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Top five old-school novels for your next day off

March 2, 2019

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Top five old-school novels for your next day off

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

It seems like there are an endless amount of books coming out every year, ranging from teenage heartbreak to sword fights with dragons.

The content is pretty good, but are you tired of reading zombie dystopias yet? What happens when you’ve read all the cyberpunk books and don’t know what to do with all of your free time?

Or maybe you’ve read the same book seven times, and are ready for a change.

With the rainy days and cold nights we’ve been having, there is no better time than now to sit down with a warm cup of tea (or beverage of your choice) and enjoy a book written during a different century; maybe you’ll learn a thing or two in the process.

To help get you started, here are the top five old-school novels that will never go out of style.

  1. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck:

Taking place during the great depression, the story follows two young men as they search for work and the American dream.

George looks after Lennie as they develop a special relationship where they rely on each other to survive.

Although sometimes it seems like Lennie puts a burden on George, George doesn’t stop looking after Lennie until the very end. George keeps himself and Lennie motivated by saying that one day they will have their own land where Lennie can tend to the rabbits.

By the end of the book, there’s one question you’ll be asking yourself: do they find the American dream? Does it even exist?

And if you’re not interested in that, read it for the ending. You won’t be disappointed. Maybe a little upset, but not disappointed.

  1. 1984 by George Orwell:

Big Brother is watching. Have you ever heard that before? Well, this is the book that started it all.

Written in 1948, the book conveys the author’s predictions for what the year 1984 would look like socially and politically.

If you like betrayal, along with corrupt governments, this book is for you. Think of it as a dystopia, only there are no zombies, and it delivers a punch in the gut message at the end that won’t be easy to forget.

Some might even find the author’s predictions eerily similar to what happened in the past and what is happening today.

It’s a book that makes you think, and for that alone, it is worth reading.

  1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger:

If you like an unreliable narrator, get ready to meet the king of them all.

Holden Caulfield is young, immature and untrustworthy, but he definitely teaches us a thing or two, that is if we can believe what he is saying.

The book takes place over the course of three days, although it seems much longer than that. Caulfield takes us on wild adventures, some that seem too wild to believe.

Taking place in the 1950s, there is a world of old culture to explore that readers don’t want to miss out on. The book has a lot of little messages throughout, but it’s most noteworthy quality is the way our mistrust in the narrator helps us understand his story.

It’s a book you won’t soon forget.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

If you haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird, you should… right now. Drop everything you are doing and start reading. Well, maybe not right this second, but you should definitely pick up a copy later today.  

It’s one of the most iconic books there is, especially in the south.

The characters are well developed and never cease to amaze us. Atticus Finch teaches his young children important life lessons that anyone could learn from. He reminds his children that you cannot understand a person until you have seen things the way they have seen them.

It’s an important lesson that has held its own for decades, and it will continue to until the end of time. If anything, you should read this book to gain the wisdom the characters share with us.

There is no denying that its message of understanding, inequality and gender roles really give the reader something to think about. You might even find a quote that sticks with you for years to come.

  1. Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway:

If you think you’re having a bad day, imagine being a fisherman who hasn’t caught anything in 84 days.

That’s exactly what Santiago, the old man at sea, is going through. Despite his lack of success, the old and aching man does not give up and finds himself in a battle with a gigantic fish.

Perhaps we could all learn a lesson from Santiago; just because you’ve gone 84 days without catching a fish, doesn’t mean you should give up.

Put in non-fishing terms, don’t give up because you’ve failed once or twice or maybe even three times.


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