The BEST CLASSICS YOU Have TO READ (or re-read) THIS SUMMER

I have always LOVED reading. I can remember being about 8 years old and hooked on the Potter books before physically moving into the world of Robert Muchamore’s spy academy. Seriously, my childhood was either spent in Hogwarts or being a CHERUB – you could not get me out. As I moved into my teen years, of course I was into young fiction. Looking back, I think that’s where I got most of my ideas about love and fantasy. As I got older though I became more fascinated in classics – particularly in contemporary dystopian novels where I’m transported into a world of misfortune and sadness. Anyway, I digress. Here is my list of my top 5 novels (new and old) that you have to read.

  1. The Body – Bill Bryson

Last year, the American author Bill Bryson came out with his latest non-fiction novel. As someone who rarely reads non-fiction books, I was blown away by the style of Bryson’s writing and how it was able to keep me engaged. It’s a good read for those who are curious about every aspect of the body. Bryson keeps you on your toes from the moment you open the book to the last page; with facts about the heart, face, brain and every bodily system you can think of. I would highly recommend this book, and to be frank, its the book that started my non-fiction journey.

2. Station 11 – Emily St John Mandel

This book was actually recommended to me at a book club I attended two years ago. It’s about a virus that takes over the world in less than 24 hours (uncanny), killing everyone it infects within a matter of hours. The story follows several characters along their lives 20 years after the virus hit. The themes and storylines that are brought up in this book haunted me for for at least a year. St John Mandel’s writing is amazing and this book was an absolute page turner. I mean, it was such a good book, that I had to write a 20 page essay on its characters and themes, definitely worth the read.

3. 1984 – George Orwell

My battered copy of Orwell’s 1984 has been passed down from my great uncle to my dad and then to me. I read it first when I was 10 and revisited the book a few years later. Only then did I realise how many important points I had missed. If you don’t know the book already; it follows the protagonist Winston Smith who represents the feelings of every human being in a twisted, dark world. Orwell writes with so much subtext, warning the world of what there will be to come.

4. The Handmaid’s tale – Margaret Atwood

Again, I have to add this dystopian classic. It was actually released a few years the hit 1984. Atwood found it so eye-opening that she decided to write her own and in my opinion, she did it better. Not only does she create an entire world where the world goes to shit and people have to deal with it, Atwood created a masterpiece that will hold relevancy not only today but for hundreds and thousands of years to come – that’s where the beauty lies. The sequel to ‘A Handmaid’s tale’ is ‘The Testaments’ which talks about the the fall of Gilead.

‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes’

Mark TWAIN

5. When breath becomes air – Paul Kalanithi

I remember reading this book on the train from London to Brighton. The first three-quarters or so of the book was written by the award-winning late Dr Kalanithi, who wrote about his time as a neurosurgeon. The book was finished by his wife after he sadly passed away from lung cancer in 2015. It’s heartbreaking but beautifully written, the majority of the time I was laughing through the tears – it’s a good read.

The BEST CLASSICS YOU Have TO READ (or re-read) THIS SUMMER

I have always LOVED reading. I can remember being about 8 years old and hooked on the Potter books before physically moving into the world of Robert Muchamore’s spy academy. Seriously, my childhood was either spent in Hogwarts or being a CHERUB – you could not get me out. As I moved into my teen […]

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DAY TRIPS AFTER LOCKDOWN

When the lockdown restrictions were lifted, my family and I were at great difficulty when picking a place to visit for a day trip. You see, for the last 12 weeks we had been reminiscing our old trips and optimistically researching and planning new ones for the near future. We had so many places on […]

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reminiscing düsseldorf

The current travel restrictions put in place due to the pandemic means that most of us have been stuck at home and can only flick through holiday albums and fantasise about about the trips we were due to take this year. For me, it’s Düsseldorf. The prominent German city which sits east of the Rhine […]

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reminiscing düsseldorf

The current travel restrictions put in place due to the pandemic means that most of us have been stuck at home and can only flick through holiday albums and fantasise about about the trips we were due to take this year.

For me, it’s Düsseldorf. The prominent German city which sits east of the Rhine river and hosts an array of luxury brands and museums. I’ve visited Düsseldorf multiple times over the past 5 years, but no visit was more special to me than my most recent trip there. It was during the beginning of the Christmas period and the lights in the town square had just been switched on. My previous visits to the city took place during the summer months, hence why this trip was the start of a new experience for me.

There’s nothing better than visiting a typical German Christmas market in the months of November. Although Düsseldorf remains one of the wealthiest and most expensive cities in Germany, the Christmas markets are far cheaper and more value for money than the ones near my home in London. Whether you prefer to splurge on Bratwurst hotdogs, chips and gravy – the national favourite – or browse the stalls with individually handcrafted nutcrackers and tree decorations, then the Christmas markets are just for you.

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It wasn’t only the Christmas markets which made my holiday. It was also the weather. I’ve always loved the winter season. It includes the combination of my favourite holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Birthdays…) but also the satisfaction of wrapping up in my winter coat, wearing thick walking socks and boots, longing for snowfall and only cringing at the approach of warmer seasons. Düsseldorf was cold but magical. From the minute I stepped off the plane, I felt a harsh wind pinching at every inch of my face. The best way to make the most of the weather was to take a stroll down the river in Königsallee. You will see a multitude of picturesque bridges and streams of small canal boats docked up for the winter. Beware though, Königsallee is also the ultimate shopping destination, boasting high end brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Rolex. This entire street would be filled with lights and Christmas decor so you are bound to bump into overly excited tourists one way or another. I hope to return to Düsseldorf soon – preferably again during the winter and perhaps explore more of the Christmas markets.

If you would like to see more of my trip to Germany, check out my video here.

If you liked this post, check out my other travel articles; Top 10 highlights in Amsterdam and 48 hours in Prague.

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