• Malia Zaidi

11 Books that Taught Me Something


I have been thinking lately about books I read in school and how few of them I actually enjoyed. It has been a while since I left the classroom, but as we all are, I am still learning. After high school, my reading really picked up. I became slightly obsessed with the crime fiction genre (and regular readers will know I still am), but branched out to include lost of historical fiction, some YA and some non-fiction as well. There were some bad books some good books and some truly memorable books that managed to entertain, but also to linger I my mind, planting a seed, opening my eyes to something I had hardly known before. The magic of books is that they can be companions, bring pleasure, but act as teachers as well, sometimes in the disguise of a fictional story. I have posted before, lamenting the required reading lists used in schools, which in my day included hardly any contemporary work and focused very much on a well-trod (if not worn out) literary path. I have studied literature and love many classics, but to really engage students and adults as well, I think it is important to read books that seem more relevant to the here and now. We can all fawn over Shakespeare's language or Jane Austen's wit, but let us not neglect the perhaps less prestigious books of more modern authors who can change our thinking and teach us a different way to look at the world, or at least a small part of it. I have rounded up a few of the books I read in recent years, which moved me, taught me something new and forced me consider points of view I had not given much attention before. Added to that, they are all real page turners and wonderfully written. Have you read any of these? Wat did you think? Which books would you add to the list?

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

March by John Lewis

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Walking the Nile by Levison Wood

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Munich by Robert Harris

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

#books #nonfiction #fiction #mystery #history #YA

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