1. Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the Shore is about a 15-year-old runaway boy from Japan who leaves the abusive household with his father for some respite.
There are several reasons why this book is a must-read; firstly, the presence of two main characters in the form of Nakata (a world war 2 survivor) and Kafka presents the readers with two unique storylines that are very thrilling. A touch of fantasy is attached to this story as it has a talking cat, which stops seeming odd as one keeps reading, and the reader begins to like it. Lastly, it is an inspiring book, motivating in several contexts to witness the journey of a young boy who find his way in life and moves on from past tragedies.
For instance, give a read to one of the beautiful lines mentioned:
People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns
Mariam and Laila are the leading protagonists of this Khaled Hosseini bestseller. Centred around women’s life in Kabul, during the rule of the Taliban, it is an eye-opener. Both protagonists are married to one man – Rasheed. While earlier, their bond is not great, they slowly become best friends with each other.
The story shows their lives in a household where domestic violence is a norm, women are subdued and how they finally come out of it to live happy lives. If that’s not all, Khaled Hosseini has most wonderfully propagated the ideals of selflessness and sacrifice which will leave you feeling wholesome for not just days, but years after!
3. Many Lives, Many Masters
Well, I would say this book is somewhere between Fiction and Non-Fiction. Dr.Brian Weiss – a psychiatrist, gets an interesting patient whose past-life therapy helps not only her but also the doctor, and in turn us – the readers.
The book is a great read for it reveals new information such as the reason for our existence, our bonds with people currently or even the psychological reasons behind our personality. I am sure you would be hooked to the book in just a few chapters, such are the philosophies and truths revealed in it.
Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing
4. The Forty Rules of Love
I consider it a classic in the way it is one of the most fulfilling reads one would come across. Mention of the legendary poet Rumi and his eccentric guide Shams has been made which will create a world dating back to old Afghanistan. Shams has forty rules of love that are universal and are revealed at different stages of the book. These rules are life-changing for everyone who comes across them.
East, West, South or North makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey, a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.
Ella, a housewife reads their story and learns to prioritise love above responsibilities, which I am sure many readers also do after this exceptional read.
5. The Richest Man in Babylon
Talking about life-changing books, this is one of the greatest books on wealth and money. The Richest Man of Babylon is realistic and informative non-fiction. It gives the readers lessons on how to accumulate and manage their wealth and become rich without the help of anyone.
This is done through the story of a poor scribe called Arkad who becomes the richest man in history’s wealthiest city by abiding by certain steps. A key step is:
A part of all you earn is yours to keep.
This book is a must-read for anyone who might be interested in getting rich, or managing their money!
6. The Kite Runner
A Khaled Hosseini masterpiece, The Kite Runner revolves around the life of two friends – Hassan and Amir, while the former is poor, the other is rich. It’s a beautiful craft of how loyalty and love are important in friendship. The negatives of caste and community are also brought forth.
Amir who commits several mistakes in the first half finds ways to repent them as age knocks on his door. Forgiveness from not only others but from yourself is a key moral one learns as the book closes. This simple read is bound to take a place in your heart for a long time.
7. Normal People
A non-typical love story if I must say, Normal People, is an absorbing read. Right from the start to the end, it will keep you hooked on the stories of Marianne and Connell who fit together yet are drawn apart at various stages of their lives.
This unconventional love story will shower a practical light on how romance is in today’s world. It is never perfect but we still live in it. The vulnerability of relationships is revealed and perhaps it is that relatable nature that makes it such an incredible story.