Here are a few great reads that I would recommend:
1) The Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne
“London is male, New York sexually ambivalent,” writes Horne. But “has any sensible person ever doubted that Paris is fundamentally a woman?… in the long, exciting life of a sexy and beautiful, but also turbulent, troublesome and sometimes excessively violent woman.”
I picked this book up at the library a few months prior to our trip to Paris in April of this year. The renowned historian Alistair Horne separates the history of the City of Lights into seven distinct ages, and in each presents fascinating stories of the times and never endings facts and figures about Paris. Although the information was a lot to take in at times, and I assure you I barely remember the dates and figures of many of the sigificantl events, it was a worthwhile read. Walking through the streets of Paris I would be reminded of a certain excerpt from the book and it was wonderful to see the words on the pages come to life.
2) The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ is a guess, a hope at what heaven is like from the eyes of the author. This story touched me deeply because it made me think about the potentially significant affect we each have on the people and world around us without ever knowing it. Each of us goes about our own day to day realities and we may never understand the impact, positive or negative, that our actions have made on someones else’s life.
3) The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
“I remember the first time I realized I could make myself see something that wasn’t there. I was ten years old, walking home from school. Some boys from my class ran by shouting and laughing. I wanted to be like them. And yet, I didn’t know how. I’d always felt different from the others, and the difference hurt. And then I turned the corner and saw it. A huge elephant, standing alone in the square. I knew I was imagining it. And yet, I wanted to believe. So I tried. And I found I could. “
This book was hard to get into at first, because of they way it switches between two seemingly unconnected characters, fourteen-year-old Alma Singer and an old man named Leo Gursky. Looking back from last page, I saw the true beauty in the story as a whole. I am glad that I put in the effort to get through the first sections because this story is a true piece of art. Humorous and yet heartbreaking, this is a read I would recommend.
4) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is a must read for every young woman. It’s a wonderful story about a girl who discovers her inner strength. What I adore so much about this book is that the love between Mr. Rochester and Jane is not perfect, but in fact, as incredibly flawed as the individual characters. Although romantic, it’s also a realistic look at what love truly means.