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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
…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.