So when one my friend asked me to share my list, I was literally lost for words good books. I tried hard for making the list of books that really influenced or shaped my way of thinking, and I came out with the following books only.
Usually, the list should be of 10 books. But my list is short of 2.
Anyway, here it goes:
- Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
Putting a Chetan Bhagat’s book on top of a list might seem weird to elite book lovers. Nevertheless, in my case, like many other people’s, this was the one book which really got me into reading.
His books might be the most sold as well as, ironically, the most criticized books in India. And prima facie, he seems to be the Himesh Reshamiya of Indian literature. Moreover, there are a lot people who do not even recognize him as an established writer. But whatever be, his stories are interesting— at least this one.
As someone has mentioned, (at least) he is a good story-teller.
- Short Stories of Ruskin Bond
Ruskin Bond’s stories might not particularly have those twists and turns or shocking kind of endings. But they have a beautiful feeling about them— a feeling as if you yourself are living in those lovely mountains which he most of the times describes, and going through all those situations which the narrator goes through. His stories are natural and thought-provoking.
He creates the details like a painter that stimulates your imaginations, giving you a pleasant feeling.
It is said that to write a short story, introducing the characters, settings, time and weather is the first and essential thing. And in my opinion, Ruskin Bond is one of the most spontaneous writers when it comes to that.
- Short Stories of Roald Dahl
Moving from Ruskin Bond to Roald Dahl was not easy for me. While Ruskin’s characters were simple, his stories, linear and not very complex or shocking; Dahl’s characters were complex and dark, his stories shocking and exciting as they move towards the end.
No need to mention that he is the best short story writer I have ever read.
If Ruskin Bond’s stories were a pleasant morning walk, then Roald Dahl’s were a mysterious mountain trek— exciting as they reveal.
- Train to Pakistan by Kushwant Singh
This one is about the times and lives when partition of India took place. After reading this book, I realized how objectively, the subject of history has been taught to us. The history which is taught to us in schools is detached from human feelings.
This book gives a glimpse to one, of the situations through which people went through at the time of partition.
- Lajja by Taslima Nasreen
Throughout my life, I had known India as a country which consists of a majority of Hindus and never could I imagine a situation where Hindus could collectively be subject to persecution throughout an entire country— Bangladesh.
After reading this book, I realized how we treat our people in our country would affect how others treat theirs in their country. This book further justifies the notion that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
Taslima Nasreen is indeed a brave writer and exposes the social situations in Bangladesh. We need more writers like her.
- The Company of Women by Khushwant Singh
This one is a masterpiece of its kind. In this, Khushwant Singh writes about a sex addict-ish person who gets KLPDied in the end.
This book is interesting in every sense— twists, turns, sexuality, at times boring, at times disgusting, sometimes funny and in the end orgasmic (in the sense that you are fully satisfied when you finish the book).
- Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
If you ask me to name the most interesting book I have ever read then this one will be the first to come into my mind.
Note that it is not a fiction book, but, still it can beat most of them. Because of how well it is written. It is one of the most gripping books.
It tells you the story of how India got her freedom and gives insights about the personality and character of Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Jinnah and Mountbatten etc. It is a must read for all the Indian who want to know about their country’s past and their forefathers.
There is an interesting fact that it is not written either by Indians, Pakistanis or British. So it’s a book written from a comparatively neutral point of view and is backed by a great research. The writers even interviewed the surviving assassins of M. K. Gandhi.
I have observed that most of us— mostly youth— are anti Gandhi nowadays. Just because of the fact that, in our childhood, we happened to meet people who told that Gandhiji was not a nice guy, he let Bhagat Singh die and supported Nehru and ignored Sardar Patel etc.
For people who think so, it’s a book to get their history lessons clear and form their opinion rather than believing some crap you have been told.
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
This one is about a teenager who runs away from his home, an old man who cannot read and write but can talk to cats and a lot of odd events that occur as the story unfolds.
As per me, Haruki Murakami is the Christopher Nolan of literature world. His stories seem simple and narratives seem not very complex. As you read, you think that you will get all the answers in the end but on finishing the book, you find yourself at the starting point again. This is the beauty of the book. The story never ends.
Murakami really pisses you off, in a way.
Nevertheless, his books are real delight to read and you would still feel content even if you do not necessarily solve all the riddles that are there in the stories.
9 and 10.
I am still looking for books that would influence me and help me to complete or overflow my book bucket.
Hope I happen to find them and finish them soon.