Reading books is one of the most favorite hobbies of students, especially in Pakistan. Schools and colleges well-stocked libraries and reading-related activities to encourage reading as a hobby for students.
The curriculum until 9th class in most Pakistani schools has books like Huckleberry Finn and even Shakespeare’s plays, so high school students are already quite familiar with the power of literature. However, the busy routine of matric and intermediate students prevents them from actually sitting down with a book to read in their leisure. But breaks and weekends are prime opportunities for students to read. In fact, bookish teenagers even find the time to read during their lunch breaks or on their way to and from school.
Nevertheless, students — even after finding the time — usually just don’t know what to read. There are so many brilliant books that it gets confusing when the time to pick a book comes. So, to solve that problem, here’s a list of 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction books that students should definitely read:
From the Harry Potter novel series to the Sherlock Holmes books, there are many well-known fiction books that students have grown up with. Fiction is a form of literature that tells stories of imaginary (fictional) people and events. Not based on fact or history, the world of fiction has produced countless books that impacted the lives of readers.
The following are 5 of the best books for matric and intermediate students:
1. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
The psychological development in this masterpiece by Charles Dickens has made David Copperfield a favorite of Sigmund Freud as well. The story of an orphaned boy and his experiences in life, written beautifully, is a book that’s almost like an autobiography of the author. Students who are young adults will find this story helpful in their psychological growth. The main character’s journey from working in a factory as a child to becoming a successful fiction author tells us that there’s always light waiting for us at the end of a tunnel.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
This widely-known book has inspired people of all ages. Delivering a simple message in a beautiful way, To Kill a Mockingbird tells readers to be accepting of others. It encourages doing what’s right. This story follows Atticus Finch, a true hero in his sense of morality. Students nowadays are familiar with the mindset of doing what’s right and following one’s gut instincts.
The story is set in 1930 America when movements about the rights of Black people and women were emerging. The best thing about this book is that its message can apply to every era and every culture. In Pakistan, young adults need to learn that acceptance and kindness should take precedence above race, caste, religion, and class.
3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s novels are known for being eloquently written and having engaging, realistic stories. Pride and Prejudice, one of the author’s most popular works, stands out with its relatable characters and interesting dialogues. You will learn, through the protagonist, the importance of not judging a book by its cover. Set during the Regency Era in Great Britain, the humor in this novel will take you through the manners and other aspects of the society at that time.
4. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini
The story of two best friends, the effect of war, and redemption: The Kite Runner is a novel that has impacted the lives of countless people. As a young adult and student, you should take the chance to read this book. You can see how war affects normal lives and the meaning of sacrifice through the experiences of the protagonist, Amir.
5. The Alchemist – Paul Coelho
“When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor.” A single quote from The Alchemist, while giving a simple message, ignites hopes in the hearts of people going through difficult times. This is a short book with only 163 pages. For students who aren’t fond of stories that drag on and on but still desire something meaningful will love this enchanting novel by Paul Coelho.
The story is about a Spanish boy called Santiago and his recurrent dreams about treasure under the Egyptian Pyramids. The writer takes us on a journey with Santiago as he learns alchemy, how to listen to the voice of his heart, and his goal to reach his treasure.
Nonfiction books are based on fact and truth. The authors of these books truthfully recount a particular event in history or the biographies of historical figures. Self-help books and textbooks all fall in this broad category of literature.
Here are five of the best nonfiction books for students in matric and intermediate:
1. A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
This is a very popular science book based on cosmology, written by the world-changing scientist Stephen Hawking. The author wrote the book for general readers — those who weren’t knowledgable about science. Students who are curious about the universe and time but don’t see themselves becoming cosmologists or astrophysicists will thoroughly enjoy A Brief History of Time. From gravity, space, and time to black holes — the concepts and topics that Hawking covered in his book have answered the questions and more of curious minds.
2. Relativity – Albert Einstein
This 3-part book was written by none other than Albert Einstein, originally in German. It was translated into English in 1920. Einstein wrote the book with the intention of giving non-specialist readers an insight into the theory of relativity. Relativity approaches the theory from both philosophical and general scientific perspectives, making it an excellent read for young adults. In fact, if you’re aspiring to make a career in physics or other fields of science, this book is a must on your shelf.
3. On the Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
The full title of this book is: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Or, the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. This work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin is the foundation of evolutionary biology. The theories that you study in your biology book about natural selection and other concepts are fully explained by Charles Darwin himself in this book.
4. The Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud’s interpretation of dreams as a means of exploration of the human mind is something that every person should explore. Students aspiring to pursue higher education in psychology will greatly benefit from one of the most well-known books by Freud. Aside from the benefits for psychology students, the Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud is sure to teach you lots about your dreams.
5. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s Diary, translated into English 5 years after its publication in the Netherlands, has given readers a moving insight into history. Anne Frank was a thirteen-year-old girl who painted a thoughtful picture of 1942’s Nazi-occupied Holland. Her growth as an individual and the maturity of her thoughts can inspire anyone who decides to read this book. Young adults, especially Pakistani students, should definitely give The Diary of a Young Girl a chance.
These 10 books will surely impact your mindset and help you grow into a well-read adult. Make sure that you share this list with your friends and family because reading with others is always much more fun. You can even find online communities about reading and make this helpful hobby yours. Happy reading!