Frankenstein: This book was very thought-provoking. It's a little hard to get into, but once you become comfortable with the style and look up what countenance means, you should be fine. After reading this, Dracula seemed simple and maybe even a step down, but despite their similarities, they're apples and oranges. The actual plot isn't anything too compelling, but the way the book plays with your emotions and makes you doubt your own perceptions of characters is extremely compelling. The point is, you're not always right about your moral judgments. There isn't a security in your own perspective in Frankenstein. The monster is, by the way, eloquent and intelligent, which makes the theatrical version seem completely butchered. It upsets me a bit to see how people's conception of both Dracula and the monster are based on bastardized versions. It's not long and I definitely think it's worth a read through.
Solaris: Starting a sci-fi book after the last two was jarring, but I powered through that pretty quickly. It's about a distant planet covered in a massive, life-like ocean with the bizarre abilities to influence its own orbit around two stars and continually form massive structures that perform unbelievably complex processes and then disintegrate. The planet has been being studied for 100 years already and at this point investigations seem to be at their tail end without any definitive conclusions having been made. When the main character arrives to the research station, there's only two scientists still left there, with the third having recently committed suicide. Starting from recently, these scientists have been being 'visited' by people from their past memories, like hallucinations, but actually physical. The main character's nineteen year old wife who committed suicide years ago is who comes to him and with no recollection of her death. It's not immediately clear whether these visitors are actually self-aware, or just following a program.
The similarities to Evangelion are too numerous to seem like a coincidence to me. The red ocean, descriptions of giant humanoids floating in it, the planet 'mind raping' people to learn information about them and humans in general, etc. Their atmospheres are also very much alike and there's many similarities between the utterly inhuman nature of the planet, the structures that form on it, and the angels. It's also similarly depressing as hell. There's way too many themes and thought-provoking questiPost too long. Click here to view the full text.