If you’re looking for your next great read, why not start with the letter “B”? There are countless classic and contemporary books that begin with this letter, spanning genres from science fiction to literary fiction, memoirs to mysteries. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 15 Must-Read Books Starting With Letter B that are sure to captivate and entertain readers of all interests. Whether you’re a longtime bookworm or just looking for something new to dive into, this list offers a range of compelling options that are sure to become new favorites.
15 Must-Read Books Starting With Letter B
- “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
- “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
- “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens
- “Bridget Jones’s Diary” by Helen Fielding
- “Black Boy” by Richard Wright
- “Buddenbrooks” by Thomas Mann
- “Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson
- “Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis
- “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut
- “Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon
- “Broken April” by Ismail Kadare
- “Bridges of Madison County” by Robert James Waller
- “Balyakalasakhi” by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
- “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy
- “Beneath the Wheel” by Hermann Hesse
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley is a dystopian novel that explores the impact of technology and government control on society. Set in a future world where genetic engineering and sleep-learning are used to control citizens, the story follows protagonist Bernard Marx as he begins to question the rigid social order and strive for individuality. Huxley’s novel is a powerful warning against the dangers of sacrificing freedom for comfort and conformity, and remains a timeless critique of the dehumanizing effects of technology on society. With its vivid characters and thought-provoking themes, “Brave New World” is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the complex relationship between humanity and progress.
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison is a powerful and haunting novel that explores the impact of slavery on the human psyche. Set in the years following the Civil War, the story centers around Sethe, a former slave who has escaped to Ohio with her children. But her past comes back to haunt her in the form of a mysterious young woman named Beloved, who may be the ghost of Sethe’s infant daughter, whom she killed rather than let be taken back into slavery. Through stunning prose and vivid storytelling, Morrison delves into themes of trauma, memory, and the search for identity, crafting a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers today.
“Bleak House” by Charles Dickens
“Bleak House” is one of Charles Dickens’ most famous and acclaimed works, first published in 1852-1853. The novel tells the story of the seemingly endless legal case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which has left many people impoverished and desperate. The book is a scathing indictment of the British legal system, with Dickens using the case to explore themes of injustice, corruption, and the harmful effects of bureaucracy. The story follows several intertwined characters, including the orphan Esther Summerson and the kindhearted John Jarndyce, as they navigate the twists and turns of the case and try to find some measure of justice and redemption in their lives.
“Bridget Jones’s Diary” by Helen Fielding
“Bridget Jones’s Diary” is a modern classic of British literature, written by Helen Fielding. The novel takes the form of a diary kept by Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single woman living in London who is determined to improve her life in various ways, from losing weight to finding a boyfriend. As Bridget navigates the ups and downs of modern dating, friendships, and work, she provides a hilarious and relatable commentary on the challenges of contemporary life. The book is an engaging and witty exploration of love, self-improvement, and the everyday struggles of being a modern woman, and has inspired a generation of readers and movie-goers alike.
“Black Boy” by Richard Wright
“Black Boy” is a powerful memoir by Richard Wright that chronicles his childhood and young adulthood in the racially divided South during the early 20th century. Through vivid and harrowing descriptions, Wright depicts the poverty, violence, and discrimination he and his family faced, as well as his own journey towards self-discovery and literary success. Wright’s raw and honest portrayal of the challenges and injustices he endured makes “Black Boy” a significant and poignant work of literature, highlighting the resilience and determination of the human spirit in the face of adversity. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of civil rights and racial justice in America.
“Buddenbrooks” by Thomas Mann
“Buddenbrooks” is a sweeping family saga that follows the lives and fortunes of the wealthy Buddenbrook family, spanning four generations in the fictional town of Lübeck, Germany. Written by German author Thomas Mann and published in 1901, the novel is a masterpiece of 19th-century European literature, exploring themes of social change, family dynamics, and the decline of the merchant class. Mann’s vivid and detailed portrayal of the family’s rise and fall is both tragic and insightful, capturing the changing times and values of pre-World War I Germany. A complex and thought-provoking work, “Buddenbrooks” is a must-read for any fan of classic literature.
“Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson
“Before I Go to Sleep” is a gripping psychological thriller by S.J. Watson that tells the story of Christine Lucas, a woman with a rare form of amnesia that erases her memories every time she falls asleep. Every morning, Christine wakes up with no recollection of her past, her identity or even her husband. But as she begins to keep a journal and starts to uncover the truth about her life, she discovers that there may be more to her amnesia than she initially thought. With twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats, “Before I Go to Sleep” is a page-turner that explores themes of memory, identity and the power of trust.
“Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis
Published in 1922, “Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis is a satirical novel that tells the story of George F. Babbitt, a middle-aged real estate broker living in the fictional city of Zenith, USA. Babbitt is a conformist who has dedicated his life to success, status, and material possessions. However, as he faces a midlife crisis, he begins to question his values and the emptiness of his life. The novel offers a scathing critique of the conformity, materialism, and consumer culture of the 1920s, and has remained a classic of American literature for nearly a century. Through Babbitt’s journey, readers are encouraged to consider the importance of individualism, personal values, and the pursuit of genuine happiness.
“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut
“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut is a satirical novel that follows the story of Kilgore Trout, a struggling science fiction writer, and Dwayne Hoover, a wealthy car salesman who becomes increasingly unstable as the novel progresses. Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Midland City, the novel critiques American consumerism, racism, and the dehumanizing effects of technology on society. Vonnegut’s writing style is experimental, with unconventional punctuation and drawings scattered throughout the pages. The novel’s themes and Vonnegut’s unique storytelling style have made it a cult classic and a must-read for fans of satirical fiction.
“Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon
“Bleeding Edge” by Thomas Pynchon is a postmodern novel that explores the shady world of corporate fraud and conspiracy in the early days of the internet. The story follows Maxine Tarnow, a fraud investigator and mother of two, as she gets drawn into a dangerous game of high-tech espionage and international intrigue. As she delves deeper into the seedy underbelly of the dot-com boom, Maxine discovers a web of corruption that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Pynchon’s signature style of intricate plots, playful language, and cultural references make “Bleeding Edge” a fascinating and thought-provoking read that defies easy categorization.
“Broken April” by Ismail Kadare
“Broken April” is a powerful and haunting novel by Albanian author Ismail Kadare. The story follows a young couple on their honeymoon in the remote mountains of northern Albania, where they become enmeshed in a centuries-old blood feud between rival clans. As they try to understand the complex and brutal traditions of the region, they must confront the grim realities of a society shaped by violence and revenge. Kadare’s prose is spare and evocative, capturing the harsh beauty of the Albanian landscape and the profound psychological toll of blood feuds. “Broken April” is a timeless exploration of human nature and the destructive power of ancient customs.
“Bridges of Madison County” by Robert James Waller
Robert James Waller’s “Bridges of Madison County” is a poignant and unforgettable novel that tells the story of a brief but powerful love affair between a lonely Iowa housewife and a rugged National Geographic photographer. The novel is set against the picturesque backdrop of Madison County’s covered bridges, where Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid’s passionate romance unfolds over the course of just four days. Waller’s lyrical prose and vivid descriptions of the Iowa countryside make this novel a true page-turner, as readers are swept up in the intensity of the characters’ emotions and the beauty of their surroundings. With its timeless themes of love, loss, and the search for meaning in life, “Bridges of Madison County” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good love story.
“Balyakalasakhi” by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
” Balyakalasakhi” by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer is a poignant love story that explores the themes of poverty, love, and loss in a traditional Muslim community in Kerala, India. The novel follows the story of Majeed, a poor young man, and Suhra, his childhood friend and love interest. As they grow older, Majeed and Suhra find their lives taking different paths, with Majeed struggling to make a living and Suhra marrying into a wealthy family. The novel is beautifully written, with vivid descriptions of the landscape and a deep understanding of the complexities of human relationships. It is a touching and powerful story that will stay with readers long after they finish reading it.
“Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy
“Blood Meridian” is a haunting and brutal masterpiece by Cormac McCarthy. Set in the American Southwest in the mid-1800s, the book follows a teenage runaway known only as “the Kid” who falls in with a gang of scalp hunters led by the enigmatic and terrifying Judge Holden. As the group travels across the desert, leaving a trail of violence and destruction in their wake, the Kid is forced to confront the darkest aspects of human nature and grapple with his own role in the carnage. McCarthy’s poetic prose and unflinching portrayal of violence make “Blood Meridian” a challenging but unforgettable read that lingers long after the final page.
“Beneath the Wheel” by Hermann Hesse
“Beneath the Wheel” is a novel by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1906. It tells the story of Hans Giebenrath, a gifted young student in a small German town who is pushed to excel academically by his teachers and parents. As he becomes increasingly isolated from his peers and consumed by the pressure to succeed, Hans struggles to find meaning and purpose in his life. Hesse’s novel explores themes of conformity, individuality, and the dangers of a one-dimensional focus on achievement. With its vivid depiction of a stifling educational system and its impact on the psyche of a young student, “Beneath the Wheel” remains a powerful and relevant read today.
Also Read: 10 Must-Read Books Starting with Letter A