Top 25 Reads for a Life long Learner

Reading should be a lifelong process. It is through reading that we gain all the knowledge we need to tackle every aspect of life. It also helps us improve our communication and conversational skills. As much as reading matters, the material is also just as important. Here is list of the good books available for your reading pleasure.

Fiction– These are stories that allow us to escape from the normal hustle and bustle of daily life. Here are a handful of fictional reads to consider:

1. A Tale of Two Cities(Charles Dickens) – This novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution.

2. The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) –The story is centered on one ring that The Dark Lord Sauron forged in the fires of Mount Doom. The ring is lost and is kept by a creature named Gollum, until one day a hobbit by the name of Bilbo Baggins gets a hold of it. The adventure moves on and evolves around the ring itself.

3. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) – A good fictional story about the 2000-year-old mystery concerning the Catholic Church.

4. And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie) – Ten people are invited to an island off the coast of Devon for a vacation one weekend. They never make it off the island, because one by one, they are murdered.

5. Valley of the Dolls (Jacqueline Susann) - A story of three young women who meet at the beginning of their careers. The story exposes the world of Hollywood, where the pressure to perform and stay thin can destroy a person.

Nonfiction – These are articles that tell some important information about real people, events, and others. Here is a sampling of some popular non-fiction titles:

1. The Education of Henry Adams (Henry Adams) -A record of Adams’ introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and intellectual changes that occurred over the lifetime of the author, grandson of President John Quincy Adams.

2. A Room of One’s Own (Virginia Woolf) –This story is a call for women to acquire for themselves intellectual freedom, economic self-sufficiency, and a women’s literature library to keep safe in a room of their own.

3. Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) – Inspired by widespread public concerns with pesticides and pollution of the environment.

4. The Double Helix (James D. Watson) – The intimate first-person account of the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

5. Aspects of the Novel (E.M. Forster) – Helps students understand all the essential ingredients in writing a novel.

Autobiographies -These real-life stories allow us to learn more about the lives of prominent people and how they have contributed to the changes in our society. Consider the following examples:

1. Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa (Peter Godwin) -A painfully honest and heart-wrenching memoir of Peter Godwin.

2. Hellfire and Herring (Christopher Rush) – A lyrical description of a harsh childhood in a Scottish fishing village in the nineteen forties and fifties.

3. Empire of the Sun (J G Ballard) – It is one of the greatest books about war written in this century by a British author.

4. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle (Russell Miller) – A biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who is best remembered as the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

5. The Boss: The Many Sides of Alex Ferguson (Michael Crick) – An investigative biography with mass-market appeal which presents a balanced picture of the man behind the success at Manchester United.

History– reading about history can be very important as it teaches us practically everything we have to do through the experiences of people in the past.

1. Necropolis (Catharine Arnold) – Catharine Arnold’s account of death in London is by turns fascinating, stomach-churning, and poignant.

2. Warsaw 1920 (Adam Zamoyski) – This slim work tells the story of a now largely forgotten battle that nearly shattered the peace of post-Versailles Europe and almost brought Russian Bolshevism to the gates of Western Europe.

3. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Dee Brown) – Charting the genocide of the Native American people, from the arrival of smallpox with the conquistadors to the final brutal massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, this important book should be compulsory reading for all students of American history.

4. A People’s History of the World (Chris Harman) – A politically conscious counter-history of the world that sweeps across the centuries and continents. This work charts how ordinary men and women transformed their societies through conflict and class struggle.

5. Empires of the Sea (Roger Crowley) – Despite a title that ignores the Second World War, this book is a page-turning narrative of an epic struggle between rival empires and faiths. This tale of Barbarossa proves that pirates aren’t just peg-legged buccaneers in the Caribbean.

6. Liberation (William I Hitchcock) – In a history that jars with images of grateful civilians showering soldiers with flowers, the author’s vivid account of post-war Europe paints a violent and chaotic picture of liberation and recovery.

7. The Ascent of Money (Niall Ferguson) – The author suggests that the use of credit and debt has been “as important as any technological development”. Hence, our current difficulties: too little of one and too much of the other.

8. Clean (Katherine Ashenburg)- This history of soap and water is a refreshing read.

9. Pompeii (Mary Beard) – The author uses the ancient relics buried by the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius to bring the existence of everyday Roman people to life.

10. Henry (David Starkey) This is the first of two books on England’s most famous king, Henry VIII, and is undoubtedly among David Starkey’s finest works.

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