My husband finds it funny that I can cry when reading a book. As he is not a reader, I forgive him for he doesn’t know what he is missing. Tell me, have you ever cried when reading a book? I do get swayed with the emotions in the book. My husband also likes to listen to the stories I have read. And when I tell some of these emotional stories, I cannot hold back. I do get a bit carried away. I cry and laugh with the characters in the books. I get too involved. Here, I am bringing you three books which made me cry buckets. Only those, which I am sure will make others cry too.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book is set during the World War 2 in Nazi Germany. It is about a 9 year old girl Liesel who loved to steal books.
This one is on every list which says that it will make you cry. The last couple of hundred pages were terrible for me. I couldn’t read through my tears. In fact, I had to keep a handkerchief to wipe off the tears. It is still one of my favourite books. Maybe, I should read it again. And this time, no tears.
A children’s story which is only enjoyed by Children is a bad children’s story – C. S. Lewis
How many of you is not a fan of Harry Potter? Well, if you haven’t read the book, did you watch the movie? I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was in my late twenties. The magical dust of the wizarding world took some time to settle down. I used to walk around thinking, could it be really true? Though the first book is thinner, it is still one of the best. I sped through reading the other ones, but it is still the first one that I remember. The younger generation thinks it is a children’s book. No, we were equally flummoxed when we read it first. No one needs a recommendation to read a Harry Potter book. But, if you haven’t read it or not seen the movie (remember the movie is only 1/5th of the book), you are missing a lot.
I had almost not picked up this book, but it was the only book whose name was familiar at my local library. It was the time of no internet. I picked it up and being my first non-fiction, I took some time to adjust to it. It is a heart wrenching tale considering the end is very grim. But, still it is a must read. I was happy to note that my son had this book in his curriculum when he was 14, the same age as Anne Frank when she wrote the diary. I don’t think this book is only for children. It is a book to be read, to understand the human spirit and how it can overcome any difficulty.
This book needs no introduction on this blog. I have reviewed it, I have also featured it as a World War II book. It is also has children as the main characters. Liesel is only 9 in this book and she lives through the World War II giving a view of Hitler occupied Germany. It is one of my favorite books and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Why do we get attached to books with children as the leads? Could it be, there still resides a child in each one of us, in our hearts, deeply buried in a corner?
Let me know your recommendations.
We read a lot of books about India and written by Indian authors. It gives us a familiarity which no one can match as our English usage and phrases are very Indianised. It is the kind of comfort which can be provided under a warm blanket in your bed.
I also love to read books based in India or about India written by foreign authors. It gives a fresh perspective. Many things which we take for granted are highlighted by them.
Of the books I have selected here, it is only the ones I have read. I know that there are some other excellent books too like ‘A Passage to India‘ by E. M. Forster and ‘The Hindu‘ and other books by Wendy Donniger. The first one is lying on my bookshelf and the other one I have read half. I will get to reading them one day for sure, maybe when the ARCs stop coming. Or when I do not want to read anymore ARCs.
The three books here I have read and loved. They have left a deep impact as I can still recall them.
The three books featured here have many things in common. They are set in an era gone by, having romance as their central theme. They are not ‘love at first sight’ kind of romances. All have been made into movies, TV Series. But, they do not have a typical ‘Happily ever after’ ending.
I am a fan of the romantic genre and not having a happy ending affects me. I carried the lump around my throat for days as I couldn’t take it that the protagonists are not going to be together. Is that why these books were so successful? What if they had happy endings? People may have just closed the books and gone on to the next ones. These books involve you right from the start. The loss at the end is personal and we cannot get it out of our heads. Despite having tragic ends, they have been made into great movies.
Other common ones are Romeo and Juliet, Laila Majnu. Continue reading
Mahabharat is one of the great ‘itihaasas‘ or histories of Indian culture. The other being Ramayana. Is it real or not, I am not the expert. But it is an amazing story. The Mahabharat is supposed to hold the answer to all our problems. It deals with a multitude of issues, dilemmas, lessons. If it could be a soap, it will last for centuries. It has stories and then backstories, then backstories for the backstories. Which has been aptly reflected in the book Forest of Stories by Ashok Banker. I can remember my mother quoting so often from the Mahabharat when faced with a dire situation. Like if we lost a dear one. Mom will immediately say, Draupadi survived the death of her 5 young sons, we will too.
Yudhishthir who is the epitome of righteousness had still made many mistakes even though he walked the prescribed path and never deviated from Dharma. Krishna who is God also commits cheating but he justifies saying it was the only way to win the war. He tells us to focus on the ultimate goal and not on the means to achieve the goal. There is no preaching in the book. Every character is flawed. And many more.
Almost all Indians are familiar with the Mahabharat thanks to TV Serials of the same name. Books retelling the Mahabharat have been around for centuries. Every story has its own elements, spiced with local flavours. It is the ultimate book of war between cousins for gaining power, to become the King.
Another of my favourites is Randamoozham by M T Vasudevan Nair. It is in Malayalam and has an English translation. But the translation is terrible and so not included in this list.
But here, I am selecting three books which have different takes. Continue reading