What are some must-read books for a 22 year old Indian?

more books 😀

Answer by Sarthak Pranit:

20's   are the actual formation years when you are out of your colleges and   trying to make something of yourself. There are certainly few books  that  allow a person to be a realist, an idealist and of all a   fundamentalist. My picks for the 20s would be

  • Shantaram   by Gregory David Roberts – a travelogue of an escaped Australian   convict in India. It teaches you everything -love, melancholy and a  path  of thought. A realist's favorite.
  • Siddhartha   by Herman Hesse – for all those college stoners who think that they   have attained enlightenment, this book is a must. Its explains the very   concepts of enlightenment like no other book I have read till date. A   must for every bookshelf.
  • Man's Search for Meaning – do not reject it just because the title sounds preachy. We all judge a book by its cover. But this is not a sermon. Its an experience like no other – one that none of us would want to go through, but each of us could learn a bit from. To get you thinking, what will be your course of action when you lose your job, your family, your money, your laptop, your mobile, your access to FB, your ability to take a selfie, your entire fricking freedom? When you have nothing……nothing but your mind that keeps slipping a smidgen away.
  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling- a book about sheer experience of life. It puts forth   success and failure, mistakes and achievement in such a candid way that   you relate every such instance of your life with the book.
  • The   Fountainhead by Ayn Rand- of course, I cannot give this a miss. It   teaches you to value your self and your thoughts. Very few books have   been able to deliver meaning with such impact. Its surely not a book  you  would want to complete in one read. Give it time and you will see  your  ideals coming into place.
  • Catch   22 by Joseph Heller- a true taste of sarcasm (yes, 20s can be fun too  as  long as there's an underlying meaning). A hefty satire on wars-  that's  how I would like to put it. It will make you question the  decisions of  the system being taken around you while still allowing you  not to flow  into emotional empathy.
  • Howl  by  Allen Ginsberg – This book just blows your mind right off. No  bull-shit  and hardcore to the core. This book was so truthful that it  was banned.  It blows the lid of many issues that your elders don't want  you to know.  But, it will show you the power of simple truth in a  unique way.
  • Kite  Runner by Khalid  Hosseini – a book that will make you cry. Not a  recommendation for the  pedantic individual, this unravels the depths of  friendship, a bond  between a father and a son, betrayal and its ultimate  redemption. With  one of the most throat-croaking endings ever, this  book should be read,  irrespective of age.
  • Flower's   for Algeron by Daniel Keyes – Gut-wrenching story and a must for every   person who is into medicine or biotechnology. A poignant story about  the  relationship between a man and a mouse, both of which are subjects  of a  surgery that is aimed to increase people's intelligence, this  book  touches a lot of ethical and moral themes simultaneously.
  • Wuthering   Heights- a classic that a lot of teen's postpone. This book is a blow   to the facade of love that is often portrayed in today's world. If you   are in a relationship in which you define the bond as "just going out   with her/him", do give this a read to understand where you are.
  • The   Outsider by Albert Camus- the best slap on the norms of today's   society; it features a protagonist who adheres to the truth and   dismisses every excessive portrayal of emotion which is demanded by the   society. One of the best starting lines of a book "Mother died today.  or  maybe yesterday. I don't know"
    The  Book Thief – its not always that a person comes across a book that  relates a love to know things in the worst period of history. Mark  Zuckus more than bowled me over with this book. It strikes the strings  of every book lover by unravelling the notions of a girl about the  simple questions 'What I am going to be left with in the end?'. Poignant  to the core and mesmerizing until eternity, the book will always have a  special place on my shelf.
  • The   Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – I believe this book should be read   every year, because every time you read it, you discover a new layer  to  it. This book personifies the term "timeless writing". It covers  almost  every layer of teenage thinking -profanity, sexual craving,  teenage  angst, identity, belonging, alienation, etc. I still have a lot  more to  discover from this book.
  • Go,  Kiss  the World by Subroto Bagchi – the tale of an entrepreneur in  India. Its  not the usual "get inspired because thats what you bought  this book  for" book. Its a story from which you just happen to draw  teachings  unconsciously. A must-read for every venture enthusiast.
  • The   Diary of a Young Girl – sheer indomitable courage is all this book is   about. I am sure this is also one book you have postponed for long. Do   give it a read, worth every second you give to it.
  • The   Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor- for all those lazy folks who   think that Mahabharata is too long a read. With a mixture of the plots   of Mahabharata and freedom movement ending with Indira Gandhi's   emergency, this book is the perfect Indian Satire.
  • Autobiography   of a Yogi by Swani Parmahansa – this is not a scripture but is valued   more than it. For every atheist who questions a lot, this a book that   might solve a few of your answers. For me, this book was never preachy   but the flow of thought accompanied logic hand-in-hand for every  second. 
    and in the end,
  • Quiet: The power of introverts – Just because you feel a bit socially awkward doesn't mean your aren't sane. This is a book for introverts and ambiverts. Its ok to not want to go to a party. Its ok to not go to the theatre and watch a movie on your laptop. Its ok to not dress up and go to a fancy restaurant for a weekend dinner. Its ok to be alone. Being alone and being lonely are as unlike each other as selfies and narcissism are not.
  • The Bhagvad Gita- its a daring task I tell you to even pick this book up.   But this is not just a book when you read it, its a conversation that  is  the wholesome of every inquisitive conversation that would have   happened anywhere in the world. Its not about a God, nor is it about  the  Devil, but its about the both of them that reside in us; its about  Man  -not the ideal one, but the common one. I understood myself and my   temperaments a lot better after reading this book. The Bhagvad Gita is   ultimate motivator of all the books I have ever read. I can say with   every bit of confidence in me that this book will change your life.

    In case I come across any more, I will keep posting.

What are some must-read books for a 22 year old Indian?


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