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Five Books I Love (Nellie Edition)

September 28, 2010

My name is Nellie. I like reading books that stay with me for the rest of my life, and although I give contemporary literature a fair try, classics are still my favorites. Some of the dustiest books on the shelf are the best. Here are five books I love.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The most intricately woven web of affairs, conspiracy, vengeance, and undying love. An ambitious young man in love with a beautiful woman is the victim of a conspiracy by cruel competitors. This results in his unjust imprisonment. By a miraculous turn of destiny, he is freed and returns with money and determination. Is his vengeance justified or evil? Does he get his girl? Does love conquer all?

The Brothers Karamazov by Feodor Dostoevsky
In a case of patricide, every son is a suspect and every son has a reason. By holding the reader in suspense through a common interest in crime and sin, Dostoevsky explores the depth of human dimensions, exposes sin, hypocrisy, delusions, social immorality, and you name it. Which is to blame for the crime: body, mind, soul, or subconscious? It's genius!

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy
Less publicized than War and Peace or Anna Karenina, this is a great novel of introspection, self-improvement as a way to improve society, penitence, and self-sacrifice. A member of the jury on a murder trial recognizes the accused as a once-young girl whom he had seduced and abandoned. Realizing his fault in her destiny, he embarks to amend the destructive consequences. In an interesting way, Tolstoy reverses the judgment from the "jury to accused" to "accused to jury". Who is responsible for the crime and who is accountable?

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Two families, divided by wrong-doing and veiled in secrecy, carry a burden of sin for almost two hundred years. Two young people falling in love, bring closure and atonement. It sounds like Romeo and Juliet, but Hawthorne exposes a different culture--19th century Salem, Massachusetts--and focuses on human fallibility.

1984 by George Orwell
This brilliant novel illustrates the destructive power of totalitarianism. The population of this novel live in the system, whose slogan is "How who controls the past controls the future." They are under surveillance twenty-four hours a day. Can they live? Can they love? Is their love strong enough to beat the system? Be afraid!

What are five books you love? Let us know in the comments field! And be sure to check out five books Peyton and Connie love!

-Nellie E.
Lone Jack Branch

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