The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
A commentary on the facade of the American Dream, this masterpiece is a literary gem that made F. Scott Fitzgerald propel to the heights of stardom. Jay Gatsby, who was once rejected due to his financial status, vows to win back the love of his sweetheart, Daisy Buchanan, who got married to an extremely wealthy man. He makes a prodigal return, buys a house opposite the Buchanans, and throws the most ostentatious parties. Will his love prevail, or will he fall to the depths of disdain?
The Master and Margherita, Mikhail Bulgakov
A satire about the political resurgence in the Soviet Union between the 1920s and 1930s, this allegorical narrative is still heavily relatable today. The story begins when the Devil, along with his talking black cat and a naked enchantress, start making the city spiral into chaos. On the other hand, there is Master, whose literary work was rejected recently and Margherita, who loves Master so deeply that she could literally go to the ends of the earth to save him.
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
With the multitude of adaptions and renditions attributed to this novel, Jane Austen never ceases to amaze the readers with her charm and wit as she comments on English society in the 19th Century. Elizabeth Bennet is the protagonist who is one of the five sisters of the Bennet family. She meets the wealthy Mr. Darcy, who comes off as arrogant on their first meeting. As love blossoms between the two, the question arises whether Elizabeth will be able to let go of her prejudice and whether she will help Mr Darcy overcome his pride.
The Diary Of A Young Girl, by Anne Frank
A first-hand account of 14-year-old Anne Frank as she poignantly writes about her harrowing experience during the Holocaust. Being a jew, she and her family had to hide in Amsterdam to escape the Nazi persecution. The details of their stay, which was marred with anxiety, trauma and hope, are beautifully presented through her intimate perspective. Later, she dies in a concentration camp, after which she became a celebrated writer for words of hope and positivity in times of atrocities.
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
This book serves as a testimony of how historical events can impact the lives of everyone involved. Set in Afghanistan, which witnesses the rise of Taliban rule and Soviet invasion, two young friends from different social backgrounds form a complex friendship when something unspeakable happens to one of them. Its heightened impact leaves a huge hole in their lives, which gets filled with shame, guilt, sacrifice and eventually loyalty.
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Transcending from the genre of children’s literature, this book has hidden connotations, which makes it even more vivid. The imaginative narrative where a young girl, Alice, falls down a rabbit hole and reaches a fantastical realm called Wonderland. There, she encounters many absurd characters and tries to find her way back home, all this while helping to overthrow the evil Queen of Hearts. The surreal beauty and whimsical characters make it a timeless classic.
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Popularising the fantasy genre, this book is the first in the trilogy and is set in a world called Middle Earth. The quest is to destroy the Ring, whose creator is the dark Lord Sauron. The Ring is found by a hobbit who has to carry it to Mount Doom, but the journey is filled with trials and tribulations, which have mythological, fantastical and imaginative connotations.
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
One of the glistening gems of African and World Literature, this book depicts the plight of many African communities at the hands of their colonial oppressors. Okonkwo is a powerful warrior who belongs to the Igbo community in pre-colonised Nigeria. As he witnesses a surge of change, which he fears will wash away the traditions and cultures of his homeland, he is riddled with internal conflict. A book that would awaken your soul and make you look at history from an insider’s perspective.