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By Vaidik Trivedi
Every bookworm has a different opinion on what the best books in the world are. Bookworms are divided by the preference of genre, author, language and their personal connection they have to a book. I have not read all the books in the world and read very few as compared to the books available in this world, hence, I apologize if your favorite book is not included in the list.
That being said, here are the top 10 books which I think everyone should read before they die.
10. “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglass Adams
In my experience, readers either love Douglass Adams’s books or keep them aside after flipping a few pages. When I read this comic sci-fi book, I was amazed by how the author very slyly commented on how human society functions and the idiotic rituals that we follow in our lives. The books grows on readers. If you hate the book at first, DO NOT PANIC. Stick with it, and you will understand why it is on this list.
9. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic and natural favorite of many readers. Many see this book as a book of civil rights movement but it is more than that. It is about the right and the wrong, the cruelty and kindness and the love and hate. The Pulitzer Prize winning book became an instant classic when it got published and still is one of the best books to be ever published.
8. “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville
Published in 1851, Herman Melville’s masterpiece is not a work of fiction. Inspired by true events, this book in my opinion is more of a guide on how to hunt a whale. There is an entire chapter(s) on types of whales, their anatomy, how to kill them using harpoons, how to behead a whale and many chapters about whale oil, its uses and why it was an indispensable part of the economy back in the 1800s. The read is slow and at times seems like dragging on by the lecture on whale anatomy and culture, yet the book is one of the best I have ever read. In 2015, the motion picture “In the Heart of the Sea” based off the true story that inspired “Moby Dick” was released. It starred Chris Hemsworth as Owen Chase, the captain of the Essex ship.
7. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The story revolves around the rise and fall of a mythical city called Macondo. It is a beautiful circle of life and death, fame and obscurity and an amazing tragic comedy on the human life. The book shows the readers a contrast in our lives as we live on between love and lust, riches and poverty, war and revolution and how the power corrupts people and their lives. It makes a reader think about his/her life and makes them see all these components in their life which makes us human.
6. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
The book is a beautifully written literary piece of work which focuses on each character’s perspective in each chapter. It is a book about the 1960s conflicts between whites and blacks and segregation and highlights the lives, struggles and daily hardships of black maids in white households. The book is full of humor but also some deeply saddening events which leave the reader engulfed, making it the ultimate page turner.
5. “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Everyone on this planet has heard about the Lord of the Rings. It is one of the most amazing fantasy novels ever written. The trilogy has a huge fan base because of the detail in which the books were written; the story line behind every character is phenomenal. The author created an alternate universe for its readers and the books are still considered to be one of the best fantasy worlds created. In my opinion, “Lord of the Rings” is a better book series than “Game of Thrones.”
4. “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
This book showcases first person perspective in a third world nation in very troubled and turbulent times. It shows how money can change a person’s perspective and behavior towards others in an economic and turbulent time. It also shows societal norms that affects human relationships.
3. “Perfume” by Patrick Suskind
It is essentially a story of a murderer set in 1985, Paris. The mellifluous language and sometimes French diction can be a bit of tough read, however, the story line is incredibly gripping, focusing on the murderer’s sense of smell and his emotional obsession with women that causes him to commit such gruesome killings. This is not a murder mystery. This is not your average romantic novel either. It is a marriage between love, lust and poetry with a hint of blood mixed in it.
2. “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy
I have no words to describe this literary masterpiece. The lengthy book and difficult Russian names may get on many reader’s nerves, but it is by far one of the best book I have ever read in my life. The graphic imagery created in font of reader’s eyes and the play with words is flawless. I still remember one line from the book which I keep in my mind always: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
1. “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo
Almost 50 years have passed since a classic was born. The book is a peep into the Italian Mafia world in the mid 1900s, the honor of the Italians, bound by blood. It has crime, sex, love, lust, politics and above all, the desire of power. In my opinion, this is the best book I have ever come across. I am still to find a book which is as iconic and well written as “The Godfather.”
- “The Parrots of Desire” by Amrita Narayan
- “Vintage Akhmatova Selected Poems” by Anna Akhmatova
- “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens
- “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling
- “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Dafoe
- “The Complete Poems of John Keats” by John Keats
- “Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- “The Apology” by Plato Translated by Benjamin Jowett
- “Odyssey” by Homer
- “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens