Unesco designated April 23 (excluding Britain and Ireland) as World Book and Copyright Day, as many famous authors, including William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Vladimir Nabokov, were born or died on that day.
In honour of the day, the Young Post team would like to share our all-time favourite novels. Happy reading!
The Alchemist by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. It is about the journey of a shepherd boy named Santiago who sets out to find treasure. On the way, he meets different people who tell him what life is about. The motto of the story lies in its famous quote: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it". This quote changed my life.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It might not have the kind of thrills you'd expect in Sherlock Holmes, but the author has a way of hooking readers as he leads you to to penetrate the all-too-logical mind of an autistic boy who is also a maths genius. You'll find yourself looking at the world from a whole new perspective. It's fun and imaginative and, luckily, no prior knowledge of calculus is required.
Cruel, cruel question. But if you put a gun to my head, and I couldn't decide between my favourite Poirot story and Jeeves and Wooster romp, I'd have to say Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, which I read at least once a year.
The brilliant critique of fashionable society and commentary on nurture vs nature are as relevant today as they were in 1813. It doesn't hurt that the BBC's 1995 adaptation is one of the greatest things ever filmed. Ever.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Although I read this book a long time ago, I can still remember the characters and the atmosphere.
What I particularly like about Treasure Island is that it is the origin of many traits in pirate literature, comics and movies. The seaman with one leg, the parrot on the pirate's shoulder and plots unfolding in tropical island settings were all invented by Stevenson. Think of the credit Walt Disney's multi-billion dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise owes him!
It's no secret that I like Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series, but just recently I saw that one of my long-time favourite writers, Jean M. Auel, was retiring. Apparently her latest book The Land of Painted Caves is not great, but the earlier books are good reading. They're set in pre-history among sweeping landscapes, where life hangs by a fragile thread and death is a wolf that snaps at the heels of the vulnerable. Be warned: once you start reading, you won't be able to stop at just one.
Definitely George Orwell's 1984. It's about a society where there is pervasive government surveillance and mind control, where every action is monitored by a terrifying and mysterious government ministry. The book's phrase "Big Brother is watching you" still gives me goosebumps.
I also enjoyed the story of the two main characters, Winston Smith and Julia, who fight against all odds to be together.
I love the wuxia novels by Jin Yong. I have read all 15 of his books more than once. Jin is one of the world's biggest-selling authors. The excitement and emotion in his work keeps you turning the pages, even when it's well past bedtime. Jin's works have been adapted for TV and film, but they're nothing like reading the books.
Barry C Chung
Without a doubt, it's Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. It's not an inspiring story that will motivate you to follow your dreams or your heart. In that sense, it's actually quite uninspiring. But it is precisely that realism that makes it so endearing.