5 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once

5 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once

The wisest poetry, the most extraordinary prose: five top-shelf books that will blow open your understanding of the world.


'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov
'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov

Book 1:

Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov

It blows open a new understanding of the world, its gorgeousness, its corruption and pain, all embedded in the 20th century‘s most extraordinary English prose.

Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he’ll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?

Four Quartets
Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

Book 2:

Four Quartets
by T.S. Eliot

This is the most musical and wisest poetry in the language of our time and place. (Short of that, The Complete Poems 1927–1979, by Elizabeth Bishop.)

The culminating achievement of Eliot’s poetic career. The four parts: “Burnt Norton“,”East Coker“, “The Dry Salvages” and “Little Gidding” present a rigorous meditation upon those spiritual, philosophical and personal themes that preoccupied the author.

Book 3:

Wisdom of the Desert
The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Centurytranslated by Thomas Merton

The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century
translated by Thomas Merton

We all sometimes need to imagine what it would be like to live simply and purely, dedicated to a force larger than ourselves.

Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk and wrote this book that contains his favorite quotes from ‘Verba Seniorum’. He chooses these for himself and his fellow monks in order to make some of the sayings of the Desert Fathers more accessible. He begins this book with a very well written introduction.
Merton wrote this book not as a history of the early Desert Fathers. What he provides are a selection of extracts from their writings that had proved useful for him in his contemplative life. The book is definitely worth reading. A book you will keep by your night stand.

Book 4:

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Waiting for Godot

by Samuel Beckett

We need to remember that just because we’re sad, that doesn’t mean we’re not also marvelously comical and transcendently courageous.

‘Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.’ This line was adopted by Jean Anouilh, to characterize the first production of “Waiting For Godot” at the Theatre de Babylone, in 1953. Anybody acquinted with Beckett’s masterly black comedy would not question the recognition of this twentieth-century literature classic.

Book 5:

Things Fall Apart: Classics in Context
Things Fall Apart: Classics in Context

Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe

This, the first in Achebe’s monumental and unsparing trilogy of Igbo life in western Africa, is the strongest and most important novel of the postcolonial world.

Celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart”. This edition includes three interviews with Chinua Achebe as well as essays and responses on “Things Fall Apart” and the author, the Igbo/African background, and style and language. It includes a chronology and bibliography.

Books That Made a Difference


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4 thoughts on “5 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once

  1. Hmmm. I really think that Lolita is over rated. Definitely not the 20th cent.’s best English prose! It’s far too over blown and self concious for that. It isn’t even a close second to the prose in books like Rebecca, and there have been so many novels written in the last cent. which are better than that!

    1. G Day Frank Albano,
      Thank you for your comment and input about 5 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once.
      Absolutely, I will add the Alchemist to my list too as I love reading and exploring, as I have heard it is a good book to read. Have you read Alchemist? If so, what is your recommendation?
      Have a great day.
      Kindest, Ezzy

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