Before reading this list, make sure you have seen :
- The most important books to read before you die 1/5
- LIST 2 – Most important books to read before you die 2/5
- LIST 3 – Most important books to read before you die 3/5
- LIST 4 – The most important books to read before you die 4/5.
Now, here are the five books published in our time that have earned the status of a must-read book once in a lifetime.
- Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being – 1984: three characters, representing three ideas. This novel is definitely philosophical. Two concepts are combined: lightness and heaviness. Prague is the setting for this duality, which is reflected in the opposition between the Western and Soviet worlds.
- Patrick Süskind – Das Parfum – 1985: 18th century, France. (Although the author is German.) We follow the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who survives the misfortunes of life. And suddenly, this same hero becomes the murderer, when he feels the irrepressible urge to possess a perfume. This book must be read for the description of the smells, for the painting made of the life in the 18th century, of the society.
- Paulo Coelho – O. Alquimista (The Alchemist) – 1988: this is a Brazilian philosophical tale, but the hero is Spanish. One hundred and fifty million copies sold worldwide and in 80 languages, it is a huge success.
- Michel Houellebecq – Les Particules élémentaires — 1998 : describing the emotional and sexual misery of the Western man, such is the question of Les Particules élémentaires. The writing style is quite particular. It is necessary to read it to understand it well. The story is about two half-brothers, Bruno and Michel. The content is quite explicit, not to be put in all hands.
- J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter – 1997–2007: whoever has never heard of Harry Potter has been living on a deserted island, lost, for more than twenty years. Harry Potter is quite simply the pinnacle of English literature and low fantasy. It has been translated into 75 languages, sold over 450 million copies. It is an ex-cep-final success. It is an addictive read: you will want to devour each page, one after the other, so well done are the seven books. Needless to say, having seen the movies does not excuse you from reading the books: they are worth much more than their adaptation.
These five books will have marked our time. Which contemporary books do you think will make history? Give your suggestions in the comments.
→ 8 ways to improve in modern languages