With no particular order our editor’s pick is as given below:
1. Anna Karenina
Since its first publication year, 1878, Anna Karenina has managed to create a tumult in the literary World. Off-course in a positive way. Authored by Russian Novelist, Leo Tolstoy, one of the greatest authors of all time, the book revolves around an ill-fated love story of the two major characters of the book. For generations the classic love story depicted in Anna Karenina, with in-depth perusal on love, relationship, prejudice, tragedy and family life in Russian society has captivated the readers around the World.
If you haven’t read it yet, its high time you add it to your list.
2. The Great Gatsby
Scott Fitzgerald achieved an epitome of success with his third Novel, The Great Gatsby. This impeccable novel based on American Jazz age during 1920s is still a craze among book readers. The narration in the book is from the perspective of a young man named Nick Carraway about his rather outlandish new rich neighbor, Jay Gatsby. While the novel is a perfect depiction of American Jazz age, it also displays a subtle critique on the idea of an “American Dream”
It is undoubtedly one of the greatest novels of 20th century literature.
3. The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a beautiful narration of an agonizing story of an innocent friendship of a rich boy Amir and poor boy Hassan. Amir is a son of a wealthy high caste Kabul Merchant while Hassan is his servant who belonged to a lower and despised caste, Hazara. With flawless narration, lucid storytelling and the entire process of reading the book ensuring teary eyes, this book is simply one of the most loved novels of all times.
4. To kill a Mockingbird
Based on discrimination on Negroes, To kill a Mockingbird by one of the most influential Novelists, Harper Lee, is extremely empathetic, moving and classic literary of all times.
The story revolves around a Negro who is falsely accused of Rape and no one but an immensely ethical lawyer, Atticus Finch single handedly fights for him. With over 18 million copies print and translated into forty languages this is one of the masterpieces the literary World is ever blessed with.
5. The Help
The help by Kathryn Stockett is another classic novel ever created based on discrimination and racism. Kathryn unites three remarkable women from completely varied backgrounds to work together with determination towards bringing in a complete change on the mentality of how the women are treated separately according to their title as mothers or caregivers. Young white girl, Skeeter is desperate to find out how her dear maid and confidante, Constantine has mysteriously disappeared while she was away for higher studies. She teams up with two other strong ladies Aibilen, a black maid who is devastated after the loss of her son, otherwise a wise and dignified woman raising her 17th white child and Minny, Aibileen’s best friend a bit misshaped lively lady who is a cook by profession. Mixed with misery, hope and humor all at the same time “The help” is one of the must read books.
Based on the real life story of the author, Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram is one of a kind of literary treat which gives us a sneak peak into heart wrenching Bombay slums, prison agonies, mafia World, Bollywood while describing the profound love of the Author for India.
The main character of the novel, Lin is a criminal escapee from highly secured Australia prison to Bombay with the help of false passport. The story of an ever hunted man is described through the mouth of Lin who is at present homeless, identity-less and longs for love and empathy and most importantly trying to search for the meaning of life while trying to create a niche at the dark Bombay mafia World.
This is a book whose company will give you an inexplicable solace while you are alone at some quaint old café of South Bombay sipping beer and enjoying the literary beauty.
7. Catch – 22
The satire and the beautiful dark humor of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is just mind boggling. It describes an ever malingering bombardier, Yossarian with peculiar innovations to save himself from the terrible consequences of war. The main highlight of the book is the amazing quotes all over the book.
Definitely a must read book, especially, if you have a certain craving for dark humor.
8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This book written by one of the greatest American writers of all time, Mark Twain definitely doesn’t need a separate introduction. Most of us grew up engaging ourselves deep into the adventurous journeys of Huckleberry and Tom Sawyer. Even after a century has passed since the first publication of this book, the book still remains contemporary among the crazy bibliophiles all over the World. It is one of the best adventure story and American humor book ever written in the history of literature.
9. The Book Thief
Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief” set during World war II in Germany describes a peculiar theft story of a foster girl, Liesel Meminger. Liesel is a thief but bizarrely stuck with thievery of an unconventional material, books. She simply cannot resist herself from books and ends up stealing them. For the love of reading she doesn’t only steal the books but also shares these books with her neighbors during the War and also on one instance with a Jewish man hidden in her basement
Zusak’s unusual book was widely adorned by the readers Worldwide and in fact it is still considered one of the classics ever created.
Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand first published in 1935 is a heart wrenching yet flawless depiction of the lowly caste system highly prevailed in India during that time. It is a touching story of a young man named Bakha, who despite being attractive and with full of pride is out-casted due to his low caste. It is a pitiful story of him as a sweeper and a toilet cleaner struggling to search for meaning of his existence. The book mercilessly depicts abhorrent reality of Caste system which is still very much vogue in India, though with softer menace compared to 1935. Untouchable is undoubtedly one of the most highly read English novel authored by an Indian Writer
11. A fine balance
A fine balance is another incredible book on rampant caste system, discrimination, cruelty and corruption gifted to the literary World by an Indian Born Canadian writer, Rohinton Mistry. With brilliant depiction of reality, beautiful narration a story set up due the state of emergency in 1975, a fine balance manages to blow away the mind and soul of book lovers till today. It is compassionate story based in an unnamed city by the sea where four strangers from different background are forced to share a confined apartment and struggles in the dilemma of balancing between distrust to friendship to love.
12. No country for Old men
This brilliant masterpiece set up during 1980s at Texas-Mexico border by Cormac McCarthy revolves around an illegal drug deal that went erratic. Brilliantly depicted stubborn and obdurate antagonist of the book, Anton Chigurg simply gets itched to the readers’ mind despite being the antagonist. This book was so famous that the movie made in 2007 based on it and bearing the same name went on to win Academy awards in numerous categories including the Best picture and best director awards.
1984 by George Orwell is incredible and class apart. It is an imaginary yet extremely evocative and convincing vision of the writer in 1949 about the future World in 1984. Remains a classic of all time.
Disgrace is a narrative genius, highly appreciated novels of all time by J.M. Coetzee. The story is set in post-apartheid South Africa and revolves around a 52 year old womanizer, two time divorced who rather lives a pitiful life, synonymous to a vagabond, with temporary satisfaction of prostitutes. He is spoilt, unannounced loner, leading a normal average life as a petty 52 year old professor in an University in Cape town. His life turns a topsy turvy when he seduces one of his young students. The event is followed by a rippling unceremonious events in his life which further evolves his young daughter living in a secluded small village of South Africa leaving him shattered and utterly disgraced.
15. Invisible Man
Invisible man is another ground breaking novel on racial discrimination and slavery. Along with a description of a traumatic journey as an African American male with well prevailed prejudice, the novel in itself was path breaking when it first published in 1952. The novel went on to fetch National book award for fiction in 1953.