Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury. Although the book was published more than half a century ago, it remains a classical best-seller. The novel’s subject is relevant and captivating today and, very likely, it will be just as pertinent in 50 years from now.

Guy Montag, protagonist of the novel, lives in the futuristic United States. He is married and has a respected job. Mr. Montag is a fireman; he searches for, captures, and burns books. In his world, books are dangerous, illegal objects. One day, after conversing with an uncharacteristically lively and intelligent teen, Guy starts feeling uneasy about his work, family, and life in general. He tries to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, but it’s not simple to do in a society where critical thinking or even thinking at all is deemed subversive and abnormal. To make matters even shakier, Guy secretively saves a book from burning and brings it home – an action the cost of which can be his own life.  (Submitted by Mariya)

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The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

chrysalidsIf you’re looking for a dystopian novel that hits deep, this is it. You live with the novel’s dynamic characters in a world full of terrifying zealots in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster (or so it seems). It all feels a bit too feasible. Yet somehow, amidst the horror, you feel deep love and hope. This quote stuck with me because who hasn’t tried or at least wanted to run away? “In my experience, he told me, if you run away from a thing just because you don’t like it, you don’t know what you find either. Now running to a thing, that’s a different matter, but what would you want to run to?” I really enjoyed it. (submitted by LN)

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The Giver – Lois Lowry

the giver imageIf you are a fan of the Hunger Games, this is a great book to read next! In this book, the author gives the reader a look into what our world would look like if our paths were chosen for us. I read it in high school and recently read it again and enjoyed it even more the second time. (submitted by KP)

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The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

the_little_prince_imageIf I could only recommend one book to everyone, it is this book. I just love it and I think everyone can learn a lot from it. The way that the author describes friendship and adult relationships fascinates me so much.  A much-loved classic that has stolen my heart for life! (submitted by ST)

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Want to read it in French? Le Petit Prince

The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

When I was reading this Canadian classic, it seemed everyone I encountered wanted to talk about the book. They all had glowing things to say, and I have to agree, I loved this story. The story centers around three men and a woman living in a crumbling Italian villa at the end of the Second World War – a Canadian nurse, a Sikh bomb disposal expert, a Canadian thief-turned-spy, and a heavily burned man who is known only as “the English patient”. Part of the novel is centered around this mystery of the English patient’s identity, but also recounts the patient’s tumultuous love affair in the North African desert in the 1930s. Ondaatje’s writing is beautiful and poetic, and now I’m really looking forward to reading his newest novel, The Cat’s Table! (submitted by AA)

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The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

For those of you overlooking Dumas’ masterpiece because it’s one of those “old, boring classic” books, rethink your decision! Dumas was the literary world’s first master storyteller. He practically invented the action/adventure genre. This book is fast paced and fascinating. Adventure, intrigue, romance, treasure, betrayal, great characters, and of course, the most famous revenge story ever told. Time to revisit the classic section and check this out! (submitted by VG)

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