It’s human to err. It’s also human to judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our intentions when the finger is flipped back at us. Atticus Finch said it first: “You never really understand a person until you… climb into his skin and walk around in it.” So climb into the skin of these books, into the minds of their protagonists, for a complete shift in your daily outlook.
I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
If God told you that you could choose between existing in immortal emptiness and living life as a human, which would you pick? If the latter appeals to you, so would this book. Supposedly written by the fallen angel, this journal describes Satan’s life in a body belonging to a man with suicidal thoughts and heavily in debt. Can the old devil live straight and clean in the mortal world, as a mortal? The prose is given to digressions, but it’s a fun ride on his side of the story.
The Room by Jonas Karlsson
This narrative hits close to home for white-collared, pigeon-holed corporates. Follow meticulous office worker Bjorn and his chance discovery of a space that’s oddly unknown to everyone else. The room increases his productivity and provides solace from his environment, but the more he uses it, the stranger his colleagues start to regard him. A great read for when you have only a few minutes to spare, this short, surreal tale is imperative for the modern employee.
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
As its self-explanatory title says, the book aims to bridge the gap between our general ignorance and reality. Aside from the five-star rating and personal review Bill Gates gave it, it is an innovative approach to step back and reflect on the 10 instincts that cause us to get facts so wrong that even chimpanzees choosing answers at random will perform better. It’s non-fiction but does not read like one as the first-person voice of the late Rosling engages you like a casual coffee-table chat.
The Shack by William Paul Young
Calling this a highly controversial novel would be an understatement, but that is all the reason to dive into it. Mackenzie Philips, broken and bitter over the brutal murder of his daughter in a shack, receives an inviting note from God apparently, to meet him at the same shack. To see God as a black woman among other unlikely portrayals of the Trinity, you will close the book either loving or hating it, but surely left with an altered view on higher powers.
Success by Martin Amis
Success is relative. In this case, between an opposing pair of foster brothers. If you enjoy standard English cynicism, the signature Amis tone pans out this tragic comedy so convincingly, you would believe that Terence Service and Gregory Riding exist somewhere in London. It’s profuse, it’s merciless, it’s your-word- against-mine. Add a disloyal girlfriend, an erratic sister and eloquently vile writing into the mix and you have yourself a neurotic lesson on success.
These titles are available at Books Kinokuniya.