As a timeless topic, many a writer have tried their pens at conjuring up tales that tug at our heartstrings. More often then not, these novels give us the opportunity to sit back and contemplate on what is truly important; there is a very sustained sense of reflection in all the flashlight-worthy books of this particular genre. The best books often deal with a character's self-realization or discovering their true purpose amid seemingly insurmountable odds.
by Mohsin Hamid
An introspective glance into the troubles of drug- and sex-riddled modern-day Pakistan, the anti-hero Daru finds himself questioning friendship, a relationship with a married woman and what it takes to be somebody in a place that prides itself on its anonymity. I enjoyed the book due to it taking a different approach to life in the sub-continent, and gritty, real life details brought this book to the top of my list.
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Lahiri's only novel to date provides an accurate portrait of coming to terms with who we are (and making sacrifices along the way). Gogol Ganguli undergoes a classic tale of assimilation and how to draw lines between his Indian heritage and the American life beckoning him. From hating his abstract name to falling for white women, Lahiri pens a tale with no clear climax; the tension is palpable throughout.
by Manil Suri
Instead of describing a young man's coming of age, this novel begins with the imminent demise of an old man in an apartment complex and his thoughts on the life he's lived. His death is a microcosm of India's modern day society. Cynical, yet somehow faithful.
by Rakesh Satyal
A breath of fresh air in the literary world, this book is both funny and sad at the same time. The best fiction reminds us that issues such as gay versus straight are much, much bigger than our personal worlds. Kiran, a young teenager, embarks on a journey to seek acceptance, all the while dabbling with his mother's makeup and attempting conformity to no avail.
by Khaled Hosseini
Following up to the critically acclaimed debut The Kite Runner, Hosseini paints a heart-wrenching portrait of the choices we have to make and asks the reader if they are willing to give up what they love for who they love. It's an excellent novel that deals with the facets of life that add color to our world.
by Paulo Coelho
In hauntingly spare prose, The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd into the desert on his quest for a dream and the fulfillment of his destiny. One of the most profound and evocative little fables of our time, Coelho's effectively condenses many of life's struggles and questions into 163 pages.
by Stephen Chbosky
Follow a high school freshman's journey as he partakes in the many obstacles that make high school interesting: drugs, sex, introversion and the awkward stage of adolescence. This is one of those books that, if read at the right time, makes a big difference in one's overall perspective on the world.
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. more...
About Mustafa Abubaker
Mustafa Abubaker is the author of The Surrogate. He is a 17-year-old senior at Woodward Academy in Atlanta, where his desire to become a successful novelist has flourished. Stay up on everything Mustafa Abubaker on his Facebook fan page.
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