Persepolis

Beliefs that turn into disillusionment. Rebellion that only changes motives, but never really comes to an end. Much like the quest for freedom of self-expression, which is a story that runs in every generation. There is a difference between literacy and education. Once that is respected and worked upon, we could be better off as a society.

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Slaughter-House 5

This book leaves you sitting in debris of the pointlessness of war. And the craft of Kurt Vonnegut.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When you read the preface, or even the tag line that says ‘Trilogy in Four Parts’, you know exactly what you’re in for. Then again, you cannot imagine what you’re in for. While the third book may not be as hilarious or coherent as the remaining, you are by then just predisposed to loving everything this man thinks and writes. If you aren’t Marvin in your disposition to life yet, are you from this world?

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Watchmen

There’s an attraction in narratives that have no love for a linear plot or limitation of space and time. To add to that charm, Watchmen was also the coming of age of superhero comics of its time. What would it be like, to see how Dr. Manhattan saw, to think how Ozymandias thought, and to feel how Rorschach felt? No heroes here, just people. Like you and me.

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The Witches

A British boy and his Norwegian grandmother represented Dahl’s love for his own roots. A Grand High Witch created Formula 86 to turn children into mice and kill them. This novel suffered quite some controversy since it was perceived as sexist, and was subsequently banned by libraries. Couldn’t we have also seen this as a story about a powerful orator who influenced popular opinion in support of mass murdering a race due to personal prejudice and hatred? Dahl created a fantasy alright. But who’s to say what people imagine?

 

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Why Dinosaurs Matters

Before geological awakening, we believed Earth was as old as human existence. But fossils of sea creatures found atop mountains, and bones of creatures impossibly larger and older than human existence proved that Earth has lived a life we can only try to trace. Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, most impressively begins by explaining why the phrase “He/she is a dinosaur” should not be an insult on someone’s intelligence to survive, for the same reason as why Einstein isn’t any less a genius just because he isn’t alive any more.

 

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Wind / Pinball

In the middle of watching a baseball game, Murakami was inspired to write. He set aside his successful bar business to do so, and now our shelves have these stories we cannot get enough of. More than his craft, we owe him for his courage.

 

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Born A Crime

You can almost hear Trevor because he writes just as he speaks. With simplicity and charm. Every unbelievable episode, including the one where his mum throws him out of a moving bus, is unreal because of the courage and faith it involved to have lived that story. Then again, it takes the same even today to do what he does: a very public political and social commentary.

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Murder On The Orient Express

We owe the formula of scientific + creative deduction used in detective novels to Edgar Allan Poe’s creation of “ratiocination”, which his detective C. Auguste Dupin practiced. We owe the delight of loving Hercule Poirot and all his idiosyncrasies to Agatha Christie.

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