2011 Other

The Most Important Books Published in 2011

Some books are not enjoyable to read – they can be filled with horrific images or reveal uncomfortable aspects of society, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be read.

The following books contain important messages about society and I think the world would be a better place if more people were aware of their contents.

The Death of the Adversary

The Death of the Adversary by Hans Keilson

This modern masterpiece was recently rediscovered after years of obscurity. It plots the rise of a dictator and what life is like for those who have to live under his influence.  There are original, powerful statements about the human psyche on almost every page and I wish that more people were aware of it.

The Wandering Falcon

The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

This book gives a fascinating insight into the lives of the nomadic people who lived in the remote border region of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a stark warning about what happens when modern culture and bureaucracy are allowed to affect traditional tribes.

The Fat Years

The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung

China has an increasing role in the global market place. This book gives a realistic, but shocking prediction of what life could be like in the near future; explaining how Chinese influence on the world will increase and what life might be like for those living in China. At first some of it seems a little far fetched, but on doing some research I discovered that some of the more unrealistic scenarios had actually happened already. Scary stuff.

Which 2011 books do you think are important?

7 replies on “The Most Important Books Published in 2011”

I have only read The Wandering Falcon but agree that this was an important book, it gave me such a great insight into the culture of that region. I have read another Hans Kielson this year which I really enjoyed (Comedy in a Minor Key) so I will put this one on my list.

Sharkell, I haven’t read Comedy in a Minor Key, but based on all the positive comments about it and my experience with Death of an Adversary I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’m sure you’ll appreciate Death of an Adversary.

This is an interesting and relevant distinction to make from standard “best of” lists. I think as we readers we often forget that literature tends to straddle the “enjoyable-rewarding” line and that sometimes a book can be immensely important and rewarding but not as overall enjoyable (and possibly accessible…) as others.

I like the way you’ve described this sort of reading; I share your belief that it’s essential. I have to be in the right frame of mind for it but, when I undertake it, it reminds me of why I read in the first place!

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