Planet of the Apes - by Pierre Boulle
So you have seen the original 1968 movie with Charlton Heston. Or maybe you have seen all the recent reboots of the movie. You think you know what this book is about but you are wrong. The 1963 novel written by French author Pierre Boulle (also the author of The Bridge Over River Kwai) is nothing like any of the movies. Yes, there is a planet and yes there are intelligent apes on the planet. There are a few similarities with the original film and the book but not much. So if you have seen the original movie, forget it. It will make your reading experience more enjoyable if you aren't trying to compare the two and predict what is going to happen because it isn't going to happen. The gist of the book is a space expedition to a distant planet that is orbiting the star, Betelgeuse. When they get there, the are surprised at how similar the planet is to Earth but all is not what it seems.
A Clockwork Orange - by Anthony Burgess
Another classic written in 1962 by Anthony Burgess and made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick. If you had the misfortune of seeing the movie, then I feel for you. We all know the saying, "the book is always better than the movie." This is one of those cases. The book is narrated by Alex in Nadsat slang (this slang is made up by Burgess who was also a linguist). The Nadsat slang isn't too difficult to figure out as you go and it's rhythms play an interesting juxtaposition with the "ultra violence" Alex and his gang commit. The book follows Alex and his exploits and his criminal reform. It is important to note, that the original American version deleted the last chapter (chapter 21) of the book and the movie left this out as well. If you like to buy used copies of books, I suggest making sure the 21st chapter is included.
Blindness was written by Portuguese writer Jose Saramago in 1995. Apparantly this has also been made into a movie which I haven't seen. So I am sure the book is better than the movie! This book is interesting. An entire city suddenly has an epidemic of people becoming blind. The story revolves around a group of blind quarantined internees struggling with their new blindness and relying on the government for food. Saramago has an interesting writing style which has nothing to do with giving the reader a feeling of the chaos of suddenly finding your self blind. It is just the way he writes all of his books. If you download a sample or preview of any of his books you will notice the long sentences with only commas separating different speakers instead of quotation marks etc. Don't let that turn you off of reading his books. You get used to it (hint: when a speaker changes, Saramago will capitalize the new speakers clause).