In this generation of shortened patience, abundance of Netflix and chill and heightened irritability, the
habit of reading is vanishing at an alarming rate. People might stop reading at all much before all the
glaciers melt. And that scares me deeply.
Many of us were introduced to books when we were kids; hence it was easier to develop into a habit.
The scenario was slightly different for me. I had visited Sikkim in the winter of 2007; it was the first big
trip of my life. Sitting on the roof of Keventers, admiring the majestic grandeur of the hills and slowly
sipping on hot chocolate, my grandfather told me two stories. The first one was about a poor but happy
couple, where the man sold his only watch to buy his wife a hair-clutch as a Christmas gift, and how the
wife cut and sold her hair to buy the man a new band for his watch. The second one was about a young
girl who had suddenly caught pneumonia and had developed a strange idea about her death.
Incidentally, O. Henry was the first writer I ever read, and it has been twelve years since.
Considering this chance as a certified loophole, I have tried to list five books that you should definitely
not miss out on! Also, I have added the beginning phrase(s) or every novel I have mentioned. (This list is
based upon my opinion of books, and this will vary from person to person. No hard feelings.)
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude/Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant
afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
One of the greatest writers Latin America has provided us with; this 1967 novel captures Marquez at his
finest. It talks about every single living day of each character of the Buendía household as the book
spans a time of hundred years. Marquez plays his forte, description, efficiently and that has rendered
this novel as a masterpiece.
4. Anna Karenina/Leo Tostoy:
“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
An extra-marital affair has always been a subject of intrigue to artists. Perhaps it’s mostly the rush of
hormones, the idea of chasing something ‘forbidden’ that makes it even more memorable. Anna
Karenina is one of the earliest woman protagonists and Leo Tostoy has managed to brush up the soul of
every single person who has read this till date.
3. Interpreter of Maladies/Jhumpa Lahiri:
“At THE TEA STALL Mr. and Mrs. Das bickered about who should take Tina to the toilet.”
This book is an anthology of nine short stories, so I’ve mentioned the opener of the story that shares the
title of the book. Lahiri, being one of the most accurate expatriates, upholds the sense and scent of
Bengal as is. Every story is a world of its own, and once you enter, you just can’t ever leave, much like
2. Kafka on the Shore/Haruki Murakami:
"So you're all set for money, then?" the boy named Crow asks in his typical sluggish voice.”
One of Murakami’s most alarming traits include the accuracy of knowing where it’s felt. This novel is
strangely woven. Everything falls in its place for a moment only to be scattered even farther away. It’s a
story about a young boy named Kafka Tamura, and the adventure that he embarks upon.
1. For One More Day, Tuesdays With Morrie/Mitch Albom:
"Let me guess. You want to know why I tried to kill myself." –Chick Benetto's first words to me.” (For One
“The last class of my old professor’s life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study
where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves.” (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Mitch Albom is a non-fiction writer, whose reality seems like fiction. He teaches the audience about life
in every single book of his, but the explanations and analogies never repeat themselves. Literally, I
cannot describe what reading his books feel like, so I would urge you to read the aforementioned
novels, as soon as possible. If life’s a disease, his books are the antidote.