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We seriously feel like taboo table topics are getting harder to avoid. Between different political views, human rights movements and diet preferences, it’s hard not to start an argument as soon as we state our opinion. So how can we still have interesting conversations without losing friends?

To avoid any awkward nights where someone bursts out of the door in anger or tears, you should definitely stock up on a few good reads that will not only teach you loads about things you’ve never heard of before but also spark new interesting conversations with old or new friends. Or best yet, if you happen to meet someone that has read, and loved the same books as you, you might as well swap them for your new best friend. Just remember books are either fictional or written by someone’s already bias perspective, so no one is either right or wrong, it’s all an opinion!

ps: click on the book titles for more information. 

The Educational Read

Starting with a selection of books you’ve probably already studied in school and haven’t thought about for a while, but which are interesting either regarding their twisty ending, or controversial ideas. My personal favorite in school was: The Handmaid’s Tale, and lucky for you millennials, that book has now been turned into a TV show, so it’s likely that you’ll meet someone on a night out, that knows exactly what this book is about. It will spark (scary) ideas of feminism and the future of our world, whilst staying fictional.

Or how about George Orwell’s 1984? Both of those books are up to date with the world we live in today but yet were written way beyond their time. Even if your friends have never read 1984, they will have undoubtedly heard of the TV show: Big Brother, right? Talk about a good conversation starter… Not forgetting of course To Kill A Mockingbird or The Great Gatsby.

The Controversial Read

Being somewhat cultivated in literature should never mean you’ve only got to read intellectual books! I personally couldn’t put down The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. Ronson is a journalist and has, in my opinion, one of the best investigative writings. His book is an exhaustive research about what it means to be a psychopath in today’s modern society. Actually, anything by Job Ronson could fit into that list, including The Men Who Stare At Goats and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.

We won’t force you to love his work, however, so if this isn’t your cup of tea, how about going for 1Q84 by our favorite Japanese author: Haruki Murakami. His three-volume books are just out of this world and raise interesting concepts about modern societies.

The Easy Read

Now I already know what some of you are going to say as soon as I mention the next title, but you’ve got to admit everyone has something to say about Fifty Shades Of Grey. Whether to discuss Christian’s behavior or just to compare the books to the movies, you’ll definitely start a good conversation as you mention our generation’s most controversial (and sexual) book.

On another note, who else has read all of the Hunger Games books before they were (also) made into movies? And whilst we’re on the topic of movies, I’m not letting anyone leave this page before you’ve read all the Harry Potter books. It’s an order (well, not really but you better!).

The Fashion Forward Read

Who knew you could cultivate yourself even more by reading fashion related books? Well let me tell you something: there isn’t going to be any other time when you’ll sound smarter than when you discuss a subject you’re already passionate about. And you’ve guessed it, we love fashion! (duh!). But fashion is about much more than just clothes, it’s about history, culture, and talent. One book that literally ticks all these boxes for us was Women in Clothes by Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton, and Sheila Heti. This book is a collection of thoughts and conversations between women from all over the world, discussing their own definition of clothes and what fashion means to them.

This topic is without a doubt a conversation starter, but we would also recommend Why Fashion Matters by Frances Corner or Fashion That Changed The World by Jennifer Croll, to better understand the historical perspective of fashion and help you make your own opinion.

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Next up: How Nylon has revolutionized tights. 

Image: 1Q84

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