Books that will take you from reality

Ariel Themm, Staff Reporter

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Although classes will no doubt have all students rushing back and forth to meet deadlines and complete homework, there are some free moments in the chaos. The best way to kick back and relax is to get lost in a good book. Below are a few recommendations to help with the search for the right book to enjoy.

“Eating Animals” — by Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer gives readers an insight into his personal transformation from eating meats to becoming a vegetarian. He also shares research behind animal farms from popular companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken as a part of his investigation of the treatment of animals and meat processing. Foer raises awareness on the morality of eating animals while exploring the steps that our food undertakes at bigger farms and smaller, family owned farms.

This is a fact-filled book that will ask the reader to address the subject of animal rights and push for readers to be knowledgeable of what is happening and going into their food. Through multiple interviews, personal stories and harrowing plans to free animals, Foer creates a nonfiction novel that addresses animal cruelty but also explores the struggle to eat or not eat meat.

“Medea” — originally written by Euripides, translated by Rex Warner

This play is a total of 47 pages with about 10 central characters of this Ancient Greek Myth. The play revolves around the witch named Medea, who is abandoned by her heroic husband, the famous Jason. Medea and her two children will be banished by Jason’s new bride and her father, the king of Corinth. Medea is placed in a tragic situation which only incites the natural evil tendencies within her. Medea is plagued with an internal battle between revenge and depression.

Euripides leads his audience on a dramatic scrutiny of a wronged woman and the lines she’s willing to cross in order to exact her revenge. Filled with murder, satire and magic, this Greek play will enthrall the audience with it’s harrowing story. It is not hard to find blame in each character for their indiscretions but what is right and wrong becomes muddled with trickery and inhumane actions against one another.

“The Witch of Portobello” — by Paulo Coelho

Coelho fabricates a tale of a creative woman called Athena after the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. Athena is filled with a restless energy that leads her to travel from her adoptive parents in order to  learn from multiple teachers that challenge her faith and beliefs. The author uses a series of interviews of people who interacted with Athena to tell her story through their varied perspectives. Activities such as dancing and calligraphy are used to concentrate Athena’s energy into a state of serenity that serves as inspiration for others.

This novel explores belief systems such as Catholicism and the gypsy faith in the womanly attributes of the Divine. Coelho constructs characters in such a way that it is hard to believe they are not real. Through attention to detail and traits of alluring, mystical ideals, this novel seeks not to appeal to one’s happiness but to the peace of mind. Readers are swept along with the journey that this brings.

“Everything, Everything”  by Nicola Yoon

Yoon takes readers on a transformative journey through the life of Madeline Whittier, a 17-year-old girl who suffers from a fatal illness that keeps her trapped inside her home. Madeline’s life is shaken from it’s regular routine when a new family moves in next door. She becomes infatuated with the witty, math-driven Olly that pushes her to question the limited life she lives and what qualifies as truly living.

Yoon takes her characters into the complicated world of who knows what is best for you. The novel contains positive, strong female relationships that can be understood by the reader. Negative images of family are also present but the book maintains a consistent encouraging theme as Madeline is faced with relatable problems of relationships, both romantic and familial. Multiple discoveries lead to plot twists that will have a reader hooked within the first chapter.