"Variety is the spice of life"- how often have we heard this saying, I am sure it's more often than can we count or remember. Though I totally agree with this saying but being a typical Taurean, I hate experimentation and am slow in adapting to any new change. This trait of mine comes to the forefront, especially when it comes to books I enjoy to read. My comfort zone is fiction, but, even in fiction,I stick to my known genres, namely, romance, drama etc with a factual book thrown in between. But I am forced to change and this is happening all due to my blog - my passion. I am now trying to read different types of books, albeit at my own comfortable pace.
Dance Dance Dance is my sincere attempt in reading a surreal metaphysical pulp fiction ( whatever that means!!)
Let us first talk about the storyline and the main characters of this book : the story is in first person and the narrator/main character is a middle aged ordinary man, who lives a very spartan life and is trying to make ends meet. He is in a constant search for something that will make him feel reconnected to this world/society and while on this search,he comes across many people, especially women of various age groups and has conflicting feelings for all of them. The story moves seamlessly from the present to the past and to the surreal world lying between reality and the dream world. There are many subplots to the main story which add to the feeling of surrealism and also take the reader away from the main story but Murakami does try and make all the loose ends meet in the end.
When I started this book I made a promise to myself that I would read this book slowly giving the story, time to sink unto me ,so that I could understand and relate to it better. But to be honest I could not keep up the promise for long. I tried to be a patient reader for the first 150 odd pages but after that I had had it. This was way too confusing for me. I just could not understand the connection of the surreal with the real everyday world. I found the narrative to be very vague and disconnected at some places and just could not keep up with the author and his fantasy land. Though, there were some parts which I really enjoyed reading especially the part when the narrator meets the clairvoyant Yuki, a 13 year old girl who is not looked after by either of her parent and is often left to her own defences. She is not only a psychic but is also extra ordinarily beautiful which makes her stand out of the crowd and as such she is never comfortable in the company of people.
I was starting to understand the story by the time I had finished almost 200 pages but again the story confounded me in the end and I was left thinking, "is that all?"
I am sure that I am not going to be adventurous in my choice of books, not in the near future at least and would recommend this book only to those, who enjoy reading surrealistic modern metaphysical fiction (again, whatever that means!!!)
This is my tenth entry in the list of my favourite top ten books.
I love John Grisham, firstly because he writes the most amazing legal stories in a very simple and understandable format and secondly because I personally find him very good looking.
In my higher secondary school days, I would first check out his photograph on the last page of his every novel, before even reading the synopsis of the story.
The first book of his which I read was The Pelican Brief, when I was 16 years old, but at that time I did not understand the story at all and felt that it was written in some alien language. But in those days since all my cousins were reading John Grisham, in order to save my face, I continued reading his books. Slowly I got a hang of Grisham's style of writing and have become an ardent fan of his, since then.
Though I enjoyed reading all his books, my favourite is The Partner.
This is a story about a lawyer named Patrick Lanigan who masterminds his own death, steals $90 million from the law firm where he works, changes his name and goes off into hiding. The best part of the book is that even after getting caught, how he wiggles himself from the clutches of the law system to be a free man once again. The story has an interesting twist in the end but I cannot be a spoiler for all of you, who have not read the book.
What I love about this story, particularly, is the way Patrick does all the meticulous planning, strategizing and how everything works out so smoothly in his favour in the end.
I found the story to be gripping, fast paced and clever.
This is my ninth entry in the list of my favourite top ten books.
Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler- do I need to write anything else in the favour of this epic historical romance novel.This book is the first and last novel published by Margaret Mitchell in her lifetime.It depicts the experiences of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to come out of the poverty she finds herself in after the American Civil War.
All the characters in this story are rich and lively, the descriptions are colorful and flourishing without taking away from the actual storyline.Moreover the complexities of the characters are amusing, frustrating and heartbreaking.One can be rest asssured that all our emotions will be visited while reading this book.
Scarlett and Rhett :these two strong characters and their chemistry, their egos, their love, their fights, their attitude, their anger, their differences are a delight to be read, in the backdrop of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era.
This is one book which I had to read more than once to understand the story, the complexities of the character and to fully understand what it was to be alive and struggling for mere survival in those war-torn times.
Though the plot at times feels to be dragging, but the overall story's impact is so powerful that one cannot help but love this epic novel.
This is my eight entry in the list of my favourite top ten books. Ayn Rand is too great an author and I am in no position to talk about her style of writing. One has to read her books to understand her ideologies, her way of thinking, her way of life.
This book is written with Architecture as it's backdrop. Howard Roark is an architect who, inspite of being a brilliant architect is willing to live his life in obscurity rather than compromise on his principles and his vision. Roark is a man of integrety and open mindset, who refuses to bow down to the societal norms of tradition-worship and instead chooses a lifelong battle against the society to practice architecture as he seems correct.
Howard Roark is my absolute favourite fictional male character. I just love everything about him- his love for Dominque, his dedication towards his work, his friendship with Gale Wynand, his relationship with Peter Keating.
Roark is Rand's embodiment of what she believes to be the ideal human spirit, and his struggle reflects Rand's personal belief that individualism trumps collectivism.
Though this list of my favourite books is not in any partcular order, but I have to admit that this book, The Fountainhead, is my absolute all-time favourite book. The first time I read this book, I was 19 and even today, after so many years, if I am free and have a reading urge then this is the book which I read. I must have read this book endless times but the unique thing about this story is that everytime a new aspect of the story unfolds before me making the whole experience new, once again for me.
This is my seventh entry in the list of my favourite top ten books. This one is also a romantic, mushy novel which I totally love. I was introduced to this beautiful novel by Farheen, a very very dear friend of mine. We were roommates in a paying guest accommodation in Bangalore, where I was studying for my B.com degree and Farheen was studying law. I finished this book in one day flat beacuse I just could not put it down.
The story is about a married but lonely housewife who falls in love with a photographer visiting Madison County and has a short four day affair with him. The varied emotions that these two characters go through in the course of the story is very believable and touches my heart whenever I read this book. Though the lady is genuinely in love with this nomadic photographer, yet she refuses to leave the town with him because of her duty and responsibility towards her husband and her children.
The scene where the photographer is leaving the town and the female's anguish and delimna in doing what is ethically and morally right, is very touching and always brings tears to my eyes. What a poignant love story!
Romantic novels have always attracted me and I am one of those females, who would definetely pick up a love story rather than a thriller or a murder mystery or a science fiction. Hence this one had to be added to my favourite list.
This is my sixth entry in the list of my favourite top ten books.
What do I write about this cult novel? This book is the mother of all love stories. I absolutely adore this book.The first time I read this novel, I was around 17years old and was not able to undertsand the depth of emotions present in this thin book. I again read this book around 5 years back, and I was totally moved by this tragic yet beautiful romantic story.
It is the tale of two college students whose love enables them to overcome the adversities they face in life. Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard jock and heir to the Barrett fortune and legacy, and Jennifer Cavilleri, the quick-witted daughter of a Rhode Island baker.Though they come from two very different world, they are immediately attracted to each other and their love deepens.After graduation they get married against the wishes of Oliver's father who breaks away all the ties with his only son.Without the financial support of his father, Oliver and Jennifer have to struggle to pay for his degree from the Harvard Law College. As a result Jennifer has to forego her music career and take up the job of a teacher in a private school.
The story of Jenny and Ollie is a story of two young people who come from two separate worlds and are joined together in the unlikeliest of ways.But inspite of all the hardships and differences, their love never diminishes, rather, it increases with each passing day, so much that they are able to understand what the other is feeling without the actual verbal expression.
I have read this book endless times, yet even today, I cry profusely when Jennifer(Jenny) dies in the end and Oliver walks out in the cold outside the hospital, where his father meets him and says sorry. Upon which Oliver replies, "Love means never having to say you're sorry..." and breaks down in his father's arms.
This book is my solace whenever I am feeling low or sad. No wonder this book features in my top ten list of favourite books.
This is my fifth entry in the list of my top ten favourite books. Yes, it is a mills and boon novel but I had to add it to my favourite list. My first mills and boon novel and that too by Lee Wilkinson. What a combination! Most of you, I believe, hate these books and refer to them as trash but I have to admit, I love my trash and reading theses books relaxes me. Mills and Boon books are simple, uncomplicated, easy to read love stories, making them a good time-pass.
This book is also no different. A rich boy meets a poor girl- they fall in love- misunderstandings crop up between the two lovebirds- they move away from each other- meet again after many years- the chemistry and passion is still smouldering beneath the tough exterior of these two people- misunderstandings get solved- they reunite- happy ending.
The female protagonist's name in this book is named, Perdita meaning "the lost lady". Hence, the title.And yes,I do love this name too, though it's slightly difficult to roll from the tongue!!
I am a staunch defender of this genre of books and hence by default this had to be part of my list of favourite books.