Though many interesting books have spanned decades, some are considered a must read. These creative works have generated debates for decades, while some have been in and out of the classroom for generations.
- 1 Best Books that everyone should read
- 1.1 1. To Kill a Mocking Bird
- 1.2 2. One Hundred Years of Solitude
- 1.3 3. The Lord of the Flies
- 1.4 4. 1984 – George Orwell
- 1.5 5. Are You There God? It’s Me Magaret – Judy Blume
- 1.6 6. White Teeth
- 1.7 7. Invisible Man
- 1.8 8. Lolita
- 1.9 9. The Alchemist
- 1.10 10. The Great Gatsby
- 1.11 11. Anna Karenina
- 1.12 12. Midnight’s Children
- 1.13 13. Things Fall Apart
- 1.14 14. Jane Eyre
- 1.15 15. Ninety Eighty-Four
- 1.16 16. The Richest Man in Babylon
- 2 Conclusion
Best Books that everyone should read
The following is a compilation of great books that have made an impact in the world of literature, business, and politics. They are highly rated all over the world:
1. To Kill a Mocking Bird
A fascinating story of racism, this classic American Literature describes the writer- Harper Lee’s experience in the deep South. The author tells the story through the narrative of Jean Louise Finch, a smart young girl from Monroeville, Alabama, United States. The plot is based on the author’s family and neighbors, as well a rape incident that happened near their hometown in 1963. Many readers consider the protagonist (Lee’s father), Atticus Finch, as a moral hero who challenged the status quo. The author’s use of humor despite the dark topics of rape and social prejudice has made the book widely read.
2. One Hundred Years of Solitude
If you are looking to explore the genre of Magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude, published in 1967 by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the late Colombian author is a must-read. Garcia takes the readers on an enchanted journey of seven generations of the Buendia family who lives in a small town in Colombia. The novel emphasizes the power of folktales and myths in Latin American Culture.
3. The Lord of the Flies
Golding tracks the fall of a group of teenage boys as they lose the innocence of childhood due to the desperate circumstance in which they found themselves. A planeload of young boys got stranded on an Island. Under the leadership of two contrasting leaders, Ralph- a saintly young boy, and Jack- a ruthless ex-choir leader, the boys became two opposing tribes in a fight for survival. The author left no gory details out as he strips the boys of all goodness. The story shows how what humans can become in hopeless situations, no matter whether they are adults or children.
4. 1984 – George Orwell
This political novel presents the atrocities committed by leaders as they abuse power. Eric Blair, known by his pen name- George Orwell restages the insincerities of the Russian Revolution as he depicts the hypocrisy of the major political figures through farm animals (pigs). The fairy tale settings illustrate the 20th century’s disasters.
5. Are You There God? It’s Me Magaret – Judy Blume
Not many books talk frankly about sex without being moralistic in the 1970s. This revolutionary work of fiction illustrates the life of a young teenage girl, Margaret Simon, as she struggles to make sense of the changes in her body and around her. As she starts school in a new town, Margaret asks God some thought-provoking questions. She wanted answers to sensitive pre-teen struggles like when she is getting her period or what bra she should buy. She was also confused about the religious aspect of her life. Since her parents were from different religious backgrounds, Margaret wasn’t sure if she should join the Jewish or Christian group in school. The author discusses religion without being judgmental.
6. White Teeth
This novel revels in the complexities of a multicultural world. The post-colonial age created globalization and intermarriage between couples of opposing backgrounds. White Teeth is the story of two Londoners, a Bangladesh Muslim named Samad, and his working-class friend, Archie. The life of the ex-veterans who formed an unlikely friendship depicts the 21-st century’s new structures. Archie’s wife is a Jamaica; Samad’s twin sons grew up to become different personalities, while one became an extreme Anglophile, the other became a religious militant.
7. Invisible Man
Invisible Man explores the life of a young black man, in his quest for identity. The nameless protagonist travels a tortuous path from southern south to the streets of New York City. Everybody seems to have a different idea of who is and what he is supposed to achieve. Beyond racism, Ralph Ellison succinctly captures the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans in the United States in the 20th century.
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One of the most debated novels of all times, Lolita was published by Professor Vladimir Nabokov in 1995. The UK banned the book in its year of publication. The narrator and protagonist, self-confessed hebephile Professor Humbert Humbert tell the story of his “involvement” with Dolores Haze (Lolita). The subject of his affection is his young step-daughter, Charlotte Haze. Humbert is a highly cultured man and loathes himself for being only able to love pubescent girls or “nymphets” as he called them. The professor’s obsessive and obscene relationship with the little girl is narrated in beautiful English with the use of puns, metaphors, witticisms, and allusions. The tragic, twisted epic takes a look at the mind of a deviant man.
9. The Alchemist
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First published in 1988 in Portuguese, The Alchemist is an international bestseller by Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho. The novel is an allegory of a young shepherd as he journeys to the Pyramids of Egypt in search of a treasure he dreamt about, not knowing that the treasure is buried in the church where he had the dream. Santiago sold his sheep to raise money for the journey but was robbed on his arrival in Africa. To make enough money to complete the trip, he works for a crystal merchant for a long time. He later encounters a wise alchemist who teaches him to realize his true-self-worth. The expedition turned out to be a quest of self-discovery.
10. The Great Gatsby
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The narrator, Nick Caraway has recently relocated to New York City. He soon becomes friends with his super-rich neighbor, Jay Gatsby. The source of Gatsby’s wealth is unknown, yet he throws the best parties, flaunts the most expensive cars, houses, and clothing. The mysterious Gatsby’s life in the 1920s (Jazz Age) of the United States presents an insight into the idea of the “American Dream.”
11. Anna Karenina
Russian author, Leo Tolstoy deals with the themes of faith, betrayal, family, desire, and marriage in this all-time classic. The extra-marital affair between Anna, a married woman and officer Count Vronsky, a bachelor, exposes the former to society’s scorn as their relationship takes shape. The story is set in Imperial Russian society which was undergoing rapid liberal reforms at the time. Escaping to Italy, the lovers’ search for happiness was futile. They returned to Russia where their lives get complicated.
12. Midnight’s Children
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Salman Rushdie created another version of the parable of the Prince and the Pauper at the dawn of India’s independence from Great Britain. The classic story of 1,001 children born with supernatural powers on August 15, 1947, the date of Indian’s independence, has become symbolic of the country’s political history. Two of the children are switched at birth; one belongs to a poor Hindu woman while the other is the child of a wealthy Muslim family. The author takes the reader through 30 years of the political unrest as history repeats itself. The book is a poetic piece of magical realism.
13. Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart is one of the first few accounts of colonialism from the perspective of the colonized. The author tells the story of Okonkwo, an ambitious man who witnessed the arrival of the white man to his village in Nigeria in the late 19th century. The changing power dynamics leads to Okonkwo’s fall as the readers get a glimpse into the lives of pre-colonial African life. Okonkwo’s people, the Umuofia clan, an Igbo tribe in Nigeria have a structure in place with their own cultures and functional leadership, dispelling the notion that the natives lived as savages before the arrival of the British Colonial administrator.
14. Jane Eyre
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Emily Bronte wrote the novel under the pseudonym Currer Bell when the book was first published in 1847. Jane Eyre was one of the few books that talked about the individualism of women in the Victorian era. The ground-breaking story describes the life of Jane as she survives the trauma of being orphaned and poor at a young age to become an independent woman. Known as one of literature’s steeliest heroines, Jane challenges a society that believes women have no right to feel or think.
15. Ninety Eighty-Four
The author, George Orwell set the novel in 1984 when most of the world have become subjugated under an omnipresent government that has them under 24hours surveillance. In the book, Great Britain is under the rule of Oceania, a superstrate that oppresses individualism and independent thinking. The literary, political fiction centers on the life of William Smith who rebels against the status quo by having an affair with Julia, a fellow employee. As a Dystopian crime fiction, Ninety Eighty-Four has many terms and concepts that have become popular in usage. Examples are thought crime, Big Brother, Room 101, memory hole, and more.
16. The Richest Man in Babylon
No book dispenses financial advice than The Richest Man in Babylon. The characters in this collection of parables learn simple lessons in economic wisdom through their experiences in business and household finance. Arkad a wealthy man reveals his secret of getting rich to his two friends, Bansa and Kobbi. Basic financial principles such as paying oneself first from one’s earnings, saving at least a tenth of one’s income, investing wisely, and having multiple sources of income have become timeless advice for generations. The book is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their finances.
The list of wonderful books of all time that have impacted the world is inexhaustible.
And while people will hold diverse views on which books should be the greatest, there’s nothing more enlightening than picking up a great book and losing oneself in its wise whispers.