With world pandemic confining us indoors one of the many things that’s keeping me sane during this lockdown is reading a good number of books. I found myself no longer able to make the excuse of not having the time. It’s the 30th day of Lockdown in India and for the past month every evening, I have been brewing a pot of tea and getting comfy on the sofa with a book in hand.
The yearning for the outside world is real, so let me help you with some books that I absolutely loved. I hope that one of these will take you on a journey you didn’t know you were seeking.
The Clifton Chronicles, Jeffrey Archer
“Some people stand by you in your darkest hour, while others walk away; only a select few march towards you and become even closer friends.”
As it’s true regarding any great series, this one was indeed quite moving. I’d admit at times it wasn’t easy to flip through the pages knowing perfectly well that this is the last book of the Clifton Chronicles. Every new chapter made me anxiously await for my worst fears to come true. Nevertheless, with every word I read and every sentence I completed, the feelings of sorrow and rejoice, of pain and triumph, rose and fell like enormous waves of the mighty ocean. I have always admired the works of Jeffery Archer, the world he takes the readers to through his storytelling is unparalleled. Then why wouldn’t that be true with this book?
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
“Love comes like lightning, and disappears the same way. If you are lucky, it strikes you right. If not, you’ll spend your life yearning for a man you can’t have.”
The women in Indian history have largely gained their reputation as the wives/sisters/mothers of the great warriors that walked on earth. But one can’t deny that even their roles took a massive amount of unmatched strength, to play. In this book, there is history, then there are the added layers of fiction. Pragmatism doesn’t allow to accept the tales of magic, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t in awe of the events it unfolded. I absolutely enjoyed the interpretation of the author, rereading the history of the great epic through Panchali’s eyes. How you find stark differences when you hear a story from the point of view of the different characters involved! Also, I do wish some parts were written in elaborate details, for instance, the time spent at the Palace of Illusions.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
Jonathan Harker, a young London solicitor (a lawyer) travels to Transylvania (modern-day Romania) to help a rich nobleman, Count Dracula, purchase an estate in England. Dracula is planning to immigrate to England, and wants Harker to help him hammer out all the legal details.
The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond
“We don’t know why we live. It is no use trying to know. But we have to live, Rusty, because we really want to. And as long as we want to, we have got to find something to live for, and even die for it.”
– Somi in a letter to Rusty, his best favourite friend.
Many young people can relate to this book. Rusty is unhappy with his life, he feels he belongs nowhere. He finds solace in the few friends he makes after running away from his horrible guardian’s house. But this new happy life doesn’t last long. He is left alone again when one by one every one of his friends leave the town. The writing is simple and yet somehow elegant in the way the surroundings and the emotions are described. I look forward to reading more of Rusking Bond’s works.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”
When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about. Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights.
Falling in love again by Ruskin Bond
“It isn’t the time that’s passing by, it is you and I, it is you and I…”
Just like this book we all have our own collection of short stories of love in our lives. When you are in love other things cease to matter, age becomes just a number, societal status just a man made component. It was a beautiful read, I enjoyed all the stories.
Love you to Death by Meg Cabot
“I can see ghosts. I can talk to ghosts. And, if necessary, I can kick some serious ghost butt.”
This was a fun read. Going by the title my first thought was that it is a tragic love story perhaps. But it turned out to be something so amazing. This book is recommended if you are in the mood for some light reading. The story of a Mediator who serves as a connection between the living and the dead is appealing. I like the character of Suze, she is one brave girl who can be a complete badass if necessary.
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