1) Steppenwolf, by Herman Hesse
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you a tenant whose soul is half wolf, half man, write a memoir. This novel is somewhat autobiographical and describes the life of an alienated individual through multiple points of view. A masterpiece of the existential genre, it does not cease to surprise and amaze with its keen insight into the human soul and society.
2) The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D, Salinger
The first and only novel of J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye is the teenager’s manifesto. A high school student abandons his private education to embark on a lonely adventure in New York. It follows an honest point of view rarely found in literature, capturing the mysterious workings of the adolescent brain. The references to prostitutes led to a twenty-year-long ban in American schools. Today, it is considered one of the most important books of the 20th century.
3) The Book of Disquiet, by Fernado Pessoa
This book is not a novel per se. Comprised of pieces of writing across the author’s life, Pessoa introduced it as a ‘factless autobiography’. His devotion to incompleteness becomes apparent as the pages roll, and the reader can’t help but feel utterly and completely depressed and anguished. All that aside, this relatively unknown piece will affect the way you look at life in a profound way by making you question daily existence. So, cheer up!
A 79-year-old woman becomes a criminal mastermind. Tired of the petty rules and restrictions of the care home she lives in, she gathers four other residents to embark on a theft spree. It might not be literature that goes down in history, but it makes for some good fun. The sheer absurdity of the plot mixes with witty cynical observations, resulting in great comedy. It will warm your heart and give you the giggles at the same time.