A Beginner’s Guide to 10 Books that will make them fall in love with Reading!
As Albus Dumbledore puts it “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” And it is never too late to step inside the world of words and discover the magic of reading. Finding a genuinely good read and immersing yourself in the same is perhaps one of the most beautiful feeling in the world. Once you find your love for those pages, the world around you simply changes and for better. The overloaded bookshelves, the sleepless nights, the fading library cards, the increasing number of bookmarks, the excitement as you open the first page and the bittersweet feeling as you turn down the last is all so worth it.
So get ready to drown yourself in some book love and add the following books to your list! Although, remember that these wonderful titles are but a part of many such other treasures in the world. Once you are done relishing the ones below, you should definitely go and discover the rest.
1. Malgudi Days – RK Narayan
RK Narayan’s collection of 32 short stories set in the fictional town of Malgudi in South India is a nostalgic trip down the lane of childhood memories. The stories are adorned with beautiful simplicity and highlight the little intricacies of the society, providing a subtle sense of familiarity with the characters and the events that surrounds them. Narayan weaves a world so real that it becomes relatable even if one has never actually encountered the predicaments of the town and its characters. The reader themselves befriend Swami and his friends even before they realise. The book deals with issues that are relevant to both the older and younger generations. It is a simple compilation that leaves an everlasting effect in one’s mind and makes them return back to the town of Malgudi time and again!
2. White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
Aravind Adiga’s debut novel is a winner of the 40th Man Booker Prize (2008) and is a riveting tale presented in an epistolary format. The book brilliantly depicts the class struggle of India in a time when globalization is taking over the country through the narrative of Balram Halwai – the protagonist. Over the course of seven nights written in one letter, Balram tells us the complicated yet captivating story of how he achieved success in his life from being a rickshaw puller’s son to an entrepreneur involving drama, action as well as suspense. His story is a social commentary that highlights the inequalities that still exists at the heart of the country despite its newfound prosperity as depicted in the novel as “India of Darkness” and “India of Light.” Alongside the account of India’s flaws in its political, social, cultural and educational system it also brings forth the psychoanalysis of a person who feels trapped in a system and struggles to come to power beyond the same.
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The novel written by Charlotte Bronte (initially under the pen name, Currer Bell) is one among the many books that one should definitely read at some point in their lives. It can certainly be considered as a great first read to delve into the world of Victorian Era classics. Essentially, a bildungsroman, the story revolves around its eponymous female protagonist, Jane Eyre and makes the readers witness her journey as she grows from a child and steps into womanhood through a chain of experiences all throughout her life. Jane’s story told through a first-person narrative focuses on the struggles of a woman, to maintain her self-esteem and moral, both as a young girl and an adult in the patriarchal Victorian society. It explores the conflicts between conscience and passion, love and independence and touches the topics of class, sexuality, religion and feminism.
4. Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
Most of us are already familiar with the name of Anne Frank.As the title of the book already suggests it is a publication of written documents penned in a diary. A 13th birthday present turns into an account of everyday details in the life of a teenager in hideout during the Nazi occupation of Netherlands resulting in perhaps the most heart wrenching and moving tale of World War II Germany. Documented over a period of two years from 1942 to 1944 the novel provides particulars of the Nazi regime, holocaust and the constant fear the Jews had to survive with. Along with the same it also describes the life of a typical teenage girl in her adolescent years and how she goes on to mature beyond her years due to circumstances and situations. Diary of a Young Girl strongly inspires and motivates and teaches how one can find hope and positivity even during the darkest of times as well as highlights the utmost importance of freedom.
5. To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee
Harper Lee’s very first novel is shown through the eyes of two kids, Jean Finch and her elder brother Jeremy and deals with grim issues like racial inequality and rape. The siblings lives with their widowed father Atticus, who is a lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman and goes against the entire town to bring justice to the man. To Kill a Mocking Bird articulates a story of extreme bravery and brings forward the harsh reality of racial inequality, allowing the readers to go beyond the communal boundaries and accepting every human being with love and solidarity.
6. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Known for his powerful themes and emotional storylines, Khaled Hosseini is considered one the best authors in contemporary times. His very first novel, The Kite Runner is a story of betrayal and redemption that will leave one moved and thrilled at the same time. Based on the backdrop of war-stricken Afghanistan, the fall of monarchy to the US invasion and the fall of the Talibans in 2001, the story spans over multiple time period and countries. The characters grow from young kids to adults and the novel traces the journey of friendship, betrayal, guilt and sacrifice outlining the very many complexities of life. It leaves the reader extremely moved once they turn the final page and compels them to return to the first all over again.
7. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
John Green’s modern day young adult fiction takes readers in a journey that is both beautiful and heart melting. Through the endearing romance that builds between the protagonists’ Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters amidst the battle against life, Greene introduces a roller coaster full of emotions, humour, anger, joy and pain. He provides elaborate glimpses of every character, makes them a part of your life and weaves a story of courage, hope and positivity despite the presence of a feeling of loss and despair. One of the best reads from the last few years, this one is bound to leave you with some smiles and a broken heart.
8. Harry Potter Series – JK Rowling
This one is a name almost everyone is familiar with! And it is not just one single book but a series of seven long books that traces the journey of Harry Potter and introduces us to a whole new wizarding world. An enigmatic tale of friendship, bravery, courage, hope, moral values and simply life lessons, there is so much that one can learn from this series and it is bound to turn into a favourite in no time. Considered to be a masterpiece in the literary universe, JK Rowling’s creation of this epic fantasy fiction is nothing less that history. It is a must read for everyone who even wants to get familiar with the idea of reading. It is a given that once one takes their first step inside the ‘Potterverse’ there is just no looking back. The best part of the series is that every time it brings out some new flavour out of the crux of the story, holds a different meaning and is open to different interpretations as you read it over the ages in various phases of your life.
9. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
Initially published for mostly adult readers, JD Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye is a great read about teenagers and the little conundrums of their life. Over the years the novel largely became a part of the young adult fiction genre and can be read by teenagers and adults alike. For the former it can definitely be relatable on the basis of their daily life and for the later it can bring memories from the past to life.Revolving around the life of its 16 year-old protagonist Holden Caulfield, the novel explores the many confusions and angsts of teenage life and the harsh realities of the “phony” adult life as he steps towards the same. The novel will connote different meanings as you read and re-read it over the years only to make you fall harder for the same over time.
10. Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
If we are talking about falling in love with words, the list remains incomplete without the mention of Murakami. He ignites such strong emotions and incredible imagery that transports one to a different world altogether. One such creation of his is the 2002 novel which intertwines two storylines about two different characters whose lives though distinct are interconnected in a way. The plot moves back and forth narrating each story in alternating chapters. The two protagonists are 15 year old Kafka who runs away from his father’s home and an old man Nakata who ends up with a job as a cat finder. The odd chapters are about Kafka and the even ones are about Nakata.
So put on your reading glasses and delve into the magical world. Happy Reading!