Oh what would I be without books?

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My stack of books!
My stack of books!
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:

  1. When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  2. God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  3. Pride and Prejudice, and other Jane Austen works
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series– multiple authors
  6. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
  7. The Last Symbol – Dan Brown
  8. A Child Called ‘It’ – Dave Pelzer
  9. The Queen of Genes – GK Pillai
  10. The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini
  11. Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseine
  12. Kane and Able, and many other Jeffery Archer books
  13. PS I Love You – Cecelia Ahern
  14. Where Rainbows End (a.k.a. Love, Rosia) – Cecelia Ahern
  15. The Book of Tomorrow – Cecelia Ahern
  16. If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
  17. Circle of friends – Maeve Binchy
  18. The Courtesan – Julia Justiss
  19. Perfect – Judith McNaught
  20. Paradise – Judith McNaught
  21. Whitney, my love – Judith McNaught
  22. Princess, True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia – Jean Sasson
  23. Acts of Faith – Eric Segal
  24. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence
  25. Cry, my beloved country– Alan Paton
  26. Conversations With God – Neale Donald Walsch
  27. A Fine Balance – Rohington Mistry
  28. The Sword of Truth series – Terry Goodkind
  29. The Inheritance of Loss – Kiran Desai
  30. The Inheritance series (Eragon, Brisingr, etc) – Christopher Paolini
  31. 1984 – George Orwell
  32. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  33. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
  34. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  35. The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
  36. Timeline and other works of Michael Crichton
  37. Jeff Resnick series by LL Bartlett
  38. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
  39. A Walk to Remember – Nicholas Sparks
  40. A Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks
  41. The Last Song – Nicholas Sparks
  42. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  43. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
  44. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  45. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  46. Passion’s Promise – Danielle Steel
  47. Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
  48. Look At Me – Jennifer Egan
  49. Father Unknown – Lesley Pearse
  50. The Godfather – Mario Puzo

P.S.: Don’t mind the order. It is random, as my thoughts often are. :)

2 thoughts on “Oh what would I be without books?

    Anand Rangpara said:
    September 12, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    If you like fiction mixed with mythology, The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi is a feast.


      Sandhya Kannan responded:
      September 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Anand,

      Thanks for your recommendation. I’ve read those books. Unfortunately, after the first book, I found the story to have lost its sizzle. I found the second one still tolerable. But I just could not stick through with the end in the last one — one of those rare occasions. :-/


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