping us, are our ideals slipping from our grasps? Harvard professor Steven Pinker doesn’t think so. In fact, he claims that “life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and peace are on the rise.”
There’s too much bad news going around now. If you need some hope, this one is for you (it’s for everyone). Or, you know, you could read it to disprove it.
The Wisdom Of Wolves: Lessons From The Sawtooth Pack
Jim & Jamie Dutcher
Image via Instagram/laurenrosolino
In the 90s, Emmy-winning filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived with and observed a pack of wolves in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Their account of their experience paints wolves as emotionally intelligent animals, often capable of empathy, compassion and forgiveness.
Read it and give it to someone who’s a little lacking in the feel-y department.
Image via Instagram/shereadwithcats
Sally Forrest wakes up one day and refuses to speak to her five best friends. They called themselves The Gunners, inspired by the letterbox of an abandoned house that they commandeered as their clubhouse as kids. It’s where they invented jokes, games and secret languages, where they spoke against their bullies, their parents and their teachers. Then, after fifteen years, Sally dies and The Gunners have to deal with losing her a second time.
If you believe childhood friendships and secrets don’t define who we are, you’re in for a rude awakening.
The Beauty That Remains
Image via Instagram/getunderlined
Meet Autum, Shay and Logan—each with their own unique love for music and their own story of loss to tell. Losing someone is difficult and neither of them can help wondering what their lives would be like if tragedy never struck them.
If the story doesn’t keep you, Ashley Woodfold’s lyrical prose will.
Image via Instagram/bukizneokuyacak
“Big Brother is watching you” is a present yet haunting reality. In 1949, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, offering a then-futuristic look into what is now modern life: The omnipresence of television in a bureaucratic world.
Want a look into the future? Then reread this satirical classic.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime
Image via Instagram/the_crusty_jesus (Nice Instagram handle, man)
Christopher’s mind doesn’t work like everyone else’s; he refuses to eat food that touches each other and he’s never met his neighbors. His mother died two years ago and he now lives with his father. When he discovers the body of his neighbor’s dog (speared by a garden fork, no less), Christopher decides to play detective and find the murderer. What unfolds after is an eye-opening tale of mysteries solved through the eyes of an endearing boy as he faces his fears and opens up to the world around him.
This one will have you cheering, asking WTF and clapping in pride—almost all at once.
Image via Instagram/nagbabasa
Our lives can be divided into four phases. One, elementary where we’re thrust into a classroom with adult strangers and even stranger kids. Two, high school where we battle acne and show our first signs of rebellion. Three, university where the upcoming doom of the future is painfully evident. Lastly, the fourth, where we work.
While it’s meant to be autobiographical, ABNKKBSNPLAko is as much our story as it is his. Not to mention, it’s a critical (ahem, honest) look into our educational system.
Something In Between
Melissa de la Cruz
Image via Instagram/colleenalexis
Jasmine de los Santos has paid her dues and is ready to reap its benefits. She’s studied hard and scored herself a full scholarship to the college of her dreams. Her Filipino immigrant parents are undoubtedly proud, but when they reveal that their visas expired long ago and that they’re technically illegal, Jasmine’s dreams are crushed.
Throw in Royce Blakey, a caring and funny boy who just happens to be the son of an anti-immigration bill congressman, and you’ve got a story that too many of us Pinoys can relate to.
Para Kay B (O Kung Paano Dinevastate Ng Pag-ibig and 4 Out of 5 Sa Atin)
Image via Instagram/golden.hue
Ricky Lee’s rollercoaster of a novel presents a theory: That love has a quota, which dictates that only 1 out of 5 of us will truly be happy. Throughout the five different narratives, we as readers are taken through heartbreak, confusion, a fear of the past and a fear of moving forward.
The book is an amazing read, but dear God do I hope Ricky’s wrong.
Come on, accept the challenge, pick up a book and stay up for an entirely different reason this month. And don’t go for an e-book either—sorry, but nothing beats holding a physical book in your hands.
Art Alexandra Lara