Article by Bethan Henderson

Some people love reading, some people despise it. If you’re a booklover, you might find that as the year gets more hectic you’re struggling to find the time to pursue new books outside of the ones you have to read for class. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, it’s possible that you just haven’t found the style of writing that you’ll enjoy. Either way, everyone can benefit from new book recommendations, so here are a few fantastic books to check out, recommended by the English teachers and literature students here at ISM. (No spoilers!)

  1. Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

At the beginning of the semester, juniors taking Higher Level Literature read Woman at Point Zero, the true story of a woman in 1970s Egypt. Junior Nikki H. says, “It’s truly what you’d call an “eye opener” and should be read by boys and girls alike. [It’s] shocking and riveting to the utmost degree, [and] really made me think about my place in the world and about the misogyny present in our society.”

  1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Junior Sophia Q. recommends Kafka on the Shore. She says, “Everything about it screams Murakami – the surreal parallel worlds, the talking cats, the odd romances, the search for oneself. His writing’s not for everyone though as it’s weird, but man do I love Murakami’s weird — and you might too!”

  1. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi

Mr. Butcher, the English Department head, recommends the graphic autobiographical series, Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, which depicts her childhood in Iran during the Islamic revolution. He says, “These novels not only challenge us to reconsider and accept graphic novels can be literature, they also help eradicate Islamophobia by giving us a window through which we see a charming, honest, strong-willed, funny, tender, impulsive and frightening coming-of-age story of an Iranian girl that depicts her growing awareness of Persian history and how it evolved into modern day Iran.

  1. Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

If you’re looking for books by Filipino authors then check out Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco. Senior Zaineen K. says, “When we were reading it in class, it got a mixed reception, and this added a pretty interesting dynamic where people had different opinions about it. It’s definitely worth reading, considering that it’s set in our context in Manila and that students at ISM can actually talk about it with the author when he visits every year.

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