7 Books that can teach you life lessons

Teachers’ Day is an occasion when the student community makes an effort to give back to those who shaped their lives. While no one can take the place of a teacher who changes the world, one student at a time, there are valuable lessons to be learned in the pages of a good book. From the Panchatantra to the Iliad, stories have always been sources of inspiration. 

This Teachers’ Day, pick up some of these books for some important life lessons.

1. To Kill a Mockingbirdby Harper Lee

A riveting lesson in empathy, Lee wrote the book based on her experiences growing up in a polarised, turbulent community with a culture of deep-rooted racism. One doesn’t need to be a scholar to understand the lessons in kindness and honesty the book talks about. What hits home is the way Atticus Finch is portrayed – a simple man who understands patience and empathy. There are no preachy quotes from him, much like in real life where there are no clear heroes and villains. Instead, there are only humans who are struggling, conflicted, and immensely complex. The story of ordinary people learning the difference between good and bad is a lesson Lee wants to impart.

Price - Paperback: INR 399

Price - E-book: INR 99

2.The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow 

This nonfiction book is based on the life of a computer scientist (Randy Pausch) who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He delivered his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University where he narrated his life experiences. There are no hard-hitting realisations in his journey but there’s a narration of human values that resonate universally. What makes the book a true lesson for us is its focus on achieving our childhood dreams. The balance between reality and solid facts and a story of resilience make this book a lesson for life.

Price - Paperback: INR 295

Price - E-book: INR 181

3.1984by George Orwell

The fact that George Orwell decided to write 1984 in 1949 when English literature was confined to praising the nostalgia of a glorious past or present-day challenges shows his vision and conviction. The book was a path-breaking achievement in the dystopian genre as we know it today. Written in the aftermath of the Second World War and the Holocaust, it weaves all the strands to create a moral fabric of society’s democratic principles. Orwell’s depiction taught a very significant lesson – totalitarian and/or authoritarian regimes, once established in a place, never vanish in practicality. The protagonists Winston and Julia remind the readers how the absence of democracy can break our love and humanity into fragments. It also sheds light on the fact that circumstances shape societies and its individuals, while urging us to not accept beliefs and dogmas unquestioningly.

Price - Paperback: INR 238

Price - E-book: INR 49

4.The Good Luck of Right Nowby Matthew Quick

Have you ever lost a person who seemed like the purpose of your life? This book takes you on a 30-year-old man’s journey of moving on and rebuilding his entire world after his mother’s death. Bartholomew Neil consults his grief counsellor, Wendy, and realises he needs to find himself independently of his mother. His method of coping – writing letters to Richard Gere – is a lesson for everyone on the transient nature of life and human feelings. The book employs humour and heartbreaking honesty to teach readers why it takes courage to actually believe in oneself and to trust someone. From the philosophies of life to alien abduction, Quick uses all imaginable tales to drive home the lessons that make life worth living.

Price - Paperback: INR 222

Price - E-book: INR 212

5.The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxyby Douglas Adams

“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a moment or so, nothing continued to happen.” This line represents the ‘nothing and everything’ idea that Douglas Adams’ fictional guidebook emphasises. The greatest lesson in the book comes almost like the late realisation of a tragic hero where the ‘right questions’ become more significant than the ‘right answers’. The book has a plethora of themes but the most resonant ones talk about the diversity – almost funny – found in the universe, human (and alien) nature, principles of intelligence, and love. The genre may be science fiction but the radical ideas in the book stay with you for much longer than computers and galaxies. What does it mean to coexist and what does it mean to live? Let Adams give you some food for philosophical thought.

Price - Paperback: INR 262

Price - E-book: INR 262

6.If You Could See Me Nowby Cecelia Ahern

Published in the United States as A Silver Lining, the book begins with a story that seems like another mundane recurrence of a responsible woman caring for her absent sister’s child. As the story progresses and the characters are fleshed out, it becomes evident there’s a meaning waiting for you. Ivan, an imaginary friend of Elizabeth’s nephew, Luke, touches her life as well. In their blooming tragedy of unfulfilled love is a lesson in taking life as it comes. The ever-so-serious female protagonist gradually learns to accept that there’s joy in the little things – and that’s the greatest thing readers can take home with honesty. Themes of intimacy, belief, faith, and friendship are explored in a comforting and engaging way.

Price - Paperback: INR 217

Price - E-book: INR 131

7.Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Albom drew from his own experiences with his college professor Morrie, who changed his life in every way imaginable. Perhaps this is why the book is full of heartfelt honesty and talks about the one value (love) binding every lesson. A dying professor spends Tuesdays with his former student to talk about love, life, and everything in between. It is a bittersweet reminder of that teacher who made us want to sit down, listen, and learn. The lessons range from the temporary nature of joy and sorrow to the tough process of forgiving oneself, and the reader experiences a near-cathartic experience while seeing his beloved professor slowly decay into nothingness. The lesson, which Morrie makes sure lingers, is of hope for love in and of life.

Price - Paperback: INR 295

Price - E-book: INR 149

This Teachers’ Day, buy a good book to read a story that teaches you something unforgettable. From the comfort of your home, use your HDFC Bank Credit Card or HDFC Bank Debit Card to purchase books online. Or you can swipe your card at a nearby bookstore. Your HDFC Bank Card may also get you great deals on e-commerce platforms and make the lessons easy on your pocket!

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