What Should You Read Next?

Safae Daoudi, Staff Reporter

Books are a way of expressing emotions through human experiences. From the dawn of time, books have been the medium through which people shared their knowledge of the world. We read to feel transported in different time zones, feel moved by the protagonist’s journeys, empathize with their struggles, and connect to their dreams and aspirations.

Below is a compiled list of my favorite books, a selection for those who want to immerse themselves in exploring new cultures and emotions. These books have had a fundamental impact on my view of the world and have allowed me to draw priceless life lessons that inspired me in one way or another.  

“The Blue Bicycle” by Regines Desforges

(Photo/ Let’s Read)

“The Blue Bicycle” is a series of 10 books by Regines Desforges. These books recount the adventures of Lea, a young girl living in France under the German occupation during World War II. “The Blue Bicycle” is perhaps one of my favorite sagas since it sparked my interest in historical fiction. The story recounts the impact Nazi occupation had on the people of France through the lens of Lea’s personal struggle. The book also explores the resistance movement and offers a moving immersion into the atrocities of war and a closer look at one of the darkest chapters of human history. 

“A Dangerous Fortune” by Ken Follett

(Photo/ Amazon)

This book is one of Ken Follet’s finest novels taking place in England in the 1800s and opens up with a mysterious drowning accident. The story follows a rich family of bankers, the Pilasters, who were affected by this drowning incident. It’s a story about the rise and fall of a family fortune. An intricate tale, full of intrigue and a multi-layered plot with complex characters and one of the best female villains, Augusta Pilaster. The story follows the characters in their desperate attempts to preserve power and wealth. 

“Even if you were taken out of school for want of money, Hugh. It’s no excuse for false values. The world is full of poor people who understand that love and friendship are more important than riches,” Ken Follett, “A Dangerous Fortune.” 

“Perfect Harmony” by Barbara Wood

(Photo/ Amazon)

Barbara Wood’s novels are built around different cultures at different times in history. This novel takes place in the modern era with a series of flashbacks to reconstruct the protagonist’s story. Charlotte Lee is a young Chinese American woman who owns a big pharmaceutical company, Harmony Biotech, which specializes in traditional Chinese remedies. She inherited this firm from her ancestors.

A mysterious series of deaths among customers of the company’s products catapult Lee into an infernal gear as she tries to save herself and the reputation of the firm. As she embarks on the journey, she learns about the true story of her family, a story of tears and sacrifices. 

“But I refused to lose hope. With the help of my small stove, I continued making my mother’s remedies. It was out of the question that I will give up and go to the parish to ask for charity: I would have never begged.”-Barbara Wood, “Perfect Harmony.” 

“A Jewish Girl Lies Within My Heart” by Khawla Hamdi


(Photo/ Goodreads)

A magnificent and intense read that deeply moved me. This book traces the story of Reem, a little Muslim girl. She is forced to leave Tunisia to live in Lebanon with her Jewish family. There, she meets Nada, a young Jewish girl engaged to Ahmad, a Muslim. The love story that unfolds between the two characters over the pages is captivating and tragic, which carries a message of peace and tolerance. In my heart, “A Jewish Girl Lies Within My Heart” is a book that I couldn’t put down. Even if you are reluctant to read about books involving religion, I would still recommend this one. 

“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton

(Photo/ Booktopia)

This is one of the most mysterious and unpredictable novels, combining intense suspense and drama.  The book follows Cassandra, a young woman haunted by her past who has just lost her grandmother and decides to go on a quest to find out more about the story of her family. The intricate layering of different times and places is what makes this story truly exceptional. We are taken on a journey, unveiling the secrets of a family over four generations and the developments of the plot are surprising and interesting. 

“That, my dear, is what makes a character interesting, their secrets.”

Kate Morton, “The Forgotten Garden

“You mustn’t wait for someone to rescue you. . . A girl expecting rescue never learns to rescue herself. Even with the means, she’ll find her courage wanting.”

Kate Morton, “The Forgotten Garden

“Regards from the Dead Princess” by Kenizé Mourad

(Photo/ Amazon)

This book is an exciting foray into the end of the Ottoman Empire. A captivating and authentic story, told by the daughter of the protagonist herself. Selma, the author’s mother, was seven years old when the Ottoman Empire “under the aegis of her father Mourad V” collapsed. Selma lost everything. The tragic story of her family and her love are highlighted throughout the book. She is finally forced to marry an Indian maharaja she has never seen before fleeing to Paris, where she dies miserably after the war separates her from her loved ones. Before dying, she gives birth to Kenize, the author of this book. 

“It’s so easy for provocateurs to stir up passions! We burn a church, we assassinate a Muslim, and immediately the mistrust, the ancestral fears, the hatreds that we thought were forgotten are reborn with terrifying force. Those who understand the maneuver and try to avoid the drama fail to make themselves heard and end up being silent, for fear of being accused of cowardice or treason.”-Kenizé Mourad: “Regards From The Dead Princess (De La Part De La Princesse Morte).”

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