Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Cheapest, Yet Greatest Adventure

Reading? Uh, no thanks

Let's face it. Not everyone is fond of reading. However, one cannot deny the importance of knowing how to read in our everyday life. Even if you sometimes fall asleep during your English literature class (that I can proudly say, I have never experienced), you have to know how to read in order to pay your bills, to apply for a job, and even to cook food-if you fancy yourself a bit of a budding chef.

As a child, I was initially not fond of this practice, although things changed when I was in fourth grade. Just like an actor being bitten by the acting bug, I was bitten by the reading bug during this time. I'm grateful to my English teachers who have seen and tapped into this potential. I wrote my first script and directed my first play during the fifth grade-and I think I still have that paper lying around somewhere today. So profound was my love for reading that I read almost all of the books at our quaint little library.

Since then, I have carried this passion for books up to this day, although I am very particular now and tend to gravitate towards certain genres. The greatest reward of reading for me, apart from gaining knowledge and wisdom, is that I can travel to many places without ever leaving my home or my country. Truly, the human imagination is limitless. And being a history buff myself, traveling back in time is such a fun bonus.

Here are my five favorite books (in no particular order) of all time. Perhaps you may have read one or two of these =)

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)

A delectable masterpiece, Roald Dahl, in his infinite wisdom, has managed to stem his place in the hearts of children everywhere with this well-loved classic. Charlie Bucket is simply larger than life in this story of hardships, temptations and he exemplified the saying, "Good things come to those who wait."

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K Rowling)

J.K Rowling has, likewise, cemented herself permanently in English literature as the brains behind the fantastic universe of Harry Potter. This last installment from the popular series answers the questions fans have been plagued with since the beginning of the series. After all the heartaches, the sleepless hours, and the physical toll of war, the last sentence of the book sums it up all: "All is well."

3. Sadako Sasaki and the One Thousand Paper Cranes (Eleanor Coerr)

This is the first non-fiction book I have ever come across, if I can remember correctly. In all truth, I have never read this book, but rather, had our teacher read it for us. Despite never having laid eyes on this work of art, my mind can still recall snippets of memories as I imagined Sadako, in all her child-like innocence, as she folded origami after origami-hoping against hope that she will win against her battle with leukemia. More than that, the world peace that she longed for is still beyond reach as wars and crimes still abound aplenty today. If there is any story I would recommend promoting world peace, this is simply it.

4. Timeline (Michael Crichton)

If there's anything I like to sink my teeth into, it is always history. As always, Michael Crichton delivers an action-packed story, this time with 12th century France as its background. Time-traveling will certainly never be the same again.

5. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

I have always been fond of family sagas in the fiction world, having read several of them before I came across the unforgettable Emma Harte in this story. From her humble beginnings to the owner of a vast empire, Emma truly radiates and is someone many women can identify themselves to.