Johanna's Staff Picks
If you're feeling like a scholar this fall, I highly recommend diving into some Greek tragedy. ANTIGONE is my personal favorite, but with this bundle that includes OEDIPUS THE KING and OEDIPUS AT COLONUS, you're destined to find something you like, just like how Oedipus is destined to suffer! Hopefully, you will not suffer reading these stories, as I found them very enjoyable and intellectually stimulating.
GALLANT is a perfect spooky fall read. It contains boarding schools, secrets, and ghosts. On a journey of self discovery, Olivia discovers much more than she had originally planned. After mysteriously arriving at Gallant, a creepy all-girls school her mother's journal warns her about, Olivia begins to encounter strange entities. Anyone who enjoys a chilling tale should consider picking this one up just in time for spooky season!
Anxious People is another beautifully written, introspective piece by Backman. A bumbling bank robber holds eight people hostage in a panic after a failed burglary. While the nine people in the apartment are all drastically different and flawed in their own unique ways, you cannot help but love every single one of them! Backman is a remarkable character writer that brings out your deepest emotions and makes you reflect on your own relationships.
Make sure you aren't drinking water while reading this because YOU WILL SPIT IT OUT! THE STRANGER is a classic story about the world's most boring man and that oh so relatable moment when the heat drives you to murder someone. THE STRANGER delves into the meaning of life, and although it is incredibly depressing, it is also very well-written and easy to read! A wonderful classic to start with.
THE AWAKENING is a staple in the world of feminist literature. If you love women, as I do, you should consider picking this book up. It is a wonderfully metaphoric tale about self-discovery in an oppressive world. Chopin handles topics like sexuality, autonomy, and what it means to be a woman in a beautiful way. Her writing style is absolutely incredible, it is sure to keep you hooked for the entirety of the novel. MUST READ!!!!
The Bell Jar is an absolute classic that follows a young, aspiring female writer. As she comes of age, Esther struggles to enjoy her highly pressurized life as an ambitious, unmarried woman in the 1950s. An investigation into mental illness, gender issues, and the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an emotional metaphor that is incredibly thought-provoking and a major work of feminist literature. It should be noted that The Bell Jar is very depressing, and might be triggering for some people.
THE SECRET HISTORY is a twisting tale of murder, friendship, and mystery. As morally gray as they are delightful, this friend group will rope you in and have you at the edge of your seat. This book is a well-paced, exciting, and philosophical read that I enjoyed thoroughly, even though it did break my heart. Five stars for dark academia and drama!
"We Were Liars" is a captivating, emotionally intense story about a seemingly perfect family that is signifigantly more sinful than they appear. After getting in a mysterious accident, Cadence Sinclair is back on her families private island, excited for another normal summer with her family. But this summer is far from normal, as Cadence begins to piece her family secrets together. "We Were Liars" is a powerful novel that explores themes of love, loss, and the lengths people will go to protect their families.