Below is a list of books (that I will continue to update periodically) that I have read with a few sentences on what I thought. These books are largely responsible of any and all opinions that I have.
The books that I highly recommend are in italicised. Feel free to hit me up if you have any questions about anything on this list! Hopefully this will help all the book nerds out there with finding some good books to read :)
*These summaries and this booklist is a work in progress, I'm aiming to add a few more summaries and titles each week.
DESTINED FOR WAR: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? (by Graham Allison)
This was incredible. I cannot recommend this book more. I don't think it's possible. Allison does an amazing job of breaking down and analysing American-Chinese international relations through complex historical lens. I have yet to encounter a book that was as informative and easy to read as this book. If you only read one book for the rest of your life, this is it.
SAPIENS: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)
Sapiens is one of those rare books that changes the way you look at the world. Harari starts at the first appearance of homo sapiens and guides the reader through to modern society. His explanation of the social constructs that we take for granted is truly an eye opening experience. I know I just said that if you only read one book for the rest of your life it should be Destined for War, but now I'm saying you should read more than one book for the rest of your life and this should be on that list.
THE ART FORGER (by Barbara A. Shapiro)
This is one of those throwaway novels that you read on a weekend where you don't feel like doing anything productive. Mostly grounded in real historical events, The Art Forger takes the reader through the experience of a single fictional character's adventure with a lost masterpiece. There's a little mystery, a little romance, and a little adventure sprinkled in periodically. Fun and easy read. Definitely not mind-blowing.
HEART OF DARKNESS (by Joseph Conrad)
Set in the colonial era, Conrad recounts the tale of a ship sailing along the Congo river into the depths of the Congo. This is generally a pretty tough read because of the way Conrad writes, but definitely worth struggling through. It raises interesting points about the effects of colonialism on the colonisers. Also it's really trippy.
HAMLET (by William Shakespeare)
I really don't think this one requires any sort of summary. For a great reinterpretation of the plot, watch the Lion King. Perhaps it was because I had to analyse this as part of my high school education but few literary works can quite capture the beauty of the English language as well as Shakespeare does with Hamlet. Also this is the source of "get thee to a nunnery", what's not to like.
THE HANDMAID'S TALE (by Margaret Atwood)
As far as tales about dystopian societies go, this one is one of the best. Atwood crafts an entire world through the lens of single character's story. In this future, the world is faced with a threateningly low birth rate, catastrophic environmental issues, and truly reprehensible attitudes towards women (as property of the state). In the very least, it'll make you think.
ELON MUSK (by Ashlee Vance)
WHAT HAPPENED (by Hillary Rodham Clinton)
SHOE DOG (by Phil Knight)
THE PIXAR TOUCH (by David A. Price)
HALF THE SKY (by Nicholas Kristof)
THE GLASS MENAGERIE (by Tennessee Williams)
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (by Tennessee Williams)
THE BLUEST EYE (by Toni Morrison)
LOLITA (by Vladimir Nabokov)
ANTIGONE (by Sophocles)
BRAVE NEW WORLD (by Aldous Huxley)
DUBLINERS (by James Joyce)
OF MICE AND MEN (by John Steinbeck)
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (by Tim O'Brien)
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD (by Zora Neale Hurston)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (by Harper Lee)
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE (by Virginia Woolf)