Very few of us read and when we begin to we don’t really know what to read. Others’ tastes don’t really coincide with ours and we may not have the intellectual capacity to immediately dive into fancy literature. Having said this here is my pick of good novels to read for anyone who wishes to cultivate the habit of reading.
Other than being best selling novels, they are also bold and timeless and open a whole new dimension of entertainment which must be experienced by anyone with the ability to read. While most of the avid readers are always in pursuit of new books, but it was actually these old books that set the ideas of romance, crime, thriller, and drama that we watch today by means of movies.
Disclaimer: This books list is not in the order of best to least or any other order.
1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Like many classics, Don Quixote was translated into English after it began gaining popularity in its native language (Spanish). The cool thing about Don Quixote is that it is actually quite light-hearted unlike many other classics that deal with serious issues. It is sort of a parody of other novels, and of people in general. It talks about how we all want to be heroes and believe there is always a spotlight on us. We lead our lives with the belief that an adventure awaits us, but will end up leading boring lives for the most part.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I was introduced to the world of Magic Realism by short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and fell in love with the genre. 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.
5. 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”.
6. 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.
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. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
Over To You…
So that was my best books list. List such as these are highly subjective and are different for all. While this list is largely influenced by the opinion of the masses and read by huge number of people. Hence I’ll keep updating this list with more best reads whenever I come across any highly good novels and books.
You might also want to read the recent book reviews published by us.
Please don’t hesitate to share your own list of Best Books of all Time in the comments below ?