Top 10 Authors I Really Want To Meet

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were having a discussion on the places we would visit if we ever have the money to time travel. The first entry on our list was USA and the main reason we wanted to go there was to meet Mr. Rick Riordan, the author of the best-selling Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles. So when I saw this week’s prompt from The Broke and the Bookish I pulled my laptop close to me and started frenzied typing that scared my colleagues at the office I am interning.

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  1. Enid Blyton: They didn’t specify if the author had to be alive and I grew up reading Enid Blyton’s mysteries and short stories. Meeting her has been a childhood dream.
  2. JK Rowling: A die-hard Potterhead like me had to include her in the list.
  3. Rick Riordan: Most of the Percy Jackson books have an ‘8+’ sign on the cover. I started reading them when I was 16, and still couldn’t get enough of them.
  4. Dan Brown: Technically speaking I have ‘met’ him, if you call attending a talk delivered by him to be a meeting, but so witty and eloquent was his speech then that I still wish to engage in a direct face-to-face conversation with him.
  5. Khaled Hosseini: I have read every one of his books at least three times and with each subsequent read my admiration for him has increased tenfold.
  6. Agatha Christie: Any lover of mystery has to have fallen in love with the Queen of Mystery Novels! And to think she started writing mystery novels only because a friend made a bet with her!
  7. Suzanne Collins: The exulted author of The Hunger Games, my all-time favourite dystopian novel. I have read the trilogy consecutively for three times once, and would have continued doing so if my mother hadn’t started fearing for my sanity 😛
  8. John Green: One reason I was often disdainful of teenage ‘coming of age’ novels is because they fail to effectively capture the contemporary teenage voice, till I read John Green. His novels capture teenage angst and triumphs beautifully. His novels have made me laugh and cry, and I really want to meet him.
  9. Oscar Wilde: I admire him for daring to write about the topics he did in the times he was born. I admire his courage, his wit and his literary style, and would be absolutely delighted to meet him.
  10. Louisa May Alcott: Last but not the least, I would really like to meet Louisa May Alcott, an authoress I have admired for quite some time now. I first picked up her book, ‘Little Women’ when I was in my adolescence and her poignant novel about the four March sisters was my guide. I used it as a self-help book, using Marmee’s words of advice to her daughters in my own life.

Top 20 Books – My List

Recently there has been a trend of posting your top 10 favourite books on Facebook. I was recommended twice, and so I decided to put up two lists of 10 books each. So here are my TOP 20 books:

1. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott 
2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
3. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 
4. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Verse – edited by Chris. Woodhead
5. The Five Findouters and Dog – Enid Blyton
6. Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series – Rick Riordan 
7. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis 
8. The Harry Potter saga – JK Rowling 
9. The Boy Next Door – Meg Cabot 
10. Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown 
11. And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
12. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown 
13. The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady WIndermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde
14. The Scarlet Pimpernel – Emma Orczy
15. Malgudi Days – RK Narayan
16. The Immortals of Meluha and the rest of the Shiva trilogy – Amish Tripathi 
7. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzzane Collins 
8. Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella 
9. Partners in Crime – Agatha Christie (Actually, ALL her Tommy and Tuppence novels, and Poirot novels, and Quinn novels)
10. Jeeves – P.G. Woodehouse 

Passing On a Reading Legacy

Ever since I can remember, I was fascinated by the bookcase. It stood in our family drawing room, filled with fat volumes of books that had no pictures. I knew they were my father and uncle’s books, and my childhood dream was to read all those books one day.
I would spend hours in front of the glass case, gazing enraptured at the dusty volumes within; craning my neck to gaze up at those books my short stature kept me away from. Like all kids I wanted to grow up quickly, and to my mind, hidden within those books that I could barely lift was the knowledge of a lifetime, that my parents and uncle had, and that I desired.
That one sunday a year when my parents would take all the books out to air them and dust them was probably my favorite day of the year, right next to the first day of summer vacations. I would sit next to the huge pile of books, and try to read them….or at least find one with pictures.
I was around 5 or 6 when I discovered the ‘Mystery of the Spiteful Letters’ by Enid Blyton within that pile. I was thrilled. I had already read Noddy and a few other of Blyton’s classics for children, but was yet to move on to reading her mysteries. This at least was an author I knew, and the book cover was a colourful orange with the picture of 5 kids. I wasn’t, yet, old enough to read on my own…not a novel at least, and my dad read out aloud to me. It was like a tradition. Every night before dinner he would read out to me, and together we would traverse through the written world of dreams and adventures, and I would fall asleep with the images still resonating within my mind.
That night I carried the book with me, and requested my father to read it out to me. He laughed and told me I was still too young for that book. I bristled at the suggestion, and insisted that he read it. He complied, and truthfully I did get a few nightmares for the first few nights, but I never told my parents about it, and this book started my lifelong romance with all kinds of mystery thrillers.
A few years ago, I rummaged the self-same bookcase for my first Agatha Christies.
Also I have made a few new additions to the shelves – JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Dan Brown and Meg Cabot are just a few of the authors I have added to the rows already filled with tomes written by Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare and other great literary giants.
This is my family’s reading legacy that has been passed down through generations to me…and yes, I am yet to finish reading ALL the books on the shelf. 

Top 11 Books That Will Change Your Life

I am a bookaholic, I swear I am. That being said it’s nearly shameful that I hardly wrote any posts about books!! Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt I have decided to turn over a new leaf, and start writing about books, as I had originally intended to, when I first started my blog. I, however, was afraid that my blog would revolve too much around books, and that might make it boring. So, in attempting to evade a possible error, I over-corrected myself.
Enough time spent repenting, time to start writing. What better place to start than with classics. Here are some classic books that changed my life, and that I would recommend to every young-adult out there:

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: No book helped me more through puberty than this poignant tale of the 4 March sisters. I must have read it a thousand times over the years, fingering through the familiar yellow pages and finding solace, comfort and advice, that I sourly craved for. I empathized with the March sisters, wept at their sorrows, and rejoiced at their joys. I revered Mrs. March as a mentor. I turned to her for advice on those petty issues (read: boys and fashion) that I couldn’t confide to my mother.

Little Women

2. To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: 
One of my favourite literary quotes are from this book:

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

I love it for its sheer simplicity and also the its veracity. To really understand a person you need to understand HIM – his background, his past experiences and his frame of reference. Put yourself for one minute in the shoes of the worst person you know, and see how your opinion about him, mitigates (if not change).

lookmama_mockingbird

3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: I recently read thisbook for an Economics project and was touched to the core by the story. Though the novel is set in the Great Depression in the United States of America, a country I have never even been in, it somehow manages to give voice to the exploited and the homeless across the globe, including in my country. My favourite quote from the book is Tom’s farewell speech to Ma Joad. It echoes my belief in the fact that one should always, always fight for one’s right, if only in the hope that someone else like me, in the future, won’t have to go through what I went through. 

Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry n’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.graors of wrath

4. The Chronicles ofNarnia by C.S. Lewis: I love this book. I love how simple it makes the eternal struggle between good and bad seem. You have to support the good, just because it is right. There can be no excuses. Especially, I love the portrayal of paradise in the last book, as a place with all the good things and all the good people of Earth. Earth is, according to the book, simply like a trial round for all creatures to see who deserves Paradise:

It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different – deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more.

the-chronicles-of-narnia

5. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: I read this book as part of my fifth-grade reading list, and I have been in love with it ever since. It is a thrilling tale of vengeance, but my favourite scene is when the Count asks forgiveness from Mercedes, and bades her farewell. He asks her where shall they meet again, and she tells him they will meet in heaven.

the count of monte christo

 

6. Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde: Oscar Wilde is easily my favourite playwright. This play, highlighting the hypocrisy of society, especially the concept of ‘a good woman’ seems as relevant to me, in today’s age of feminism, as in the Victorian Society.

Lady Windermere's Fan-8x6[1]

7. Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle: Do I even need to explain this?! The adventures of this great detective will help you happily spend many a rainy day. It might also increase your skills of deductive reasoning.

holmes

8. And Then There Was None by Agatha Christie: As we are on the topic of mysteries, I must of course name my favourite lone-standing mystery novel. This one is an edge-of-the-seat thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.
and then there were none
9. Jeeves by P.G. Woodehouse: When I first read this book I kept a dictionary beside me, and I will frankly confess that I had to turn to it more than a dozen times, to get through a single page. But I am glad I persevered, because this is undoubtedly one of the wittiest and most humorous books I have ever read!
Jeeves
10. Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan: Not sure if this counts as a classic, but R.K. Narayan’s beautifully described plot with its vivid imagery will transport you to the idyllic villages of India. It is indeed awe-inspiring the way he managed to weave such poignant tales out of the petty problems and daily obstacles of the average middle-class man.
rk_narayans_malgudi_days_volume_hindi_dvd_video_icl086
11. Nirmala by Munshi Premchand: Premchand does a wonderful job in this novel at giving voice to the subaltern masses and highlighting the social evils of pre-independent Indian society. I love it for its boldness. His protagonist is a woman, and not a rich princess, but a common everyday housewife – the one, who was in this era, usually secluded behind the curtain.
nirmala
…I could go on forever on this topic, but the old doubts are returning now. I don’t wanna bore you, and hope I haven’t. Try reading some of these books. I promise you won’t regret it.