Books are my lifeline. A voracious reader, I have never been able to quench my thirst for reading. Saving pocket money as a child and requesting people to give the equivalent money instead of birthday presents, I would rush to this cozy old book shop from where I would buy the Enid Blytons, the Nancy Drews and the Hardy Boys. As I grew, I began reading a variety of authors in different genres.Many books have affected me in many ways, but there are a few that remain inside of me even today. And I revisit these today
by Harper Lee
A classic in which we see the life of a small town in the 1930s America through a vivacious little girl lovingly called Scout.
Full of humour and wit, it also deals with serious issues like rape and the then prevalent racism. Her father, Atticus, a lawyer remains a much loved and model character even today.
Elusive neighbours, loving family and how in times of trouble and turmoil, people come together…all is there in this beautiful book that is sure to touch the heart of everyone who reads it.
by Arthur Conan Doyle
At one point in life, I wanted to be a local Sherlock Holmes and would pray everyday that a mystery would present itself in my otherwise quiet neighbourhood. Nothing did and I soon got over that ambition!
But my love and admiration for this golf cap wearing, pipe smoking eccentric detective called Sherlock Holmes never ebbed.
His methods of deduction, like knowing a man is a bachelor from the state of his shoes to the more complex chemical experiments, this most famous detective in the world will never cease to fascinate you!
- Pride and Prejudice (Collins Classics) by Jane Austen
Love found a new meaning when I read this book. The proud yet endearing heroine Elizabeth and the very charming and often arrogant Mr. Darcy makes for a love story that will transport you to the 1800s British world of dances and dames. I consider this novel as Jane Austen’s best.
by Gregory David Roberts
A runaway convict from Australia finds home in Bombay, the big bad city. His survival in the underbelly of the city, his love for an elusive woman and how his heart found a home in the world’s biggest slum. A magnificent reading. Gregory Roberts journey will make you fall in love with the vibrancy of Bombay and indeed with the beautiful country of India where the poorest have the biggest hearts.
by Emily Brontë
A dark novel, a vindictive hero and a wild heroine who later loses her vivaciousness in marriage. This masterpiece of a novel has had me spend many a nights lamenting the story of Heathcliff and Catherine. Falling out of love, revenge, subtle physical and mental cruelty depicted in an England of the 1800s have made this novel initially controversial, but then today, a classic. I assure you, this book is going to stay with you forever.
by Arthur Golden
When I picked up this book, I was skeptical. After all, I didn’t know Japanese culture, so I was not sure whether I would be able to appreciate the nuances of the story. But I am glad I did not stop. I read it and realised that a good book transcends cultures and countries. A geisha is a hostess trained to entertain men in the form of dance and song. The protagonist is the fictional character of Chiyo who is put into an okiya(a geisha boarding house). The story follows Chiyo as she grows from a cheeky and witty little girl to a beautiful geisha in a journey of ups and downs and rivalry. And love too, in the form of a mysterious man.
A beautiful book and a must read.
by Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini is my favourite author. I have read all his books but this one remains my favourite. A poignant story with loveable (and sometime pitiable) characters, it tells the story of Amir and Hassan, two friends who grow apart, due to guilt and a country in turmoil.
Any review wont do justice to this great book. So read it as soon as you can! Oh and it has my favorite quote too –“For you, a thousand times over..”
by Kathryn Stockett
In the 1960s, in America, where apartheid was still prevalent and African-American maids were treated differently, a white girl decides to write a book about it. She befriends two maids, one quiet, the other fearless and thus begins the journey of three women, very different from each other, yet the same at heart. A lovely book that talks about feminism but more about the human spirit with all its faults and strengths. Read this book to feel warm and powerful and vulnerable at the same time.
by Anne Frank
In one of the darkest times the world has ever seen, during the Holocaust, a young girl , in hiding, writes a diary for over two years. A diary that traces her emotional journey from a young girl to a teenager, her infallible spirit, her relationships and the war outside. A chilling and endearing account of a young girl’s life, cut short by cruelty. Yet, in her diary she wrote – “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
A book that grew up with and still love dearly.
Have you read any of these? We would love to know what you think and any other books that have stayed in your heart!!