The four books you need to read before you die

Anam Shahid Aug 04 2015

They say books are a portal to another realm, a one-way ticket to extraordinary lives, amazing places and mind-blowing characters; and I completely agree with this. In fact, for me, books are the treasures which open-up the reader to precious and priceless moments as they read from page to page.

For me, a good book doesn’t necessarily have to be a bestseller. It should just be loaded with emotions and should touch the heart and soul of the reader. I have come across many manuscripts that have done exactly that for me, and today, I would like to share four such books that have worked wonders on my life. Hope you enjoy them too!


I read this book in grade 9 and I still go back to it out of nostalgia. I chose this particular book for several reasons, one being how bittersweet this novel is and how realistically it describes the human civilization of today. The book explores the true idea of human evil on its own. What I also admire about this book is that its author, William Golding, has taken inspiration from real-life events to develop this book’s plotline and he has heavily focused on the violence and brutality of World War II – a topic which interests me immensely. The book beautifully paints a broader portrait of the fundamental human struggles between the civilized instinct and the savage instinct.


From a being a phenomenon, to leading a cult and finally becoming a movie, this book has changed many lives. Instead of yapping on and on about how great this book is, I will share my favorite extract from it, so you all can see how amazing it is.

“People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”

Simply magical.


This book has been my favorite for years… until I recently read a new one and, well, it sort of beat The Alchemist for its spot. Nevertheless, this book has its own place in my heart as it always helps me rekindle in what I believe in. It’s an inspiring read for those who have struggled or are struggling to achieve something. My favorite quote from this would be,

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”


This book is priceless, in every way possible. You have not experienced anything, if you have not read this. In this absolutely breath-taking novel, Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two enticing narratives; one based on today’s world and the other set during Moulana Rumi’s time, back in the 13th century. The book follows the time when Rumi came across his spiritual master, known as Shams of Tabriz. It is a must read for all who believe in the power of love or are interested in the Sufi school of thought.

While there are many other books that I would like to add to this list, these four hold a very dear spot in my heart and I hope that whoever reads these books would feel the same exhilaration and inspiration that I felt while reading them.

Happy Reading!

Anam Shahid

Anam Shahid:

Anam has always been fond of writing and fiddling with words which allows her to not only express herself but pass them beyond. Graduating as a media student at ICMS, creativity comes to her pieces on its own.