1. 'The Turn of the Screw' By Henry James
'It tells of a young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a sense of intense evil within the house, she soon becomes obsessed with the belief that malevolent forces are stalking the children in her care.'
This book was a great read and it was such a great book to analyse too. I enjoyed trying to determine whether the ghosts were real or mere visions brought about by the Governess' sexual frustration. The mystery was great and the children are downright chilling.
2. 'Lord of the Flies' By William Golding
'William Golding's compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At first, it seems as though it's all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious & life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic & death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket & homework & adventure stories—& another world is revealed beneath, primitive & terrible.'
I love this book so much! The analysis points were fantastic and I learned so much from this book. It was a real joy to study as well as a joy to read.
3. 'Of Mice and Men' By John Steinbeck
'While the powerlessness of the labouring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and shared dream that make an individual’s existence meaningful.'
I think most kids study this book in school and I think everyone who reads this book is devastated by the ending. Such a memorable tale of friendship, the 1930s, the American Dream, and much much more.
4. 'King Lear' By William Shakespeare
'The ageing King Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, allotting each a portion in proportion to the eloquence of her declaration of love. The hypocritical Goneril and Regan make grand pronouncements and are rewarded; Cordelia, the youngest daughter, who truly loves Lear, refuses to make an insincere speech to prove her love and is disinherited. The two older sisters mock Lear and renege on their promise to support him. Cast out, the king slips into madness and wanders about accompanied by his faithful Fool. He is aided by the Earl of Kent, who, though banished from the kingdom for having supported Cordelia, has remained in Britain disguised as a peasant.'
I am a HUGE Shakespeare fan and 'King Lear' is one of my favourite plays so I was thrilled when this was selected as part of my A Level syllabus at school. It's such a tragic story that portrays so much cruelty and hate and yet I think this is the reason I love it so much, because it is so raw and real.
5. 'Holes' By Louis Sachar
'Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.'
So we got made to read 'Holes' in year 8 so I was really young at the time and yet it's a book that's always stayed with me. It's humorous and it holds so much history with all the backstories and I just loved it for that reason.
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