So close yet so far away. It’s that age-old cliché: there’s a book you’ve been meaning to read, but never quite got around to completing. That’s how it goes with books, right? There’s never enough time. These five short books can help you catch up on all of those you intended to read but couldn’t find the time or motivation to.
Author: Ray Bradbury
This dystopian novel has been a ubiquitous entry into many collections of Ray Bradbury’s work. A family has a smart house where machines and robots do virtually all of the work.
Although short, the novel depicts a futuristic, utopian vision of a household gone horribly wrong and carries a complex message. We’ll go through the main details, but a more comprehensive The Veldt summary is worth checking out. Generally, checking out well-written essay examples and summaries on a particular book is a good practice to get a more detailed overview of a particular book, especially for college students.
In his masterpiece, Bradbury describes a house that is designed to meet every need of its tenants. From cooking dinner and tying shoelaces to rocking children to sleep, it performs all tasks and duties. Upgraded to virtual reality, even the children’s nursery becomes any setting they desire.
The house does it all, with one exception: it never disciplines the children or requires anything of them.
Once things go terribly wrong, what will the children do to stop their parents from taking their nursery away from them? What will it mean for parents if they give such technology to hostile, selfish youths?
Bradbury’s novel is effectively written as a warning tale and a must-read for every SciFi enthusiast.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Maybe once upon a time in your childhood you were seven, and bookish, and felt utterly lonely, misunderstood and a stranger to your own parents. Maybe your first experience with death brought into your life a strange family of three living just down the lane in a little farmhouse. Maybe your first ever friend will take you on an unexpected and sinister journey.
And maybe after all that nothing will ever be the same again.
This is a book that teaches us that we should never stop dreaming and never lose our childlike innocence. And maybe most important of all, that we should never, ever stop seeing oceans in ponds, or stop seeing better worlds around us and in the things we read.
The Secret History
Author: Donna Tartt
The Secret History is a book like no other, told in unique style, about a young student retracing his steps and thinking about significant events that took place in his college life not such a long time ago. Coming from an abusive family, his life is turned upside down one he becomes a student of an elite college in Vermont in the noble pursuit of higher education.
Along with a group of clever misfits and under the influence of their charming college professor, this group discovers a new way of thinking, that gradually takes them beyond the boundaries of normal morality, and lastly – into evil.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Author: Douglas Adams
This is a well-known and popular book. Adams covers a large range of topics in a small number of pages and mixes it with amazing character descriptions, dialogues, and strange protagonist premises.
A middle-class British man named Arthur Dent goes on an adventurous galactic journey to find the meaning of life. Included in his novel, he discusses time travel, the relativity of death and afterlife, human evolution and what may have influenced it, and deems all of them irrelevant.
The Universe is a joke.
This book represents a humorous way of describing the universe through humor and philosophy fused together to take you on an exciting, intergalactic road trip.
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Nobody narrates about passion and chaotic love quite like Jeanette Winterson. Love is the general theme in the majority of Winterson’s novels, if not all of them. The Powerbook is no exception to this rule.
The protagonist Ali writes stories on the web for people who want to dare to live those stories for a night. It gives people a chance to be a hero of their own story and have absolute freedom just for one night. But all of this comes with a price.
If you want to experience life of someone else, Ali can write you into a story. But, as meaning, emotion, conflict, and heartache are a part of the story, you have to be prepared to face whatever may come your way.
The PowerBook is rather an intense and masterfully structured read.
In summary, these five gems have huge, life-changing lessons in exploring your limits, overcoming your fears, and embracing your full potential. They will take you along on a journey and perhaps teach you many powerful lessons. They might inspire you to follow your dreams and to pursue your passions, like they did to me while I was at the university. I’ve even written an essay about one of them. (try to guess which one)
Each one of these books has a quick, sharp, fun story that is bound to turn a few heads, as well as several life lessons that will impact your outlook for years to come.