Ten day You Challenge – Post 7: Four Books
More and more bloggers are taking up this challenge in the blogosphere. It’s always good to have some company.
I am now at my seventh post. A bibliophile since my childhood, I have come across many books which have stayed with me much beyond the time I spent in reading them. There are many books, which I read and re-read every now and then and there are books which I read for once and get hooked for life. There are books which are synonymous with my childhood, some with my teenage days and some with my adulthood. Every stage of my life, every emotion of the world and every person I meet has a book named to it. I sometimes feel I live in a world of books, which is as real as it is make-belief.
Picking four books is extremely difficult for me; instead I would have loved to do a “ten books” instead of “ten secrets” in this Challenge. But a challenge is a challenge and here I list out my choice of Four Books. Anybody who has read my blog will find no surprises there 🙂
THE FOUNTAINHEAD – Ayn Rand
This book ranks high in my ‘favourite books list’ not because I am a huge fan of the theory of objectivism, but because I have never come across a book so reflective of real life. Each of the characters is quite extra-ordinary, yet very believable. In our lives, we come across people who have many shades of Peter Keating and who can go to any length to satisfy their goals and ambitions, men like Ellsworth M Toohey who manipulates others’ opinions, like Gail Wynand who fail to act upon their many virtues and women like Dominique who lets her own heart and mind be ruled by the society at large. Each time I read the novel, a completely new meaning is unravelled before me and makes it a whole new experience. However, Howard Roark is one fictional character who has no match in real life. That man took my breathe away. For many, the story is slow and long-winding, for me every page of the book holds different treasures. I have also read the other classic of Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged, but despite the presence of strong characters like Dagny Taggart and John Galt and a very engaging pace, it did not occupy me as much as Fountainhead did. For me, this is one cult book, which everyone, must read or at least try to read and comprehend once in his life!
TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD – Harper Lee
My life changed after I read this book and how. I was introduced to this book by a friend when I was in class IX, when I asked her about the book she was reading in class. I was intrigued by the story and borrowed the same from the library. The book, from the opening quote only, which read “Lawyers, I suppose, were children once” had me hooked. The story smoothly transcends from a children’s book into a reflection of a racist society, which hold good even today. And, did I tell you, I decided on my choice of career just after reading this book? However, I am yet to meet a real-life Atticus Finch.
REBECCA – Daphne du Maurier
The first sentence – “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” was all the cue I needed to turn the pages. I have never read a story where the hero is a place (Manderley), heroine a dead woman (Rebecca) and the narrator is throughout unnamed. A story, written in beautiful long-winding sentences gave a vivid description of the estate of Manderley, of the narrator’s confused and distressed state of mind, of Rebecca’s omnipresence and Mrs. Danver’s shrewd, calculative mind. I read all other novels written by the same author. I really liked her style of writing, which was sort of old-school and perfectly descriptive. The story had a brilliant twist, in fact, all of Daphne du Marier’s stories have a twist at the ending, which made the story much more than just a murder mystery. A must-read for anybody who loves a good prose.
Sobinoy Nibedon – Buddhadev Guha
The title, when translated from Bengali stands for “Respectfully Submitted”. The author is one of my most favourite Bengali authors, who writes for young adults and adults alike. I started with his tales for children and graduated to his more adult stuff even when I was not adult. This one is one of his more celebrated work and has a very unique format. The novel is told through only letters, written by the two protagonists, who go on from being pen pals to lovers. The girl is city-bred, who meets the guy when she visits a forest, where he is the Forest Officer. They start corresponding and their relationship changes, while talking about anything and everything under the sun. The romantic in me always loved to read love letters, and this novel was full of them, with the only difference being, that they were not loud expressions of love. The beautifully subtle expressions of feelings blew me away completely. Any one out there, who can read Bengali, please pick this one up. It’s much more than a mushy love story.
I wish I could cram in more books, since I can go on and on about books for ever. However, the challenge was to restrict it into four, and I chose the four which impacted me the most when I read them. I have always been intrigued by characteristics of ideal men and that’s how Howard Roark and Atticus Finch impressed me. I always love a good story and that’s why Rebecca and Sobinoy Nibedon influenced me. There are far too many books which I like, for which I may have to write another post some day 🙂