It seems as though young people are reading less and less nowadays. I think it would be wrong to blame this phenomenon on the internet and the development of technology in general. If anything progress has made reading much more accessible to the younger generation. From devices such as Kindle or iPhones to e-books there are hundreds of ways to make reading very accessible. So why do young people read less? Well one of the reasons is probably the hectic life style we are used to living in our times. We work all day and then it seems that it would be much less effort to turn on the TV and fall asleep watching something than to start reading a book. Of course in the long run I think you would feel much better about yourself if you managed to read even 10 pages in one night rather than watching the same old garbage you see on TV every day. But of course, any sort of generalization is wrong. There are still many young people who love to read, and there are many young writers out there managing to make a name for themselves. For the purposes of this article I will write about the books everyone should read in their lives:
1. Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged. Probably not so well known in Europe, Ayn Rand is quite famous in the U.S. This is where she made a name for herself as a writer after emigrating from Russia in 1926, at 21 years old. This is her last novel, and also the longest, and it was published in 1957. I think this is her best work, and it best exemplifies her philosophical beliefs which led to Objectivism. This is the name she came up for her philosophy. As a direct result of the direction she saw Russia heading in after the Bolshevik Revolution, her philosophy is basically the purest form of liberalism and individuality, which are the foundations of capitalism as we know it today.
2. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years Of Solitude. From the list of the books everyone should read in their lives, I couldn't have shipped over a representative of South America. Many great writers have come from that part of the world in the last decades and my favorite is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His style of writing is called magic realism and it is a concept very hard to understand until you actually read the book. I whole heartedly recommend reading this book. It is extremely seductive and captivating and the end will leave you breathless.
3. Cormack McCarthy – The road. This is one of my favorite American writers. He has produced many best sellers, including Blood Meridian or No Country For Old Men which was later turned in a Oscar winning movie. This particular book was also made into a movie, quite well actually, but there is no possibility of capturing on to the camera the desolation, disillusion, or desperation that are so viscerally presented in the book. For me this is definitely one of the books everyone should read in their lives because it is so tough and it will almost surely leave you in a puddle of tears.
4. Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club. With Fight Club we have another case of a great book turned into a great movie. The fast pace of the movie is a mirror of the very alert style of writing Chuck Palahniuk revels in. It's a book that is all over the place but which manages to pull itself together at the very end.
5. Dostoyevsky – The Brothers Karamazov. There is no way you could skip one of the great classic Russian writers form a list of the books everyone should read in their lives. For me, my favorite in this category is Dostoyevsky. The way he manages to creep up under your skin so you feel every twitch of the characters is uncanny.
6. Yann Martel – Life of Pi. And for a more recent adaptation of a great book, we find over selves in the presence of Life Of Pi. The Oscar winning film for best director among other things is based on a beautiful story that, as it suggests, will make you believe in God once you are done with it.
7. Franz Kafka. – The Trial. And to finish off the list of the books everyone should read in their lives I have chosen The trial. This is a great book by Franz Kafka, a great Czech writer who unfortunately was not appreciated at all during his lifetime.
Well, I think that is enough for me on the subject of the books everyone should read in their lives. I'm sure you have hundreds of other ideas for such a list so I am very excited to hear your proposals.