MANILA, Philippines – The rainy season is the perfect time to get back to reading.
There’s really nothing much to do so pulling out a book from your shelf can actually save you from boredom.
I’m pretty sure there are 5 types of books in the shelves of a book lover’s home: the books you’ve bought recently but haven’t read yet; books you’ve had for ages but haven’t read yet; books you’ve read over and over; books you never finished; and books you’ve read only once.
Whatever piece of literature destined for your attention, it’s nice to actually walk up to your shelf, pull out a book at random, and get into it.
Meet old or new characters and escape the gloom (which isn’t so bad, if you ask me) outside your window.
Here are my picks (off the top of my head) for rewarding reads in this weather:
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Set in lost-rainy England, this classic love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy always makes it to my rainy-day list.
This book shows to readers that, although love is the most important thing in a relationship, respect, understanding, and compromise keep it together.
It tells the story of Mr. Darcy’s pride and how he had to give it up and Elizabeth’s prejudice which she also had to learn to surpass for their relationship to work out.
First published in 1813, this classic can still teach modern women a thing or two about relationships.
2. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling)
J.K. Rowling writes under a pseudonym to tell the story of private investigator Cormoran Strike, who is hired by the adopted brother of a famous supermodel to look into her alleged suicide.
Strike works with his intelligent, recently engaged temp-secretary, Robin Ellacott.
3. Star Dust by Neil Gaiman
You may have seen the movie version but I can assure you that the book is always better (no matter how much I loved the movie).
Tristran, who is half-Faerie and half-human, embarks on a journey to retrieve a fallen star. This, he promises to a girl he likes but eventually discovers that the star is a beautiful creature named Yvaine, who is pursued by different groups after her immortality.
4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
This is probably my ultimate John Green favorite: a coming of age novel told in the simplest way. It’s raw and it will tug on your heartstrings.
Miles Halter, who goes to boarding school in his junior year, falls in love with the wild, beautiful, unpredictable, mysterious, and self-destructive Alaska Young while in search for “a Great Perhaps.”
5. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece is a recommendable read if you happen to be embargoed at home.
It’s long and some might say it’s boring. But the narrative’s beauty is in its details and in how Tolstoy channeled his thoughts and struggles through the main character.
Pierre returns to Russia after years of studying abroad. Although socially awkward, he becomes extremely attractive in the eyes of women in his society circle, if only because of his inheritance.
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set in World War II, Zusak’s novel is a riveting tale narrated by Death, as it follows the life of little Leisel Meminger in Nazi Germany and her relationship with her foster parents, the neighborhood she lives in, and the Jewish fist fighter whom her foster father hides in their basement to escape the Gestapo.
7. On China by Henry Kissinger
I think we should insert a work of non-fiction in our list.
Henry Kissinger is a former US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. He is also one of the most famous proponents of realpolitik and diplomats of the 20th century.
The book tells us the story of the Chinese people as seen through the eyes of a seasoned diplomat. It also shares his perspective on foreign policy and on China, and his impressions on Chairman Mao and President Nixon.
8. The English Girl by Daniel Silva
Being an international spy is cool, unless we’re talking about the gritty realism of John le Carre. But here, Gabriel Allon is rendered sexier by his background as an art restorer and master assassin.
This is the 13th book in Silva’s series on Allon, and this time, he finds himself in a race against time to save the lover of the British prime minister.
9. The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
7 books, 1,090,739 words in 3,363 pages tucked in 199 pages. Figures that only a true-blue Potter geek would know by heart.
And that’s something I’m not ashamed of.
Harry Potter is arguably the most popular book series of my generation, and for good reason. He represents the struggles of growing up through an epic adventure in a world parallel to ours which shows that good always triumphs over evil.
10. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Another classic, but these 7 books will most likely bring you back to your earlier years.
I still read my battered copies every now and then, whenever I feel the need to escape reality.
On such days, Narnia always awaits me in my bookshelf. No humongous wardrobe for transportation needed.
11. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
A collection of short stories by literature’s very own rock star Neil Gaiman is a must.
Reading his stories is like taking a walk inside his imagination which is sometimes dark and can be a bit scary but magical all the same.
12. How They Met by David Levithan
Levithan describes love as a “varied, complicated, addictive, volatile, scary, wonderful thing.”
Though rather hard to understand, all those things make love very interesting.
And most, if not all, love stories begin with how they meet. In this collection of short stories, Levithan takes readers into the moment where sparks are set off.
Runners up: “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky, “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
Whether it’s new or familiar, it’s always nice to cuddle up with a book during the cold season. And you know what they say, book lovers never venture alone. – Rappler.com
Image of girl reading a book from Shutterstock.