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7 books you must read before you turn 21!

Last updated on: May 26, 2014 11:02 IST

Photographs: Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters Delilah Adams

Fantasy, self-help, literature -- we picks seven books that are clear winners in aiding the transition of an adolescent into an intellectual and aware young adult.

So many books, so little time!

Perhaps the most daunting part about reading is the act of picking up a book to read!

A bad book, much like a bad date, can put you off for days or weeks.

A good book, on the other hand, can set you on a path that you'd never want to leave.

Here we have it then -- a concise selection of books that you must read before you turn 21.

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Love books? See this!

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Image: Veronika Decides to Die
Delilah Adams

Waiting for that one big thing to happen to you can be tiresome.

What happens when a young woman, who seemingly has everything going for her, gets bored of having it all and decides to kill herself -- but survives?

Paulo Coelho weaves a heartening tale of how Veronika comes of age by learning to appreciate the smaller things in life instead of waiting for that one miracle.

Why you should read Veronika Decides to Die: Life seems the toughest at the end of your teens, and only Paulo Coelho can you feel better about it!

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Who Moved My Cheese... by Spencer Johnson

Image: Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life
Delilah Adams

The only constant in life is change.

By using the allegory of cheese and a maze, Spencer Johnson defines life in the real world with this book.

Sniff and Scurry are two mice looking for constant supply of cheese in their maze and so are Hem and Haw, two mini humans.

The four characters basically never want to run out this commodity but the maze is a tough place and they need to think and act fast.

This book teaches you to be that one thing for guaranteed success -- adaptable.

Why you should read Who Moved my Cheese: Before you start looking for your own cheese, here's the perfect lesson in defining success and happiness for yourself.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Image: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Delilah Adams

High school and college are definitely not one prom after the other for most of us. And Charlie, the protagonist, is no different.

A true wallflower, the book comprises one descriptive letter after another by him, which narrates his unease and anxiety around people to an unknown audience.

This bestseller is a lesson on the importance of participating in life instead of being a bystander.

Why you should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Life is not a movie that can passively be watched. Learn how to never let your past define you, and build a healthy and beautiful future.

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Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Image: Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Delilah Adams

A fairy girl trapped in a bird's body with thin chains of gold fastened to her ankles, a gypsy witch, a princess, and a magical land.

Trust Neil Gaiman to effortlessly weave the perfect tale of magical realism that will have you reeling under its impact for days.

What's more, an intriguing premise for the story: our hero Tristran Thorn is in pursuit of a fallen star for the one he loves.

How dangerous could this innocent endeavour be?

Why you should read Stardust: Now is a good time to read one of the most imaginative fairytales as any. Now is also a good age to read it as any too!

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The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh

Image: The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
Delilah Adams

Inspired by the life and findings of Sir Ronald Ross in curing malaria, Amitav Ghosh entwines the lives of overtly disassociated people in the sleepy city of Calcutta with the common thread of a mysterious belief and science.

A tale of reincarnations, demi Gods and eternal life, the plot of this book runs through timelines, New York, and India, and thickens with the turn of every page.

Why you should read The Calcutta Chromosome: A quick read of not more than a day or two, it demands a once over even by its most analytical readers. Who doesn't like a challenging desi novel!?

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Toba Tek Singh: Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto

Image: Toba Tek Singh: Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto
Delilah Adams

This book is a compilation of nine or ten short stories by Saadat Hasan Manto published a few years after the partition that have brought him great accolades.

These stories of lost identities, careless killing, rape, separations of families, compromises in love, and the repercussions of the general unrest among people are hard to read without shedding a tear.

Most importantly, it will pique your interest to read parallel literature of that decade in incredible India.

Why you should read it: It's never too late to learn about the people of your country have been through.

One of the pillars of Urdu literature along with his friend and contemporary, Ismat Chugtai, Manto's narratives were heavily inspired by real life and are heart-wrenching accounts of the plight of Indians and Pakistanis a little before, during, and after the partition of 1947.

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Bossypants by Tina Fey

Image: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Delilah Adams

Wouldn't you want to know what it's like to be the funniest woman in Hollywood?

Tina Fey's autobiography is sneak peek into the trials, tribulations, and outright hilarious adventures that went into the making of this phenomenal comedian/writer. True to its title, she also recounts being the boss at the two of the greatest show in American television history, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. This book affirms that with determination and a little spunk, nobody can stop you from fulfilling your dream.

Why you should read Bossypants: Judge this book by its cover -- Fey's head Photoshop-ed on a hairy, beefy man's body. What else can you expect from a comedy writer. Besides, the insides have the most precious lessons on love, life, and career choices.