top of page

Unwind and Unplug: Discover the Top 12 Fiction Books for Working Professionals

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Writer Smita Das Jain recommends the 12 best fiction books for working professionals

In the rhythmic cadence of our work lives, the enchantment of fiction often remains unexplored. Yet, the pages of imaginative stories hold the potential to redefine our understanding of the world. Reading fiction transcends entertainment; it moulds our imagination, nurtures creativity, and broadens our perspectives. Reading fiction has its benefits for working professionals.

The literary odyssey that awaits you when you read fiction will transport you to uncharted territories, ignite your curiosity, and foster a deeper connection with your own humanity. With every page turned, you’ll find yourself drawn into worlds that mirror your own experiences yet also reveal the intricacies of lives that may be vastly different from yours.

What Fiction to Read?

For those who might feel overwhelmed by the vast expanse of fiction, fear not. I have undertaken the task of curating a refined list of twelve exceptional fiction books—one for each month of the year. This selection isn’t confined by borders; it bridges continents and genres, promising a literary journey that transcends geographical confines. Whether you are a seasoned book enthusiast or just stepping into the world of fiction, this list provides a compass for navigating the literary seas.

In the ensuing lines, we will explore these twelve remarkable books—each a unique gem that holds the power to captivate your mind, spark introspection, and infuse your professional journey with new insights and perspectives. The journey of words, emotions, and self-discovery that will follow will leave an indelible mark on your path as a working professional.

12 Best Fiction Books for Working Professionals

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Brazil

Writer Smita Das Jain recommends The Alchemist for working professionals

This classic novel tells the story of a young shepherd who travels the world on a quest for a hidden treasure, encountering life’s wisdom and magic along the way. This allegorical tale inspires self-discovery and the pursuit of dreams, reminding us that every step of our journey holds valuable lessons.

I believe The Alchemist is a great book for working professionals because it offers a powerful reminder that chasing our aspirations, taking calculated risks, and believing in our potential can lead to transformative growth — both personally and professionally. You will keep coming back to this book again at different stages in your career; it’s a book that reminds us that every setback is a stepping stone to success and is well worth a permanent addition to your bookshelf.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, England

Author Smita Das Jain recommends this fiction working professionals

Embark on an interstellar journey with Arthur Dent, who’s unwittingly thrust into space after Earth’s demolition. This quirky, satirical masterpiece navigates the cosmos with humour, shedding light on life’s absurdities and the art of embracing the unknown.

Amidst the daily grind, this book is a hilarious reminder that adapting to unexpected situations can lead to newfound perspectives. The message will resonate with professionals seeking innovative solutions and the ability to embrace change in their careers.

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, USA

Writer and Life Coach Smita Das Jain recommends To Kill a Mockingbird for Working Professionals

A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that journeys through the innocence of childhood in a racially divided town. Scout Finch’s narrative unravels themes of compassion, injustice, and moral growth, especially as her father defends an innocent black man accused of rape.

The impactful narrative serves as a potent reminder to working professionals of the significance of empathy, making morally sound choices, and advocating for righteousness. These lessons are highly relevant for cultivating a fair and empathetic professional atmosphere.

4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Afghanistan

Author and Executive Coach recommends The Kite Runner for working professionals

Follow Amir’s emotional journey through friendship, betrayal, and redemption against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s tumultuous history. This gripping tale delves into guilt, forgiveness, and the enduring power of relationships.

Working professionals can find value in reading The Kite Runner as its powerful story shows how facing past mistakes and seeking redemption can help us become more compassionate leaders, fostering empathy in our professional interactions.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Australia

Author Smita Das Jain recommends the book thief for working professional

Set in the Germany of World War II, it follows Liesel, a young girl who finds solace in stealing books. Narrated by Death, it captures resilience and compassion amid adversity, highlighting the power of words to ignite hope.

Amidst hectic deadlines, The Book Thief is a valuable read for working professionals, as Liesel’s journey serves as a poignant reminder of the profound influence of stories. This touching narrative not only cultivates empathy but also nurtures stronger bonds with colleagues, highlighting the significance of our personal narratives within the professional sphere.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, India

Writer Smita Das Jain recommends this book for Working Professionals

Set in India, this Booker Prize-winning novel delves into the lives of fraternal twins, unravelling family secrets and societal norms. Roy’s lyrical prose weaves a tale of love, caste, and rebellion against a backdrop of Kerala’s lush landscapes.

For those navigating the challenges of a busy professional life, The God of Small Things is an enriching literary choice. Amid the hustle of careers, this book offers a poignant escape, whisking you away to a realm where the courage to question norms can lead to profound transformations and a revival of passion along your unique journey.

7. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, India

Writer and Coach Smita Das Jain recommends The White Tiger for Working Professionals

Enter India’s underbelly through Balram Halwai’s eyes, a chauffeur who daringly rises from darkness to assert his destiny. This gripping Man Booker Prize-winning novel unveils societal complexities and the clash between servitude and ambition.

The White Tiger demands the attention of those engaged in their professions, as Balram’s expedition closely parallels the hurdles and dreams within our own work-related pursuits. His unyielding drive for transformation and advancement inspires us to challenge hindrances, embrace chances, and emancipate ourselves from customary patterns.

8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, England

Writer and Personal Empowerment Life Coach recommends this book for writing professionals

Join Christopher Boone, a young detective with a unique perspective, as he unravels a mystery that leads to surprising revelations about his own world. This novel captures his journey of self-discovery, showcasing the power of unconventional thinking.

Ideal for busy professionals, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time underscores the significance of embracing diverse perspectives through Christopher’s systematic methodology. It inspires professionals to confront obstacles with renewed vigour, nurturing inventive resolutions.

9. In Custody by Anita Desai, India

Author and Executive Coach recommends this book for professional development of working professionals

Immerse yourself in Deven’s journey, a teacher aspiring to preserve the legacy of a fading Urdu poet. As he navigates the whims of society and art, poignant humour emerges from his encounters, highlighting the complexities of passion and responsibility.

In Custody offers a compelling choice of literature for those within the workforce, as it delicately navigates the intricate balance between personal aspirations and professional duties. It reflects the trials of nurturing our desires amidst the demands of our jobs, providing insightful perspectives on preserving equilibrium. This book graciously underscores the importance of cherishing our passions, granting them the space to flourish alongside our career endeavours, ultimately enhancing our lives in unanticipated manners.

10. The Martian by Andy Weir, USA

Smita Das Jain recommends this book for professional development for working professionals

Follow astronaut Mark Watney as he’s stranded on Mars and fights for survival using his wits. This gripping tale of problem-solving and resilience unfolds in the harshness of space, showcasing human determination at its best.

For those immersed in their careers, The Martian stands out as an exceptional literary choice, brilliantly showcasing how ingenuity, flexibility, and an indomitable spirit can convert trials into triumphant feats. The narrative seamlessly imparts the significance of resilience and adeptly handling challenges, attributes that deeply resonate within the corporate realm, thus making it an exceptionally motivating and enlightening read.

11. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, USA

Executive Coach and Personal Empowerment Life Coach Smita Das Jain recommends The Hunger Games for Working Professionals

Enter a dystopian realm where Katniss Everdeen challenges societal norms by volunteering for a deadly game that pits her against fellow teenagers. Her resilience and courage shape a rebellion against an oppressive regime, igniting hope in the darkest circumstances.

The enthralling epic of The Hunger Games serves as a wellspring of motivation for professionals, encouraging them to tap into their innate determination when confronted with obstacles. This narrative nurtures leadership qualities and an unwavering motivation to instigate constructive transformations within their professional environments.

12. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh, India

Writer and Author Smita Das Jain recommends The Shadow Lines for Working Professionals

Immerse yourself in a narrative weaving past and present, spanning Calcutta and London. Through the lives of two families, Ghosh delves into history’s impact on individuals, exploring how events resonate across generations.

The Shadow Lines offers working professionals historical insights, identity exploration, resilience lessons, and cross-cultural understanding. The novel highlights history’s impact through the interconnected lives of two families, prompts reflection on self and global dynamics, and provides valuable interpersonal and cultural insights for navigating the modern professional landscape.

The Last Word- Reading Fiction Helps Working Professionals

Delving into fiction isn’t just an escape from the daily grind; it’s a strategic tool for working professionals. The tales weaved within these pages harbour lessons in empathy, resilience, and innovation—essential traits in today’s dynamic workplaces. Carve out moments to embrace the world of fiction, let its narratives inspire fresh perspectives, and bask in the catharsis it offers.

Unsure where to begin? Let the curated list of books serve as your compass, guiding you through literary landscapes that promise growth and renewal. So, why delay?

Twisted Tales and Turns by Writer Smita Das Jain

What if reality was a carefully crafted illusion, and every truth you thought you knew was a mirage?

Find Out in Twisted Tales and Turns

Pick up one of these best fiction books today and unlock a path to enrich your personal and professional journey as a working professional.

Smita Das Jain is a writer by passion and writes every day. Her debut short story collection, 'A Slice of Life', was named among India’s top three fiction works by Writefluence, and her debut novel, 'A Price to Love', found a mention in DelhiWire’s Top 50 books of 2022. She is also the first-prize winner of the prestigious Bharat Award for Literature-2023 for her short story ‘Purchased Love’, and the only Asian to be named in the Top 20 flash fiction winners list in the Spring 2022 contest of the prestigious US-based Women On Writing (WOW!) magazine for women writers. Her award-winning short stories have been featured in prominent anthologies and literary ezines around the globe. You can learn more about Smita’s writings at

Related Articles:


bottom of page