Many of us are a bit conservative in our reading – preferring to stick with one genre, or author that we know and trust. Yet there are many reasons why reading widely is important, other than pleasing the teacher.
Reading widely will expose you many styles of writing and ideas. It does of course increase your vocabulary. Not just big words, but different ways of using words to express yourself.
Reading a wide range of genres will expand your thinking, improve understanding and boost your creativity. Whilst many of us read for relaxation and entertainment, reading a wide range of books will cover a wider range of emotional responses and boost emotional intelligence.
Reading using many regions of the brain, and is a very complex activity. Reading outside your normal comfort zone will increase concentration and neural connections, or ‘connectivity’ in your brain. The more you do it, the longer the ‘extra’ connections will last.
Our English Teachers list continues with five more books to broaden your perspective on life.
Written by a Nobel Prize Literature winner, this book has been on Oprah’s book list. We have featured his earlier, landmark book, One Hundred Years of Solitude in many posts including 15 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life.
This story examines love in all its forms through a love story spanning many decades. Written with passion, humour and a bit of magic, you can expand your awareness of relationships and people, or just enjoy an amazing piece of literature.
2. 1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
However you choose to categorize it, this book will pull you in, intrigue you with its characters and strange realities. Described as a ‘mega-novel’, it re frames and re-imagines our world with a deep plot that unfolds gradually in his unique and distinctive writing voice. An incredible fantasy-realism novel with shades of Dickens and Louis Carroll.
Also by Murakami, this novel sold 4million copies in Japan to the horror of the author. A coming of age story, the author has denied it is autobiographical. Poetic writing that is simple yet conveys complex characters makes this a quick and easy read.
Cloud Atlas is more than just a sci-fi gimmick or an exercise in narrative structure. It is a truly profound novel about the eternity of the human condition. It is an emotional roller coaster that will make you laugh, cry, and smile uncontrollably, all at the same time. Cloud Atlas changed my life, opening me up to all the possibilities of what fiction can do to change the world. It is a multitude of drops that have merged into a vast ocean of a book, and a beautiful one, at that.
(Guest review by Amanda Grace Su)
5. 1984 – George Orwell
Another book set in 1984, Orwell’s classic was written in 1948. Still relevant today as the internet grows and ‘big data’ becomes a reality, is Big Brother now watching us? With the flexibility of the internet who knows what “truth” is anymore? Then, a terrifying glimpse into the future that could be, but is it coming true?
On every English Teacher’s list – if you haven’t read it, or even if you tried at school, read it now.