Discover the magic of reading: Top 5 must-read books across diverse genres

Photo credit: Bhumika Shrestha

I belong to those who seek escapism through books. No matter how many people say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, I’ve always been captivated by a book’s cover, title, and scent. My heart calls out my name to experience the life the book provides.

Through these books, I have lived countless lives through my one real life. When it comes to reading books, I don’t limit myself to a specific genre; instead, I aim to explore all genres to gain insights into the various aspects of books that reveal different facets of the world.

Here are five must-read books from my bookshelf that I highly recommend to anyone who likes learning and enjoys exploring diverse content.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    Have you ever felt unseen and unheard? If so, then this book is for you! The Alchemist is not just a book but a voice for people, a voice for you.

    The author Paulo Coelho has crafted the main character ‘Santiago’ as a relatable figure representing the individual within society. The book symbolises the universal quest for dreams, as depicted through Santiago’s long journey to find hidden treasures in the Egyptian pyramids, illustrating the essential steps toward success.

    It gives a poetic way to embrace power and voice to the individuals who feel hopeless in their lives. The concept of pursuing one’s dream in the book mirrors my own experience and has led to self-reflection at a crossroads in my life. Coelho’s transformative writing offers a powerful perspective on the world. Through Santiago, who always follows his heart, the book conveys a subtle message: we must heed the guidance of our hearts.

    Sold by Patricia Mccormick

    If you are a girl, you must have experienced some kind of harassment or bad looks from men. Sold is such a heavy book as it carries the whole world within its pages. Patricia McCormick portrays society through the eyes of the protagonist, Lakshmi, a victim of human trafficking who loses her innocence.

    Lakshmi’s dream to support her family back in Nepal is shattered once she arrives in India only to have her identity taken away. The journey from Nepal to India is depicted with a timeless quality, leaving readers yearning for an end to her suffering.

    The book highlights how one should be fully aware of such issues in society and bring societal awareness against forced prostitution. This book has given me such an insightful way to be mindful and brave enough to speak up for myself.

    Verity by Colleen Hoover

    A highly recommended book for 18+! This book isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for those who enjoy dark themes and psychological thrillers. I won’t reveal too much to avoid spoiling the mysterious plot, but Colleen Hoover masterfully crafts a suspenseful story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

    The character Lowen Ashleigh witnesses such traumatic incidents and situations in front of her eyes and that makes her question her life decisions. It’s thoroughly engaging from start to finish, filled with twists and turns that never bore and always amaze.

    The characters themselves are shrouded in mystery with their psychological behaviours, pulling you into a world you never imagined, one that will keep you awake at night. This is the kind of book that leaves you hanging. I found it incredibly enjoyable and it left me utterly shocked.

    The Subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson

    As the saying goes, ‘Truth is always bitter,’ but when you read this book, you find yourself enjoying it and even laughing at hard truths. Out of all the self-help books I have read, this one has been my favourite from day one.

    First of all, I believe this book holds such a significant mirror for GenZ and I highly recommend it. Mark Manson clearly knows how to captivate and engage his readers until the very last page as he keeps spitting the hard truths about life.

    The central idea highlights the importance of having a balanced and healthy life and gives a clear path towards success. It allows us to preserve our time and energy for endeavours that truly matter and gives us the courage to provide importance to the ones that deserve it. This beautiful book has provided me with a space to express my authentic self, and through its words, I discovered a sense of magic.

    The Silent Patient by Alex Michaellides

    “Only I can make her speak.” Another psychological thriller book that questions its existence in the world. Alex Michaellides has impressed readers with his words, drawing them into a maze of lies and hidden motives as they seek the truth.

    The book provides insight into human behaviour and the intricacies of the mind, demonstrating how skilful people can manipulate situations. The two main characters, Theo and Alicia, explore their life-altering mind games.

    One can always expect the unexpected twists and turns in this book that keep fully engaged. The book is shrouded in secrecy, but when the truths are revealed, you begin to question everything about the book.

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    Shrestha is a student at St Xavier's College, Maitighar.

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