The Top 12 Books Of All Time | To Make You Wiser & More Complete
Read as many books as you can for self-growth.Friends, starting this month, I am going to make book recommendations every couple of months. In each issue, I will have 12 new books for you to choose from. Read all of them or read as many as you can but remember these top books are treaties on the collected wisdom of ages.
I promise to you, even if you read just one of the twelve, you’ll be a transformed person after you finish the book.
Your vocabulary, your language, your perception of the world will change and you will grow in every positive direction in your life.
Start today and let’s all commit to reading all of these great books every month.
Top 12 Books Of All Time
Why the number 12?
If you are wondering why 12 books each month and not 3 or 10 or 5? Well, here is my reasoning behind the number 12.
1. There are 12 months in a year and for those of us who are into self-development, it’s easy to commit to reading a book a month. But, what if you want to beat the 99% and be in the top 1% of people.
How about, read as much in a month what others read in full year. I know, reading 12 books is not possible for 99.999% of us but the assumption is all of you must have read some of these books so I have to recommend 12 so that there is something new for everyone each month.
2. I cannot justify dedicating a complete blog post on book recommendation each month with just 3 or 5 books in my post. Plus, there are so many great books out there. We may have read a lot but there is a lot that we still need to learn. Books are our best friends. Why not, keep a lot of them.
3. Not every month will have exactly 12 books. The point here is to read great works and not add volumes of books to our library. Some months may have only 10, some may have only 8 or 9. The number of books is not important, what is truly important is that you must find the time and MUST READ all of them, this month or the next.
My 2015 Book List
These are the 12 books I have selected for November 2015 reading list which every literate person on this earth MUST READ. Whether you think these books apply to your life’s situation or not, pick them up and read. You’ll find more than what you are looking for.
These books are beyond time, culture and language. I have added the links so that you can find them if you want to read them.
Some of them might be free while others can be purchased for cheap. They all are worth many times more than their costs.
1. The Book of Job, (from The Old Testament, Bible), Israel. (600-400 BC)
You can get a free copy of Bible from many places such as thrift stores, churches, library, etc. Go to the index and look for The Book of Job (in the Old Testament section).
The book of Job is not only a story about human condition and survival but faith, self-belief, divine interventions, time and complexities of human life.
It is a great read. Once you finish it, you will feel your life is just perfect and things happen for a reason.
2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria
Things Fall Apart is a post-colonial novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe in 1958. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa. The novel follows the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Nigerian village of Umuofia.
Okonkwo (the main protagonist) starts off as a great leader and wrestling champion but things start to go wrong for reasons beyond his controls. By the end, the Christianized and Westernized village has changed and things fall apart further for our protagonist.
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England
A classic romance read, set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of M.r and Mrs. Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood.
While handsome Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, rich and young Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.
4. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, United States
The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads a peaceful and happy life.
5. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Ireland
Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly and in vain for the arrival of someone named Godot. The satire can be linked to religious theme (for example, waiting for God who never shows up) or any other themes such as political, psychological, etc.
It is a fascinating read and enlightening as it delves deep into the four archetypal personalities of the soul are grouped in two pairs: the ego and the shadow, the persona and the soul’s image (animus or anima).
6. Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina
Fiction steeped in deep symbolism and social-economic-political commentaries.
7. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason, U.S.
If you want to make more money, be rich, save money, understand money and wealth and more in a narrative format — this is the BEST book on everything money. I read this book when I was broke and clinically depressed and had no hopes for life. This book gave me the insights that literally changed my life and condition 360 degrees. This book has been a life saver for me.
8. The Stranger by Albert Camus, France
This is an awesome read. The book is divided into two sections.
Meursault learns of his mother’s death. At her funeral, he expresses none of the expected emotions of grief. When asked if he wishes to view the body, he says no, and, instead, smokes and drinks coffee in front of the coffin. Rather than expressing his feelings, he only comments to the reader about the others at the funeral. He later encounters Marie, a former employee of his firm. The two become re-acquainted, go swimming, watch a comedy film and begin to have a sexual relationship, despite the fact that his mother’s funeral took place the day before. In the next few days, he helps his friend and neighbor, Raymond Sintès, take revenge on a Moorish girlfriend suspected of infidelity. For Raymond, Meursault agrees to write a letter to his girlfriend, with the sole purpose of inviting her over so that Raymond can have sex with her but spit in her face at the last minute as emotional revenge. Meursault sees no reason not to help him, and it pleases Raymond. He does not express concern that Raymond’s girlfriend is going to be emotionally hurt, as he believes Raymond’s story that she has been unfaithful, and he himself is both somewhat drunk and characteristically unfazed by any feelings of empathy. In general, he considers other people either interesting or annoying or feels nothing of them at all.
The letter works: the girlfriend returns, but the situation escalates when she slaps Raymond after he tries to kick her out, and Raymond beats her. Raymond is taken to court where Meursault testifies that she had been unfaithful, and Raymond is let off with a warning. After this, the girlfriend’s brother and several Arab friends begin trailing Raymond. Raymond invites Meursault and Marie to a friend’s beach house for the weekend, and when there, they encounter the spurned girlfriend’s brother and an Arab friend; these two confront Raymond and wound him with a knife during a fist fight. Later, walking back along the beach alone and now armed with a revolver he took from Raymond so that Raymond would not do anything rash, Meursault encounters the Arab. Meursault is now disoriented on the edge of heatstroke, and when the Arab flashes his knife at him, Meursault shoots. Despite killing the Arab man with the first gunshot, he shoots the corpse four more times after a brief pause. He does not divulge to the reader any specific reason for his crime or emotions he experiences at the time, if any, aside from the fact that he was bothered by the heat and bright sunlight.
Meursault is incarcerated and explains his arrest, time in prison, and upcoming trial. His general detachment makes living in prison very tolerable, especially after he gets used to the idea of not being able to go places whenever he wants to and no longer being able to satisfy his sexual desires with Marie. He passes the time sleeping, or mentally listing the objects he owned back in his apartment building. At the trial, Meursault’s quietness and passivity are seen as demonstrative of his seeming lack of remorse or guilt by the prosecuting attorney, and so the attorney concentrates more upon Meursault’s inability or unwillingness to cry at his mother’s funeral than on the actual murder. The attorney pushes Meursault to tell the truth but never comes through and later, on his own, Meursault explains to the reader that he simply was never really able to feel any remorse or personal emotions for any of his actions in life. The dramatic prosecutor theatrically denounces Meursault to the point that he claims Meursault must be a soulless monster, incapable of remorse and that he thus deserves to die for his crime. Although Meursault’s attorney defends him and later tells Meursault that he expects the sentence to be light, Meursault is alarmed when the judge informs him of the final decision: that he will be decapitated publicly.
In prison, while awaiting the execution of his death sentence by the guillotine, Meursault meets with a chaplain, but rejects his proffered opportunity of turning to God, explaining that God is a waste of his time. Although the chaplain persists in attempting to lead Meursault from his atheism (or, perhaps more precisely, his apatheism), Meursault finally accosts him in a rage, with a climactic outburst on his frustrations and the absurdity of the human condition and his personal anguish at the meaninglessness of his existence without respite. At the beginning of his outrage he mentions other people in anger, that they have no right to judge him for his actions or for who he is, and no one has the right to judge someone else. Meursault ultimately grasps the universe’s indifference towards humankind which allows him to come to terms with his execution.
9. Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov, Russia
Any story from Anton Checkov is a delightful must read. Well, this is a collection of his short stories. Enough said, you can’t miss any of the stories in this short book.
10. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “I’d rather have written Nostromo than any other novel.” Nostromo is often regarded as Conrad’s best novel.
Nostromo is set in the South American country of Costaguana, and more specifically in that country’s Occidental Province and its port city of Sulaco. Costaguana has a long history of tyranny, revolution and warfare, but has recently experienced a period of stability under the dictator Ribiera. Nostromo is an Italian expatriate who has risen to his position through his bravery and daring exploits.
His exploits during the revolution do not bring Nostromo the fame he had hoped for, and he feels slighted and used. Feeling that he has risked his life for nothing, he is consumed by resentment, which leads to his corruption and ultimate destruction.
11. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, finished in 1320 (after 12 years of writing). It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature.
On the surface, the poem describes Dante’s travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven; but at a deeper level, it represents, allegorically, the soul’s journey towards God.
12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russia
Considered and acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in world literature, The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality.
It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia, with a plot which revolves around the subject of patricide.
Admirers of the novel include Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut.
Sigmund Freud called it “the most magnificent novel ever written” and was fascinated with the book for its Oedipal themes.
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If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and I would love to read it. If you have already read some of these books, please tell us about what you think? Want to make book recommendations, please shoot me a message. I am always on the lookout for great books.