What We Are Reading Today: ‘Lord of the Flies’

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Updated 16 April 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Lord of the Flies’

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  • The novel explores themes of human nature, civilization, power and the inherent darkness within individuals

Author: William Golding

“Lord of the Flies” is a coming of age novel by British novelist William Golding. First published in 1954, the title has since become a classic of modern literature.

It tells the story of a group of British boys who find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island after their plane crashes during a wartime evacuation.

The novel explores themes of human nature, civilization, power and the inherent darkness within individuals. As the boys struggle to survive and establish order on the island, their society gradually descends into chaos and savagery.

The title refers to a severed pig’s head, symbolizing the evil and primitive instincts that take hold of the boys.

The main characters in the novel include Ralph, a charismatic and responsible boy who tries to maintain order and establish a signal fire to attract rescuers; Jack, a power-hungry and savage boy who becomes the leader of a group of hunters; Piggy, an intelligent but socially marginalized boy who serves as Ralph’s adviser; and Simon, a quiet and introspective boy who experiences a deep connection with nature.

As the story progresses, the boys’ civilization erodes, and they succumb to their primal instincts, engaging in violence and tribal warfare.

“Lord of the Flies” explores the destructive potential of unchecked power, the loss of innocence, and the conflict between civilization and savagery.

The novel has always been subject to various interpretations and perspectives by different readers and scholars. Much of it has been analyzed through the lens of allegorical human nature, political and social commentary, and even Freudian psychology.

“Lord of the Flies” has left a lasting impact on literature and popular culture through its exploration of universal themes, and its enduring relevance in contemporary society.

Its portrayal of the human condition and the fragility of civilization continues to resonate with readers, making it a classic that is worthy of being read again.

 


What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas
Updated 22 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

What We Are Reading Today: The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas

Authors: Jim Best, Stephen Darby, Luciana Esteves, & Carol Wilson 

From the Congo and the Mekong to the Seine and the Mississippi, Earth’s rivers carve through landscapes before coursing into the world’s oceans through estuaries and deltas.

“The World Atlas of Rivers, Estuaries, and Deltas” takes readers on an unforgettable tour of these dynamic bodies of water, explaining how they function at each stage of their flow.


What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital
Updated 21 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

What We Are Reading Today: Money Capital

Authors: Patrick Bolton & Haizhou Huang

In this book, leading economists Patrick Bolton and Haizhou Huang offer a novel perspective, viewing monetary economics through the lens of corporate finance.

They propose a richer theory, where money can be seen as the equity capital of a nation, playing a similar role as stocks for a company. 


What We Are Reading Today: ‘Crossing Thoughts’

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Updated 20 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: ‘Crossing Thoughts’

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Author: Sultan Ayaz

“Crossing Thoughts” is a fantasy novel in English by Saudi author Sultan Ayaz, published in 2017.

Ayaz’s novel is about humans defending their homeland against demon oppression. It is about the eternal fight between humanity and demons, and the person who stands between them.

The story begins with Drake, a child who lives a peaceful life with his family in a small town. However, a demonic attack destroys the village, but Drake somehow survives.

Three characters emerge: Aria, Ray and Amber, who study the nature of elements at the Grand College of Elements in the Kingdom of Iora, one of three kingdoms suffering demonic oppression. They learn to employ elemental magic as a weapon against their demonic opponents.

Aria (wind element user), Amber (fire element user) and Ray (thunder element user) end up fighting a sea demon and are discovered by a mysterious man called Soul, who admires their powers and helps them train to become “demon slayers,” to free humans from oppression.

There are many fight scenes in the storyline using magic and elements, and the book is full of drama, plot twists and terror.

What I liked about the narrative is how easy it is to read and follow, and the development of the world building —from the village to the Kingdom of Iora.

The female characters in the novel shine brighter and have distinct styles, making them more intriguing to read about, and each possesses a particular power.   

It might be confusing for some readers that the story begins with Drake’s perspective and then cuts to the story of Aria, Amber and Ray. However, the more you read, the more intriguing the female storylines become.

The book has received four-plus star ratings on the Goodreads website and is simple enough to read in one sitting.  

In 2020, Ayaz became one of the first Saudi novelists to have a fiction work in English published overseas when Olympia Publishers, a British publishing house, purchased the rights to “Crossing Thoughts.”

The novel is also set to be adapted into a Manga comic by Manga Arabia.

 


What We Are Reading Today: When the Bombs Stopped

What We Are Reading Today: When the Bombs Stopped
Updated 20 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: When the Bombs Stopped

What We Are Reading Today: When the Bombs Stopped

Author: Erin Lin

Over the course of the Vietnam War, the United states dropped 500,000 tonnes of bombs over Cambodia—more than the combined weight of every man, woman, and child in the country.

Fifty years after the last sortie, residents of rural Cambodia are still coping with the unexploded ordnance that covers their land.


What We Are Reading Today: Father Time

What We Are Reading Today: Father Time
Updated 19 May 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Father Time

What We Are Reading Today: Father Time

Author: Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

It has long seemed self-evident that women care for babies and men do other things.

Puzzled and dazzled by the tender expertise of new fathers around the world— several in her own family—celebrated evolutionary anthropologist and primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy set out to trace the deep history of male nurturing and explain a surprising departure from everything she had assumed to be “normal.”