Let books keep you company while you practice social distancing. You know the saying, ‘Books are our best friends’- well it couldn’t be more true now! Our team has been working from home and as bookworms we are finding company in books. So we thought, why not create a list of our ‘Must Reads’ for you! Do read and let us know what you think. Comment below if you have any recommendations for us!

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoseini

The Kite Runner is one of those rare debut novels that shook the literary world. Hoseini stunned readers with his storytelling skills. His brilliant portrayal of Amir and Hasan’s friendship is only one of the elements of the book that stays with the reader. The novel is set in Afghanistan and it weaves complex themes in a sensitive and thoughtful way. From bullying to war to filial relationships to the journey of becoming a writer, this novel encompasses it all.  Amir is an aspiring writer and Hasan is his loyal friend. Why is Amir’s father so fond of his friend, Hasan? What will happen to Amir and Hasan in the future? This book makes one ponder about their own identity and relationships with their closed ones. The Bound Team found it heartbreaking and unforgettable. You should be reading this well-written book now.

  1. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

We love reading books in translation. Sayaka Murata has written a tale about a character, Keiko, who is not ‘entirely’ normal and social like others, but she loves working in a convenience store. Her love for her work is almost obsessive, which makes the reader wonder, why? What’s really wrong with her? Why is she fiercely in love with a dead-end job? This book can be finished in a few hours, so what are you waiting for?

  1. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

Catcher in the Rye is another book that you can finish in a few hours.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

This is only one of the quotes that bookworms still quote nowadays because it’s immortal. Holden, the protagonist,  is 17-yr-old. His voice stands out for its no-nonsense tone. Every teenager and young adult will be able to relate. Salinger has created a character that will last for centuries and you shouldn’t be missing out on the fun!

  1. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The Reader which is a translation from the German is one of the best books on the Holocaust out there. Hanna Schmitz enjoys the company of Michael Berg because he’s an avid reader. He reads out stories to her that fill her mind with the greatest writers’ voices and imagination. Their relationship blossoms as time passes but what happens eventually? Why is Michael troubled as an adult? What happened between him and Hanna Schmitz that haunts him as an adult? How do they find themselves amidst the Holocaust narrative? This book is an intense romantic ride that takes a sinister turn. It will make you question ethics, duty, patriotism, love and much more. Schlink’s characters will haunt you long after you’ve closed the book.

  1. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

This Man Booker Prize winning book is a South Korean novel that is divided into three parts. We follow the journey of Yeong-hye, who decided to stop eating meat after seeing disturbing dreams. We get to hear the perspectives of three characters in the book, her husband Mr. Cheong, her brother-in-law, In-hye and her sister In-hye. The book discusses topics like patriarchy, mental illness, art and more with finesse. The story takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions through smooth prose. We loved discovering Han Kang’s voice through this novel and look forward to reading more of her works. If you haven’t read her work yet, you should begin with this.

  1. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

We consider Yates to be a highly accomplished and underrated writer. We love his short stories, for his flawed and very real characters. Revolutionary Road is his debut novel. It is the tale of a couple who lives on Revolutionary Road. This can be considered to be a domestic novel that explores the intricacies of family life, and more importantly the impact it has on the couple. Frank and April Wheeler are attracted to each other, and they fall in love. They have dreams, they start a family together and what happens then? We get to see the ugly side of these characters as much as their beautiful side. This is Yates’ quality, he brings out the best and worst in his characters and spills them onto the page for our perusal. Read this if you appreciate good prose and an even better story!

  1. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

This book won the Man Booker Prize in 2011. This is one of those books that includes philosophy in its plot, but it does it without being overbearing. Some lines from this book can be framed and here is an example-

“What you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.”

The book plays with time and memory like no other book does. Tony Webster is old now and he narrates the book from what he remembers. He speaks about his college days. We get to know about his friend, Adrian, who isn’t really like the rest. We learn about Tony’s past and feel like a confidant. What begins as a simple tale, slowly unravels into something more layered and complex. Barnes’ intelligent prose keeps the reader mesmerized and the plot of the book keeps one on the edge of their seats. You should read this masterpiece!

  1. Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

Any Must Reads list is incomplete without an Indian writer. Let’s acknowledge it, Indians are great storytellers. We absolutely love Ghachar Ghochar! It is a rare regional book that has made a name for itself internationally. It is a novella and can be finished in one sitting. It is translated from the Kannada. A joint family drama that brings you closer to family members who are heavily reliant on each other, this book will keep you wanting more from the writer. What happens when Anita, a stranger, enters the family? The story is narrated by an unnamed narrator who is then married to Anita. What creates and unsettles this family? What makes this family drama so compelling is the way the writer has written it. Srinath Perur’s flawless translation has done wonders for the book. You should read this now. Isn’t the cover stunning and metamorphic of a joint family?

  1. Under the Skin by Michel Faber

If you enjoy science fiction, then this book is for you! Even if you aren’t a hardcore sci-fi fan, this book will make you want to check out more sci-fi books because it is amazing! ‘Under the Skin’ is a novel about an extraterrestrial sent to Earth to kidnap unwary hitchhikers. If that hasn’t already made you want to pick it up, you should read further. It’s an interesting plot used to discuss serious topics like class politics, rape, factory farming, animal cruelty and more. Please pick this book if you’re looking for an entertaining and thought-provoking page turner!

  1. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Imagine a world without books! You don’t have to because Bradbury has already written about it. In this time of isolation, we are living because of books. If it weren’t for books, we would have been driven insane by now. Farenheit 451 is a dystopian novel that explores a world without books. It discusses themes like authority, intellect, dictatorship and more. Firemen in this book are sent out to burn books! Guy Montag is our protagonist. His journey is the most interesting, we stay with him until the end to see how his character progresses. He meets a lovely girl, Clarisse McClellan, who is the opposite of him. Does talking to her change the way he sees things? What happens to Clarisse, who is outspoken? You will enjoy this novel if you like dystopian narratives and if you love books!

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