Top 10 must read Books of all time.
Once upon a time, reading was pretty much the only entertainment option. But in the modern-day, with almost endless distractions, you’ve got to be picky about your reading list. While everyone agrees there are must-read books, no one can agree on exactly which books make the top of the list, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. While we believe all of these books are “must-reads,” a comprehensive list would be impossibly huge, so some great books on your list might not be here. If you’re trying to read some of the best books of all time, start with this list of must-read books and crack open a masterpiece.
1. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - by Harper Lee
It’s not every day that a debut novel wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and remains a crowd favorite for decades, but Harper Lee’s masterpiece did. This masterfully written story brings readers to a small Southern town dealing with overt racism in a spectacular legal trial, told through the eyes of a precocious six-year-old girl being raised by her ethically driven, thoughtful father. Lee exhibits her masterful craft in the realistic, brilliant point of view of Scout, and the symbolism she gave the book without sacrificing readability. This is a novel that’s easily accessible but equally rich with humor, drama, and suspense.
2.PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - by Jane Austen
You can enjoy Pride and Prejudice purely as a romantic tale, following the smart, independent Elizabeth Bennet as she navigates two suitors: one charming but ultimately unreliable and the other initially boorish but later revealed to be, well, Mr. Darcy (sigh). Or you can read it within the context of early 19th-century social mores and conventions, particularly with the dangers of marriage and pregnancy for young women at the time. Or you can appreciate it for Austen’s sharp, often hilariously scathing takedowns of society, much of which remains surprisingly applicable in the modern age. Timeless and entertaining, if you have never read an Austen novel before, start with this one.
3.The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - by Agatha Christe
In a world where “plot twist” is part of our everyday slang, it’s easy to forget how powerful this book was in its time. Christie took one of her precise, elegant mysteries and injected into it a twist and narrative device so bonkers it still makes people angry today — but she pulled it off, elevating it above the rest of her novels. To describe the trick is to spoil it, of course, but what we can say about it is that Christie weaponizes one of the most fundamental assumptions a reader can make against them, and it’s glorious.
4. Harry Potter The Series- By J.K. Rowlings
The Harry Potter books and associated films, plays, and other media have thoroughly transcended genre and even literature to become cultural institutions. While the original novels remain incredible achievements of world-building and storytelling, what truly sets them apart is Rowling’s unerring grasp of character. Her young wizards realistically grow and evolve as the story spins out, maturing into people with believable inner lives even as they use magic to fight epic battles and struggle to save the world. These books are more than just great examples of fantasy literature as the combination of myth-making and exploration of character makes a story firmly rooted in the impossible feel real.
5. My Brilliant Friend- By Elena Ferrante
With debates about her true identity, Ferrante created both a story and a series that is equally entertaining and questioning. My Brilliant Friend begins the four-book series that tracks the lives of two lifelong friends from their childhood in Naples throughout their seventh decade. The story and series remain one of the best explorations of female friendship ever put to paper. It’s also a dramatic story, filled with plot twists and riveting surprises, moments of intense emotion, and plenty of mystery. The two friends, Lila and Elena, are rendered in so much rich detail they become real in a way many characters, even great characters, fail to, and the story offers a glimpse of a life and neighborhood now long gone. Timeless and classic already, this novel will likely be on lists like this one for the foreseeable future.
6.Palace of Illusion- By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s award-winning novel retells the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Draupadi, its lead female character. Draupadi is famous for having married all five of the Pandava brothers – the protagonists of the Mahabharata – and is an ever-present, central character through their journey into exile and war. However, little is told from her perspective or about her motives and thoughts in the original epic, which Divakaruni tactfully reclaims in the palace of illusions.
7. The White Tiger- By Aravind Adiga
Arvind Adiga the man-winning debut novel was widely acclaimed for its refreshing take on social class disparities and contradictions in contemporary India. The book is a thrilling first-person narrative told from the perspective of Balram Halwai, a young man from a poverty-stricken small village who moves to Delhi to work as a chauffeur for the elite.
8.The Great Indian Novel- By Shashi Tharoor
This satirical novel by Shashi Tharoor recreates the Hindu epic Mahabharata within the context of the Indian Independence Movement and its following decades to become one of the most exciting reads in contemporary Indian literature. Recasting figures from India’s freedom struggle and politics as mythological characters from a 2,000-year-old epic, Tharoor’s work is a powerful read regardless of how familiar you are with the country.
9.The Guide- By RK.Narayan
R.K. Narayan is among the most read and celebrated authors in Indian books and literature. Based in the famous fictional town of Malgudi in South India, The Guide follows the story of a Railway Raju, a corrupt tour guide, and the odd sequence of events that go on to make him a spiritual guide and eventually a revered holy man in the country.
10.In Custody- By Anita Desai
Anita Desai's novel, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, revolves around Deven Sharma, an Urdu scholar in small-town India who is caught in an ordinary, mundane life teaching the language to indifferent college students. When he is given a chance to interview Nur, one of the country’s finest Urdu poets, he sees it as a way to channel his love for the language in a more meaningful way.
I hope you enjoy reading these novels just the way I did.