Find the book to read before Covid ends
A lot of lists are titled in a similar vein to “books you have to read before you die”. I always found that a bit morbid, and as someone bad with long deadlines, some time before I die is a deadline I’m sure I would procrastinate over forever.
As the probable end of the current Covid situation is a happier thing to think about than the inevitable end of your own life, and a much shorter/stricter deadline(another year or two at worst across the globe I hope), it forms a better deadline for this reading quest.
The quest includes picking one of three books, of which I hope the most motivated readers here can at least try a few chapters of before inevitably giving up. Did you know that anime has ranked higher than books in Google Searches worldwide since 2014? Here.
The following three books have been picked from the more than 20 books I’ve read since the first Covid lockdown. Though they have sequels, all of them work perfectly as a standalone experience.
Before Covid ends(or becomes a seasonal flu kind of deal) might be the last big opportunity for you to make some big steps towards considering yourself a literate intellectual. And no matter how busy you are, half an year is enough to read a single book. Trust me on this, books can be more fun than anime.
Note: I read all of these in e-book form. If you’re interested in reading them but can’t find the physical book or ebook for whatever reason, message me. I might know some guys with a wooden leg and a hook arm.
These books are sorted from easiest to read, to a little less easy to read. They’re all incredibly fun.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
I did say that the books were sorted by easiest to read. This book is the only Young Adult book on the list, which really should just mean “takes less effort to read” to everyone but a publicist.
And though it is easy to read in a literal sense, it gets quite hard to read at times. The book is set in a dystopian science fiction world and revolves around a boy in a town with the last men on his planet, a planet where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts in a mess known only as the Noise.
The reason I loved the book isn’t limited to only the premise. The story revolves around the protagonist being chased across the planet, forced to learn secrets that upheave everything he knows about the world and the conflicts he’s running from. It’s a journey that somehow manages to be a great example of engaging characters, world-building, and some great plot twists.
The first-person narrative is something I found charming in the end, but I can see some people not sharing my opinion on this especially in the beginning. If you prefer the third person or want to challenge something with richer prose, then read on.
The lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
This is by far the most popular book on this list and for good reason.
Our protagonists here are a part of an underground gang of con artists, orphans recruited into this gang by a man known only as Father Chains. The first part of the book is about their origins and a major heist they’re attempting in the present.
For any heist story, a large part of the enjoyment is how cool and smart the heists actually are, and Scott Lynch delivers incredibly well. While one of the drawbacks of the book is that it is hard to get invested in the characters in the beginning, they turn out to be some of the most likable characters written towards the end.
And while I have touted this as a novel revolving around heists, I’d classify this as a fantasy story with one of the most satisfying climax fights I’ve read in a while. I have no bad things to say about the ending really, but the beginning does drag on a bit. I found myself skimming through descriptions of clothes in a certain chapter and recommend you do so as well if you pick this up.
Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike
This book is a work of art. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I do think one of the Great Big Sins of Humankind is that this book isn’t more popular than it is.
The world is set in what appears to be the usual fantasy world; a medieval one with orcs(obviously), goblins, dwarves, Gods, and more. A world seen many times in LitRPG, Isekai, and fantasy fiction. Apart from the details relevant to the plot, the book turns out to be a brilliant deconstruction of what economics in such a world would look like.
No, you do not need to know economics to love this book. I don’t know economics. The only requirement to love the book would be a sense of humor, which is definitely the first selling point of the book. While it is a slow burn, and the beginning might seem uneventful for a fantasy book, the humor and world-building are what set the book apart for me.
And without giving away too much of the plot, the ending of this book is where I felt the most adrenaline I can remember feeling for a book. It’s an amazing example of what good world-building a slow plot can lead to; it’s also an incredible example of character-driven conflicts where you can 100% put yourselves in the shoes of the characters. Towards the end, I could feel the implications of the plot events deep in my stomach, yet I was internally yelling as hard as I could for the main characters to achieve what they set out to do.
Read this book. There exist organisations named Goldson Baggs and J. P Gorgon. C’mon.
I’d like to end things by saying I want people to finish reading this post and remember exactly one title. It doesn’t have to be Orconomics. All three are great books, and I have no idea what appeals to your tastes the most. Only you do.
Tell me what you think about this article or any of the books mentioned in the comments below! I’d appreciate that quite a bit.