“To read is to voyage through time.”
Those of us who simply refuse to oblige to the absence of a book, who instantly crave for another once they had managed to move on from the last, know this saying to be true.
Reading is a marvelous habit; nearly bizarre, when you think about it: you willingly allow your mind to be capsized by the words of a stranger, fall in love with moments and characters and worlds and situations that, for the most part, are not even real. Nonetheless, there is no rule that prohibits the mental transportation of a reader from one world to another, as illicit as it sounds.
This is for those that thought, “I can totally relate” (or something along the lines of that) as you read the words above. This is for the ones who already have a bottomless bucket list of books to read or even the ones who are new to the club. An assortment of popular novels that are simultaneously amusing and inspirational comprise the list that follows.
- The Duchess, by Danielle Steel
The Duchess captures the adventure retained in an orphaned, aristocratic young woman’s extraordinary road to success. The story opens with the death of the girl, Angeliqué’s, father, the Duke of Westerfield and her only friend in the world. Angeliqué is disowned by her brothers and thrown at the mercy of the savage, realistic world with only an envelope of money bestowed to her by her father.
Steel’s novel defies the underestimations generally built around the nature of an 18-year-old as it follows the young woman’s journey, from her lowest point to where she builds a thriving business, helped by her own methodical character, impressive sense of style and her indisputable class in a classist, patriarchal society.
- A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
Set in the 21st-century, Taliban-infested Afghanistan, this book introduces the reader to two women: one being Maryam, a penniless young girl, isolated by her dead mother and betrayed by her father, forced to be bound in marriage to a man twice her age in order to survive. The other young woman, Laila, born a generation afterwards, crosses paths with the older woman following a great family tragedy which leaves her with no option but to accept the proposal of marriage offered by Maryam’s husband.
Hosseini paints a vivid, petrifying picture in the mind of the reader as he guides them into the brutal world of Afghanistan through the eyes of Maryam and Laila, two helpless women linked as mother and daughter, trapped under the cruelty of the Taliban rule and their own, ruthless husband. The story succeeds in keeping one obsessed with it, from the first word to the last.
- The Maze Runner (Series), by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a work of scientific-fiction, consisting of five books, the last two (The Kill Order, The Fever Code) being prequels to the first three, or the trilogy (The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure).
The first book introduces the reader to the protagonist: Thomas, a teenage boy sent to a walled encampment with every last sliver of his memory erased. Thomas’s confusion and questions, along with the encampment, are shared by other boys living there, and each day, the small community works on solving the mystery that they have been sucked into, to seek a way out of the “Maze” in the walls to the world outside, battling with the horrors within them. The mystery solved in the first book then prompts the events in the second and the third novels.
Complete with plot twists, trials, tragedy and joy, The Maze Runner series is by far one of the craftiest sets of novels ever written under the genre of Sci-Fi.
- Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown
In his novel, Brown has his protagonist, Robert Langdon, a famed professor of Symbology, in Rome, encountering a clash between Science and religion upon the return of the Illuminati, an underground organization that recognizes the Catholic Church as its enemy. Within a limited period of time, Langdon has to aid the police and the Church using his vast adeptness in history and Symbology in saving the lives of several cardinals kidnapped by the enemy, simultaneously finding himself dismantling a colossal bomb that is meant to wipe out the entirety of the Vatican City.
Dan Brown’s clever play of words, action-packed scenes and the intriguing subjects discussed in his book provide enough reason for the reader to stay submerged in the plot of the story till the final page.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
This work of non-fiction by Carnegie is the perfect handbook for the socially-awkward, the introverts and all those that favour financial success in business, owing to the genuine advice provided in the book. Building good relationships with people is one of the most fundamental business tactics, and Carnegie’s book consists of the ideal methods for socializing, broken down into several easy steps that have been time-tested and proven to bring the exact results a reader would be hoping for.
By Rebecca Mischelle