Memories of my Melancholy Whores – Gabriel García Marquez

Memories of my Melancholy Whores unravels the life memories of this unforgettable and lonely character in yet another vigorous book by Gabriel García Marquez. The reader will follow the sexual adventures of this gentleman, the narrator of these memories, who will live about a hundred years of blunted and boring loneliness, writing chronicles and dull reviews for a provincial newspaper, giving grammar lessons to students as lost as he is, and most of all, wandering from brothel to brothel, sleeping with disposable women, and finally coming to this unexpected and surprising love story.

The Alienist – Machado de Assis

A classic of Brazilian literature, this fiction written by Machado de Assis is, one hundred and thirty years after its original publication, one of the most devastating reflections about how insane science can be.
The protagonist Simão Bacamarte is a doctor who get interested in psychiatry, starting a study about insanity in the city of Itaguaí, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, where he launches  a hospice – considered the most modern method in the treatment of psychiatric diseases at that time -, gathering the local population for his experiments.  It’s a surprising and modern story, with brings an intense debate about the limits between madness and reason, insanity and lucidity.

Embers – Sándor Márai

As Brasas is a stunning book dealing with a reunion of an old Hungarian general, Henrik, with an old friend, Konrad, in his castle in the Carpathian region. In this meeting, which occurs after forty years, we have the conversation of these two men oscillating between an idealized past and a decadent present. The conversations depict a distant time, traveling from childhood to adulthood of the two men, who lived the two great world wars. Even with the passing of time, a fact that occurred the last time they met still troubles the general, who is determined to discover the truth, which ends up serving to address other, broader issues.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is a novel by author Milan Kundera, who also wrote The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Published in 1979, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting contains seven separate narratives that share common themes such as a memory, forgetting and political history.

The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells the story of a fragile woman, taken to a farm by her husband, a doctor, in a way that should work as a healing retreat. Even though it seems like the perfect destination for her emotional recovery, the room where the couple settles is covered by a mysterious yellow wallpaper. Prohibited to do any form of mental or physical effort, the narrator gets obsessed by the patterns of the wallpaper. The book was published in 1892 and for many years was considered a horror story. However, considering from the author’s background and the depth of her text, it is today considered a classic in feminist literature.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is novel written by Aldous Huxley in 1931. This literature classic takes place in London in the year 2540 and anticipates fictional developments in reproductive technology, hypnopedia, psychological manipulation, among others, all combined to create the foundations of a new society.

“If this is a man?” – Primo Levi

Se Questo è um uomo?”if this is a man?) is a masterpiece and one of the most “beautiful” books on the Holocaust. Philip Roth labelled the book as “One of the century’s truly necessary books”. Many authors recommend that this book be read by everyone at least once a year. Nowadays, when people are less patient and more selfish, it is important to make a reflection on human behaviour. Primo Levi painstakingly recounts his sad, painful and terrifying experience at Auschwitz in a dry and objective mood with very little emotion and reflects on human behaviour in the context of chaos, violence and dehumanization. It was written in a context in which man forgot of the man himself and forgot himself as a man. A very current book!

Tinkers – by Paul Harding

The book Tinkers, written by Paul Harding and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2010, tells the story of a man called George Crosby who, in his death bed, starts hallucinating, in and out of conscience, and finally living with emotion, several moments of your life. George is a clock repairer, passionate about clocks, and therefore, throughout the read many memories of his life are told in comparison to the mechanism of a clock.

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

An intimate and delicate universe is built both from the letters written by Cellie to God and to her sister, describing her experiences, as from her friendship and love relationship with Shug Avery. Despite the drama of its plot, the novel is quite contemporary and it makes us reflect about love, hate and power relations, within a society that is still marked by gender, ethnicity and social class inequalities. It is a story of racism, sexism, classicism and other prejudices.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao –– Junot Díaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was awarded with the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, as well as other literary awards in the same year and in 2007.
The book tells the story of Oscar, a young boy from a Dominican family who lives in New Jersey and, unlike his relatives, is shy, obese, does not succeed with women and is a fan of Star Wars and J.R.R. Tolkien.
In addition to the innovative and captivating plot, the book uses modern language mixing Portuguese and Spanishor English and Spanish, in the original version) and alternating narrators in a surprising way.