If you’re a ‘Bibliophobiac’, then further reading will worsen your feeling. My advice; read at your own risk. And before you search the meaning of Bibliophobiac, let me do the honors of giving it to you; it means ‘fear of books’. For the rest here’s a compilation of 5 books I think an avid reader should get their hands on.
Joshua Ferris, a National Book Award Finalist has written this brilliant novel. It deeply explores the mysteries and absurdities of the modern world. The narrator Paul O’Rourke is a New York dentist who loves the world but does not really comprehend how to live in it. He is a pessimist and an uncertain man full of contradictions. Though he gets success in his profession, his personal life is totally a mess. His last romantic relationship with his young office manager wasn’t something that he cherishes. Since his father’s suicide after a failed relationship he becomes depressed and feels guilty he couldn’t save him. O’Rourke’s life gets even more complicated when someone creates a fake website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account under his name. The interesting part of the novel begins here when someone starts making weird claims about Ulms, an atheist in the name of Paul.
Falling Out of Time is an emotionally themed book written by David Grossman. The book describes the pain of bereaved parents who lose their son. A man tells his wife one day that he is going “there” to see his dead son though in reality “there” no longer exists. He becomes “the Walking Man” who walks and circles the town with a hope to find a place where he’d meet his dead son. As he moves on, inhabitants of another town who also have lost their children join him in his journey and begin to share an identity. But eventually they became unable to move beyond the boundary.
The book includes dramatic monologues and poems. Grossman uses words in such a way to express grief or pain that one certainly gets hooked onto reading.
After facing many rejections by publishers, Novelist Eimear McBride not only got her book published but also won the Goldsmiths Prize for fiction for her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. The book beautifully describes the relationship between a girl, and her brother who suffers from brain cancer. The book starts with the girl’s father dumping the family and her mother forces her to opt between begging and becoming a slut. The book shows the struggle of a woman who has to face the unending emotional betrayals and physical abuse.
Nathan Filer’s debut novel, The Shock Of The Fall has won the best first novel award at the 2014 Costa Book Awards. The book narrates the story of two brothers; Matthew and Simon. Mathew, a schizophrenic struggling with guilt conducts his own writing therapy and effuses his thoughts on a typewriter. His brother Simon suffers with Down Syndrome and dies during a family holiday as a child. Matt perceives that he shock of the fall kills his brother but it is only at the end that the novel discloses the guilt of Matt and the actual circumstances of his brother’s death.
Nikil Saval’s Cubed explores the secret history of workplace and examines how we became a nation of clerks. The narrator Saval is an editor of the magazine n+1 and a doctoral candidate in literature at Stanford University. Saval has efficiently demonstrated the evolution of workspace and comparison between the modern lives of white-collar world and of early-19th-century where owners and clerks sat cheek by jowl. It is a story about how bureaucracy becomes the big business. Cubed is an awesome book about office culture.
These were my picks of the year 2014 and I am sure you have yours as well. So share your thoughts with The Royale and keep reading this space.