February    2019

Top 10 Must Reads

Sunday,28 Jan 2018 11:43 AM IST

Good books can be portals to multiple universes without one having to actually travel physically. They broaden your horizons, and also help shape your personality. Books can also be a brilliant source of entertainment. A wonderfully written story with delightful situations makes for a light read and can be a quite the mood maker as well. As the famous character Tyrion Lannister from George R. R. Martin’s famous book series A Song Of Ice and Fire quotes ‘ A Mind Needs Books As A Sword Needs A Whetstone If It Is To Keep It’s Edge.’ And we couldn’t agree more. Here is a list of 10 books that you must read at least once in your life.

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Distinguished as one of the greatest books, it was considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus that follows the story of a young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession with a married woman named Daisy Buchanan which is told from the perspective of another character named Nick Carraway. It is set in the 1920s era of the Jazz Age and explores themes such as idealism, social upheaval and decadence among others while also critiquing the idea of the ‘American Dream.’

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by author Charles Dickens and is much more entertaining to read as an adult as the humour is much more relatable. It is a bildungsroman novel, that is, it follows the life of the orphaned character Pip, right from his childhood to adulthood and ends with a moral that affection, loyalty, and conscience are more important than social advancement, wealth, and class.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is an amazing work of literature by the author Charlotte Brontë which depicts the story of a young orphan being raised by Mrs. Reed, her cruel, wealthy aunt. A servant named Bessie provides Jane with some of the few kindnesses she receives, telling her stories and singing songs to her. The main themes in the novel include a search for a sense of belonging and love which is tempered by Jane's need for independence as she tries to find her own identity and achieve happiness.

  • Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

A seven part series, this book has been even adapted in films and has inevitably become a part of every child’s life. This book follows the life of Harry Potter or the boy who lived and his quest to defeat the dark lord, Voldemort. The book explores themes such as the transition from childhood to adulthood, friendship and love among others. All this takes place amidst the setting of a wizarding world.

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

One of the classic books of all time, The Hobbit, follows the adventure of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who lives with his fellow hobbits in the shire named Hobbiton in Middle Earth. The wizard Gandalf arrives unexpectedly and convinces him to join a group of thirteen dwarves on a quest to reclaim the kingdom of Erebor. This journey then takes Bilbo on a path to a simple gold ring that is tied to the fate of Middle Earth.

  • The Lord of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is a series of books that takes place in Middle Earth and introduces Sauron, the Dark Lord, who long ago lost the One Ring to rule them all and his desire to reclaim the Ring and use it to enslave all of Middle-earth. The stories of the books also connect several events that take place in The Hobbit as well.

  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The first book of the seven part autobiographical series of Maya Angelou, this book travels through the timeline of the author from her childhood till her teenage years as a black woman living in an era where civil rights are still an issue. It is vibrant and lively tale that is the perfect beginning to a beautiful series that explores coming of age, about overcoming racism and trauma among other serious themes.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

In this book, Countess Anna Karenina, a married noblewoman and socialite gets embroiled in scandal for her affair with Count Vronsky. The novel explores topics such as an evaluation of the feudal system that existed in Russia at the time, politics, even at the level of the individual characters and families, religion, morality, gender and social class. Adultry and betrayal are the underlying themes in the novel.

  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The book is a hilarious story that of Arthur Dent that opens with Ford Prefect, the protagonist Dent’s best friend, arriving to warn him of the end of the world as he is revealed to be an alien who had come to Earth to research it for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to provide information about every planet and place in the universe.

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This bestselling novel tells the story of two Afghani boys Amir and Hassan, who are close friends. The story is set against a backdrop of Afghanistan just before and just after the Soviet military intervention, the emigration of the refugees to Pakistan and America, and the rise of the regime of Taliban. It is a tear-jerking, inspiring tale that explores various sensitive and powerful themes through different timelines.

(As Compiled by Prerna Mistry)

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