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3 of My All-Time Favourite Books That I Reread Every Year

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

A pencil sketch of mum and child drawing

Reading a book propels you into a different universe where no demands of everyday life can reach you.

Reading a book is like jumping into a pool — the fall into the storyline exhilarates the senses. The water rushing towards you in myriads of letters silences the surrounding cacophony. Your body tingles in anticipation. Then the water swallows you by caressing, tickling, and stinging all at the same time. It devours you whole, only to expel you out through the medium of the very last page.

Some books embody this unexplainable pull that makes you want to live through its pages again and again. You feel this urge to immerse yourself in the plot, in its characters, and in the language itself. You feel incomplete without reentering its strands.

I have three books that I return to year after year.

Whenever I feel stuck or unmotivated, I turn to them — my faithful friends and companions. They are very different, and they serve different purposes.

Sometimes, I read them all three, one after another.

Sometimes I read them separately, at different times.

But all three of them take me on a literary pilgrimage, allowing to experience certain emotions and emulate certain fears.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

“If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

This dystopian novel is like marmite — you either love it or hate it. And it’s absolutely fine — books should stir something up in us. The indifference is the death sentence to any book. Hatred is its fuel.

This book, with the help of painstakingly detailed but powerful storytelling, illustrates the society where most people give up the responsibility of thinking. They live by refusing to think, by rejecting the mind itself, and by hating anyone successful. They expect to receive dividends without putting in any effort.

I enjoy Atlas Shrugged because, for some bizarre reason, it helps me to snap out of inertia. It might be powerful characters that motivate me to work on something. It might be Ayn Rand’s fierce belief in reasoning and rational mind, in progress and raw human ambition. Or it might be a storyline that makes my imagination run wild and contemplate various ‘what ifs’.

I will not sugarcoat it — this book is a monster comprising 1168 pages or 63 hours of audio. But it’s worth it. Especially if you are a fan of dystopian fiction, the story will tickle your nerves by conjuring chilling images of the end of the world scenario. Only to throw you back into the present moment as you turn the last page.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner — continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you — is a fine art, in and of itself.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I am ambivalent towards the author’s New York Times bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ with its 10 million book copies sold. And I am not a fan of of the film based on the book, with a charming Julia Roberts in it.

But Big Magic speaks to me like no other self-help books on creativity.

It’s because Elizabeth’s voice is like that of your friend next door. You feel you can trust her, so want to listen to what she’s got to say. She takes your hand ever so gently and explains that creativity does not come with pain. Quite the opposite — it should not be painful if you are following your heart and enjoying what you are doing.

In this book, the author talks openly about her relationship with her creative muse. The story is genuine, believable, and ordinary. Because one day, you are full of ideas, but the next day it’s a struggle to come up with a single sentence. Elizabeth, just like you and me, has good days and bad days. And it’s reassuring to know. In this book, she gives hope to others who dare to dream of expressing themselves through the written word. She reminds us to stay true to our inner calling.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years it was a splendid laugh!” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol is by far one of my favourite books. I reread it every single year without fail. And I watch every single adaptation of the book there is. Every. Single. One.

I like the idea of second chances in life. The inner child in me likes the magic part of the storyline. What excites me the most is the opportunity to see what was and what’s coming. I see this story as both a magical fairytale and a therapy session. It allows me to dream and use my imagination, but it also helps me to reflect on my personal choices.

No other books or storylines make me feel as gooey inside as the story about someone who turns one’s life around. I am a big believer that it’s never too late. All you need is a bit of faith in your abilities, a sprinkle of healthy persistence, and a spoonful of magic.

"Reading a book is like jumping into a pool. The water swallows you whole. It devours you, only to expel you out through the medium of the very last page." - Vic Bowling,

Final Thoughts on my Favourite Books I Reread Every Year

Reading a book is a journey; it’s like having a leisurely paddle. The process itself helps you to ponder, visualise, and create. But reading a book could also help you get unstuck and overcome the stagnation or even inertia.

It’s so good to have a book or three that you could rely on in the time of need. Next time you are reading a book, note down how it makes you feel. If it elevates your mood even by a bit, reread it and see if it turns into your trusted companion.


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