We have all been changed by a work of art. Whether it’s a song you heard when you were thirteen or a book you read last month, no one is immune to the devastating power of a good artist. Jordan O’Donnell is no exception – and today, the Zoon Garden team wants to share with you his top three life-changing books.
3. The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway.
Clocking in at third place is a classic Hemingway novella that examines complex relationships, death, and the natural world. Hemingway may have been a jerk, but he was a damn good writer.
“Hemingway had an ability to make simple words pack a guttural punch,” says O’Donnell. “His short, snappy, yet powerful prose are a boxer’s jabs. I’ve never read anyone else who made my body tingle and stomach flip from a single paragraph.”
2.The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“The second to last book Dostoevsky wrote before he died, this one is significantly relevant to the modern day,” says O’Donnell. “It involves a secret ‘socialist’ society that is attempting to start a nation-wide Russian coup. It highlights the nihilistic personalities involved in mass destruction, is a prophecy of 1920’s-1980’s Russia, and might very well be a prophecy of America 20 years from now.”
1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
A philosophical drama and final work of Dostoevsky, this novel has been praised by literary legends such as Virginia Wolf and Kurt Vonnegut. It tells the story of three Russian brothers who each represent different aspects of humanity. To O’Donnell, it’s “second to the Bible in terms of explaining the human soul.”
“It’s widely considered one of the greatest books of all time,” says O’Donnell. “I believe it is the greatest.”