Reading is one of my favourite past-times. You can learn so much from books, and surprisingly, you learn a lot more from reading fiction than you may realize.
Below are 5 books from my childhood that I thought taught very valuable life lessons:
- Alone in Berlin: This book tells the story of several characters caught up in events in Nazi Germany, and is actually based on a true story of a couple that became part of the German Resistance during WWII. This story teaches us that no matter how small, resistance in the face of evil is a necessity. It encourages you to take risk if you know that it’s right, but to also know when it’s time to go along with the regime to save your skin.
- A Clockwork Orange: This book is about the life of a 15-year-old boy who regularly commits acts of mindless violence that eventually his acts catch up to him and is handed over to the hands of the dystopian government. It focuses on the elements of free will since Alex freely chooses to commit these crimes. This book poses ethical and philosophical questions like whether it is better to sacrifice free will in favour of a stable state. It’s quite thought-provoking and gives you a new perspective on society.
- The Road: It’s about a journey of a man and a boy in post-apocalyptic America. The story is a bit gruesome since they are trying to survive amidst the carnage and cannibalism, but the love between the man and the boy remain strong. The boy’s mother commits suicide before the events of the book and we discover that the man and the boy refused to follow suit. This raises questions about what love means to different people and has an interesting examination of love in times of adversity. It gives you a deeper appreciation of the will of the human mind.
- The Colour Purple: This novel is about the life of a poor black woman, Celie, in the early 1900s. Her father beats and rapes her constantly while her mother died. Throughout the novel, we see how Celie progresses from her awful life to a life full of contentment. This novel shows that despite the cards we are dealt with in life, we always have the ability to change them and improve our situation.
- Prey: This novel explores how advancements in technology do not always turn out to be the best and that we should be cautious of scientific progression. It’s quite an eye-opener given the way our world is advancing technologically. This book looks specifically at nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence. It questions the impact these advancements have upon human society and when not handled in the right manner, can work against us and hurt society.