From My Bookshelf- Monsoon Reading

I would have liked to add more to my NYC Diary, but I think some stories are better kept personal. I am still in my jet lag phase and miss the city quite a lot. I think I will adjust back soon. 🙂

Also, I am spending the monsoons for the first time at home in the last 15 years or so and it feels good. 🙂 Here are some books which are perfect with a cup of tea and an evening at home when its raining outside.

Night Train at Deoli: And Other Stories

by Ruskin Bond
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This book by Ruskin Bond took me back to my school days. Ruskin Bond writes with a certain passion which is unseen is most of the books about India. Even though I think the language is too simple, I loved most of the stories. But this book is for students still in school and learning the nuances of English language or for people just looking for some really touching stories. The way Ruskin Bond describes Garhwal, one is transported to hills during the monsoon.
This book was a journey back  in time. 🙂

Interpreter of Maladies

by Jhumpa Lahiri
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Most of the stories are about the characters’ emotional turmoil and internal conflicts. Some of the stories are nostalgic while some are really touching. The stories are simple and it is in fact amazing as to how the characters are etched out beautifully in a few pages.

The Inheritance of Loss

by Kiran Desai
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It is slightly easier to review a novel than a book of short stories. I suppose I will get better. 🙂
This is the first book from the mother-daughter stable (Anita-Kiran Desai) which I have read. I think most books by Indian authors which go on to get international recognition focus more on the characters than the central story. This book is no different.
The backdrop for this book is the Gorkhaland insurgency and the consequences the individuals have to face.
The characters are well portrayed and one can feel the loss all of them are going through- the loss of love for Sai, the longing felt by the cook for his son who is in the US trying to get a green card and cleaning dishes till then and the son’s longing to go back to his home.
The book does not take sides as to who is right in the Gorkhaland issue but tells the story of those whose lives are disrupted by it. Kiran Desai has painted the Himalayas and the surroundings beautifully and one can get lost in the world she creates with her words.
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From My Bookshelf- Monsoon Reading

From My Book-shelf

1) Eleven Minutes

by Paulo Coelho

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1430.Eleven_Minutes

Paulo Coelho’s books have a central theme and a story is made around it. This one is about love. This book is for those people who think that they are going to be alone forever and that no-one will love them. The theme did not suit me but I guess once in a while everyone should read about “The Crazy thing they call love”…or whatever. Just…read it if you are some lovey-dovey person. 😛

2) The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865.The_Alchemist

This is THE most popular book written by Paulo Coelho. This book, for me is all about choice. All of us…at some stage in our lives are given indicators about the right path…some follow them while some ignore them. This book is about someone who follows them. It reminds us that sometimes, if not every time we should let those signs guide us. It does not take too much time to read and is a good book if you feel that “things are not going your way.”

3) The Witch of Portobello

by Paulo Coelho

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/816720.The_Witch_Of_Portobello

This, for me is the best Paulo Coelho book among the three. I liked the way the book has been written- a diary about a woman by those who knew her. It is engaging and fast-paced. This is a book I will recommend to anyone who enjoys reading.

From My Book-shelf

From my book-shelf

1) The God of Small Things

by Arundhati Roy

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9777.The_God_of_Small_Things

You need to make a family chart to read this book. Simply because the family goes back to 3 generations and every character is described in detail and have complicated south-Indian names. I got confused at certain points as well. However, Arundhati Roy has written this novel in a very different style. This Pulitzer-prize winning novel has a very simple story, but the way the characters have portrayed their emotions is what will keep you hooked to this novel. It does get a little slow and boring in between but this novel is worth a read if you are looking to read something which has a plot that is very different from the other novels.

2) Papillon

by Henri Charriere

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6882.Papillon

This novel reminds me of Shantaram, but this one seems better. It is about this French guy (Henri Charriere, known as Papillon) who was wrongly convicted for a murder in 1931. This is his journey as he runs away from many prisons, is captured again and escapes again (from a prison no one had ever escaped before) and is captured again…only to escape again. He vows to get back into society and prove to the French justice system that even prisoners can start a new, clean life. It has been written in a way that you will feel that you are on a journey with him. You will rejoice with him, cry with him (I did not :D) and go on a journey across South America together.

One small chapter in which Papillon is in solitary confinement for two years just takes your breath away. A definite read!

3) Animal Farm

by George Orwell

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7613.Animal_Farm

This book and the author need no introduction. I remember half the class doing a book report on this book until the teacher told everyone to pick another book. But this book should be read by everyone. It is just 160 pages but has an impact like no other. If you still have not read this book, then do it today…and I assure you that you will be done in 2 days.

Next is a Paulo Coelho week. 🙂

From my book-shelf