There were many books I could have chosen for this particular challenge, since reading a book in a day is not often difficult for me to do. As a way to help narrow my selection I looked at the list of the top 100 books from Goodreads (Goodreads’ Top 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime). It is my goal to read all of the books on this list and so far I’m not doing too badly (58 books as of right now), and by choosing something from this list I could kill two birds with one stone.
I ended up choosing Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I’ll admit I had never heard of this book until I saw it on this list. When I looked it up online I saw review after review glorifying it. There were several people who were even claiming it changed their lives. One English teacher talked about how his students loved it! I had to see what all the fuss was about.
So not only did I finish this book in a day, I finished it in just a few hours (that’s including the accidental nap I took while I was reading). It’s labeled as a novel but after reading through it I think it’s more of a novella. I found the book to be very interesting and a good insight into Asian cultures and religions. For any of you that have read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, this story has the same kind of ring to it. It was pretty much written as an allegory.
While I thought the book was interesting and not bad, I wouldn’t say it was ground shaking and it certainly didn’t change my life. I think this would be a great book to be taught in high school in either an ELA or a History class in correlation with a study on world philosophies/religions. It is a wonderful view into a world very different from modern day America and has a lot of important messages to give to readers. It’s a great book for analysis and study. That being said, if I wasn’t involved in the academic world I doubt that I would have found the book worth picking up. This is a piece of literature that really only serious readers would probably enjoy. If you like more beach reads, books to just pass the time, or books with lighter plots I would not recommend Siddhartha for you. If however you like to challenge yourself or gain new insights then definitely give it a try.