Three marvelous novels that I STRONGLY recommend to fellow bibliomaniacs – and everyone else, for that matter!
- The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
I have yet to read a novel that fascinates me, amazes me, moves me, and inspires me as Tolkien’s famous trilogy does. The themes (though I am certain I haven’t got them all sorted out yet) include analyses of power, temptation, friendship, perseverance, the struggle between good and evil. Middle-earth, the world of Tolkien’s invention in which the story takes place, is the most fantastic realm imaginable, one of beauties and terrors as true as any in the real world. The story’s background is one of its most remarkable aspects, with intricate maps, complex cultures, and an extensive history (for more Middle-earth history, look for Tolkien’s The Silmarillion). I know no better description of The Lord of the Rings than this review, written by C.S. Lewis: “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.”
- Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Set in mid-twentieth century South Africa, Paton’s novel is a many faceted masterpiece, a heartrendingly beautiful story that displays an extraordinary skill with language and a deep knowledge of human nature. “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills…”
- Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
I suppose it was really the bibliophile in me that fell in love with this short novel, in which books are forbidden and are burned if discovered. Guy Montag’s inner struggle for understanding, combined with the distopian setting and Bradbury’s masterful style and characterization make for a timeless and gripping story.
I also suggest these great Christian classics, for anyone, whether you profess Christianity or not:
- Mere Christianity – C. S. Lewis
- Orthodoxy – G. K. Chesterton