I have come here to offer the readers in India one of the finest, curated and mixed books that they can add to their reading lists for May 2020, the month probably spent at home. This list of best-recommended books has been prepared by me after considerable thinking. You should enjoy this list but first, let’s get a few things about the background.
Another month would be hit by Corona and let there be no doubt about it. The lockdown has just been extended for other two weeks and would continue until 17 May 2020. So, in short, another month would be spent at home. Hard to believe, tough to accept. But, the time is moving and we too have to move on. We can’t stop. We can’t restrict ourselves from gaining new knowledge and exploring new places. For this, we have books – as a companion, guide and counsellor and take you to unexplored travel destinations. A famous Indian-American novelist Jhumpa Lahiri also says it. “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” So, bookworms, are you ready to commence your odyssey? Where do you want to travel this May? In the history or in the world of mythology or you want to seat and rest on the shore where the cold waves of emotions drench your soul? I have come up with five options by Indian novelists, poets and acclaimed non-fiction Indian authors that would take you to the destinations you select and enlighten you in the process. Get up quick, decide and pick one! As Anna Quindlen also said “books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home”. So, don’t let this Corona outbreak steal or kill your time. Remember, time once gone, won’t come back again.
An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India – Based on the speech at an Oxford Union debate, An Era of Darkness: The Empire in India is a mirror for the British apologists and for all the Indians, which reminds them of the atrocities, disaster, injustice and sufferings that the country had grieved because of the twenty decades-long British rule. This extensively researched work enunciates that the freedom which we cherish now is adorned with the sacrifices and pains of our forefathers. Selection of words to back the arguments and detailed narration of heart-breaking facts keeps the readers bind with it until the last page. Let’s bow down to the freedom and pay tribute to our forefathers by incorporating the title in May’s reading list.
Raavan – The Enemy of Aryavarta: This is the third book in the Ram Chandra series after Ramachandra and Scion of Ikshvaku and Sita: Warrior of Mithila. The storyline chronicles the life of Raavan, who is chiefly recognised as the abductor of Sita, wife of Lord Ram, and defeated by Ram in the battle as in epic Ramayan (we all just have seen on DD). However, this is the only dimension of Raavan. The novelist has beautifully characterised the other side of Raavan who was a fierce warrior, excellent scholar, callous businessman, powerful king, brilliant artist, great musician and utmost devotee of Lord Shiva. The novelist, Amish Tripathi, has done true justice to the forever overshadowed character Kumbhkaran, brother of Raavan, which undoubtedly adds a surprise element of this novel.
The Vault of Vishnu – Sixth book of Bharat Series – The Vault of Vishnu – is again a plot-oriented novel, rooted in the secrets and supposed advancements of ancient India. And as the novelist is known for logically linking past with the present, in this book too, two-story timelines – one in the past and one in present – progress parallel. Threads of history, mythology and science are combined pensively to weave a story of India’s political and cultural relations with its neighbouring countries, especially with China. A geographically vast and fast-paced thriller by Ashwin Sanghi has so much to amaze and instigate you during this still unacceptable unprecedented Corona pandemic.
Meri 51 Kavitayen – Quarantine has changed our schedule! Why can’t we change our reading preferences? These selected collection of poems of former Prime Minister of the county Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee – one of the best Hindi poets I ever knew – are a feast to read in these long days of scorching summer. These evergreen jewels will indeed brighten you up. Written on the diverse topics, with the ink of feelings, these verses are the mark of Atal Ji’s deep love for the country. Also, these poignant, vibrant rhymes give references and instances of events that had happened and touched him during his lifetime.
The Tailor’s Needle – Debut novel of Prof. Lakshmi Raj Sharma – The Tailor’s Needle – is a socio-historic novel that takes you on the tour of India prior to independence and flashes vivid colour and bleak side of the country in British Raj. Written in a classical and traditional manner with a tinge of sarcasm, the book succinctly elucidates the role and status of women, caste and class discrimination and rebounds Gandhian philosophy. In these days of epidemic and slowdown, this book instils a sense of support and gratitude, irrespective of caste and class. This is an extreme need of the hour!
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So, guys, this was the list that I have made for May 2020. All the readers out there can certainly add at least one book from this reading list or book recommendations list to their reading schedule. I am sure that it will be an enlightening journey for you all. And do make sure that you don’t go out unless it’s imperative and earnestly essential! Stay safe.
Written by Nidhi Parikh for Literature News