By Trishla Verma, Batch of 2020
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies; the man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the gift of fiction has been lost upon the current generation. In a recent conversation with my friends, I was appalled when I found out that most of them had read their last novel years ago, while the others survived only on Chetan Bhagat. If you belong to the kind who haven’t yet experienced the plethora of emotions available on a dusty bookshelf, I ask a small favour of you. Pick up a new world of fiction disguised in paper and ink, and start reading. Where should you begin? Categorizing by genre, I have listed my favourite novels to assist you in delving into the mystical world of books.
- Fantasy: Do you appreciate ingenuity and would rather read about a make-believe world with creatures of all kinds rather than a realistic, honest setting? Are Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings exactly what you need on a lazy movie marathon afternoon? If yes, I’d recommend you to read novels such as ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George RR Martin and ‘The Hobbit’ by Tolkien (if you haven’t watched their TV adaptations yet, that is.). Another personal favourite of mine has been ‘The Name of the Wind’ by Patrick Rothfuss. These engaging novels guarantee to teleport you into another world and make you never want to leave.
- Mystery: This specific genre is for you if you revel in conundrums and playing detective. Author Agatha Christie is justly known as the Queen of Crime Fiction. It’d be perplexing to choose just one or two favourites among her many works she has blessed us with. For somebody who is just beginning their journey into the realm of mystery with Agatha Christie as a companion, the bestsellers such as ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ or ‘Five Little Pigs’ or ‘And Then There were None’ are meant for you.
- Romance: These classics are there to save the day for all the die-hard romantics out there wanting to read something light yet sensual. Finding true and often overrated love in the old and wrinkly pages of a good book can act as a substitute while you go through the ordeal in real. Some popular novels following the theme are the classics ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte or any novel by the prominent author Nicholas Sparks.
- Thriller: Life can get overtly monotonous at times. A thriller themed novel can offer you a much-needed liberation from these lacklustre times. A well-written thriller will make you feel every possible emotion there is. It’ll gratify you, depress you, deceive you and terrify you. These are the books which will keep you hooked right until the last page with its million twists. Books by Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson and John Grisham fall into this category and are considered as a must-read for anybody starting on their thriller expedition.
- Science Fiction: The set scene might be a distant planet or maybe, fifty years into the future. If alien invasions, spaceships, riveting antagonists and time travel interest you, this might be your genre. Often, this can overlap with fantasy since the line between the two is drawn paper thin. H.G. Wells is a popular sci-fi writer having written ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘War of the Worlds’, and his works would surely be a captivating read for any sci-fi fan.
As you set your feet on this invigorating journey, here’s a friendly piece of advice. While being glued to the television set and watching Friends and HIMYM over and over again is rather appealing, the sheer amount of satisfaction you can attain after reading that epilogue will beat the feeling of watching the end credits on a flat screen, any day.