Posted in Books

10 Books – Keeping the chain alive

A fancy idea to record my list here on the blog instead of doing it on Facebook. The problem is that I am very bad – like really really bad, when it comes to making lists of my favorite things. Not just books. Food, Places, Movies and even Music. So, I already know by the time I complete my list here, I would be thinking of a dozen (if not more) that should be in this list but are not here, because I simply didn’t think of them. The list is not in any particular order and is being created merely based on in what order I remember them.

Anyways, here goes:

Thirukkural திருக்குறள் (Thiruvalluvar)

It’s one of those books that made an impact on me much later in life when I was no longer forced to memorize these couplets. Even when I am writing about this, I am overwhelmed by my appreciation of the author for his ability to convey a world of wisdom (some of them I don’t see eye to eye with) through 7 words – 1330 times.

The Famous Five (Enid Blyton)

Sounds silly to add this to my list – but today when I look back, I think this series was perhaps the earliest influencer as far as my reading habit goes. I don’t read much but the pleasure I get from whatever little I read and the general imaginary world one gets transported to while holding a paperback in hand (or kindle these days)….you know what I am talking about! – It all started with this collection. Even before I started reading, I do remember a cousin narrating these stories to us during our summer holidays with so much passion & clarity. For a then 7 or 8 year old like me, gazing the stars on warm & humid nights, lying down on an open concrete terrace along with some cousins of my own age, it was surreal to see these characters appear on the sky solving mystery cases one after another, one night after another.

The Adventures of Tin Tin – Collection (Herge)

I don’t remember when I read my first Tin Tin comics. But when I was 17 and then again when I was 19, I was on a mission to read the entire collection as many times as I could. The real reason that I couldn’t read this sooner in my life was because I simply didn’t have access to this growing up, where I grew up. I bought this collection recently for my kids to cherish. Not in the original size though.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

This is one book that will always find a place in my top 3 list. I heard about it and started reading this when I was in Pilani. But didn’t complete the book till after. Not that the book needed that much time but it was my own struggle to appreciate the nuances of the book.
Douglas Adams: One day..may be even just for only one day…I want to write like you 🙂

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)

I like Bill Bryson and love everything about him, his life and especially the way he writes about how his life is. I picked this book from all his works because this has a bit of nearly everything – Science, Travel, Food and Humor included.

 The Millennium Series (Steig Larsson)

Ok. This one pretty much covers for all the mystery thrillers I must have read. I picked this because this probably was the latest thriller (series) I really enjoyed reading (read it about 3-4 years ago). Cheesy? Yes. But the setting made up for everything else. The Swedish legal system, The drugged & the tattooed world of a generation that sometimes one fantasizes about, etc. etc. Above all, a mystery series that lives true to its genre.

The Glass Palace (Amitav Ghosh)

I read this book about 10 years ago. I can’t say enough about what a complex story this was to be told in a book format. The story and Ghosh’s narration literally transported me to a world that I am absolutely unfamiliar with. Burma, Rangoon, The Rubber plantations and etc. etc. – I get the chills as I try to recollect the book now.

Chinaman (Snehan Karunatilaka)

I had reviewed this book recently in my blog. In this list, this is my most recent read. I love cricket and there have been very few cricket books published for whatever reasons. But this one deserves a place in the top 3 cricket books of all time, around the world. I know that’s an ambitious call. But if you happen to read it, you hopefully will agree with me.

The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

Read this book in 2003. I haven’t seen the movie version yet. I picked this book only for one reason – Because the story made an impact on me. I have read Khaled’s second book as well. I won’t call him a great writer for his writing skills but will do so only because he is someone who has got some really good stories to tell.

The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins)

Well. This has to be in this list. Those who know me, know why. This book wasn’t a turning point for me from that standpoint. I had long reached that “point of realization” much before I started reading this book. But this is a must read for everyone. No matter where you stand in your belief system.

PS: After I completed the list, I realized there are quite a few books that I have wanted to read (in some cases have already bought the books) but haven’t read them yet.  Good reason to do something about it soon.

PPS: I realized I actually created a list with 11. So I decided to remove Sherlock Holmes which was in the original 11.