When I read what Ernest Hemingway said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book“, little did a 7-year-old know the significance of the quote. From academic books to fiction, and then to spiritual, and much more, there is a lot that books have to offer beyond a reading experience. It gives you an imaginary world, a story that you live through the characters, new relations, and an inquisitiveness to know what will happen next. For some, books are best friends; for others, they are counsellors, teachers, healers, and even lovers.
Here is an assorted booklist curated by Team Brown for the bibliophile in you who yearns to read stories that become close to your heart and theories that you would love to dig deep into.
Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur
I have to admit it. I am not much of a reader. I try to read all the bestsellers, the ones that create a huge buzz in my friend circle. I am more into poetry compilations because I love writing poetry myself. This might sound very cliché but, Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur has to be my favourite.
Just like millions out there, the poetry collection touched my heart in every way possible. The encapsulation of every emotion throughout the various phases of her life is impeccable. Through the different chapters of the book, we learn how a person starts from hurting but eventually falls in love with someone, later have their heart broken, but again end up healing themselves with the power of self-love. It has a rustic flavour from her roots in Punjab, which she has never failed to highlight. She shades glimpses of the power of feminism and self-love. Be it her relationships or her family, she has penned down her experience in a beautifully poignant way. I adore her other works as well, but Milk & Honey seems to have a place in my heart.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I feel I have enjoyed reading since I learned how to read. I remember being a six-year-old kid and picking up a few comic books at the railway station every time before my journey. I loved the ‘Tinkle‘ series, and I still have a big collection from my childhood days to date. Later, I loved reading encyclopedias during my pre-teen years, and then the world of ‘Harry Potter‘, along with many other amazing books, had me in awe for a greater part of my teenage years. However, if I had the chance to pick just one book among many others, I would pick The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
I love his writing style, and I believe he is one of today’s best contemporary literary authors. He has written a total of 4 books until now. ‘The Kite Runner‘ is a marvellous story set in Afghanistan during the Soviet military intervention. Hosseini is this gifted storyteller who narrates this beautiful story of friendship, betrayal, guilt, loss, devotion, redemption, a desire for atonement, and a will to better oneself based on past experiences. His writing style is really beautiful, and he can articulate complex emotions in a very crisp manner. The book has been written in the first person from the protagonist’s point of view. The writing in this book is bare, stripped down, and the plot has a resonance of tragedy. I never knew a book had the ability to make you experience such a myriad range of emotions; it really touched me, left me in awe, and some parts even made me weep. Despite it being so heavy to read as an adolescent, it is that one book that is still close to my heart.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Honestly, I am really not a bookworm, yet there’s this book suggested by a friend of mine, which literally held me up until I got the true essence of this beautiful self-help book –The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. This book proves that greatness can be found when we accept our ordinariness, a crude but much-needed reality check. For those of us building careers, it’s a reality check that your success is not directed by what you want to enjoy but how much suffering you’re willing to sustain to get there. Bringing in tales from his own life, Mark Manson alluded to several well-known personalities who successfully adopted a similar approach to overcome obstacles. These insightful and funny perspectives on life definitely made this book worth a read. Moreover, when everyone is mentally suffering during a time like this pandemic, this is possibly a must-read to lift yourselves.
The 8th Habit by Steven Covey
Consider your own voice. Not your singing voice or your speaking voice, but your voice – the significance, the endless potential, and greatness of you. Have you found it?
“Find your voice, inspire others to find their voice.“an excerpt from page 26, The 8th Habit
Finding your voice at work, whether you’re a regular employee or a top leader, is not necessarily easy. And if you’ve already managed to find it, there’s still no guarantee that you’ve managed to use it consistently. In The 8th Habit, the author, Steven Covey, gently pushes you to find your voice. He fills you in on how to take action and find it and, importantly, how to inspire the people around you to find their voices as well.
Stephen Covey’s The 8th Habit is undoubtedly my go-to read and a masterpiece by all standards, truly inspiring!
The Confession by John Grisham
I spent a good few minutes having a mental debate deciding which book should I call my favourite. And the second book? Again was a John Grisham classic. Guess Grisham really did carve himself a spot in the world of thrillers.
I really do not want to give a spoiler here and give a snoozy explanation of the plot, but this book will leave you in suspense and shaking with anger and sadness on the realities of life the book touched while narrating the tumultuous life of Donte, Travis, and the priest. I have noticed this book either have people who absolutely loved it and regard it as Grisham’s No. 1 work or has left people infuriated and annoyed because he brought a controversial topic in a way that makes their blood boil. In all honesty, books like The Confession deserve a read.
Panchatantra by Acharya Vishnu Sharma
Panchatantra by Acharya Vishnu Sharma is one of my favourite books. Pancha meaning five and tantra meaning treaties, this book is a collection of short stories of animal fables and humans which deals with the five treaties of Vigraha (Separation), Mitra Bhedh (Loss of Friend), Mitra Laabha (Gaining a friend), Suhrudbheda (Causing discord between friends) and Sandhi (Union). Interestingly, Panchatantra is also read in the West under the name Fables of Bidpai.
I would have written any fancy name of a fiction novel, but this book is really special to me. My grandmother had given me this book, written completely in Hindi when I was merely 7 years old. I should tell you that this was an unabridged version, and I was completely clueless about comprehending those lengthy chapters. However, when I started reading, I slowly got the book’s essence – it taught about justice, responsibilities, love, desires, lust, money, and whatnot. I believe that every individual should read this book to better understand the real world through tales that have been told in unconventional ways.
From making us empathetic to non-judgmental, and giving us new perspectives, every chapter, every sentence, and punctuation makes us a better person. So tell us in the comments which one do you think should have been on this list?