Kim Philot – IB Coordinator and English A Teacher
My favorite book (of many) is: The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand.
I choose this book because, to me, it is one of the best ever written. It follows the story of a man named Harold Roark and his journey through life and success. He is an architect that finds himself struggling between building what he is “supposed” to build (according to society) and what he “wants” to build (according to his own definition of beauty). It is, essentially, the story of having to choose between what we want to do and what the world says we should (or should not) do. The other main character in the book, Peter Keating, is the “status quo” and chooses a life of ease and success. Harold does not.
I suppose it is my favorite book because, in many ways, I am not who I was “supposed” to be. Growing up in the South, to grandparents without even a high school education, I was not destined to live the life I live now. In many ways, I had to learn to silence the expectations of others to hear my own of myself; just like Harold.
Matija Primozic – Math HL and SL, Physics Teacher
My favorite book: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.
It’s the story of a shepherd boy who follows his dream. During his journey he meets many interesting people who give him useful advice for his life.
It is the only book that I was able to read in just 1 day. It is a nice readable story but very deep if you know how to read it.
Ada Casagrande – Administration Office
Long time ago I watched The Count of Monte Cristo film: it intrigued me to the point that I decided to read the book it was inspired to (by Alexandre Dumas).
The book deals with several themes: justice, revenge, forgiveness, mercy but the happy ending is present as well.
The captivating plot brings you back to another age, telling the events of Edmond Dantés, a young sailor working on the Pharaon cargo ship. He is about to be promoted to rank of Captain and marry his fiancée Mercédès. Danglars, dying of envy because he is willing to become the ship Captain, helped by Fernand Mondego – Mercédès’s cousin and openly in love with her – and Gaspard Caderousse – jealous neighbour – arranges a trap to frame Edmond and get his promotion.
Edmond is arrested for Bonapartism and while in jail meets the abbot Faria that teaches him different subjects and helps him shed light on the cospirancy he had been victim of.
Before dying, the abbot revels to Dantés where the hidden treasure is located on the Monte Cristo island. Dantès sees Faria’s death as his only real opportunity to escape. Therefore, he takes his place into Faria’s burial sack. Once thrown into the sea, he manages to free himself and…
Hopefully now you’re curious enough to find little time to enjoy the book!
Alessia Geromel – House Parent
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Alice is sitting in the riverbank and she notices a White Rabbit who seems in a hurry. She decides to follow it down the rabbit hole and suddenly falls into a deeper hole and she finds herself in a curious hall with many locked doors of all sizes. She discovers a bottle on a table labelled “Drink Me”: she follows the command and she shrinks too small to reach the key, which she has left on the table. She then eats a cake with “Eat Me” written on it and Alice grows so much that her head hits the ceiling.
Then the White Rabbit reappears and invites Alice to enter the Duchess’ house..he invites some other friends that help Alice come back to the normal height.
Alice meets a lot of strange characters among which the Hatter. She becomes a guest at a “mad” tea party during which The Hatter reveals that they have tea all day because Time has punished him eternally standing still at 6 pm, i.e. tea time.
She will meet also the Queen of Hearts who hates the Duchess. The Queen of Hearts is a really malicious person and wants to decapitate every single person that makes her furious. During a trial to the Knave of hearts accused to steal the Queen’s tarts, Alice starts to grow larger and when she is called up as a witness, she is ordered to leave, because she is too big. But Alice refuses to leave and the Queen orders to decapitate her and she discovers that all the Queen and all her servant are simply playing cards…Alice wakes up and discovers to be in the garden of her house.
I really love that story because everything is about imagination but it is also a journey of growth. The main character, through all those experiences, understands that there is also another chance to see things, what is “normal” for her could be “strange” for someone else, and vice-versa.
But what I like the most is the fact that the curiosity pushes Alice to continue her journey, to overcome her fears and to meet new people, new way to face life.
Silvia Zanusso – Librarian
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
This book is not my favourite, but it is a present I received three years ago for my birthday from a friend of mine and I read it in 3 days.
The story is about some guys, who are facing teenagers’ problems. Sam and Charlie are the main characters, two guys who try to hide their lack of love, loneliness and some terrible things that had happened to them when they were young.
It is a wonderful story that helped me to understand the luck I have by having a family and lovely friends close to me.
Andre Philot – Philosophy and TOK Teacher
This book – Einstein’s clocks, Poincaré’s maps, by Peter Galison – is one of my favourites. It is about how the works of Einstein in the Swiss office of patents and of Poincaré in the Bureau des Longitudes (French institution dedicated to navigation, geodesy and astronomy) contributed for the development of the theory of relativity in physics. The amount of research carried by the author was incredible and the style on which Galison writes it makes the subject understandable and – somehow – even simple. Both scientists have different ways of thinking about the same problem and this is very well discussed in the book. Most importantly, Galison pays tribute to the often forgotten contribution of Poincaré to the relativity theory, almost always credited only to Einstein.
Elisabetta Casonato – GSO Student
My favourite book is White as the milk, Red as the Blood, by Alessandro D’Avenia, because it is the only book that made me cry and feeling really deep emotions. I think that when a book can bring you to this emotional part then it is truly a Book with the capital letter.
It deals with a boy who is in love with a girl who has the leukemia and when he discovers that she is sick, he tries all the ways to make her happy and feel less worried about the disease. At the end…You’ll discover it, if you read the book!
Nicoletta Sforzin – CAS Coordinator
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, probably one of the mostly know and translated book of the contemporary age, is undoubtedly my favourite one.
Notwithstanding it is styled as a children’s book, I have realised all its deep meanings and powerful images only in adult age.
Indeed, the Little Prince makes several observations about life, human nature and human relationships.
The narrator, an airplane pilot, crashes in the Sahara desert and while trying to fix his airplane, he is approached by the little prince, a very serious little blond boy.
They become good friends and the pilot learns the little prince comes from a small planet which he takes great care of, by preventing any bad seeds from growing and making sure it was never overrun by baobab trees. One day, a mysterious rose sprouted on the planet and the little prince fell in love with it. But when he caught the rose in a lie one day, he decided that he could not trust her anymore and decided to leave to explore other planets.
While journeying, the little prince passes by neighboring asteroids and planets, encountering the world of grown-ups: a king, a vain man, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer, all of whom live alone and are consumed by their occupations. Such strange behavior both amuses and perturbs the little prince, who begins to miss the rose he has left behind.
Eventually, the little prince visits Earth, but there he does not find any human: he meets a snake, a three-petaled flower, a tall mountain, a rose garden and a fox.
The fox becomes the Prince’s best friend, who teaches him what is truly important in life. That helps the little prince to realise his love for his rose and he comes to the conclusion to return to his planet. With the help of the snake that bites him, the prince is able to fly back to his asteroid, leaving the pilot in the hope he could reconcile with his rose.
The whole story essence is contained in the fox words: “One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.”
Sithis Yimsamnang – GSO Student
A Work in Progress, by Connor Franta.
This book is about a person’s life and descriptions of every simple bit of life merged with some prosperous moments. Even though the author, is a successful YouTuber, many parts of his life is as simple as ours.
I think that the most significant aspect that provokes my interest in this is that the importance of life is to optimise every single bit of it and turn it into a precious experience. Besides, he has similar phase of life to me as well.
Therefore, I think that it is the best book I have ever read.
Sara Casagrande – Business Management Teacher
My favourite book: The Shadow of the Wind, a 2001 novel by the Spanish writer Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest, through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona, for a mysterious author whose book proves to be as dangerous to him as it is impossible to forget.
“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you”.
Sara Zecchinello – GSO Student
My favourite book: The secret of the Antichrist, by the Italian author Fabio Sorrentino.
The plot takes place nowadays, it starts with a midnight violent fire in an ancient weapon factory in Torre Annunziata, near Naples that destroys a road letting the protagonist discover a real Ancient Roman hallway.
The protagonist travels between Italy, Syria and Palestine to discover a huge obscure secrete that someone else wants to obtain, by any means.
It’s a very interesting thriller and something different from all the normal stories that you can read everyday.
I recommend it.
Elisa Pavan – Italian Ab Initio Teacher
Unable to decide only one book among my favourites, I was at least able to drop at 2 books: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, by Joël Dicker, my current favourite, and Emma, by Jane Austen, my favourite book of all time.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is a thriller, the story of Marcus Goldman, a successful young writer, that suddenly finds himself in the middle of a weird investigation to protect his mentor Harry Quebert. Who killed Nola Kellergan? Go to the closest library or bookshop and enjoy your reading 😉
Emma, timeless classic but yet not the best-known Jane Austen novel. Emma “is a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, the novelist wrote to a friend, possibly the only wrong sentence ever written by Jane. The story of a “handsome, clever and rich” 21 year-old woman and yet such a complex character. No more clues on this one, just go take a copy and taste it to the fullest.
Maria Elettra Favotto – Administration Office
Tuesdays with Morrie is the memoir of Mitch Albom about his weekly meetings with his 78-year-old sociology professor Morrie Schwartz.
After his graduation Mitch almost forgets about his university professor. But later, when the professor appears on a national TV show, Mitch decides to reconnect with Morrie who is diagnosed with ALS and is going to die.
The relationship between Morrie and Mitch is then re-established, stronger than ever. However, this time Morrie is not teaching sociology to Mitch, but something much more important: the deep meaning of life. Morrie’s words have a significant impact on Mitch who undergoes a transformational experience as time passes by, thanks to his professor. The two men talk about human dignity, the importance of loving, family, death, happiness, building a community, the important things in life.
Mitch puts Morrie’s words into writing so not to forget anything of the precious teachings that Morrie gives to him. Thanks to Mitch, Morrie’s final lesson was passed onto thousand people and has made an impact in the life of many.
I think that every student should read Tuesdays with Morrie.
I was given this book by one of my professors when I was studying at Queen’s University in Kingston. At first, I didn’t really understand why he wanted his students to read Mitch’s memoir. “What does it have to do with a university student who is graduating in Finance?” I thought.
Now I understand the value of Morrie’s teachings. After almost ten years this is still my favorite book. I read Tuesdays with Morrie again every year, and each time I read it I discover something new that I didn’t capture the previous times.
The truth is that, even after graduating, we always remain students. We need to keep looking for teachers like Morrie around us, those who can guide us through the important life lessons.
Valentina Marcato – Counsellor
My favourite book: The Killer in My Eyes, by Giorgio Faletti.
The plot of the book takes place between New York and Rome where two policemen, Jordan and Maureen, will find themselves joining their intuition, their energies and sensibilities, putting themselves on the trail of a ruthless killer who likes to compose the bodies of his victims like the Peanuts characters.
The title immediately fascinated me and, in some ways, is the key to solving the mystery of this fascinating story, an exciting psychological thriller.
It’s my favorite book because:
- I was held in suspense thanks to the twists and not predictable plot until the end;
- I wanted to read it at any free time;
- I really liked the personal and professional style of the two protagonists.