Christopher Morley had said that there is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love. These books listed below may or may not be the best books I’ve read but I did surely fall in love with them.
1. The Bachelor Of Arts – I still remember this book, as an eye-opener to the art of actually being real in a mundane world while writing. This book does not create suspense and drama in a way that is created in thriller stories or stories of other men. It’s like experiencing thrill and drama in your real life. Close to it, at least.
2. English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee- This is where most of the humor that I have right now has originated. Very influential. It was the phase where I shifted my whole orientation towards life.
3. Maximum City- This is the only book on my list that is neither fiction nor some sort of guide. The reason I like this book is because till date I quote stories from it. Also, it was read on a train journey which was the smallest journey of my life. Thanks to Suketu Mehta.
4. The Catcher In the Rye- It didn’t influence me as much as it did to other people, but reading it was one of the most cracker experiences I ever had. Extremely Extremely Recommended.
5. The Art Of Dramatic Writing By Lajos Egri- I don’t clearly remember what was there in the book, but this is one book which I learned a lot out of. The one textbook, which opened your mind to new ideas and not just put the author’s ideas into yours.
6. Shantaram- I never knew Mumbai can be like that until I read this book. (In Delhi, I was there for a few days right after my tenth boards.) A city that I had lived in for around 10 years suddenly seemed so different to me. It was like getting exposed to a whole new world. Maybe now, if I would have read it, it would not have been that great but then, it was the best reading experience I’d ever had. Also, it was a big deal for me to have finished that fat a book on my own.
7. The Harry Potter Series– There was not as much excitement to read any other book as there was to read this book. Right after the first one, I read the second. And, somehow it gave me the happiness that reading books now doesn’t give. I think it’s very difficult to be a good reader after childhood. Those seven books and the wait for them actually felt like a whole school experience in Hogwarts. Once, I even dreamt of having a Marauder’s Map that Fred and George had. It was made by Sirius Black, James Potter and Remus Lupin if I remember correctly. Also, it accounted for some really well spent re-reading time.
Plus, again fat books always add to our confidence that we can read a big book. And, this was a book that we sincerely hoped would be fat.