If you are not an avid reader of books, the expansive world of fiction can be quite intimidating. Friends can’t even help you as they each have their own favourites. That, in itself, should tell you how vast the world of fiction is. To make things easier, I’ve compiled a list of books for your perusal. The books are from a range of genres and are written simply and elegantly, unravelling a simple idea without verbosity and pompous language, which makes them great ways to journey into the realm of the unreal.

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Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Powell, 2012)
[SGD 11.58]

Eleanor & Park Rainbow Powell Romance Douglas Sheridan

Eleanor & Park is a love story between the eponyms, both of whom are mismatched in a world that is set in its way. The conversations in the book show the conflicting nature of the dichotomy between wanting to fit in and going against the odds. This book is for the ones who loves a good innocent romance between two starry-eyed teenagers – some of you out there may even find this story relatable.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie. 1934)
[SGD 10.20]

Murder on the Orient Express Agatha Christie Children's Book Mystery Thriller

Hercule Poirot, the protagonist in the Murder on the Orient Express, is a fictional detective whose fame is only second to Sherlock Holmes. In this murder mystery, Agatha Christie makes you repeat the process of guessing who the murderer is and then doubting your guess. This book is great for those who likes a puzzle and the dry, witty humour of Poirot.

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The Book Thief (Markus Zusak, 2005)
[SGD 13.38]

The Book Thief Markus Zusak Thriller Death

Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief captures the ethereal beauty of reading through the narration of Death. I got enamoured the moment I read this line: “I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skill is their capacity to escalate.” You will love this book if you appreciate the innocent desire to learn in a person.  

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The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925) [SGD 4.99]

The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Romance Leonardo DiCaprio

It is the oldest book on the list, being almost a hundred years old, but it is a timeless classic. Readers of The Great Gatsby are a polarised bunch; you either hate it or you love it. Fitzgerald’s concise exposé of the “roaring twenties” brings you through the life of the wealthy in America, while narrating one of the love stories of the century.

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The Rainmaker (John Grisham, 1995)
[SGD 13.56]

The Rainmaker John Grisham Law Novel Thriller

A former lawyer himself, John Grisham presents the way the law industry works, in his view. The Rainmaker narrates a law student that goes up against a mammoth law firm – classic David versus Goliath story. However, John Grisham makes courtroom drama riveting with the right amount wit and sarcasm.

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The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo, 1988)
[SGD 9.82]

The Alchemist Paulo Coehlo Philosophy Life Book

The Alchemist blends Paulo Coehlo’s life philosophy into the narrative of a boy on a journey of self-discovery. The simplicity in the wisdom of following your dreams hits home and it is certain to inspire you to keep your eyes on the stars but your feet on the ground. If you love a soulful, uplifting story, this story is for you.

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Animal Farm (George Orwell, 1945)
[SGD 8.62]

Animal Farm Pig Napoleon George Orwell Satire Soviet Union Communist

If you are into politics, or politically motivated films, Animal Farm is a great read. Animal Farm is a satirical commentary on the state of affairs in the Soviet Union during the second world war and it remains one of the most well-known political satire novels.

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Me Before you (Jojo Moyes, 2012)
[SGD 13.54]

Me Before You Jojo Moyes Romance Love Movie Film

If you are looking for a book with an engrossing love affair, Me Before You is a great option. The book pulled me through a roller coaster ride of emotions and made my heart ache. I fully recommend this for anyone who loves a good romance.

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Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer, 2004)
[SGD 13.76]

Kane and Abel Jeffrey Archer Drama Thriller Book

Kane and Abel, one of Jeffrey Archer’s exciting thrillers that you can read, crosses the path of Abel Rosnovski and William Kane – two people who are born at the same time but at separate locations. It ensued in a battle that only saw one winner. Jeffrey Archer’s storytelling ability enthralls the readers in a way that little writers can. A great book for those who love a good drama.

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The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins, 2008) [SGD 11.20]

The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Jennifer Lawrence Sam Hutchinson Dystopian Future

For a young adult novel, the themes this novel tackles are deep. Set in a better modern day dystopia, it touches a lot on class divide, what passes off as entertainment in modern society, and Man’s inherent survival instincts. While it does not induce much of a fear of a dystopian society, the setting does help to allow for an us-against-the-world love story to unfold. A great story of a parallel universe nonetheless.

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Spoilers: you may not like the first book that you read. That is perfectly fine. Sometimes, it can be serendipitous and you fall in love with the first book that you read. It takes some time to figure out what books you like and what books you do not. It is rare to find someone who likes everything that he reads. Keep exploring different genres and different themes to know your likes and dislikes! In no time, you will be a seasoned reader, able to make your own judgement on books.

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All prices are accurate as of 26 May 2016.

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