Fiction Books that won't let me go
I'm glad Netflix wasn't around when I grew up in the 1980s. I had to read comics and actual books to emerge myself in stories. Here are some (fiction) books that never let go of me.
1. Safely home by Randy Alcorn
A book about Christians being persecuted in China. It changed my life. I've served persecuted Christians for over 18 years now.
2. A monster calls by Patrick Ness
I've not read much young adult, but I couldn't stop reading this one. A young boy is sad that his mother is dying. He sees a monster outside his window, which frightens him, but the monster eventually helps him grieve.
3. The discovery of heaven by Harry Mulisch
Christian themes, but not a Christian book! Still, wonderful plot and character development by one of the best Dutch writers.
4. Die Verwandlung (The Change) by Frank Kafka
German book about a guy who wakes up one day and for no reason has changed into a beetle. Everyone abandons him and he ultimately dies.
5. Love Life by Ray Kluun
Kluun is a Dutch writer and I read it in Dutch. The main character is married to a beautiful wife but still commits adultery frequently. His conscience starts to object more and more, especially when his wife is diagnosed with cancer and eventually asks for euthanasia. They have a little girl together. It sounds like a sad book and it is sad, but there's also a lot of humor in this book.
6. De Kleine Blonde Dood (The Little Blond Death) by Boudewijn Büch
This Dutch book was never translated into English, as far as I know. But a classic book in Dutch literature. A middle aged man is haunted by the memories of his childhood. His father was traumatized during the second world war and - even though he's German - he hates the Germans. His mistreats his family, but still the young boy craves for his father's validation and love. As an adult, he has a son of his own, who passes away. The father theme is so strong here.
7. Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry
I'd probably not recommend this book. It's so intense. Noah is a young pedophile, who knows he's bad and he can't control himself, although he has not actually abused any children. He asks his mother to save him by helping him commit suicide. His mother loves him so much and is heartbroken.
8. Billy by Albert French
A young black kid is tried and executed for a crime he didn't commit.
9. Paddy Clarke ha ha ha by Roddy Doyle
Don't remember much of this book, but I remember relating to Paddy a lot, although we had little in common.
10. 1984 by George Orwell
Talk about world building... Big Brother is watching you. And with one press of the button, all news articles are updated to reflect the latest propaganda message.
And the main character, despite all his bad experiences and even torture in room 101, learns to love Big Brother.
11. The Marathon by Stephen King
Long before the Hunger Games and Squid Game, Stephen King had stories about The Running Man (A game show where people would hunt the contestants) and the Marathon: 100 participants walk. Drop your speed below a couple of miles per hour three times and you're shot. Only one person will live. Scary stuff.
12. Die Wolke (The Cloud) by Gudrun Pausewang
German book. Not sure about an English version. It's about a nuclear disaster happening in Germany, comparable to Chernobyl.
13. Im Westen Nichts Neues (All quiet on the Western front) by Erich Maria Remarque
Good book about the foolishness of the first world war. The main character dies on a day that the newspaper writes nothing happened on the Western front that day.