5 Best Books … About Hope
September 23, 2011 29 Comments
Cassandra of Indie Reader Houston runs the meme: “5 Best Books”. Every week, a different topic is suggested by Cassandra and participants list what they think are the 5 best book for that topic. Click HERE to see the topics for the next few weeks.
This week, the topic is Hope. What follows is a list of very different books in which hope is an important topic in some way or another.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
A great book about the troubles of an Oklahoma family in the 1930s. They are driven off their land, and seek work in California, just like several 100s of thousands of other people. Work is scarce, pay is low.
During the trip to California, and after arriving, the family, who are 12 to start with, slowly fall apart, and in the end there are just 6 left. The book ends when there is no more work, no more food, and it has rained for days. Still it ends with some hope: the family are still ready to help other people who have greater needs than themselves.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
.In a post-apocalyptic world, a man and a boy are travelling on foot. They are cold (there are ash clouds above them all the time, they cannot see the sun) and hungry.
They hope to get further South (maybe they expect it to be warmer there) but they encounter body-hunters (for food!) and thieves/murderers along the way. They are both not sure whether it’s better to be dead or alive, but they struggle onwards anyway.
So bleak! And so beautiful!
The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil
Anil and Lina both have an Indian background, but Lina is Muslim and Anil is not. They are very much in love, but Lina doesn’t want to disappoint her parents. For some time has a secret relationship with Anil while her parents think she’ll accept their choice of husband.
Anil keeps hoping Lina will tell her parents and marry him.
It’s a great book full of dilemmas and lies.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
It’s a remote place where another colleague has been based for years, doing research with the native people. She isn’t exactly keen to see Marina show up.
While the book itself is not really about hope, it’s me, the reader, that kept hoping Marina would get home safely again. The jungle is full of dangers and she doesn’t get much cooperation from the people there.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
A virus has escaped from a research facility and affected people feed on anything they come across, including other people.
It doesn’t take long before groups of people have barricaded themselves in while the affected run free and prey on the healthy people.
A group of healthy people then wants to travel across the country in search of other survivors.
They keep hoping for a better life in which they can live safely and have enough food. Great book, a bit like The Road in the sense that people keep hoping for better, against the odds.
What books about hope are your favorites?