It’s already time for my second Top Ten Tuesday post! This week’s list is about those books or/and authors that made me love books,rekindled my love for literature at a certain point in my life or introduced me to a particular genre.I hope I will make it to ten!
1.The Harry Potter Series – J.K.Rowling
I was still a kid when I was given my first Harry Potter book to read.The book was in French,so I opted to buy the following ones in French as well upon their respective releases.Although someone recently mocked my reading Harry Potter in French,I will never forget the feeling the HP series gave me.At a relatively young age,I could devour such big books in a matter of 2-3 days and how excited I was whenever J.K.Rowling would reveal something about the next opus.I also had to save my money to buy the next HP and when I would have finished it,I would get the feeling that it was money well spent.I still cringe whenever someone calls the HP series ‘literary garbage’.I don’t care whether Rowling’s prose is praiseworthy or not.She gave a little bit of magic to our mundane world and imbued so many of us with the love for reading. 🙂
2.The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
After reading the Harry Potter books all my childhood,it was hard to find another series or other books that would fill the void in my reading ‘space’.I read legal thrillers,such as those from John Grisham,but although I read them till the end,they were pretty ordinary.I experienced a reading drought for 2-3 years until I was in the final two years of my secondary education.As a student of English literature,I was given ‘The God of Small Things’ to study.I quickly fell in love with it and read it at least five times.It rekindled my love for books and ever since,I have been looking to read ‘quality literature’.It is also the reason why I plan on reading all books shortlisted for or winners of the Booker Prize.
3.Moby Dick – Herman Melville
There wasn’t much in Moby Dick that I liked.It was the first book I read following my resolve to read the best books of all time,and really I was far from imagining what awaited me! The endless digressions about cetelogy and the difficulty I had to get back to the story were really hard to cope with.I finished it only because I had to.I was a bit annoyed that all those who called this book one of the best of all time didn’t say anything about the digressions! This is why I decided to create a blog where I would write about what one might or might not like about a classic,hence my ”Why you should read” series.
4.A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
It was among the plays I had to study during my final years at high school.In this play,everything you see on stage is relevant and Tennesse Williams was so meticulous and such a perfectionist that he would accord much importance to little details.My favourite of such items is Van Gogh’s The Night Cafe which is extremely relevant to the scene in which it appears.This play is also the reason for which while reading a book,I am always on the lookout for such little details; they are proofs that much work has been put in the book.
5.Animal Farm – George Orwell
As I said above,I love looking for little details,and imagine how awed I was when reading Animal Farm! I remember after reading this book,I sat before my latop for 3-4 hours,looking for the significance of everything in the book and reading much about the Bolchevik Revolution,the aftermath and the First World War.Every single little object holds a significance and I was totally flabbergasted every time I discovered the allegorical representation of something.Because of Animal Farm,I have developed a certain liking for allegorical stories.They are generally easy to read and it is always a challenge to decipher the meaning behind the words,and when you succeed in doing so,you are always left facing a very powerful and relevant message.
I read this book when I was 19 years old.It was simply wonderful.I never imagined that I would smile so much with a book for children.In fact I remember when I was reading ‘Peter Pan’,I would read only one chapter at night and was really like a child waiting for bedtime all day long.The ending is as sad as the story is incredibly funny,so when you finish reading Peter Pan,your feelings are pretty ambiguous.This story is an ode to childhood and for a little while takes you back to a world that you were forced to leave.Barrie has shown us that books can give us magic and this is why,I have always valued children books and fairy stories ever since I read Peter Pan.
Kafka’s books are not at all beautiful.Very often the storyline in his books is so depressing and gloomy that you have to take many breaks between reading it.However once you’re done reading the book and start looking for the meanings,everything makes sense and you end up loving the book more and more.This is exactly what Kafka’s books do: they grow on you.Going painstakingly through Kafka’s novels was definitely worth it as they gave me a different and more mature outlook on life.This is why I never leave a novel until I have finished reading it.Sometimes you have to read,not for aesthetic beauty,but for meaning alone.
8.The Value Tales Series
I never thought these books about historical figures would play such a significant role in my life.After reading these books,I realised that I knew much more about history than do other people.For instance,I remember while watching a movie,there was an opening quote from Margaret Mead,and I would immediately tell my parents who she was and what she did.These little books did more than simply introduce me to great historical figures.They inculcated some important values in me,gave me hope during hard times and prompted me to read more about great persons on Wikipedia and other pages.Honestly I owe these little a books a lot. 🙂
9.”Les Imageries” from Fleurus Publications.
When I was very little,even before I started reading the Harry Potter books,there were those ”Imageries” books that would always catch my attention in bookshop.Just as it has always been,I had to buy them myself,but as I was still a kid,my savings did not amount to much and I only could afford 3 books of that series.Even so,I would read them more than thrice and would found some satisfaction in knowing everything by heart,for at the end of each book,there was a quizz which tested how much you retained.Ah..those books.They are the foundation stone for my excellent general knowledge.
10.The Picture of Dorian Gray
Prior to giving this book a go,I had read Moby Dick and Frankenstein,two of the dullest classics.I was wondering if I made the right choice in trying to read the best books of all time and how long will I keep reading classics.Reading The Picture of Dorian Gray really kickstarted my challenge.I finished it in 3 days despite my trying to read it as slowly as possible.I realised in reading this book that classics can be really great and it helped me stick to my challenge.I’m thankful for that because I went to read some literary gems such as To Kill a Mockingbird,Lord of the Flies,Anna Karenina or Never Let Me Go.