“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot
A book can provide all sorts of entertainment and knowledge, which we unknowingly or knowingly apply in real life. They’re our silent friends, and we tend to lose ourselves in them at times of solace. Yet, certain books impact our lives in ways we could never imagine; they change the way we think, the way we believe, and the way we respond to life’s sticky situations.
Now, we all know the famous authors or books that either went down in history as a best-selling novel or as a cult classic or maybe both. But no, this list isn’t about them (not entirely). Instead, this list is about the five books any teen should read before they step out of their protected school life.
1. The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
What it’s about: It’s about a pilot who crashed into the Sahara desert, where he meets a young prince who has fallen on Earth from a tiny meteoroid. As the pilot repairs his plane, the young prince recounts the tale of how he came all the way from his home to Earth.
Charmingly written as a children’s book, it has a lot to offer to any adult who reads it.
Why you should read it: It makes several observations about the intricacies of life and human nature; it also provides the author’s insight on human relations. In addition, the book innocently remarks on the strangeness of the adult world, social criticism, and much more!
2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
What it’s about: The book is set in the dystopian United States, wherein successful industrialists leave their fortunes and the nation itself in response to the regulations being imposed by the government. It’s a really long read, called the magnum opus of her fictional work by Ayn Rand herself.
Why you should read it: If you dream of making a difference in this world, about standing out and leaving your mark, this book will help you realize that pioneers aren’t always received well by people despite being desperately needed. Even though it is a long read, getting a bit heavy and monotonous at certain moments, it leaves you with a sense of altered expectations from both the world and yourself.
3. 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
What it’s about: There are certain traits all-powerful and successful people share, this book is simply a compilation of those traits, and since they’re given with isolated examples, one can easily relate them to their own situations.
Why you should read it: Think of all the great and powerful people of the past, and now, all of them are offered to you on a platter in a book, you could learn from their life, their greatest achievements or mistakes and apply them in your own life!
4. Mrityunjaya by Shivaji Sawant
What it’s about: This book is essentially the whole of Mahābhārata with Karna’s, Kunti’s, Duryodhan’s, Shon’s, Vrishali’s, and Krishna’s point of view. It describes the whole of Mahābhārata in the form of soliloquies of the above characters. A literary masterpiece, it was originally written in Marathi but had English translations of it.
Why you should read it: We all know the basics of Mahābhārata, the righteous Pandavas and the sly Kauravas, and the great battle that ensued between them at the battle of Kurukshetra for the throne. Since this book shows the point of view of so many characters, it makes us realize how relative everything in this world is, that the world is not just black and white; everything in it is a different shade of gray.
5. The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger
What it’s about: It’s about a few days in the life of the 16-year-old Holden Caulfield when he gets expelled from prep school; his observations and thoughts during those few days on his way home.
Why you should read it: In this digital age, where information is so easily accessible, it’s easy to lose yourself; the book deals with issues such as identity belonging, loss, and connection. Despite being from a different time, the protagonist feels the angst and alienation that all teenagers face at some point during their teenage life.
Well, this was my list! If you’ve got a book that you believe should be read at least once before school gets over, feel free to comment below!