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What was your Last Good Read?

Books. This has been the secret to my success. In the pages of novels, autobiographies, travel guides, academic texts, and even graphic novels and comic books, I have found my passport to strange and foreign places, new and interesting friends, as well as ideas and thought processes that have inspired and motivated me to be the man I am today.

What was the last good book you picked up? Where did it take you? Who did it introduce you to? How did it challenge you? If, like me, you are a bibliophile, then you will know exactly what I am referring to. I am but one man, and I can live but one life, but through the eyes of others, I can travel to faraway places and experience things in ways I might have never imagined. I thought that, by writing this blog entry, I might share a little of the journey I have been on since I was six years old. Make sure your seats and tray tables are in the upright and locked position. It's going to be a bumpy ride!

Herewith are a few suggestions of books I have read that have changed the way I see just about everything …

Historical Fiction

The Source, by James A. Michener, is a very long read but definitely worth the effort. Set against the backdrop of a historical dig site in modern-day Israel, it traces the history of this incredible country through the eyes of a series of fictional characters and their journeys within the times that they lived.

If, like me, you are fascinated by history and the origins of civilizations, religions, and, by extension, your own place in the world, then this is a must read. It is probably one of Michener's top three books, and if you know the author, you'll know that that is saying a lot.


If you are fascinated by science, then A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson will change your life. This book is jampacked with every innovation that humanity has yet come up with and the stories behind these, all within the space of 544 pages.

Since the dawning of time when men learned to control fire, and invented the wheel, humanity has constantly been striving to push the boundaries of our minds, what we can innovate, how we can master our surrounding, and how we can write our own futures by discovery and invention. This is a must read for anyone who is curious about where we have come from, technologically speaking, and, by extension, where we are going.


I came across The Mistborn Trilogy and its author, Brandon Sanderson, some time ago. After having read quite a few books in this genre by the people you would expect, that is to say, J. R. R. Tolkien, David Eddings, et al., he was a breath of fresh air, remaking the universe of magic and magical characters in a way that you may not expect.

Meet Vin. A street urchin and an unwitting practitioner of allomancy. She is about as unlikely a hero as you may imagine, but along with her group of newfound family, she is destined to remake her world and save it from an evil that has existed for more than a thousand years. If you have not yet discovered and you are a fan of the genre, I would highly recommend them to you. This is escapism at its absolute best.


This one is definitely for the ladies. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you know the writing of Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you will appreciate the poetic style that he employs in Love in the Time of Cholera. It is almost lyric and quite eclectic.

As most good romance stories are, this is the tale of a love triangle set in Colombia (of course) at the time of an epidemic. Considering that we have just come out of a pandemic, I thought that this was quite appropriate to include this book in this piece. That is not to say that it is not a beautiful story, with vibrant characters, and a narrative that will tug at your heartstrings. It is that and so much more. I can highly recommend it, but be warned, you should not read this without a box of tissues handy.


If you are a younger reader, or someone who has not come across many books of a philosophical nature, I would highly recommend Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist. Not yet as heavy as Khalil Ghibran or Salman Rushdie, this book is a nice introduction into prose that causes us to evaluate our most deeply held values.

It is also not exactly very long and would be something I would suggest for any young adult who is starting to think along the lines of who they are as people, and what they hold to in terms of what kind of world they want to live in.


While I have always enjoyed the work of Grisham, Ludlum, and le Carre, I have always known them to be mere understudies to Frederick Forsyth. In the Afghan, we are taken back to a time that seems a long time ago now – the aftermath of 9/11, and our social fascination with terror groups like Al Qaeda.

This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and is a must read for any fan of spy thrillers and their ilk. Definitely no nails left after this read.


I have tried to include books from a number of genres and a number of tastes, for want of a better word, in this piece. Any one of them will be a fantastic read to anyone unfamiliar with them. Ultimately, the purpose of this blog was to encourage reading in a world where it seems less and less prevalent. Our reality is one of instant gratification and we can see this in the calibre of students we have in our schools, in our universities, et cetera. If I achieve anything in pulling my collection of thoughts out there, I would be satisfied if one person decided to pick up a book after reading them.

I would encourage you, the reader, to leave a synopsis of your latest literary find in the comments under this blog. If I have read your inclusion, I will tell you what I thought of it, and if not, I will happily go and try to find it. Our world will only ever become a better place if we that is to say those of us who think critically, share in what it was that shaped our thought processes. I would challenge you to start the narrative today.

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