In the last few days (weeks, maybe?), challenges have sprung up on Facebook on the top 10 books, movies, songs, etc., that have left a mark. Once you fulfil the challenge, you nominate a few more people to pass on the challenge.
My newsfeed is cluttered with this – especially the books’ challenge. A friend of mine nominated me too. And until now, I haven’t taken up the challenge.
I used to consider myself an avid reader. However, as a result of reading full-time at work on various topics – usually business, economy and finance-related – I seem to have lost the nerve to take up casual reading. My eyes are strained enough for me to put those poor things to further task.
I must confess, I am an avid book-reader no more. I never thought I would say these words one day. Work life has indeed taken its toll on me.
Yet, my love for books remains unabated. My bucket list for reading only seems to expand with time. All kinds of books now find their way onto my list, only to sit there gathering figurative dust. My book shelf, which I proudly display in my living room, gathers dust literally.
It is perhaps because of these latest developments and the ensuing guilt that I have avoided the challenge as well as the multiple posts on the same. I was afraid and intimidated by some of the books in the lists that caught my eye while scrolling down. My book list would pale in comparison and seem childish, I convinced myself. I certainly did not want to look stupid.
As shallow as these thoughts seemed to me, it reflected the guilt for the lack of reading. It also reflected my deep-seated insecurity of not being well-read, literate, and well… unintelligent.
Finally, after much encouragement from my friend, I decided to pen down my list. It certainly is not limited to 10 names. It goes well into the 40s. I can’t select the top 10. It changes every minute. (EDIT: It has now reached the half-century mark.)
After all, I have learnt so much from all the books I have read. Even a simple story can teach us so many life lessons. Most importantly, it teaches us how to get into another’s shoes, keep our thoughts aside and look at life from their perspective. It opens up so many new horizons that our individual experience would have never offered us otherwise.
I am not good with non-fiction. I learn my lessons – both in life and in books – through stories and action-filled experiences. Heck, sometimes I look at my own life as an author and not as the leading character.
Anyway, before I get caught up with philosophical (maybe not?!) observations, I list some of the books that remain in my memory. I am sure I am not doing justice to the many more I have read, but hey, something better than nothing, right?
Here they are:
- When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
- God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
- Pride and Prejudice, and other Jane Austen works
- Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
- The Chicken Soup for the Soul series– multiple authors
- Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
- The Last Symbol – Dan Brown
- A Child Called ‘It’ – Dave Pelzer
- The Queen of Genes – GK Pillai
- The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini
- Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseine
- Kane and Able, and many other Jeffery Archer books
- PS I Love You – Cecelia Ahern
- Where Rainbows End (a.k.a. Love, Rosia) – Cecelia Ahern
- The Book of Tomorrow – Cecelia Ahern
- If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
- Circle of friends – Maeve Binchy
- The Courtesan – Julia Justiss
- Perfect – Judith McNaught
- Paradise – Judith McNaught
- Whitney, my love – Judith McNaught
- Princess, True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia – Jean Sasson
- Acts of Faith – Eric Segal
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence
- Cry, my beloved country– Alan Paton
- Conversations With God – Neale Donald Walsch
- A Fine Balance – Rohington Mistry
- The Sword of Truth series – Terry Goodkind
- The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
- The Inheritance series (Eragon, Brisingr, etc) – Christopher Paolini
- 1984 – George Orwell
- Animal Farm – George Orwell
- The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
- The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
- Timeline and other works of Michael Crichton
- Jeff Resnick series by LL Bartlett
- Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
- A Walk to Remember – Nicholas Sparks
- A Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks
- The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks
- Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
- Passion’s Promise – Danielle Steel
- Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
- Look At Me – Jennifer Egan
- Father Unknown – Lesley Pearse
- The Godfather – Mario Puzo
P.S.: Don’t mind the order. It is random, as my thoughts often are.