24 Books You Really Should Read

Welcome to Read This or Die! Today we are filming a special video in Little India in Singapore to present to you 24 books that we think you should read. These 24 books are divided into two lists of 12 books each. The first list is ideally addressed to youth. The second list ideally is addressed to adults. But of course you can read them in any order you want, whenever you want. So lets proceed with the first list of twelve books addressed ideally to young readers. The first book is ‘I am a cat’ by Natsume Soseki. This Japanese author used a very advanced technique back then. In English this technique is called ‘ostranenie’, which is a Russian word – thats technical English. The plain English would be ‘defamiliarisation’. Do you know what it is about? – You should read the book. The second book is ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary shelley. Thats too much of a classic that we are not going to review it in a normal video on YouTube. So… I’m sure that you have seen many movies about Frankenstein – just go ahead and read the book. Number three is ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift. This book is very important because it connects you to an ancient Greek philosopher, a very well-known philosopher who was called Protagoras. So you should find out who Protagoras was and why its related to this book – its something very interesting to find out. Number four is ‘The Time Machine’ by H. G. Wells. This book is a true masterpiece, a mind-bending masterpiece of the history of literature – science fiction literature. There are several movies – they are more or less good, but not exactly very accurate sometimes. So thats one more reason to read the book. The fifth book is ‘Flowers for Algernon’ by Daniel Keyes. This is a very important book under a linguistic point of view, for science fiction specifically. So you should read it, not only because of that, but also because it suffered attempts of censorship. So yeah, its a good idea to go through it and see whats going on. The next book is ‘Planet of the Apes’ by Pierre Boulle. This is the French top science fiction classic. So if you don’t read French, you just need to read a translation… I guess all of them are pretty good – the one I read in English published by ‘Vintage’ is very good. And… again, its quite different from the movies that you might have seen – all the movies. So just read the book. Next book is ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad. You know the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’? Well it was based , more or less on this book. So… it doesn’t matter whether you enjoyed the movie or not but you should definitely read the book if you haven’t yet. Now, next one. This is ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury. You know what’s going on in the book? Well you have firemen but the firemen are not quite firemen because they burn books. Why? Well, read it and you’ll see whats going on. The ninth book is ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley. In this book, classic of science fiction, people are not born anymore – they are made. Next book – tenth: ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell. Its just a nightmare, I can’t describe it. Its a nightmare and you have to read the nightmare to understand. That’s it. There’s nothing else. So… you still want the mangoes? Alright, the last two books of this first list: Eleven, this is ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. What to say about ‘Crime and Punishment’?…. Its one of the most important works in the whole history of literature. We could summarise it by saying its about moral responsibility, but also much more – you have to enhance that concept… So again, go ahead and read it. Now the last one. The last one is ‘Don Quixote’ by Cervantes. THE Spanish classic written centuries ago, its a book… Well, Cervantes lived in the same period as Shakespeare so Cervantes is for the Spanish language what Shakespeare is for the English language So they just changed the history of…. the language itself…so they recreated the whole language and we are still living from them, from their legacy. Alright, so lets go with the second list – 12 more books. First one: ‘Werther’ by Goethe – extraordinary German classic. How to put it? Goethe created the idea of romantic love – the romantic love we know nowadays. And due to that idea some people committed suicide – they killed themselves after reading the book. So read it but don’t kill yourself. Now, next book: ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen. Ultra-classic but some people say now that its chick lit from 200 years ago Well for us, that’s not chick lit. We cannot reduce it to that category. Its more than that. Its an astonishing classic that you should read. Alright, next two books. First, ‘Resurrection’ by Tolstoy, a Russian classic. But when we think of Tolstoy, we always think of ‘Anna Karenina’ or ‘War and Peace’. So what are we going to do now? We’re going to read ‘Resurrection’, a pretty different book. Now, the other one, this is D. H. Lawrence. He wrote ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ So whats the fuss with this book? It was censored back then, it was scandalous. Well…haha, just think about, in those times, using the word F-U-C-K, which we know as ‘fuck’… Well, you couldn’t use it back then – that was one of the main issues, THE scandal. Fifth book – ‘Lolita’. LO-LI-TA. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. Extraordinary book, extraordinarily written. What is it about the word ‘lolita’? Its just the dimunitive of a name but it changed meaning after the book. Now the word ‘lolita’ always conveys… lets say a… dirty sense. So if you have not read the book and you want to know whats going on, please do. Next one, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess. Probably you have seen the movie, the movie by Kubrick which was forbidden for several years, at least in the UK. Well the book is equally disturbing, a masterpiece developed through a new language called ‘Nadsat’. Go ahead, please read it. And um… lets get something to eat? So we wanted to eat at this restaurant, an old place of ours, but it seems its not operating anymore. So lets move to the books. Next one: ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding. Its a very particular book because it shows what bad children do to good children when nobody’s watching, in an isolated place. Specifically in an island – they are lost in an island. The other book, its ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ by Ivo Andric. The author received the Nobel Prize for Literature so this book can be considered a historical novel set in the Balkans. But its not another, a new historical novel explaining the same thing over again. No, its very special. It covers two or three centuries and its very distressing in some points. So that’s it… and now, dude, I think we should go back to the other place…? The ninth novel is ‘The Forty Days of Musa Dagh’ by Franz Werfel. Its a tough novel about the Armenian genocide under the Ottoman Empire. So… based on actual events, of course. Be ready for what you will find inside if you wish to go through it. Next one: ‘Hopscotch’ by Julio Cortazar, the Argentinian extraordinary writer; who… well, this novel is called ‘Hopscotch’ because it can be read in different orders. So you can change the order of the chapters – you don’t need to go from one to two to three to four. Its quite an experimental novel. As you can see we’ve already eaten, so lets talk now about the last two books. The first one is ‘To the Lighthouse’ by Virginia Woolf. This is a modernist classic. Very difficult to understand, very difficult to read because as the epitome of Modernism, as she was, this book collects an astonishing range of literary techniques… that might prove confusing, a bit confusing. So you have to be patient when you read it. The last one: ‘Time of Desecration’ by the Italian Alberto Moravia. Its a wondrous book. Be careful with the adjective ‘wondrous’… to me it is wondrous but you have to understand that its a book that underwent censorship issues in Italy due to its very brusque and explicit sexual references. So you have to be ready for that. But if you feel comfortable with that, just go ahead and enjoy this absolute Italian masterpiece. Well we’ve come to the end of the list. We hope you give an attempt to read the twenty-four books… or ten or twelve or sixteen And see you next time in our next video on YouTube. Remember – just keep reading and don’t die.

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