Welcome! I guess you are searching for the best story books to read in English. Aren’t you? If yes, well, you have arrived at the right page! I have some of the best storybooks with interesting storylines that can greatly impact your life.

Moreover, these can change your perception of your life and inculcate the habits that can make you a better person. So, if you are ready to get inspired with these storybooks, keep reading the article till the end!

Here Are The Top 10 Best Story Books To Read In English

1. Things Fall Apart

Have you ever wondered how cruel we humans were to the concept of racism?! This is one of the best story books to read in English that will have a great impact and make you realize the effects of discrimination.

The book tells the life story of Okonkwo, the Igbo warrior, who raises his voice against the colonial government. He belongs to a tribal community namely Igbo and the white people try to suppress the community. The events that happened next will make your reading more interesting.

  • Author: Chinua Achebe
  • Story: Depicts pre-colonial life in Igboland (modern-day southeastern Nigeria) and the subsequent impact of European missionaries and colonial forces.
  • Genre: Modern African novel in English
  • Moral: Explores cultural clashes, identity, and the effects of colonization.
  • Why Read It?: A seminal work in African literature, it provides insights into African history and culture.

2. The God of Small Things

This is a book that talks about the untouchability and its harmful effects on the society. The story is set in Kerala and revolves around the character Ammu and her English cousin.

The narration swings to 1963 and 69 and gives a parallel story perception. Also, the story reveals family dynamics, secrets, and tragedies. It explores themes of caste, love, violence, and loss.

 

  • Author: Arundhati Roy
  • Story: Explores the childhood experiences of fraternal twins in 1960s Kerala, India, against the backdrop of casteism and British colonialism.
  • Genre: Literary fiction, post-colonial novel
  • Moral: Challenges societal norms and explores love, loss, and social injustice.
  • Why Read It?: A beautifully written novel with rich characters and a unique narrative structure.

3. Beloved

Beloved is the right choice if you like to read books with historical stories. The story is a bit scary and haunting with the character named Beloved who is the dead daughter of Sethe.

The house, numbered 124 is haunted and Sethe has lived there with her daughter Denver for 18 years. Sethe’s mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, died eight years ago, and her two sons, Howard and Buglar, ran away from the haunted home. She has a woman guest who is Beloved and Sethe tells her life story to her with pain.

  • Author: Toni Morrison
  • Story: Set in post-Civil War Ohio, it follows the life of an escaped enslaved woman named Sethe and her haunted past.
  • Genre: Historical fiction, Southern Gothic
  • Moral: Confronts the legacy of slavery and the search for identity and freedom.
  • Why Read It?: A powerful exploration of trauma, resilience, and the human spirit.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale

The dystopian elements in a book make the readers gain more interest and eagerness to know the climax. The Handmaid’s Tale is one such book that takes us into a dystopian future of the United States where things are not right.

There is a new theocratic regime called Gilead in the US, where the birth rates decreased and women were given the responsibility of bearing children for elite parents. The story follows her struggles for survival, secrets, and resistance in this oppressive society.

  • Author: Margaret Atwood
  • Story: Set in a dystopian future, it follows Offred, a Handmaid in a theocratic regime where women are assigned to bear children for elite couples.
  • Genre: Science fiction, feminist political novel
  • Moral: Critiques gender roles, power, and oppression.
  • Why Read It?: A thought-provoking and relevant exploration of reproductive rights and authoritarianism.

 

5. A Fine Balance

How would a person feel if he has so many issues in his life like discrimination, political unrest, economic issues, etc? Sounds terrible. Right? But, here is the book that has an inspirational story to overcome all the hardships and succeed in life.

A Fine Balance is a book that tells the story of four people who come from different backgrounds and face the same obstacles in life. I’m sure this will be one of the best story books to read in English that can change your life!

  • Author: Rohinton Mistry
  • Story: Chronicles the lives of four strangers in India during the political upheaval of the 1970s.
  • Genre: Historical fiction
  • Moral: Highlights resilience, compassion, and the human spirit.
  • Why Read It?: A beautifully crafted novel that captures the complexities of human relationships.

6. Infinite Jest

If you feel that you are lonely and desperate in your life, well, here is one of the best story books to read in English, Infinite Jest. The reason I suggest this book is, it has several life lessons that can change your life!

The book explores themes like addiction, entertainment, and the search for meaning. Hal Incandenza is a tennis player with communication challenges, Don Gately, a recovering addict, Kate Gompert, who battles depression, Wallace’s weird thinking, etc are the characters in the book that make you realize the importance of overcoming loneliness and depression in life.

  • Author: David Foster Wallace
  • Story: Explores the life of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised on Mars, and his impact on Earth’s culture.
  • Genre: Science fiction
  • Moral: Questions entertainment, identity, and connection.
  • Why Read It?: A challenging and thought-provoking work that pushes the boundaries of fiction.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird

It is a great sin to judge or frame a person with looks and his race. This is the story of Tom Robinson, who was falsely accused of a crime just because he belonged to the black race. The white people around him and the judge even have chosen to prejudice Tom.

Atticus is a famous lawyer who tries to prove his innocence of Tom and defends him in court. But at last, it is the thoughts that people have created in their minds won. Tom was punished despite his innocence. This is one of the best story books to read in English that voices against racism.

  • Author: Harper Lee
  • Story: Follows the life of Scout Finch and her father, Atticus, as he defends an innocent Black man accused of rape.
  • Genre: Southern Gothic, Bildungsroman
  • Moral: Advocates for justice, empathy, and standing up against prejudice.
  • Why Read It?: A timeless classic that tackles racism and morality.

8. Lanark: A Life in Four Books

This is a compilation of 4 books that talk about life and the lessons to be learned in life. The novel has a strange order of books in 3,1,2, and 4. Book 3 tells the story of Lanark, who has a weird disease of his skin turning into scales due to emotional repression.

Books 1 and 2 follow Duncan Thaw’s life in pre-war Glasgow, from childhood to his descent into madness and eventual suicide. The last book tells the journey of Lanark back to Unthank. I can assure you that this is one of the best story books to read in English as it has a different storyline!

  • Author: Alasdair Gray
  • Story: Combines realist and dystopian surrealist depictions of Glasgow, Scotland. Follows the life of a young man named Lanark who awakens in a strange city, suffers from emotional repression, and embarks on a bizarre journey.
  • Genre: Modern Scottish novel
  • Moral: Explores cultural clashes, identity, and the effects of colonization.
  • Why Read It?: A seminal work in Scottish literature that provides insights into history and culture.

9. Stranger in a Strange Land

Do you love to read science fiction? Then this is one of the best story books to read in English that has amazing sci-fi storylines! Here is a person named Valentine Michael Smith, who was born on Mars and visits Earth on an expedition.

As he was raised by the Martians, he finds everything different on Earth, where there are dominant organized religions. He becomes a cultural phenomenon, challenging societal norms and religious beliefs. The events after that will keep you entertained.

  • Author: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Story: Valentine Michael Smith, born on Mars and raised by Martians, comes to Earth. Explores his interaction with Terran culture, challenging societal norms and religious beliefs.
  • Genre: Science fiction
  • Moral: Questions customs related to sex, death, religion, and money.
  • Why Read It?: A groundbreaking novel that delves into empowerment and self-concept, with memorable characters.

10. The Color Purple

Whoever feels desperate in their lives, I can say for sure that your life will drastically change once you read this book. Celie is an African-American girl who comes across a lot of hardships that a girl is supposed to face.

Starting with an abusive father who spoiled her childhood, she faces a series of other issues like racism, teenage pregnancy, and abusive marriage. Yet, as a woman, she thrives hard to live and succeeds in life. I’m sure this is one of the best story books to read in English.

  • Author: Alice Walker
  • Story: Celie, an abused African-American woman in early 20th-century Georgia, narrates her life through letters to God. Explores trauma, triumph, and female empowerment.
  • Genre: Epistolary novel
  • Moral: Resisting oppression and finding strength.
  • Why Read It?: Praised for its depth of characters and eloquent use of Black English Vernacular, it’s a powerful cultural touchstone.

 

FAQ

1. How do the characters’ experiences in each book reflect broader social and cultural themes?

Characters’ experiences highlight social and cultural themes like identity, oppression, and resilience.

2. Are there any recurring motifs or symbols that contribute to the deeper meaning of each story?

Motifs and symbols deepen the thematic exploration of each story.

3. What literary techniques or narrative structures do the authors employ to engage readers and convey their messages effectively?

Authors use varied techniques for engaging storytelling and conveying messages efficiently.