Coronavirus has made us all realise that everything around us is ephemeral. The only thing that is permanent (and also prominent) is you knowing yourself. And this process, let me express my opinion, is never-ending. If you put on the habit of knowing yourself every day, in fragments and pieces howsoever small or large, you will never feel dejected. Knowing yourself is an art and this art is further aided by a habit of regularly reading quality literature. And by quality literature, I am sure most of us understand what does it mean. A piece of literature that helps you learn more about human behaviour, psychology, philosophy, society, nations, history, and so on and so forth… While we have been throwing our ‘ahutis’ in the sacred fire of ‘save the nation’ Yajna by sitting home, here are the books that will help you spend your time wisely and productively. Also, make sure that you only buy the Kindle copies as Amazon is not delivering physical copies of books because of the nationwide lockdown imposed on 25th March 2020.
Jane Eyre: Who can live on the earth and read literature and not know about this book? Jane Eyre is, undoubtedly with no space for perhaps, the magnum opus of Charlotte Bronte. While giving rise to your emotions, the novel also raises serious existential questions. Written in an exemplary language and decorated with metaphors and analogies that will enhance one’s understanding of various situations in life, the novel is at the top on my list of books to read when you have time. And the best part is that this is a free book on Amazon Kindle! Get it from Amazon now.
Far from the Madding Crowd: Always one of my favourite novels, Far from the Madding Crowd may make you fall in love with patience-literature. By patience literature, a newly invented term, I mean the works of literature that can help you in making yourself patient, composed and serious. Why do I say so? Thomas Hardy’s novel has a different set of characters and they all represent certain virtues and vices. Oak is a patient and a self-respecting person. At the same time, he is a little too shy to be someone’s husband. Ms Everdeen is a little too arrogant and proud. Troy is a little too indulged in flirting as soon as he sees a beautiful lady. Boldwood, at last, is too passionate to mistake a thread for a rope. The language used by Hardy in the novel is wonderful and he can enchant you, bewitch your senses… do read this piece and the Kindle edition, illustrated one, is selling at 49 Rs only. Buy here:
The Book of Chocolate Saints: Jeet Thayil if often (and almost always) known as a poet rather than a somewhat novelist with two titles against his name. The Man Booker Shortlist Narcopolis and the latest by him, 2018, The Book of Chocolate Saints, are the novels by this person who is out and out a poet with occasional flashes of storytelling in prose. However, one has to agree that with a language that almost swims on the pages like Phelps swimming for Gold, Thayil is a novelist when he wants to be and he can draw some serious conclusions that our ‘bestselling novelists’ cannot do in their prime. The Book of Chocolate Saints is for the readers who can hold their nerves for the grand stage to set, actors to arrive, the curtains to rise and the drama to begin… if you are such a reader, the story of Francis Newton Xavier is for you. This is a novel that is written mostly in the form of a biography in progress and it is in this process of completion that we know about a man, a poet, a poet who could accomplish but could not, a person who misses his homeland but cannot be home anymore… Yes, the novel is a little tough to be handled for long durations in one sitting, you might have to take occasional brakes but this will be a worthy read at last! You can get a copy of this novel in Kindle format from Amazon India and suit yourself:
The Tailor’s Needle: You must have been reading my writings, reviews, literary articles and poems and I might have never praised the contemporary novelists in India save a few whom you can count on your fingers. However, there are the writers whom I admire. There are the writers who are doing the good work of keeping the traditional Indian English literature alive and kicking. Lakshmi Raj Sharma, a professor of English literature, is one such novelist who deserves praises and applause. His novel, the first one, The Tailor’s Needle is work set against the British Raj backdrop and the usual conundrum of a family, a certain Ranabakshi family or pure Brahmans but educated widely and largely. The patriarch of the family, Sir Saraswati Chandra Ranabakshi, can judge a person’s abilities, behaviour and status by his or her use of English! However, in this novel, the novelist has made a certain conclusion that Gandhi and his impact upon India was the tool that helped the Indians come out of their cocoons (various) and stand as one… there are many things that this novel will narrate to you along with a story of murders to keep you engaged and occupied with the storyline. Once again, this is a novel for the readers with ease in literary fiction readings. You can get this novel in a digital format from Amazon India:
Freedom from the Known: While you occupy yourself with the continuous thoughts of fear and anxiety, this book by accomplished philosopher and widely regarded spiritual person, Jiddu Krishnamurti will make you wonder how much the world around you matters… and how trivial is it at the same time! So, are you ready for some dose of self-illumination and a process of pondering that will not only make your conscious a little lighter but also make you understand for yourself what life is and what it ought to be? I would recommend this book any day if I am said to recommend only one non-fiction books for one’s leisure. You can get the book from Amazon India in a digital version by clicking the link below:
I am sure you will enjoy these books or any one of them or even some of them as per your choices and reading habits. Make sure that you occupy yourselves with these books or any other medium but do not step out of your home unless it becomes utterly essential. You have the key to the nation’s future and you have to hold tight! All the best, dear readers and very happy reading!
by Alok Mishra for Literature News