- Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway is one of those books one is supposed to adore for its disruption of convention and innovative use of time, sound, parallel narrative structure etc. A pioneer of modernism, Mrs. Dalloway is a novel which needs to be read more than once to be able to truly seep into the detailed layers that the book adorns. The book tackles several temporary controversies and most characters represent a particular issue.
- If on a Winter’s Night A Traveler- Italo Calvino
This book is perhaps like nothing that you have read till now. The author is constantly guiding you throughout the book in a very nonchalant manner as if you’re a first time ‘reader’. The twists and turns at the end of almost all the chapters is something that you anticipate once you’ve caught the hang of it. The novel disrupts the entire idea of a linear narrative and everything that comes along with it. A must read for the ones who haven’t read it yet!
- On the Road – Jack Kerouac
The book will definitely put you in the mood for adventure! An excellent source of inspiration, this book will guide you through your adventures and give you the hit to get you running. On The Road by Jack Kerouac has successfully described the idea of wanderlust and is based on Kerouac’s own life experiences of travelling across America with his friends. A true gypsy, letting you in on the secret of living in the moment!
- Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
It has so become the case that every time the idea of wanderlust comes across someone’s mind, Into the Wild is not late to follow that up. Alexander Supertramp, has become a name that everyone is familiar with now, even 20 years after his death. Author Jon Krakauer starts us at the bus and brings us through the final two years of McCandless’s life as he abandons his school, identity, family and spends the next two years wandering around his country. The issue remains the same with every book adaptation for a film, read the book before watching the movie as Krakauer refuses to pull punches on perhaps one of the most interesting nomads in literature.
- Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee’s searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications and Romantic Poetry at Cape Technical University. The novel is both merciless and compassionate and is also incisive in its portrayal of the changing world of South Africa. It’s a very complex book to read and that complexity fuels you to appreciate the work more. At its core, it’s about race, specifically about race relations in modern-day South Africa. But it also has a lot to do with gender politics (and of course subjectivity gets counted here). There is indeed a story to be read and understood here.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Considered as one of the must reads in one’s lifetime, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will not disappoint you. The fact that the book had been written in 1979 is worth appreciating given it’s quite astonishing, the vision of Douglas Adams, the author, presenting a lot of visionary elements, starting with the very “book inside the book”. Beside the mesmerizing technology stuff that he predicted, the signature style here is his remarkable sense of humor. Get your hands on a copy of this masterpiece, now!
- Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which centers on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. This is a book of many contrasts; colonialism and traditional culture, animism and Christianity, the masculine and the feminine, and the ignorant and the aware. This book really takes the reader into the Igbo culture. Achebe shows the traditional culture very well, a culture which is rife with superstition but rich in context.
- Sputnik Sweetheart- Haruki Murakami
It might resonate with readers of Murakami that reading his books are not quite just the act of reading but also an act of dreaming with your eyes open. What you see is a series of surreal images barely held together by threads of reason. What matters however, is the feeling these images leave you with. Sputnik Sweetheart’ is a novel that works its way quietly through the mind, awakening the senses and forcing you to look at the world through a different window. Like many of Murakami’s characters, we are introduced to a set of young adults, who have somehow made it through the first stages of their life, but seem to be lost as to where they go from there.
- A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
From the time of the ancient Greeks through the present time, this historical overview of cosmology is told by one of the most famous and fascinating scientists today. The main idea to take away from this book is that time has a clear direction. Entropy is the idea that the universe moves from highly ordered states to less ordered states. Hawking uses this idea to explain why travelling back in time is impossible. This isn’t the easiest book to read in the world and is probably the most bought science book of all time while also being the one most likely gave up on after a chapter or two – but it is a fascinating read all the same.