5 Powerful Books You Need to Read

Books, novels and plays; let’s face it, we’re all suckers for a good read. And it’s more than just a good read, it’s more about experiencing hundreds of different lives in a short period all from the comfort of your couch. Books allow one to be transported into a different world while remaining in the warm confines of your home. And that is the power of a good book, it gives you a completely unique perspective; whether it be of the characters, stories, time-travelling or even tragedy. Books are life and us bookworms can’t get enough! So, here’s a list of my absolute favorites and they happen to be all time classics. A range of not only emotional rollercoasters and extraordinary journeys, but of real and relatable stories. These following stories will ignite a flame in you that will burn for a lifetime.

 

1. To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s masterpiece is a poignant tale of racism and civil segregation in the deep South of the United States. Through the protagonist, Scout, we are taken into the framework of 1930s Alabama, where the Great Depression and deeply entrenched racism is sustained through several social practices. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer who bravely decides to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. Whether it be the breathtaking imagery of a ‘tired old town’ in Southern United States, or just Scout’s sudden coming of age through a turbulent phase of events, you will come to numerous personal epiphanies that will empower you to discover more about society than you think.

2. The God of Small Things

As much of a personal favourite Arundhati Roy may be, this riveting read ought to be an unbiased choice for literature lovers. Post-Independence India, tortured twins in an estranged family, the oppressive caste system and an unspeakable conclusion; this book gives you shivers at all the right times. Without divulging too much of the narrative, I recommend this book as part of a process of healing and self-exploration. For those of us battling certain heavy emotions in life, this book provides an unusual source of solace through a magical time-lapse that leaves us feeling bittersweet.

3. The Catcher in the Rye

Yes, it is highly controversial and one of the most banned books for generations now. And rightfully so, as there are racial slurs and misogynist tendencies portrayed in this book. Without trying to perpetuate the protagonist’s brash demeanor; Hayden Caulfield, has emerged more than a youth icon and gave a generation a whole new meaning of rebellion and coming of age. I recommend this book for its unconventional storyline but with a very relatable tone, to the adolescents especially. Love it for the quirks, the jokes and the ‘dramedy’.

4. The Namesake

I will be honest, for some of us generational migrants (if that is even an identity), telling our stories become more taxing than for the audience hearing it. But Jhumpa Lahiri perfects her craft with this tear-jerking prose with a hint of the protagonist’s coming to terms with his own story and that of his family’s. A personal favorite for many reasons, but one reason I strongly recommend this book is because of its honesty. If you believe in real stories, then you need to allow yourself to trust the honesty. As a young Indian woman, myself, my heritage is more of honesty than of demographics. A must read!

5. Things Fall Apart

Finishing this list off strongly is Chinua Achebe’s magnum opus. A fruitful read but moreover, this book is more of a written documentary than anything else. Colonialism, masculinity, polygamy, tradition, honour and murder- all are put to the test in this masterpiece. I remember flipping through the pages of this book in my small town primary school with no idea of how much this book would influence me in the future. And how it has grown to be such an irreplaceable part of my bookshelf. It takes a little a bit of Africa from me whenever I happen to touch it again, only for me to regain the lost part of home back in the few pages that haunt me.

Reading is an art, understanding is a talent, and being able to live vicariously through books is a boon. So, I urge everyone to please read and appreciate these gems. They speak a bit for all of us and they hear us too. Happy reading!