20 Books On My Must-Read List

Books. A human’s best friend. Every time you feel down, pick up a book and you’ll forget all your worries. Every time you feel happy, pick up a book and you’ll feel your happiness double. Every time you feel angry, pick up a book and you’ll find that your anger evaporates. Oh, well. This might not be applicable to a many people, but yes, bookworms will understand.

That feeling of holding the book in your hand and losing yourself in its pages: Priceless! I could read and read and read day and night, if I didn’t have a job at hand and worries of waking up early and going to work. A book can be your companion in travel. You could read a book just about anywhere. And I mean ANYWHERE!

In this age of evolving technology and gadgetry, the love for reading books, of shuffling through the pages of a book, listening to the sound of the pages turning and of finding the words forming vivid images in your mind, is lost somewhere. A couple of years ago, there was an ad doing the rounds, of how an iPad can never replace a newspaper or a book. It was a little unfair to newspapers and books, for it almost showed that the only thing that you could use them for was swatting flies and cockroaches. Nevertheless, the basic point still stood out and struck a chord with me.

There are certain books that you have first impressions about, but then all those impressions are bound to be destroyed once you start devouring the books. I would love to see what all books have that effect on me. The Oh-My-God-I-Thought-It-Was-This-But-It-Is-Not effect.

In a previous blog post, I had written about books and the joys of reading them.

You can read the post here: https://themindtravelogues.com/2013/11/18/revere-your-reads/

In this post, I list out 20 books (in no particular order) that are on my must-read list. The reasons why I picked these books vary, from interesting title names to interesting authors, to interesting plots to the hype surrounding them. Here we go:

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s: One of Truman Capote’s best-known books, the first thing that leaps to mind is Audrey Hepburn’s face as Holly Golightly.

Breakfast at Tiffanys

  1. A Passage to India: Unlike what the title looks like, this book by M. Forster apparently shows the tensions that simmered between Indians and the British during their rule of India.

A Passage to India

  1. Vanity Fair: William Makepeace Thackeray, using the metaphors ‘Vanity’ and ‘Fair’, made an impression on my mind, of man and his worldly attachments.


  1. Veronika Decides to Die: Paulo Coelho, I want to know: Why did Veronika decide to die?

veronika decides to die

  1. The Winter of our Discontent: Apparently this book shows us how immorality can lead to discontent and yet, how it is not too late for us to change for the better. At least, that’s what I understood from the synopsis. John Steinbeck, let’s see what you have in store for me.

Winter of Our Discontent

  1. Love in the Time of Cholera: Alright. My first impression of the book was that one of the main characters might be diagnosed with cholera and how their love stood by despite the harsh circumstances brought about by the disease. But no. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has something else in mind. Activism for Eradication of Cholera.


  1. Mrs. Dalloway: High-class women. High-class parties. High-class Mrs. Dalloway. What do you want to say, Virginia Woolf?

mrs dalloway

  1. The Conquest of Happiness: At last! A book that preaches on how to conquest of happiness. Exactly what I needed! Well, at least that’s what I think. So let’s see what Bertrand Russell has in store.

the conquest of happiness

  1. For Whom The Bell Tolls: Who does the bell toll for in such Ernest (Hemingway)? I guess I’ll just have to read to find out.


  1. Utopia: How long before I actually get to this place? Written by Thomas More, There is correspondence with other men and then there are discourses on ways to reach this “good place”.


  1. Coma: The only other Robin Cook book that I have read till date is Abduction. And I found it amazing! This brought on me a desire to read this medical thriller. The name itself gave me the chills.


  1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: This is one book that has shattered my illusions of it. Before I read the summary, I assumed that this was a book that was a story of a demented murderer on the run. But then, Hunter S. Thompson talks about drugs and the 60’s cultures! Interesting!

Hunter S Thompson, Fear and Loathing

  1. The Painter of Signs: As the name suggests, K. Narayan tells the story of a man who paints signs. It’s R. K. Narayan. All arguments end there.

the painter of signs

  1. The Catcher in the Rye: I was not able to decipher this and thought, ‘What does this man want? ( J.D. Salinger)’. Till I saw the gist. Teenage rebellion. Grass. Crops. Hmmm. Again, interesting!


  1. Dracula: Who doesn’t want to know about Bram Stoker’s fiendish vampire Count Dracula? The image that comes to mind when I think of Dracula is that of blood dripping from the fangs of the suavely yet horrifying dressed near-human monster.


  1. The Phantom of the Opera: Two colors come to mind. Purple and red. Purple to denote Lee Falk’s Phantom. For some strange reason, whenever anybody says “opera”, all I can envision is a fat lady singing on a stage, in front of blood-red drapes. Yet, Gaston Leroux paints a seemingly lovely story about two people in love. Er, too much love?

phantom of opera

  1. Shantaram: Well, as stereotypes go, I envision an old toothless man sitting in the corner of some obscure sweetmeat shop or maybe a stationmaster of a small station. But no. Gregory David Roberts’ protagonist is an Australian robber on the run. I’ll save the rest for when I read the book.


  1. My Name is Red: This novel by Orhan Pamuk is set in 16th century Istanbul and follows the lives of miniaturists.

My Name Is Red

  1. The Idiot: I expected that this Fyodor Dostoyevsky book would follow the life of a presumed “idiot” and I was not disappointed when I read the summary.

the idiot

  1. Things Fall Apart: Chinua Achebe’s novel describes the life of a 19th Century Nigerian leader and a local champion. My guess is that this novel shows how life can be put right back together when you feel that it is falling apart at the seams. I don’t know how right I am, but I look forward to reading this classic.

things fall apart

Well, that is my list of 20 books that I have made a priority to read. Hoping to lay my hands on these as soon as possible. Have a great time reading.

Until next time! 🙂

Images’ Courtesy: Google Search


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