As an English major, I have read a ton of novels over my four years at Berkeley. As expected, most were kind of a bore. However, there were a few that always stand out in my mind. This is because these novels were actually a captivating read. So, for those who are looking for a deep novel that you can really sink your teeth into, check out the following!
“There There” by Tommy Orange
As an assigned reading for two of my courses, I was surprised by how much I loved this novel. “There There” focuses on 12 different Native American communities who all plan to attend an Oakland Powwow. These 12 groups are connected in ways that they may not realize, but they will. Together, these separate but connected voices portray all that this particular Native American group has experienced. This book’s content is a painful read, yet simultaneously beautiful.
“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick
As the book version of “Bladerunner”, I was excited the moment I saw this on my syllabus for my science fiction literature class, and it didn’t disappoint. “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” focuses on Rick Deckard who is tasked with killing the many androids out there in a world of humans. Set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, the novel focuses on what makes something human. This is especially important as humans use technology to help feel and control their emotions, similar to the androids in the book’s society. Throughout reading this bizarre novel, I found myself fully immersed in the world the author created. If you’re a sci-fi fan, this is a great book you should pick up.
“The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon
Out of all the novels I’ve read so far in college, this one’s my favorite. “The Crying of Lot 49” is a classic example of post-modern literature filled with misleading signs, adventures in a highly artificial landscape and a general lack of any inherent plot. “The Crying of Lot 49” focuses on Oedipa Maas, who recently inherited her former lover’s estate. She gets caught up in death, substances and madness as she settles her former lover’s last wishes. In a novel that is full of scenes that would make anyone ask, “what did I just read?” reading this was definitely a trip. There’s also an amazing scene set in UC Berkeley on Sproul Plaza, which was so fun to read!
“The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood
From the author of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, this novel from my apocalyptic literature course was another one of my favorites. “The Year of the Flood” focuses on the God’s Gardeners, a religion whose leader predicts a natural disaster that will alter the entire earth. Years later, after the flood wiped out most of society, surviving members of the God’s Gardeners have to find a way to survive the apocalypse. In a story that flips between the past and the present of an apocalypse, I found myself really immersed in the story — especially since I could compare it to our own time of distress. If you’re looking for an interesting novel, this is the perfect book for you.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
This list wouldn’t be complete without an actual classic from the well-known Shakespeare. After reading an entire semester’s worth of Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was and will forever be my favorite play by him. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has love triangles, fairies, a beautiful forest and even someone who’s magically transformed to have a donkey’s head. What more could you really want from a Shakespeare play? In general, I found this play much more modern and interesting than the rest of Shakespeare’s work. So, if you’re new to Shakespeare, this is the best play to start with!
With this list, we here at The Daily Clog hope you find a new read that you love!