I love reading books. Most of my fondest childhood memories are sitting in a comfortable corner reading a captivating book. Books are filled with so much treasure; they have the ability to transport you to distant lands that can only be imagined. Reading books has expanded the capacity of my imagination in tremendous ways and it has increased my knowledge. I benefit from books in many ways, my mind becomes remarkably enriched, I learn about new things, reading books is very entertaining and the pleasure I derive from reading is absolutely out of this world. Reading inspires imagination and fuels creativity. I have been able to connect with other cultures by reading books. In the words of Henry Ward Beecher “Nowhere is human nature as weak as in the bookstore”, I can relate to this statement as an avid reader. A bibliophile. Books are my passion.
Getting completely lost in the world of books, being absorbed into another world is an experience I look forward to. I enjoy the solitude, the quiet time I spend reading books. There are many benefits of reading, it is a relaxing activity, and it is also pleasant and luxurious. It launches you into a world controlled by imagination- a magical world. Books provide an easy escape from the troubles of this world, leaving behind the mundane life. Books are therapeutic, they have the ability to heal our wounds and rejuvenate our lives back to a vibrant state. Books give joy, a boost to our soul, support character development and impact our lives in very distinctive ways. Books are a reliable companion; they are the greatest treasures on earth.
I can easily mention “Jane Eyre” as one of my favourite books. It was written by Charlotte Bronte. I also love “The Post Office” a play by Rabindranath Tagore. I read this book when I was 11 years old and the memories of Amal- the child still lingers in my mind to this very day. It is a very poignant write.

Compiling a list of my ten best books was quite challenging because I love so many books. It’s difficult to choose just ten amongst such rich treasures, so here is a list of my ten best books of all time.

1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: I loved this book because it met all the qualities of an amazing thriller. The suspense and intrigue were absolutely fascinating. This murder mystery written by Agatha Christie tops my list for many reasons. The thrilling story will keep you guessing who the real murderer is until the very end of the book and the truth will almost knock you off your chair.
Roger Ackroyd, a widower, was betrothed to Mrs Ferrars, a wealthy widow. In a twist, she commits suicide and Roger Ackroyd is murdered in his study. Enter- Hercule Poirot, our star detective. He was called upon to solve the murder case of Roger Ackroyd. The following events lead to a startling twist at the end. The British Crime Writers Association nominated this book as the best crime novel ever.

2. The Post Office (Play): This is an enthralling book written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. The book is spectacular for its poignancy. It tells the story of an innocent child who starts out life plagued with an illness and as time goes on, harsh realities of living set in. The experience of the child as described in this book will move the reader to tears.
Amal, the main character is a young boy who suffers from an incurable disease. Confined to his room, Amal looks out to the world through his windows, wishing to experience the world out there.
This popularity of this play made it necessary for it to be performed in French, Spanish and other languages. It was a huge success in Germany with over 100 shows. The audience related the theme of liberation from captivity which was connected to the horrors people had to live through in the concentration camps during the World War II.

3. Three Men in A Boat: This book is one of my favourites, it made me laugh so much, I am sure readers will enjoy reading through every page of this book that has been packed with humour. It was written by Jerome K. Jerome, a real comedy in which an expert writing technique was used to create humour in the various situations described in the book.
The book is a funny narrative of a trip made by Jerome K. Jerome and two of his friends across the Thames on a short vacation, there is a dog in this story that just makes the experience even more hilarious.
This work was recognised by the BBC, it aired the story on the radio very often.

4.Jane Eyre: A spectacular novel written by Charlotte Bronte. This book is one of my all-time favourites. Timeless classic. I acknowledge the literary genius of the three Bronte sisters. The story is about Jane- a simple girl who has an unwavering ambition to make it in a world dominated by men. Jane Eyre was one of the earliest feminist novels. These lines from the book prove it beyond doubt “It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action, and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

She braves this world armed with her education determined to be recognised. I love Jane for her fierce independence and standing on her principles. To quote Jane Eyre: “I am a free human being with an independent will.”

The love story is delicately woven with romance, intrigue, and empathy. The captivating conversation between Jane and Rochester will be entertaining and enlightening. It is easily a wonderful literary masterpiece.

5. Gone With the Wind: The writer of this book Margaret Mitchell is known for this compelling classic. Her writing technique has the ability to draw you into the story- a rare ability. You will love the depiction of the main characters Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara the daughter of a cotton plantation farmland owner, as you read through the pages of this American Civil war story.
This book is a best seller with over 30 million copies sold globally. Its unique title was adopted from a poem written by Ernest Christopher Dowson, the storyline pulls you through the lives of slaves who worked on the vast cotton farms in the South.

6.Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: This is another all-time classics; I loved this book as a child. This compelling story has been made into movies many times. It is a masterpiece written by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson).
It begins with the adventures of Alice who mistakenly ventures into the wonderland- home to strange characters. It is an entertaining book with interesting conversations, humour and poems. Poems laden with satire like the “You are old Father William” became more popular because of this book. It is an excellent read. Many parody poems in this book are wonderful humorous pieces of work, which even became more popular than the original.

7.The Short Stories of O’Henry: O’Henry delivers his best in every story, the master of twist endings. This is a collection of stories expertly written to thrill the readers beyond their anticipations. Popular choices will include the spectacular stories like “The Gift of The Magi” and “The Last Leaf”. In the short story category, O’Henry stands out paving the way for any aspiring writers who are encouraged by the annual O’Henry awards for excellent short stories.
As expected, the movie industry has selected many of the short stories written by O’Henry to be made into great movies. One of these is a gem of a classic titled “The Cop and the Anthem” starred Marilyn Monroe.

8.The complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle: Truly the master of crime and mystery. I still have vivid memories of the stories in my mind; this is not surprising because of the captivating methods used in writing these stories. Sherlock Holmes is the proficient detective, always analysing the crime scenes with so much detail that hold you spellbound.
The notable recognitions for these stories have made Sherlock Holmes very popular. The Guinness world records organisation recognises Sherlock Holmes as the most commonly depicted movie character ever. The extent to which Sherlock Holmes has been used in movies, radio, stage performances and other media over the years will almost make you believe that he actually exists in real life.

9.The Complete poems of Emily Dickinson: Emily Dickinson’s poems are intense. They are painted with feelings that are beautiful, painful and sorrowful. I recommend these poems to readers who get a thrill from poems that express a variety of emotions including love, death, new birth and nature. These poems can bring some sadness into your heart when you read into the text, there is also narratives based on ethics and morals in these pieces.
Readers will have enough of these materials to satisfy their needs because as many as 1800 poems written by Emily Dickinson which has been posthumously published.

10.Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse: If you love humour, this is the book for you. Laughing while reading a good book is an experience I wish everyone can experience. This story is about an overconfident Jeeves, a valet with “skills” that he insists must be used to take charge of his master’s life. He asserts his position as the protector and saviour of Bertie Wooster and his friends, vowing to shield them from compulsory social functions that can kill a person with boredom, the nosy relatives, and also using his experience to get help Bertie make a good impression with the women. These hilarious stories have been adapted into films and television. Packed with humour, a usual feature of Wodehouse books, you will feel very happy reading this book to the very last page.

There you have it, my top ten best books of all time. Don’t hesitate to start reading them and feel free to add your suggestions.

 (From my blog nandita653.wordpress.com)