The season is turning and the there’s a crispness in the air…. the perfect time to curl up with a cup of hot steaming chai, a warm blanket and a great book that will transport you to another time, another place… A great way to take a bit of a trip!
Here’s a list of some of my favorite reads. The stories transport you to India (and some other places too!) and I LOVED each of these books! The respective writers are master storytellers, weaving portraits of hope and despair, love and loss, and identity and independence. I am choosing them as they are on the very top of my list of favorites.
And without further ado….
- The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh: This is one of my all time favorite novels. I love this story and even used it to write my senior thesis. It’s a story of identity (a common theme in my picks, as you’ll notice) and how that identity is formed or positioned in reference to place. It’s a beautiful story and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Ghosh is one of my favorite authors and I’ve read almost all his books.
- Listening Now by Anjanna Appachana: I think this book is really hard to find (I don’t think you can get a new copy but there are some used copies available from different sellers). This is an amazing story and I used to own this book and lent it out many times and it’s currently in safe-keeping with an old friend. I hope this story continues to be passed along for many others to hear this story of generations of women. I LOVE this story!
- Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts: A friend told me about this book and maybe because of the way he described it, I was on the fence about whether or not I should read it. But one day, searching for a new book to read, I saw it in the bookstore and picked it up to peruse a few pages. The first paragraph had me hooked! Very briefly, it’s a (just about true, but labeled as fiction) story of rising up, with grace and with courage, and meeting the circumstances you find yourself in. Here’s a bit from the first paragraph that got me hooked (you can read more on Amazon. Also, I’m looking forward to the rumored movie with Johnny Depp in the starring role!):
…freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.
Love those lines… the idea of having a choice, no matter what the circumstance, resonates loudly!
- A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth: This is a mammoth of a novel and you will devour every single page!! It’s a story of the intricacies of family and relationships, of what it means to love, to sacrifice and to live. You will fall in love with the rich characters, the landscapes and the drama. Seth has an incredible way with words and you can hear the voices, see the faces, experiences the time and the place and most of all, feel the urgency of desire, the pang of unrequited love… enjoy this epic tale!
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri - a novella and short stories. Lahiri’s writing is subtle and nuanced and she finds the space in between what is said and what is experienced. I think I read this entire book in one sitting. I especially loved the stories under the “Hema and Kaushik” section.
I love reading and it’s a part of my nightly routine (I have to read before I can sleep!) and I’m always on the lookout for a good read — so please send over your recommendations.
Would love to hear what you think!