Books are considered to be anyone's best friend. You ask an avid reader, and they would tell you that books are magical, and they teleport to another space free of worldly worries. Books can turn your sad days into happy ones and let you live a life you do not have in reality at the moment.
The incredibly inspirational J.K Rowling said, "I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book." And trust us, she is talking beyond the Harry Potter series!
Hundreds of people read books of different sorts and genres, and everyone thinks their choice is the most exquisite. Some like fiction; others find solace only while reading non-fiction as it allows them to relate to the story. Self-help and psychological thrillers have also gained quite popularity in the past years. Numerous books are published every year globally, yet only some of them are imprinted on the minds of readers for a long time.
John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, put in words what we all think about a good book. He says, "Sometimes, you read a book, and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book."
Let's tell you about all the wonderful books that have left their mark on the readers' minds and are recommended frequently. We have included books of all genres to find something you would want to read earlier than others.
The Diary of a young girl is an autobiography by Anne Frank. The story of a young girl flying from their home to hide from the Jews gives shivers when you read it. The book is full of instances when you think about how cruel this world is when she expresses her agony and depicts the situation they are facing. The book is quite popular globally as it delivers a message of "Freedom for everyone" in a world where people are still fighting for it. With over 30 million copies sold, the book has been printed in 70 languages globally.
Notable excerpt: "Inspite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart."
Animal farm is another masterpiece by a phenomenal writer who knows how to express himself without saying everything. The genre of this book is an allegorical novella. Being allegorical refers to representing one thing through another. Apparently, the story is about an animal farm where animals decide to fight for their rights and stand against their farmer. Out of all the animals, pigs take charge and exploit other animals. However, in hindsight, the animals represent humans as different pillars and parts of society and their role. Pigs symbolize malicious people who take power and exploit the controllable masses. The book has become quite famous over the years, and people tend to interpret the plot and message behind it.
Notable excerpt: "No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
The lines show how the vicious leaders fool people and make decisions on their behalf that do no good to the people. Read the book to learn the rest yourself!
William Shakespeare is considered the greatest English writer of all time, and his plays are a part of the literature centuries later. The father of English literature is quite famous for his play Romeo and Juliet. It is a story about two young lovers who belong to different groups that do not have good intentions for one another. The hatred among the groups over an old family rivalry urges Romeo and Juliet to take impractical measures to meet, and the love story turns into a tragedy.
This book is a tale of family rivalry, young love, and how letting go of the past can save you from encountering the worst.
Notable excerpt: "Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake- it's everything except what it is!"
Published in 1960, the award-winning novel tells the story of an 8-year-old boy, his father, and a woman who changes their life. The story is portrayed in a time of severe dismay and depression for Maycomb, where things are already not going very smoothly. To kill a mocking bird gained popularity as the elements of prejudice, racial discrimination, hypocrisy, hatred, love, and innocence touched the readers' heart. The story is quite realistic as it has strings attached to Harper Lee's life in the city. It should definitely be on the list of must-reads!
Notable excerpt: "You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."
Pride and prejudice is among the novels that never get old. It is a typical love story between two entirely different people, yet Jane Austen's way of expression is incredible. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy fall in love with each other in the most unexpected manner, and their relationship grows. This timeless romance is widely liked for the comedy elements and a show of how sometimes relationships can be painful too. A brilliant amalgam of romance, comedy, and little tragedy elements makes Pride and prejudice the amazing book it is.
Notable excerpt: Talking of love, "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature for burning paper, and the name indicates the whole plot of the story. The main character Guy Montag along with other firefighters, is responsible for burning any books they see, and also houses that have books in them. Though the book was first published in 1953, it depicted the future when books would be extinct, and people would rely on television for entertainment. It shows the ignorance that comes with giving up on books and how it influences people's minds.
Notable excerpt: "The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us."
Kafka on the shore is a story of a young boy Kafka who runs away from his house to search for his mother and sister, and an older man named Nakata. Nakata has not overcome the pain of war and struggles with tasks mentally and physically. The story shows two people with contrasting thought processes as you can see cats talking and spirits slipping out of their bodies, according to Nakata. However, the book is about the metaphysical level on a broader perspective, simply defined as mind vs. body or conscious vs. the unconscious. Kafka on the shore is an excellent read and a journey that makes you rethink all about it.
Notable excerpt: "And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about."
"Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still."
We couldn't decide on one!
Set during the Great Depression in 1941, the bluest eye is a heartbreaking story of a sweet little African-American girl Pecola who lives in Ohio. The books follow the story of how she is stigmatized and targeted because of her being black. People around her label her as "ugly" owing to their love for white skin. The story shows the distress she goes through and how she is mocked for not being white. It depicts the oppression of women in society, including racial discrimination.
Notable excerpt: "We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom."
The book about this book thief named Liesel takes you back to Germany in 1939 when the region was under the Nazi influence, and living a peaceful life was tough. Liesel is adopted by Hans, who teaches her to read and write, but he cannot afford to buy new books for her frequently. The love for books made the girl save one from a bonfire, and later she ends up stealing books from a gravedigger and the wife of the mayor.
The story is a beautiful depiction of good people in bad times and friendships that rose in the most unfavorable circumstances. The book thief is one of the best-reads globally.
Notable excerpt: "The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. (Death)"
When breath becomes air is a memoir by Paul Kalanithi that has grown popular among physicians and the public. The surgeon wrote the book while he had lung cancer, and it covers a person's perspective when they know they are about to die. It answers many questions we have about our existence, which we only think when we see death near us. When breath becomes air is a story of courage and making people understand that life is short to think about unnecessary things.
Notable excerpt: "I can't go on. I'll go on."
1984 is another book by George Orwell that exhibits the dystopian era and how ongoing circumstances influenced people's lives. The story is about Winston Smith in Oceania when parts of the Earth divided into Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania after World War II. Representing lies, fear and control over the lives of common man, the book is not old in its idea. We leave for you to find out the conclusion by reading the book; else, it would be a spoiler!
Notable excerpt: "Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing."
The world is full of Potterheads who love the magical world of Hogwarts and wish to live in it eternally. The harry potter series is a globally popular book series, harry potter and the philosopher's stone being the most famous. The first book sets the foundation for an incredible journey for Harry Potter and how he begins to understand Hogwarts. If you love the fantasy world, the Harry Potter series is a perfect choice that makes you crave the next book when you finish one.
Notable excerpt: "There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
Little women is a refreshing semi-autobiography by Louisa May Alcott. Based on the post-war era in America, the story is based on four sisters Jo, Meg, Amy, Beth, and their mother, a modern woman with rational thoughts. Little women shows the sisters' journey from being young girls to reaching womanhood and finding love meanwhile. The book offers a great perspective on a confident upbringing that makes women strong. It shows you that expectations do no good, and self-love is the most important of all kinds of love. The book is a treat to the eyes and mind when you are looking for a good read.
Notable excerpt: "Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn't mean they're unimportant."
The little prince was originally written as Le Petit Prince and is quite popular in French literature. It is a story of a pilot who lands in the Sahara desert. A boy welcomes him and introduces himself as the prince of another planet. The book was initially written for children, yet it has gained liking among the masses due to its love and friendship based plot. It tells us that seeing through the eyes is not enough. You only know the truth with your heart. This light-hearted read is perfect to go with a nice warm mug of coffee on a cold day.
Notable excerpt: "The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart."
Rich dad poor dad is a masterpiece by Robert Kiyosaki and immensely popular among finance students. The book is a compilation of money-related bits of advice. According to the writer, it comprises of his life's experiences relating to his father (poor dad) and his friend's father (rich dad). The book explains briefly the rules about money and how both dads had their unique perspective on the importance of money. If you are willing to read a practical book, rich dad poor dad can be your first choice.
Notable excerpt: "In the real world, the smartest people are people who make mistakes and learn. In school, the smartest people don't make mistakes."
Jane Eyre is a story of an orphan girl who has to live with her uncle's family, where she is immensely disliked and looked upon. The Reeds, her cousins, try every possible gimmick to annoy and insult her. Even the servants and maids tell her frequently how worthless she is. However, there is more to the story, and all the elements combined make Jane Eyre how popular it is today. The book covers versatile themes from love and friendship to religion and gender roles. The book teaches you to love yourself and know that the world is wide, and you don't have to pretend to be happy if you're not.
Notable excerpt: "I remembered that the real world was wide and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils."
Charles Dickens is a legendary writer, and his books hold a special place in English literature. If you are looking for a classical old-style read, a book by Dickens is probably the best choice. And what's better than reading a tale of two cities, itself! The story revolves around Dr. Manette and his daughter Lucie. Set in the French Revolution era, it shows the relationship between a father and a daughter who have not met each other for long, followed by the shades of love and sacrifice when two boys fall in love with Lucie. The book has many lessons and exhibits various ways of living. Read it yourself to enjoy the splendor of Charles Dickens.
Notable excerpt: "I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul."
The words are undoubtedly the voice of every lover, orthodox or modern!
Talking of iconic books, Khaled Hosseini's A thousand splendid suns cannot be missed. The book is based on the era of anti-Soviet jihad, the Taliban's despotism, and civil war in Afghanistan spread over three decades. Though the book is mainly focused on the stories of two women oppressed in different ways, it also shows the impact of Afghanistan's situation on the lives of common people. It is a story of brave women who couldn't do much for themselves but made sure to save anyone else who might have to go through it. The tale of friendship, love, expectations, and disappointments keeps you hooked, and be prepared to shed a few tears.
Notable excerpt: "I know you're still young, but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait; education cannot."
Self helps books have become quite famous in the past years as competition is rising and people want to be the best. How to win friends and influence people is among the most read and liked self-help books that groom you personally as well as socially. It enables you to connect to people without hesitating or feeling shy. Dale Carnegie has shared a few tips to be welcomed among people and positively influence them. Over 30 million copies of the books have been sold so far, and it has made to the list of Time Magazine's 100 most influential books.
Notable excerpt: "Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude."
The catcher in the rye can be called the need of the hour for students specifically. The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, especially students worldwide who are suffering from anxiety and depression. The book is about a 16-year old student who has been expelled from school and finds life difficult, yet he does not give up hope. The story very delicately shares the perspective of a 16-year old and how they feel about being an adult in the outside world. The catcher in the rye is the hope that pushes you to keep trying and not get tired of it until you defeat whatever is troubling you. Everyone should definitely read the book at least once in their life.
Notable excerpt: "Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone."
Books are the best companion to spend some good time with, and these are perfect for anytime you want to read a good book and relax.