Top Books Look Back (Part 2): How the Jews lost their god in “Night” and the harrowing story of Kevin and his mother in “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

It’s the second part of our Top Books Look Back series. In case you missed it, we’re revisiting the book titles which made up our top list for the past ten years. Some of them were included in the annual top ten lists way beyond the creation of this site so we took an opportunity to have them reviewed a bit. We selected a few of them which you could read or re-read. So again, here we go.


We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lionel Shriver. Top 5 book, 2009): You might have heard about this because of the film. Back then, it was hard to get a copy of this book so when imagine my joy when I did. Anyway, if you get pretty affected by the film, reading its book origin will definitely have an effect on you on a deeper level because it revisits profoundly and in length many long debated questions about wanting and needing love, and the hardships of a mother-son relationship. Unfortunately, like the movie version, the point of view centers about the mother, which was fine in discussing problems about raising a child but failed to move deeper on the real problem which could be tackled if it focused on the point of view of Kevin instead, much like in “Forgive Me Leonard Peacock.”


Billy (Albert French. Top 2 Book, 2009): This is the story of the 10-year-old Billy Lee Turner and how he uncovered the bigotry of the life in his hometown of Patch in Banes County. After stabbing Lori Pasko, a 15-year-old white girl, in self-defense, the racial discrimination and hatred in this faraway town was soon became apparent, after years of claiming that their place was what you could call on those days as “progressive.” The honesty of this book was what made it special. It narrates the harrowing story of racial problems during that time through the eyes of a child, and it were real thoughts and musings from a child. It also took efforts to be balance in its story as it considered the fear and hatred and being lost that the Pasko family felt. The heart-wrenching ending will make you remember this book.


The Song of Albion Book 1: The Paradise War (Stephen Lawhead. Top 3 Book, 2009): This is the first part of the Song of Albion series and I have to admit that I could not still get a copy of the second and third book until now. Bummer. This story is reminiscent of the anime series Fushigi Yuugi. If you’re not familiar with it, the story revolves the same as the series: two friends, Lewis and Simon, disappeared into the otherworld of Albion where Lewis took part in saving the world against its enemy by using the Song of Albion while unknowingly making his friend Simon, the enemy in the end. The realistic painting of the Celtic world will make you fall in love with this book, as well as, the depth of its characters.night The ending, at least on this book, is out of the ordinary, making me, again, excited to read the last two books.

Night (Elie Wiesel. Top 1 Book, 2009): I have read many books before this one about the Holocaust including Schindler’s List in high school, but this book brings you straight to where the pain is, day after day, night after night. It chronicles how the Jews lost their god on those harrowing years through the eyes of a surviving Jew, mercilessly narrating the events as it happened, the experiences, the pain, the suffering and absence of hope and joy.

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