The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho:
This book changed my life, as I’m sure it has many others around the world. Its simplicity is powerful, the story courageous. The Alchemist should be compulsory reading for all school students. Magical realism is a brilliant genre that does not receive enough recognition nor input from authors; this novel is the reason I write in this genre, and seek to bring hope and inspiration to my readers. My brother gave me this book.
The Beach by Alex Garland:
If you haven’t read this book I implore you to. The backpacking adventure is now legendary on both beaten and unbeaten paths around the world- if you have a son or daughter about to graduate, give them The Beach as a present, and encourage them to get out and see the world. I found this at a second-hand bookstore in Airlie Beach, Australia.
Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta:
A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005, the travel memoir and social analysis of Mumbai’s underworld is breathtaking. It stands out above most other travel memoirs, for unless you have lived it, you truly wouldn’t understand this type of travel. I bought this in Milan, Italy.
The Zahir by Paulo Coelho:
The Zahir is a work about the power of love, and its absolution as we journey through life. This book is food for the soul, and will bring contentment to even the most hectic of minds. I bought this in Santorini, Greece.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami:
Murakami is a writer’s writer. His style, approach and ability to tell meaningful stories with surrealism is masterful. This is just one of many books by the Japanese author which should be read by every aspiring writer. I was given this as a present by my brother.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:
A timeless classic. A philosophical tale about life in the disguise of a children’s book. I picked this book up originally as I was once called ‘The Little Prince’ on my travels. I only discovered five years later that it was in reference to this fable.
Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution by Victor Sebestyen:
For anybody who has grown up in a culture they haven’t identified with, and wanted to trace their roots to help discover who they are, I highly recommend this book. For me, it showed what life was like for my parents and grandparents in beautiful Hungary at the time- atrocity, murder, corruption and cruelty. I bought this at the House of Terror, in Budapest, Hungary.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene:
I studied this book in high school. The Quiet American is a great book which can teach the world many lessons about the wars we find ourselves in- war with other countries, and war with ourselves.
Dracula by Bram Stoker:
An absolute masterpiece, what more can I say? The fact that mainstream media has portrayed Dracula as a bloodsucking vampire who terrifies people is a grave injustice. This book really deserves more than that. The depth in the story, the descriptive nature of the text and the rich territory it unfolds in deserves the highest praise.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara:
This travel memoir truly is exceptional, despite what you think of the man. Is Guevara a murderer or a liberator? An angel or a savage? Before he became a revolutionary, he embarked on a travel adventure with his best friend- this is his story. The reason this book is so well received is because it resonates deeply with those who travel for the first time- the things we see, the people we encounter- it all makes up an experience which helps shape our view of the world. Ultimately, this shows Guevara in a non-mythical light that any young man or woman can relate to- somebody who so, so desperately wanted to change the world. For those who do not like Guevara, you should give this a read as you will find it particularly interesting. You will see a young, bright physician with the whole world before him
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The End of Athens
Genre: Dystopian Thriller/Urban Fantasy
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 70,000
Cover Artist: Anthony Karakai
In the year 2091, humans have lost the ability to dream. After decades of financial and social depression, dreams and aspirations have become a recessive gene—an impossibility of the modern mind.
Greece is one of the worst social and economic disaster zones, and all hope of a better future has been lost. One young man, Nikos, discovers that he is not like everybody else—there is something different about him.
Believing that he may be going crazy, he soon discovers that he is the only person in Greece who has inherited the ability to dream. Time is running out as the government continues its tirade of corruption and suppression against the people, and Nikos must find a way to teach others how to dream so that once more society can free itself from the shackles of mental slavery.
About the Author:
Anthony Michael Karakai was born in Melbourne, Australia, and is a dual citizen of Hungary. Holding an International Business degree, he is also a qualified percussionist and music producer, having studied music extensively since the age of seven. Working in journalism, his work has been published in various magazines and websites. With an insatiable appetite for travel and an eagerness to explore off the beaten path, Karakai travels at every opportunity- his travels and ongoing commitment to exploring the world are what inspires him to write.
Good Reads: Anthony Karakai