There are two definite ways of gaining wisdom: traveling and reading. While we're always too broke and too busy to keep traveling, the other ones quite within our reach. Every book has a different eye for the world, and it lets you to temporarily be that eye. While the list of good literature is endless, here are top ten books that are such amazingly written masterpieces that you must shell out time for them.
1. The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture Of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde, was published in 1891. A young man named Dorian Gray, after seeing his own portrait, wishes in distress that he would give anything in the world to have his portrait age and wither instead of him. And his wish actually comes true! Read Dorian Gray to find philosophical truths in your daily chores and to see its characters speaking the most beautifully crafted words. Wilde answered the critics of his work with a line from his book itself, which says :
'The books that the world calls immoral are the ones that show the world its own shame.'
2. The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini, was published on 29th May 2003. It is a story about Amir, a well-off boy living in Afghanistan, and his servant's son, Hassan. The Kite Runner is an astounding book for the fact that the protagonist is not a hero but a spineless coward. Amir develops a disliking towards Hassan, leading to a series of events that no one could have predicted. While the book is full of lines that will reflect upon you like a halo, here is one that just never fails to impress :
'And that is the thing about people who mean everything they say, they think everyone else does too.'
Lolita is a book by the Russian author Vladimir Nabokov. The storyline revolves around a well to do man named Humbert Humbert, who chances upon a family of a mother and her twelve-year-old daughter, Dolores. With a strange turn of events, Dolores, who he fondly calls Lolita, ends up being his stepdaughter. They develop a relationship later on. If the story baffles you, read Lolita for the astoundingly rich literature that it presents. Nabokov seems to have phrased and rephrased every statement to the point that it seems to have turned into one of the finest literary pieces that have ever been written.
4. The Namesake
The namesake was published in 2003 by Jhumpa Lahiri. The story is about a Bengali couple who move to the US. They name their child Gogol. The father, Ashoka, was in a very terrible accident and had dropped a page from a book by Nikolai Gogol to get the attention of the people looking for survivors. The story revolves around Gogol trying to find himself, brought up in an NRI household, with his parents singing laurels about a faraway land he has never seen. The Namesake strikes a chord at various levels with the reader.
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns came out in the year 2007. Mariam, an illegitimate child suffers a lot a backlash from everyone. With a turn of events, Mariam is left with only one choice – to marry a man who is a generation older to her. She suffers mental and physical abuse during her married life. In the second part of the book, we are introduced to Laila, who is forced by the existing situations to marry Mariam's husband. The book showcases the Taliban rule in Afghanistan and also how the common people, especially the ladies, were affected by it.
6. To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1990. It is written by Harper Lee. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the novel is about the trial and conviction of a black man accused of the rape of a white girl. Atticus Finch, the person defending the accused, is sure that the girl is lying and has definitive proof of it. Even though he shows the proofs in the court, the man is sentenced to punishment and is shot while trying to escape prison. To Kill A Mockingbird is a satire on the deep-rooted evils of the society shown through the eyes of six-year-old Scout, Atticus' daughter, and is definitely one of the top ten books of all time.
"Kill all the bluejays you want, if you can find 'em. But remember, it is a sin to kill a Mockingbird."
7. A Suitable Boy
A Suitable Boy is written by the Indian author Vikram Seth. At 1349 pages, it is one of the longest novels to have ever been written. The story goes about in a span of eighteen months and revolves around four families. Mrs. Rupa Mehra is looking for a groom in order to arrange a match with her daughter, Lata. With its simple language and complex themes, this book easily makes the cut in the list of top ten books of literature.
8. Three Men In A Boat
Three Men In A Boat is a novel written by Jerome K Jerome, which was initially intended to be a serious travel guide. The funny narration and events instead turned it into a novel that was so superbly written that it became one of its kind. It is about three friends, Jerome, Harris, and George who go on a two-week boating holiday on the river Thames.
9. Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a novel written by Emily Brontë which was published in 1847. It is a love story between Catherine and Heathcliff. The reason why it is included in this list of top ten books is that it takes an unusual course with the main characters being portrayed as selfish, demonic people who care for no one else and can crash the rest of the world down for each other.
"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
10. Midnight's Children
The last novel in this list of top ten books that you must read is Midnight's Children written by Salman Rushdie in 1981. The novel revolves around the time when India was decolonized and was granted independence. The lead is Saleem Sinai, who is born exactly at 12 in the night on 15th August 1947 and is endowed with telepathic powers. This book won the Booker Prize, James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and also the Booker of Bookers prize.
"We all owe death a life."
These are the top ten books are absolute must reads. Words have the power to influence people and change the world, and these classic pieces to make sure that this power is optimally utilized.