Books opens doors in our minds, allowing us to live an entire lifetime and travel the world without even leaving the comfort of our chairs.
Books teach us about love, heartbreak, friendship, war, social injustice, and the resilience of the human spirit. Here are 10 must read books especially for novel lovers, and you should read them at least once in your lifetime.
When we read a book, we step into someone else’s shoes, see the world through someone else’s eyes, and visit places we might never otherwise go, whether a tiny village in India or the green fields of Narnia.
1. The outsider by Stephen King
Hinton penned this novel when she was only 16 because she was tired of reading fluffy romances. She wanted a story about the harsh realities of being a teenager in mid-20th century America, and since none existed, she wrote one herself. Told from the perspective of orphan Ponyboy Kurtis, this multiple award-winning young adult novel tells the story of a group of rough, teenage boys on the streets of an Oklahoma town, struggling to survive and stick together amidst violence, peer pressure, and broken homes. The novel reminds us that growing up is never easy and that pain, loss, friendship, and love are universal experiences that both create and dissolve socio-economic boundaries
2. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Yet another classic that talks about racism and discrimination against the blacks well after the more obvious brutalities had ended. It also is a book about man and his search for identity and how, sadly, our identity is largely defined by others. Ironically, many people describe the book as” the greatest work by a black”.
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
it is a classic translated from spanish and many readers don’t seem to get the point of it. In Magic Realism, everything is a metaphor. It tells us more about the character and the plot and the behind-the-scenes stuff without explicitly detailing out the same. It takes us through the journey of different generations of a single family and shows us how many things change with time, while others remain.
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
While The Great Gatsby appears to be just another love-story, it actually has other main themes such as War and how it brings opportunities whilst taking away others. Gatsby got to be rich but lost the love of his life in the process. It is also about the drastic lifestyle change brought in by the post World War I era in America and how people were spoilt because of the excess they now had. It is definitely worth a read even if you have watched the movie and weren’t very impressed.
5. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
This is a novella, nonetheless, is regarded as a top rated novel as it takes us through an individual’s journey to find himself and his purpose. It is rather abstract and not very easy to read but at the same time happens to be the favourite of many because of its story and its many layers. It was translated from German and is poetic and lyrical which makes it hard for novice readers to comprehend.
6. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
This is yet another jovial classic that has more to it than being a funny book. It is a satire that narrates the story of one person going against a whole institution. It faced its share of controversies (as is common with books that talk of disobeying authorities) but managed guarded its spot as one of the greatest novels of all time. The book also shows mindless obedience and how sometimes we are so preoccupied we miss the big picture.
7. The Trial by Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka is one of the most renowned writers of the last century and The Trial is one of his most notable works. It has a storyline ridden with mysteries and twists. Like a lot of acclaimed literature it is pretty difficult to understand. It is this book and many others by the author that an entire category called Kafkaesque was made.
8. 1984 by George Orwell
Dystopias are all the rage now but 1984 was the first of its kind to make its cut as a classic. It is a rather serious narrative which gives us an insight into the kind of environment the protagonist lives in. Like many dystopias it is all about a single person going against a much larger cruel system. Despite its release nearly 70 years ago, it feels very relevant even for today.
9. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
The Harry Potter series is not officially a classic but this is the book that got a whole generation of teenagers into reading. It was the first children’s book series to be adapted into films and it managed increasing book sales at a time when people were reading lesser and lesser thanks to the variety of entertainment offered to us by technology. It isn’t just a children’s book but a story of genuine love, friendship, and bravery. It doesn’t fail to impress even though the readers have an idea how the story is going to pan out and can keep you engaged through 7 voluminous novels.
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10. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This novel is critically acclaimed as well as appreciated by the masses. It won various accolades mainly due to its theme of racism and ill-treatment of the weak. What really stood out for me with this book was how it was told through a child’s perspective. To create a candid, innocent narration of matters that are considered quite grave even today, is a feat.