3 Books to Read If You Want to Time Travel and One That Makes Time Stand Still
Why these books?
Reading is one of my first loves. I have always been the kind of person that considers spending time delving into a good book time well spent. The books I read are not of a specific genre nor do they deal with specific themes. The connection I have noticed has mainly to do with the way a good story will make me feel; especially the sensation of travelling, experiencing the world each novel is offering. As you can imagine, this is the common denominator to the books I have chosen to suggest in this article. They are neither new books, nor classics; they are just novels that have made my summers fuller and brighter.
No.1: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a novel set in Afghanistan in the 1960s but takes the reader to a journey through time up until the new millennium. The two main characters, Mariam and Laila, a generation apart serve as both the reader's eyes into this world but also as the narrators of the struggle of their country the past forty years. More importantly, what makes this novel worth reading is the writing; when the religious celebration in the capital is described, I could see the colors, smell the spices in the air, feel the love the writer had for this country. This is a novel full of emotions, ready to share its cosmos with you. I found myself surprised about the things I learnt and had never thought before I opened this book. I started reading A Thousand Splendid Suns two summers ago, during a testing period of my life and this novel wrapped my in soft fabrics and showed me some sun.
No.2 : The Girls by Emma Kline
I'll be honest. This wasn't an amazing book. But it was one that made me feel like it was the summer of '69 and I was bored out of my mind, seeking adventure and drugs. I am sure many of you know the premise of the book or the twist if you will; I didn't. As the story was progressing, I had to pause for a moment because many things felt awfully familiar with a certain event. I will not spoil it for you, because if you go in unprepared it will be so much better.
In any case, meet Evie a girl in her early teens, spending her summer in California feeling lonely and inadequate. One day, she comes across a group of wild looking girls, rummaging the trash cans for food. When they notice her they invite her to join them to the ranch. She is immediately taken with their fearlessness, their uniqueness. So, she goes along.
Circe by Madeline Miller
I am Greek and a Greek Literature major as well. When I was little, my preferred nap time stories were taken from Greek mythology. I am writing the above to explain that I had high and simultaneously low expectations of this book but I was not disappointed in the least. Circe, is the story of the witch Circe, the first magissa. She was one of the three children of Helios, god of the Sun and master of his house. Circe's story is compelling beyond words. Her mere existence is a rebellion against the gods and her actions a series of attacks against the powers that wanted her docile and restrained. She is known for turning men into pigs but it is obvious, to me at least, that Miller knows she was so much more. It is one of the most beautifully written books I have read and I recommend it without a doubt.
No.4 is not "a" book: The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss
I know, I cheated. I promised you four books but they are really six and half. But I did not lie when I wrote that these series will make time stand still. Because this is exactly what they did for me. If you love fantasy, music and a lot of clues to a mystery then this series is for you. Kvothe, the protagonist is waiting to die. He has red hair but once they looked like fire, he is a plain innkeeper who somehow brought on war and death to the world. He seems so lonely, but the stories say he was surrounded with friends. Kvothe is waiting to die in silence, but before he does we just might learn why.
So far two books of the main story have been published as well as a third one that is more of a spin off. The third one will hopefully be published soon.
A short review of the series, to give you some audio visual aid.
What binds them all together.
While writing this, I have come to understand, that what connects this books in my mind, is emotion. In the end we all want a story that made us feel something, hopefully something we have never felt before and I believe that this is exactly what these novels did for me. A thousand splendid suns moved me and filled me with wonder, the Girls gave me the creeps and reminded me how how lonely adolescence can be, Circe made me feel strong, angry and ferocious and the Kingkiller Chronicles made me fall in love with the music, the lore and feel like I have lived an extra life. I truly hope these books will do the same for you. If they do (or if they don't), let me know!