Looking back, I do wish I had read more. There were days where I finished half a novel, and months where I couldn’t read more than a few pages because of the environment. Still, some of the experiences that I underwent via reading novels are still fresh and must have had some sort of an influence on my life too. Here, in this post, I will enlist a few:
1. Madame Bovary
A story of Emma Roualt, married to a surgeon called Charles Bovary- and thus becoming Madame Bovary. Dissatisfied (and in love with novels) after a while with his husband, Madame Bovary invests her love first in a swindler- and then a youthful clerk. Often maddened by feelings, Madame Bovary clearly lays bare the internal reality behind what may appear as mixed signals to a layman.
2. The Namesake
About a family who settle down in USA- the novel has many stories in it- from Ashoke’s days as a compulsive reader who once met with an accident, her wife Ashima’s days as a housewife in USA with memories and household work to keep her company, Ashoke and Ashima’s delightful angle which unfortunately I think is the only ‘Indian arranged marriage love story’ that I have read in literature so far and most significantly, their son Gogol’s total scorn at being named Gogol. Famous for its realistic portrayal of immigrant life- this novel does what novels do best which is to express the inter connectivity of relationships, a process of individual change and above all tell the truth behind all the lies.
3. Arzee, The Dwarf
I was so in love with Arzee that I finished reading his story in a day. I even managed to get the book autographed, and the experience makes for an interesting anecdote which I’ll not mention here. (I have written more about the book here.)
4. The Golden Gate
Written entirely in verse, this is a story about 5 friends who start somewhere and end up somewhere else. What’s also interesting about the book, is that everything from Author’s introduction to preface to even the chapter index is written as a song. (I have made a post along with a sample sonnet, over here.)
That’s it for now. Here’s wishing you a very happy new year, full of good reading and good presence of mind. May your enemies wither.