Books can be very entertaining, but not all of them are as meaningful or memorable. Even books that are very enjoyable when you read them can fade from memory when you finish them and move on to the next one. However, some authors have such a way with words that they can create characters or stories that stay with you long after you have turned the final page. Whether you still feel a tinge of sadness over the death of a character or are left wistfully wondering what happened after the story ended, these books all have a special spark. Here are just five books that have a habit of impacting readers on a deeper level.
Flowers For Algernon is the touching tale of a man named Charlie Gordon. Charlie has an IQ of only 68, which makes him a simpleton in the eyes of everyone around him despite his best efforts to better himself. Eventually, Charlie volunteers to become the first human subject for an experimental brain operation that can make him smarter. The operation is a success and Charlie becomes more intelligent than he could ever even imagine, but unfortunately there is a price to pay. What makes this book so memorable is the way in which it is told via the progress reports written by the protagonist. This enables readers to experience the increase in his intelligence with him, but also makes the emotional impact even bigger. The book has been called a tear-jerker and it is a story that you will leave you feeling sad, but will also give greater understanding for the struggles of other people.
Where The Red Fern Grows is a very memorable book, but will have an even bigger emotional impact if you are fond of dogs. Although classified as a children’s novel, the book is written in such a heartfelt manner that it can easily draw adults in as well. The protagonist of the tale is a ten year old boy named Billy who wants nothing more than owning his own two dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs he desires are far too expensive for his father to afford, so Billy cries himself to sleep each night until he figures out a way to earn the money he needs. This process takes him two years, but he finally saves up enough to buy two pups to roam around the hills of the Ozarks with him. This tale was popular enough to receive two film adaptations, but there is still nothing that comes close to reading the book. If you have ever loved and lost a pet then this is not a book that you will easily forget.
It is not just sadness that make for memorable tales, but also fear. On The Beach is a novel with a post-apocalyptic theme that deals with the events following the nuclear devastation of World War III. The book tackles the bleak subject of nuclear fallout in a very sombre manner and this is definitely not a book for people who hates stories without happy endings. Each of the characters in the book grapple with the realization that the deadly radiation that is killing all human and animal life on earth is slowly heading towards them. Like Where The Red Fern Grows, this novel, which was first published din 1957, has seen two movie adaptations, but the book is still the most chilling and memorable version.
A Thousand Splended Suns is the second novel from author Khaled Hosseini, who also wrote The Kite Runner. For this novel, he tells the story of two Afghan women named Laila and Mariam. It is certainly not a very easy book to read as it deals with very traumatic events, such as war and abuse. Hosseini also has a flair for writing complex characters who are very believable, which makes the story even more heart-wrenching. However, in addition to loss, the book also deals with love and have given many readers a new appreciation for life after they have finished it. With The Kite Runner also turned into a successful film, it is no surprise that A Thousand Splendid Suns is receiving the same treatment, but don’t wait for the movie and read the book if you haven’t already done so.
There have been many tales written about Ernest Hemingway, but author Paula McClain chose to make Hadley Richardson the focus of her tale. Richardson was Hemingway’s first wife and after her he went on to marry three others. However, through her research of not only Hemingway’s novels, but also letters, McClain managed to write a fictionalized tale of the romance, marriage and eventual divorce of the couple. There are of course many romance novels that end in heartache, but The Paris Wife is told in such a poignant manner that it is hard not to get caught up in the tale. You also don’t have to be a fan of Hemingway to appreciate the amount of research that McClain has put into bringing this tale to life.