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5 most read novels! Have you read any of them?

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The term “novel” denotes the present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian: ‘novella’ for “new”, “news”, or “short story of something new”, itself from the Latin: novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning “new”.

It is an invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience, usually through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting.

And, within its broad framework, the genre of the novel has encompassed an extensive range of types and styles: picaresque, epistolary, Gothic, romantic, realist, historical, to name only some of the more important ones. It is typically written in prose and published as a book.

However, the literary critics, historians, avid readers, and even casual readers will all have different opinions on which novel is truly the “greatest book ever written.” Is it a novel with beautiful, captivating figurative language? Or one with gritty realism?

A novel that has had an immense social impact? Or one that has more subtly affected the world? Everyone has a reading lane. Whether it is romantic novels or science fiction books about people becoming their own grandparents, readers often have a channel they return to over and over again.

As the fictional books are an easy recommendation to get someone started on their reading habit because they are interesting and encloses amazing stories that grab the readers’ attention.

And moreover, they also come with an array of lessons throughout the book to learn from; it is a mixture of stories and feelings and characters, it is never one thing in particular, and one always take away something much more diverse than one thought of. Though it is difficult to pick up a novel for reading, but there are some recommendations which serves the purpose of writing a novel.

Also read: Top 5 skills in demand! Do you have one of these?



The first novel considered among all the novels is “The Alchemist” (Portuguese: O Alquimista), which is a novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho that was first published in 1988.

Also, it is considered as Paulo’s best work so far. It is an amazing and impactful story and also because of it being a short novel. It is a story about the shepherd named, Santiago who wanders through many cities and meets many new people on his journey in order to realize his dream that he had been having several nights one after each other.

His journey is so adventurous and so full of lessons that it is easy for everyone to lose themselves in. Though the later impact of the story could also be felt once one reads the whole story, which by the way has an absolutely amazing ending, in ways that, how an individual differently perceives his dreams and see the importance of certain people and events, and what they teach him.

It is a beautiful fictional story with some lasting inspirations for the readers.



The novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a novel by the American author Harper Lee. It was published in 1960 and was instantly successful. In the United States, it is widely read in high schools and middle schools.

This cover is one of to Harper Lee’s major classic work, it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and the next year was made into an Academy Award-winning film. The novel examines racism in the American South through the innocent wide eyes of a clever young girl named Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch.

Its iconic characters, most notably the sympathetic and just lawyer and father Atticus Finch, served as role models and changed perspectives in the United States at a time when tensions regarding race were high. And, the story it tells is just as worthy of praise.

It is nothing fancy or much of a sci-fi thriller, it’s a story about a lawyer and his two children and how this small family does small acts of bravery against the racism of that time. The story also has a very nostalgic and child-like side to it and it is therefore very sweet to read with a little bit of mystery as well.

The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was ten.

This work also made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962, giving the story and its characters further life and influence over the American social sphere.



The novel was published on 1925, and possibly the most distinctive novel of this list, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway describes exactly one day in the life of a British socialite named Clarissa Dalloway. Clarissa Dalloway, is a fictional high-society woman in post, World War I, England.

The working title of “Mrs Dalloway” was “The Hours”, and the novel was created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister”, it addresses Clarissa’s preparations for a party she will host that evening.

Also, with an interior perspective, the story travels forward and back in time and in and out of the characters’ minds to construct an image of Clarissa’s life and of the inter-war social structure.

The novel, by using a combination of a third-person narration and the thoughts of various characters, uses a stream-of-consciousness style all the way through. The result of this style is a deeply personal and revealing look into the characters’ minds, with the novel relying heavily on character rather than plot to tell its story.

The thoughts of the characters include constant regrets and thoughts of the past, their struggles with mental illness and post-traumatic stress from World War I, and the effect of social pressures. The novel’s unique style, subject, and time setting make it one of the most respected and regarded works of all time.



The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, which was published in 2003 by Riverhead Books. This work of Hosseini describes his way of exploring tragic stories. It is a story about two friends, Amir and Hassan, who used to live in pre-war Afghanistan.

However, as war breaks, Amir being the son of a reputable and rich man, flees to the USA, while Hassan remains behind. From then on, it’s a story about the reunion for Amir and right all his wrong that he had done to Hassan. There is so much in the story and all of it is dearly welcomed by the readers.

It shows how difficult life can be in the underdeveloped countries of the world, tortured by unending wars and battles. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.



This is a beautiful work by one of the Bronte Sisters, Charlotte Bronte. The novel is often assigned for reading in school, was initially published in 1847 under the pseudonym ‘Currer Bell’ to disguise the fact that the writer was a woman.

Fortunately, a lot has changed with regard to women in literature since 1847, and Brontë now receives the credit she deserves for one of the most-groundbreaking novels about women in history. At a time when the author felt compelled to hide her true identity, Jane Eyre provided a story of individualism for women.

The novel’s eponymous character rises from being orphaned and poor into a successful and independent woman. The work combines themes from both Gothic and Victorian literature, revolutionizing the art of the novel by focusing on the growth in Jane’s sensibility with internalized action and writing.

Jane Eyre is a Bildungsroman which follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall.

The book contains elements of social criticism with a strong sense of Christian morality at its core, and it is considered by many to be ahead of its time because of Jane’s individualistic character and how the novel approaches the topics of class, sexuality, religion, and feminism.

As over the years, numerous studies have been carried out into the impact of reading books from various scientific disciplines such as literature, psychology, neuropsychology and economics. And, combining a large number of such studies together creates a clear overview of the effect that reading books has.

The analysis of the available data keeps revealing four themes: being a good member of society and a good employee, health, and a sense of meaningfulness. For each of those themes, a picture has been obtained of why the positive effects apply not only to the individuals but to society as a whole. And to conclude, these are some of the novels which teaches and guides each and every individual a proper meaning and purpose of life.

Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah

Article by Shalini Deb Roy, The North-Eastern Chronicle

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