Arts and EICS: Amelie’s Book Club

Whether they want to be Batman or CEO of Apple, most kids have an unachievable fantasy dream job. For me, my imaginary future takes place in an old, dusty, nostalgic book shop. As the magical, impossibly well-read bookkeeper, I innately know each person’s book preferences and interests. As someone walks in, I hand them a book, magically knowing that it’ll inspire them, change their lives with the momentous themes and meticulously chosen words.


Unfortunately, the low salary of a bookstore owner makes it unlikely I’ll ever get to live out my fictional fantasy. As it is, the second best thing I can do is recommend three of my personal favorites, hoping that they’ll affect you as much as they did me.  


Flowers for Algernon:

While you might have been forced to read a chapter or two in your eighth grade English class, the classic novella is still one that I believe everyone should read. A series of compiled diary entries, Daniel Keyes’ novella tells the story of Charlie, who has been mentally disabled, who decides to  undergo surgery to increase his intelligence.

His rapidly increasing IQ and subsequent emotional journey is one that examines  the value of intelligence and correlating cynicism toward the world, with Charlie’s first person perspective bringing me to tears with almost every re-read.


The Night Circus:

Much like protagonists Celia and Marco, I fell in love with the night circus at a young age. The “Cirque des Rêves” is only open at night, and among its tents includes the story of two magicians and their elaborate, emotional competition. The novel paints a world of elusive and subtle magic, with an intense storyline and beautifully written imagery.

With Erin Morgenstern’s idyllic and breathtaking descriptions of conjured cloud mazes and compelling cast of three-dimensional characters, the intricate worldbuilding makes “The Night Circus” my all-time favorite way to escape from reality.


Little Fires Everywhere:

Following the story of the seemingly normal suburban Richardson family, Celeste Ng’s novel deals with realistic and complex moral problems through the lens of each member of the family. Taking place in a small Ohio town in the 1990s, the book discusses the nuances in social class, adoption, race and judgement between family members as each of them learn more about the world around them.

Despite hating several characters at the start of the novel, I soon grew to emphasize with every perspective as the book continued, and the book remains one of my all-time favorites for its ability to spark conversation.