One of my biggest regrets of first year was not making enough time for reading. Luckily the summer holidays gives me more than enough time to catch up. So take a break from those screens for a while and relax with a good book, or three!
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson
What do you get when you combine a plucky South African woman named Nombeko, unfortunate timing, extraordinary coincidences and a drunk engineer who is terrible at his job? You get the fate of Sweden on your shoulders. This book follows Nombeko as she tries to save the King of Sweden from an attempted assasiation by a man who technically doesn’t exist but also has an identical twin. If you’re confused, you should be.
Accompanying or possibly trying to kill Nombeko (no spoilers from me) are an elderly potato farmer, 3 chinese sisters, Isreali secret agents, the Prime Minister of Sweden and the South African government. This book shouldn’t make any sense but somehow the plot manages to keep you entertained without being irritated at the improbability of events. It’s an easy read and you won’t be able to put it down.
Also, a theoretical nuclear bomb may make a surprise appearance.
The Girl with all the Gifts – M.R.Carey
This is not your traditional zombie story, you don’t root for the humans. This story isn’t about their perspective at all. In fact, you are almost ashamed at being a human in this world. This doesn’t mean you root for the zombies either, you root for Melanie. She’s just one of many intelligent zombie children who have dreams, feelings and can form relationships. However she has little to no knowledge of her situation or how she’s represented to others.
The readers only discover the true nature of these children, the world they live in and their role as and when Melanie does. The driving force of this story is the bond between Melanie and her teacher Miss.Justineau, a regular human who struggles with treating Melanie with the fear she’s been taught to or accepting her as a being.
You still get the action and adventure of a typical zombie story and as a reader you are constantly torn over whose side to choose, are there any sides at all?
Being Mortal – Atul Gawande
Of course as a medical student I had to have at least one medical related book in my list. This one is actually non-fiction but don’t worry it’s not full of medical procedures and diagnoses. It’s actually more of a conversation on life and death and what it means to have an ageing population with modern medicine.
This book debates questions like “What does it mean to be good at taking care of people whose problems we cannot fix?” from a doctor and patient perspective and ultimately leads to the big question: When is it time to die? Considering how far medicine has advanced and how much it will continue to advance this book is so relevant in our present and future. It’s a little more intense than my other recommendations but short enough so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.