Hey guys, First of all a very Happy Women’s day to all the gorgeous ladies out there, you are beautiful. On this occasion of International Women’s Day… I am so excited to share this post with you all. Recently I was interviewed by a very well known book blogger Aakanksha Jain, the Author of “How to become an Amazon Influencer?” on her blog, Bookscharming. Had a great time and really enjoyed this whole interview session. Hope you will like it. Enjoy!!
Please introduce yourself – Where are you from? How long have you been blogging? What’s the name of your blog? What made you decide to start a book blog?
A. Hi, I am Ilika from Bangalore, an aspiring Writer/poet. Will be releasing my first book very soon. I have a book blog by the name of Elysian Bookgraphy. Always wanted to create my own blog and was also planning for it since long but could not start it for many reasons. But when we all got stuck in our houses during the lockdown phase of COVID-19, the blog finally came into existence.
What is your favorite genre and book?
A. My favorite genre in books is Mystery/Thriller. But my all-time favorite book is and will be Harry Potter. ALWAYS. It has a special place in my heart.
What piece of advice you would like to give to other bloggers?
A. Advice, hmm… I guess I am still learning and not overly experienced yet but ya, for those who are starting a blog now, they should ensure to post original content and should try to be regular.
A few words for our readers and Books Charming – I find it amazing when someone as passionate and dedicated as yourself connects with you. Books Charming is an amazing blog and provides amazing blogposts to its readers. It was fun to give the readers of both the blogs an opportunity to know each other’s blog and its content. Hope to collaborate again in the future to provide our readers more unique content. The readers of book charming are welcome to check my blog Elysian Bookgraphy and to become the part of our family.
Hey guys, today I’m back with another Interview. Along with some great writing skill which you can experience in her non-fiction book, “How to become an Amazon Influencer?” she is also a talented book blogger. Hereby, presenting you all this latest interview with Aakanksha Jain. Really enjoyed this interview session with my fellow book blogger hope you guys will also like it. Enjoy and have a Great Weekend!!
• For those who don’t know, can you start off by telling a little bit about yourself and your blog?
My name is Aakanksha Jain, resides in Pune, India. I’m a commerce graduate and quit my job to become a full-time blogger. My blog, Books Charming, is one of the top book blogs in India, and it started in 2017. I’m also an author, my non-fiction book How to Become an Amazon Influencer. It is available on Amazon and Goodreads. Apart from these, I’m a YouTuber, Podcaster, Influencer, andFreelancer.
•Describe how did you first get into blogging?
I got this question a lot and my answer were always the same that it is to pass my time and improve my language skills. But there is one more reason behind it – I was not happy with my job. After completing high school, I started tutoring, and then after graduation, I work in a school for three years. I taught kids of different ages for almost 6 to 7 years, and a time comes when I realize that I don’t want to do this anymore. Working for someone else is not my cup of tea and I started looking for ways where I can be my own boss and I got to know about blogging so I thought I should give it a try and now the rest is history.
•What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
Blogging has a wide range and there are so many branches in this field but it all comes down to credibility. Being a book blogger, the best thing I provide to my readers is genuine/unbiased book reviews.
• Tell us something about your book and upcoming projects?
How to Become an Amazon Influencer is for all people who are serious about blogging and want to earn money from Amazon’s program. It’s a very short and up to the point read. I start writing a fiction story in January and hopefully, I’ll publish it by the end of this year. Fingerscrossed.
•Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is my profession but there are so many people around me who still think that it is a hobby and no matter how many times I told them that no it is not a hobby they don’t understand. If you’re a blogger too, then I know you can relate to my irritation.
•How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
There was a time when I don’t post more often and unable to found the motivation, but with time, things changed. I quit my job for blogging, and it is a huge deal; it comes from inside, you know.
•What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
The most frustrating thing about blogging is that people don’t understand its importance; especially the older generation. For them, if you don’t work 9-5 in an office then you don’t work at all. On a technical aspect, plagiarism is the worst part of blogging. It happened with me on many occasions, one time a blogger copy-paste my whole review of Stephen Hawking’s book and post it as her own.
•Your Favorite book
Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic and Becoming by Michelle Obama.
•Who is your favorite author and why?
Nick Vujicic and Michelle Obama, both inspired me. They both have different journey but their determination, positive attitude, stubbornness, and ability to learn from failures and try again until you get the results make me thrive.
•What book is currently on your bedside table?
Siddhartha: An Indian Tale by Herman Hesse.
• If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Sarcastic, Bold, and Rebel.
•Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
There are so many things about me that my readers didn’t know, but I’m happy to share a few with them today – I’m an MBA dropout, one can find a lot of marks on my knees they all were from my accidents. Now I avoid driving when I’m angry or in a bad mood because if I do accidents happen all the time, now you know why the marks. I love tattoos and have two on my hands and planning to get inked more.
Tea or Coffee – TeaFOREVER
Paperback or e-book – Paperback
Morning person or Night owl – Night Owl
Movie or Book – Book
Reading or Writing – Writing
Beaches or Mountains – Mountains
•Few words for our readers and Elysian Bookgraphy
Thank you Ilika for this opportunity. It means a lot to me and I had fun answering all the questions. For readers, thank you for your precious time, I hope you enjoy reading this interview, and feel free to connect with me. I would love to hear from you.
•And lastly, what advice would you like to give to a new blogger, someone who is just starting out?
Do not portray someone else’s work as your own, you can use their work as an inspiration and create your unique content around it. I’m in this field for almost 4 years and I’m still learning new things every day, so open yourself to knowledge, and if you’re thinking about blogging as a profession, then work on your layout, SEO, and social media presence from starting.
It has been so long since I have posted something, was a little busy with my life stuff. But now I am back. So, Valentine’s day is around the corner, and Valentine’s week is on!! Hmm, Love is in the air.
However, being in love 🥰 or being loved by your partner is not a one-day affair. One should make every day special, but since Valentine’s Day is considered the festival of love, make this day extra special for your loved ones. Here are Some Cozy Romantic novel recommendations that you should try to set your mood and are a perfect pick for the day️.
And to all you singles who are wondering how you will spend this valentine’s. Do not worry this post will surely cheer you up.
Grab one that you like, fix your date, and you are all sorted!!
Hope you guys enjoy these books that I have mentioned here and will have a lovely Valentine.
It is the last post of this year, and what better day to post it. It’s 31’st Dec 2020. So the year 2020 is finally ending. We have suffered a lot. The pandemic spread, the lockdowns, that too almost for the whole year. At the same time, this year has also taught us to care about the various things that we had earlier taken for granted. Due to the Pandemic, we realized the importance of nature, the environment, love, family, relations, and most importantly, our health, the life lesson that we should continue to follow in the coming year also. Since we were at home most of the time, many of us started reading books to deviate our minds from the pandemic and get lost among the pages of the books. Through the pages of the books, one can travel to various places, places that fascinate and are magical, sometimes far better compared to the real world. I was also one of those who started reading more during the lockdown phase. Here are my top 10 picks from the year 2020, in no particular order.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES BY L.M. MONTGOMERY
MURDER AT MACBETH BY SAMANTHA GOODWIN
RAAVAN- ENEMY OF ARYAVARTA BY AMISH TRIPATHI
THE BALLOON GIRL BY SYEDA F R
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY BY OSCAR WILDE
UNMASKED BY JENIFER KANIN
HUNDRED LITTLE FLAMES BY PREETI SHENOY
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW BY A. J. FINN
I LET YOU GO BY CLARE MACKINTOSH
SAKHI- A TALE OF HER SECRETS BY AMANDA MARICIA RAPHAEL
Life is the most interesting thing that will ever happen to you. Celebrate every day to the fullest! Let’s make our New Year resolution to be there for each other and help fellow human beings in need even if we don’t know them personally. So come let’s spread some kindness and cheer! Happy New Year 2021.
Have you ever thought, what do animals think about this world? What is their perspective? Writing itself is not an easy task to do, that too, about a story which is written through an animal’s perspective. This all together makes it more of a difficult job. Recently I read a book of the same genre, titled Unmasked. In today’s interview, you will be witnessing an extremely talented author who entered this literary world with an amazing storyline and has shown her outstanding writing skills in her debut novel. Her book Unmasked is one of the best books that I have read this year. I honestly became a fan of her storytelling. Presenting, you all the last Author Interview of this year with Jenifer Kanin. Enjoy!!
•Hi Jenifer, for those who don’t know, can you tell a little bit about yourself and your book? About me: I live in rural Niagara, Canada – about 30 min from the world-famous waterfalls. I love animals, gardening and have many pets – cats, dogs, chickens, ducks and even goats in the past. Many of the stories in Unmasked have a thread of truth in them from the things that have happened around our home over the years. About the book: I have always wanted to write a book, and Unmasked is the one that I finally did. It is the kind of book that I love to read. A great story with relatable characters that stirs your emotions, and a deeper subtext running through the story that makes you think. At least that is the book I tried to write. The readers will let me know if I was successful.
•When did you first call yourself a writer? I still don’t to be honest. When this is my full-time job, maybe? Or when I see Oprah with a copy of my book in her hand – then for sure I will. Yes, defiantly the Oprah thing.
•What inspired the idea for your book? I was looking after a friend’s place on the east side of Toronto. She was away for a few months and had a black and white cat named princess that I was taking care of. One night while sitting outside with another friend, what I thought was the cat came wandering up to us. In the dark it was difficult to see an I just reached down and gave it a pet. A minute later when it was walking away from us, it stepped into the light and we were both shocked to see it was not princess but a skunk! The idea that one animal could impersonate another was inspired by that.
•How long did it take you to write this book? The basic outline if story came quickly, about 3 months. It took over a year of rewrites and editing to get the finished product.
•How did you come up with the title of your book? The book is really about identity. Who we are as people and how we relate to the people around us. The working title was originally Identity Crisis. In the end I chose Unmasked because it seemed to be a better descriptor of the underlying theme, as well as a nod to the raccoon story line where he wears the mask to hide his nefarious markings.
•Tell us about the process of coming up with the cover. The opening paragraph of the book we see Gary staring into mirror, with Jenny’s blood staining the sink. That imagery is a brief glimpse into the future and all of the events that happen will lead you back to that moment at the end of the book. It raises so many questions – What happened to Jenny? Why did he have her blood on him? Did he Kill her? What is he thinking while he looks into that mirror? Since the written paragraph is so important to the story, I wanted to capture that in the cover image.
•Whyhave you chosen to write the book from an animal’s perspective? The short answer is that animals are the best! I love stories were animals are the star. Bambi (the book by Felix Salten), Charlottes Web, and Fantastic Mr. Fox are some of my favorites. You can add Winnie the Pooh in there as well. The longer answer is there is something disarming about animals. They have a quality about them that lets us lower our guard and open our hearts. That was central to the underlying theme of the book. I also like the counter balance of the humor the animals bring in contrast to the more serious topics.
•What’s so special about the animal characters, especially why a Raccoon? The raccoon is such a fitting image is its mask is permanently on its face and it gets judged a ‘trash bandit’ due to its appearance. The mask to hide his mask was some of the best imagery to work with in telling the story. I also loved the metaphor of the mask in general, as it relates to our identity. In some way we all put on different masks on depending on what we think people expect from us. Sometimes we get so good at it we forget to take them off and really look at ourselves and who we are.
•What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with this work? I wanted to challenge the idea of what makes us a good person. There is so much in todays society that promotes achievement over virtue, that is some way if we are all in competition with each other, this some how helps us to make progress. I wanted to challenge that notion. Also, the idea that a hero needs to use violence against the violent to succeed.
•Does writing energize or exhaust you? Writing energizes! Editing and proof-reading exhaust.
•What do you like to do when you are not writing? Gardening, Cooking, long walks with my puppers.
•When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood? I like using what is around my characters. The weather, the lighting and descriptions of the objects they see. In the scene where Jenny is attacked, the rusting farm equipment and the shadows they create adds to the tension. In the scene where the animals gather for a meeting, the rays of the morning light set the inspirational tone I was looking for.
•What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing? The more philosophical parts. It was a challenge to write them in a way that seemed genuine, without trying to sound like I have all the answers. I wanted to write in a way that would make the reader think and draw their own conclusions as oppose to telling them what they should do. The readers will have to let me know if I was successful or not.
•What part of the book was the most fun to write? I love the whole adventure when Gary goes into Mrs. Abram’s house to look for medicine. Imagining all of the things that could happen and then trying to write that was a lot of fun. Also, any scene where Gary is setting up the cat to get into trouble gave me a laugh.
•What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why? This was my first book, so I can only really speak to how it happened for this story. First the idea of a Raccoon that wore a mask came to me. I just liked the imagery. Then I need a reason for him to wear it – Why would a raccoon wear a mask? To change his identity of course. That got me thinking about the plot and gave me the bones of the story. Then I just tried to have fun filling in the details and tried to balance the serious with the light hearted.
•How do you develop your plot and characters? For plot – I just tried to figure out where I want to end the story. For the theme, I came up with a few basis questions and tried to answer them along the way. The characters evolved along the way. One of the first edits was to go back and delete anything that seemed out of place after the story was done. For example, I had a whole scene where Gary outwits a couple of badgers he grew up with, but the cleverness did not seem to match his personality and in the end, we deleted it. We left all of the manipulating to Jenny.
•If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them? Well Gary is a guy you go out for beer and wings with. Being from Canada we would probably talk hockey!
•Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special. I love Jenny, she comes across so smart and confident. A big picture thinker. I also love that she is motivated out of her love for others and not for and selfish gain.
•Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself? I was a little surprised how much I love writing stories. The biggest change is that I would love for this to be my full-time job. •What do the words “literary success” mean to you? How do you picture it? Success would be that people love the book so much they have to tell their friends and family to read it. That and a Pixar movie deal would be great.
•Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing? My family and my editor.
•Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about? Sequel! I am about a third of the way through writing the sequel. It starts off right where Unmasked left off and explores some of the consequences of what happened. Maybe a little darker than the first one, digging into themes of depression and anxiety. Of course, some fun-loving adventures where Gary gets into trouble. There is a clue in the epilogue of Unmasked as to who he might need to become next. Should be fun!
•When a reader finishes this book, what do you hope they will have found or realised through the story? I hope they discover an exciting new writer and realize they are dying to read the sequel! Really, I just hope they enjoy the book. There are so many great books to choose from that fact that the read mine, I just hope I was up to the task and gave them something that they loved.
Fun Part Pick One:
Tea or Coffee Coffee Wild animals or Pet animals Pet animals Paperback or e-book Paperback Comedy or Drama Comedy Morning person or Night owl Night owl Movie or Book Book Reading or Writing Reading
•And lastly, what advice would you like to give to a new writer, someone who is just starting out? Write what you love and be humble about asking people to read your work and give you feedback. Your writing will always look great to you but a fresh set of eyes will see how you can make it better.
Hi guys! It is Christmas eve 🎄✨. The most wonderful time of the year. I hope you all are doing well. This year has been tough, as the world has suffered a lot due to the Covid situation. Now when everyone was waiting for the vaccination process to begin, suddenly we are hearing news about Corona’s new strain that is somewhat depressing. But I guess we have to deal with it by enjoying the holiday season with lots of positivity. So, this Christmas, let us wish for a better tomorrow, for a better world. We should also apologize to Mother Nature on behalf of the entire Humankind, also for all, that we have done bad to our environment because of which we’re here stuck in the current crisis. Be positive and feel the festive vibes. Celebrate, but by taking good care of yourself and your loved ones. I hope you have a blessed Christmas.
Here I am presenting you by a list of books that you should read this Christmas to get in to the festive spirit. Time to grab some cozy winter reads related to Christmas near a fireplace. ✨Magic is in the air…✨If you believe so. Be ready with your stockings, Santa is on his way….🎅🏻🎁 🎊🎄Merry Christmas to all.🎄🎊
A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY CHARLES DICKENS
Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ Is a timeless classic that tells us the story of a miserly, hateful man called br> Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey towards the path of redemption. The story revolves around Scrooge’s hatred for Christmas and those who are not as fortunate as him. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three spirits who take him on a journey through time and help him realize the kind of person he has become over time and the impact of his actions on those around him. Warmly Nostalgic and beautifully written, this story of Charles Dickens deserve a very special place in our memories and our hearts. A one-of-a-kind gift for lovers of the Christmas Carol that will become a treasured addition to any Christmas lover’s bookshelf.
ONE DAY IN DECEMBER BY JOSIE SILVER
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist. After all, life isn’t a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. Laurie thinks she’ll never see the boy from the bus again. But at their Christmas party a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus. Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans? Following Laurie, Sarah and Jack through ten years of love, heartbreak and friendship, One Day in December is a joyous, heart-warming and immensely moving love story that you’ll want to escape into forever.
LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S
Little Women, vividly presents the story of four March sisters and their mother, Marmee. The complexities and tribulations faced by these young women, while they are growing up during the American Civil War have been realistically portrayed in the novel. The novel revolves around the personal ambitions of the beautiful Meg, aspiring writer Jo, frail Beth and pampered Amy and chronicles the transformation of its characters from beings young girls to becoming women. Originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, Little Woman was an immediate commercial success and has been widely read and adapted.
A TREASURY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS STORIES BY BETTYE COLLIER-THOMAS
A collection of Christmas stories written by African-American journalists, activists, and writers from the late 19th century to the modern civil rights movement. Back in print for the first time in over a decade, this landmark collection features writings from well-known black writers, activists, and visionaries such as Pauline Hopkins, Langston Hughes, and John Henrik Clarke along with literary gems from rediscovered writers. Originally published in African American newspapers, periodicals, and journals between 1880 and 1953, these enchanting Christmas tales are part of the black literary tradition that flourished after the Civil War. Edited and assembled by esteemed historian Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, the short stories and poems in this collection reflect the Christmas experiences of everyday African Americans and explore familial and romantic love, faith, and more serious topics such as racism, violence, poverty, and racial identity. Featuring the best stories and poems from previous editions along with new material including “The Sermon in the Cradle” by W. E. B. Du Bois, A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories celebrates a rich storytelling tradition and will be cherished by readers for years to come.
HERCULE POIROT’S CHRISTMAS BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.
But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man…
GREENGLASS HOUSE BY KATE MILFORD
It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year- old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House and themselves.
THE NUTCRACKER BY E T A HOFFMANN ILLUSTRATED BY RENEE GRAEF
Follow Marie on her magical Christmas Eve adventure. The story of The Nutcracker is loosely based on the E.T.A. Hoffmann fantasy story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, about a girl who befriends a nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and wages a battle against the evil Mouse King.
LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas. They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house! Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and ‘authenticity’ of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas. This classic festive book of Tolkien’s enchanting Father Christmas letters, written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s, has been reworked into a sumptuous, new standard hardback edition. It contains high-quality digital reproductions of his wonderful letters and pictures, including a number of them appearing in this format for the first time, and a revised introduction by Baillie Tolkien.
This is it from my side guys. Tell me in the comment section what’s your favorite read during the holiday season?
Experience the wonders and gather your festive spirit. On this merry day, may God shower your life with unlimited blessings. Make some amazing memories this Christmas that will last forever. Let this festive season make way for a better and brighter tomorrow. On this note, I wrap up this post by Wishing You All a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you’ll have an amazing time!!
If you are here to help others, for some, you will be generous. At the same point, for some, you will be vacuous, foolish. If you are busy minding your own business, by some, you will be called greedy, selfish, or some will tag you as hardworking & laborious. So what’s the real truth? The truth is: It doesn’t matter for society. Whether you are arrogant or humble, Whether you do good or bad, Somewhere, somebody, in every damn situation, will remain unsatisfied. -Elysian Bookgraphy
Hello guys!! To all you Bookworms, Booklovers here, PAY ATTENTION! If you are still confused or don’t know where to start in Indian literature, this might help you. In this post, I am presenting you with a list of some of the best and the most loved books written by Indian Authors. Land of World’s Greatest Epics, The Mahabharata and The Ramayana… Never Underestimate the Writing Skills of an Indian Author. Following are the Books from Indian Authors that you should read. MUST TRY!
THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS BY CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical; narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, we are — finally — given a woman’s take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata Tracing Panchaali’s life — from fiery birth and lonely childhood, where her beloved brother is her only true companion; through her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna; to marriage, motherhood and Panchaali’s secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy — The Palace of Illusions is a deeply human novel about a woman born into a man’s world — a world of warriors, gods and the ever manipulating hands of fate. ‘ A mythic tale brimming with warriors, magic and treachery.’ -Los Angeles Times. ‘A radiant entree into an ancient mythology . . . Charming and remarkable’. -Houston Chronicle. ‘A woman’s look at crime and punishment, loyalty, promises, love and vengeance . . . With The Palace of Illusions, Divakaruni has proven that her storytelling talents put her right up there with the best’ -Miami Herald
THE NAMESAKE BY JHUMPA LAHRI
Join Ashima in her journey through complex Indian situations Namesake is the brainchild of Jhumpa Lahiri. The story unfolds with Ashima’s grandmother coming to know that Ashima is pregnant. She was very excited when she came to know this and extremely happy as well on the fact that she would have the opportunity to name the family’s first Sahib. As the story unfolds, Ashima and her husband Ashok have yet not decided a name for their baby until a letter arrives from their grandmother. Join Gogol as he faces the stigma of his name and the situations that he faces.
Ashima’s father sends a letter to Baby Boy Ganguli, actually putting up the name as ‘baby boy’. But the American bureaucracy demands a name. In a hurry, they put the name ‘Gogol’ not realizing the harsh consequences that this name would have in the future. As time passes, Gogol is raised in suburban America. As he grows, he finds his name ridiculous and is reluctant to us it. His awkward name twitches him. He decides to leave behind the inherited values of Bengali lifestyle and starts on his path to find a good life and comes face to face with conflicting loyalties, love and loss along the way. Will Gogol survive the torture and make a name for himself? Gogol finds his way through complex situations and still dreams of a perfect life. Grab the book to find out how he goes along his path and will he survive with the stigma of his name?
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS BY ARUNDHATI ROY
Booker Prize winner ‘God of Small Things’ is a story about two children, Esthappen and Rahel. This was Arundhati Roy’s debut novel, in which she throws light on certain facets of life in Kerala, highlighting issues of caste system, Keralite Syrian Christian lifestyle and communism. Esthappen and Rahel at a very young age come to learn about horrifying truth of life, as they are being tortured and blamed for every misfortune. Their less than perfect life gets infected by unexpected events. Though the novel begins with Esthappen and Rahel, most of its part holds wider stories of the political events shaping the state, their parents and relatives. The darker undertones in the life of twins get more evident, as secrets, bitterness and lies destroy their world. The heat-aching story of two innocent young children will surely keep you hooked till the end and leave you searching for more.
THE WHITE TIGER BY ARAVIND ADIGA
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2008 Meet Balram Halwai, the ‘white tiger’: servant, philosopher, entrepreneur, murderer… Born in a village in the dark heart of India, the son of a rickshaw puller, Balram is taken out of school and put to work in a teashop. As he crushes coal and wipes tables, he nurses a dream of escape. His big chance comes when a rich landlord hires him as a chauffeur for his son, daughter-in-law, and their two Pomeranian dogs. From behind the wheels of a Honda, Balram sees Delhi and begins to see how the Tiger might escape his cage. For surely any successful man must spill a little blood on his way to the top? The White Tiger is a tale of two Indias. Balram’s journey from the darkness of village life to the light of entrepreneurial success is utterly amoral, brilliantly irreverent, deeply endearing and altogether unforgettable
MALGUDI DAYS BY R.K. NARAYAN
The book Malgudi Days is a collection of short stories written by R.K. Narayan and published by Indian Thought Publications in India in the year 1943. Outside India the book was republished by Penguin Classics in 1982. Malgudi days is a collection of 32 fictional stories set in a small beautiful town called Malgudi in South India. Every story is based on the problems faced by nation in general during that era.
The Malgudi Days story has been applauded round the world. Actor and director, Late Shankar Nag had directed the televised series of stories of Malgudi Days in 1986. Film-maker Kavitha Lankesh has redirected the series which was telecasted in 2006. The Malgudi Days series was very popular, do read the book and got to know more about it. Powerful, magical portraits of all kinds of people and comprising stories written over almost forty years, Malgudi Days presents Narayan’s imaginary city vividly. On R. K. Narayan’s 108th birthday Google commemorated by featuring a Google Doodle showing him behind a copy of Malgudi Days in 2014.
A HUNDRED LITTLE FLAMES BY PREETI SHENOY
Sometimes, a journey back is a step forward. When 26-year-old Ayan is sent to live with his grumpy old grandfather Gopal Shanker, in a tiny village, in Kerala, he is understandably devastated. What can a sleepy, idyllic village without even Internet connectivity offer a young man?
To make matters worse, Jairaj, Ayan’s domineering father has his own plans and is determined to have his way. Soon, Ayan has to come to terms with the hard realities of life and the blindness of greed as he and Gopal Shanker learn that life can sometimes unravel in unanticipated ways.
A young man, whose life lies ahead of him. An old man, whose life is all in the past. And a few months that change everything. A Hundred Little Flames is a charming account of a relationship across generations and also a meditative look at the issues of old people.
Preeti Shenoy’s foray into new fictional terrain is an absolute triumph!
THE ROOM ON THE ROOF BY RUSKIN BOND
A classic coming-of-age story which has held generations of readers spellbound!
Rusty, a sixteen-year-old Anglo-Indian boy, is orphaned and has to live with his English guardian in the claustrophobic European part in Dehra Dun. Unhappy with the strict ways of his guardian, Rusty runs away from home to live with his Indian friends. Plunging for the first time into the dream-bright world of the bazaar, Hindu festivals and other aspects of Indian life, Rusty is enchanted … and is lost forever to the prim proprieties of the European community.
Written when the author was himself seventeen, this moving story of love and friendship, with a new introduction and illustrations will be enjoyed by a whole new generation of readers
TRAIN TO PAKISTAN BY KHUSHWANT SINGH
The partition of India was one of the most dreadful times in the recent Indian history. Since 1950s, it has time and again been depicted in various media. However, while most of those focussed mainly on the socio-political causes and effects, the Train to Pakistan is a novel which has captured the essential human trauma and suffering in the face of such a terror and crisis.
The novel commences with a description of Mano Majra, a little village with Muslim and Sikh population that suddenly becomes a part of the border between Indian and Pakistan. An idyllic and peaceful village, Mano Majra resorted to love and harmony even at the face of all odds till external forces come and disrupted all the harmony.
The odds start when a train filled with dead bodies of Sikhs and Hindus arrive in Mano Majra. Riots and strikes reached a high with the Sikhs and Hindus being on one side and the Muslims on the other. Torn between them and their vested interests are two people—Juggut and Iqbal, the former being a criminal and the latter being a western educated fellow on a mission to reform the society. Also underlying it is a love story that transcends all religion and odds. Regarded as one of the most heart-rending testimonials of the partition of 1947, the Train to Pakistan is an ideal novel for those who wishes to learn more about India’s past and is looking for more than the socio-political scenario behind the partition.
A SUITABLE BOY BY VIKRAM SETH
‘Set in post-independence India, the novel follows for eighteen months or so four linked families in Calcutta, the province of Purva Pradesh and its capital Brahmpur, and the cities—Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow—trawled by the heroine’s mother in her search for a “suitable boy”… But the greatness of the novel, its unassailable truthfulness, owes less to research than to imagination, an instinctive knowledge of the human heart—with all its varieties of kindness and cruelty, its capacity for hurt… As with all the best books, one feels only dismay when the pages on the right of the tome start thinning out.’— The Observer
MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN BY SALMAN RUSHDIE
‘Midnight’s Children’ by the renowned author Sulman Rushdie is an epic novel that opens up with a child being born at midnight on 15th August, 1947, just at a time when India is achieving Independence from centuries of foreign British colonial rule.
Winner of Booker Prize, this book has been added in the list of Great Book of the 20th century and narrates the story of Saleem Siana and the times he lives with the newborn nation. Divided in three parts, the novel begins with the story of Siani’s family and the various events that lead to India’s independence and eventually to partition. Born precisely at the midnight, Saleem was born with telepathic powers and later discovers that all the kids born in India between 12 A.M. and 1 A.M. are impregnated with the special power.
Using his telepathic powers, he assembles a conference with all kids to reflect upon the issues like culture, linguistic, religion and political differences to shape the nation. Highlighting the relation between father and son and a nation yet in its nascent stage, it is an enchanting family adventure with lots of human drama and shocking summoning.
The novel has also been adapted as a stage show by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the year 2003.
GHACHAR GHOCHAR BY VIVEK SHANBHAG
‘It’s true what they say – it’s not we who control money, it’s the money that controls us. When there’s only a little, it behaves meekly; when it grows, it becomes brash and has its way with us.’
From a cramped, ant-infested house to a spacious bungalow, a family finds itself making a transition in many ways. The narrator, a sensitive young man, is numbed by the swirl around him. All he can do is flee every day to an old-world cafe, where he seeks solace from an oracular waiter. As members of the family realign their equations and desires, new strands are knotted, others come apart, and conflict brews dangerously in the background.
Masterfully translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur, Ghachar Ghochar is a suspenseful, playful and ultimately menacing story about the shifting consequences of success
RAAVAN- ENEMY OF ARYAVARTA BY AMISH TRIPATHI
WITHOUT THE DARKNESS, LIGHT HAS NO PURPOSE. WITHOUT THE VILLAIN, WHAT WOULD THE GODS DO? INDIA, 3400 BCE. A land in tumult, poverty and chaos. Most people suffer quietly. A few rebel. Some fight for a better world. Some for themselves. Some don’t give a damn. Raavan. Fathered by one of the most illustrious sages of the time. Blessed by the Gods with talents beyond all. Cursed by fate to be tested to the extremes. A formidable teenage pirate, he is filled with equal parts courage, cruelty and fearsome resolve. A resolve to be a giant among men, to conquer, plunder, and seize the greatness that he thinks is his right.
A man of contrasts, of brutal violence and scholarly knowledge. A man who will love without reward and kill without remorse.
This exhilarating third book of the Ram Chandra series sheds light on Raavan, the king of Lanka. And the light shines on darkness of the darkest kind. Is he the greatest villain in history or just a man in a dark place, all the time?
Read the epic tale of one of the most complex, violent, passionate and accomplished men of all time.
GODAN BY MUNSHI PREMCHAND
Godan, a story of stark realism is Premchand’s most outstanding work. It is his last completed novel which brings out the realistic interpretation of Indian village society. This is a story of people, hungry and semi starved, yet hopeful and optimistic in the truest spirit of the age it represent.
GITANJALI BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE
“Gitanjali, ” or Song Offerings, is a collection of poems translated by the author, Rabindranath Tagore, from the original Bengali. This collection won Tagore the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He was the first Asian to win the honour. These poems are primarily devotional, with mystic aura and sublimated ecstasy. They are the thoughts of a seer; the perfect union of beauty and truth in poetry from the pen of the greatest poet of modern India. While introducing this small volume to the West, W. B. Yeats wrote: “Though the work of a supreme culture, they yet appear as much the growth of the common soil as the grass and the rushes. A tradition, where poetry and religion are the same thing, has passed through the centuries, gathering from learned and unlearned metaphor and emotion and carried back again to the multitude the thought of the scholar and of the noble. “
THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF FELUDA
‘The Complete Adventures of Feluda is a book of intriguing and engrossing suspense stories written by Ray. It follows detective Feluda as he solves complex crime cases while being accompanied by his cousin Topshe and crime writer Jatayu.
THE LIVES OF OTHERS BY NEEL MUKHERJEE
Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in student unrest, agitation, extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note.
The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unraveling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider. Ambitious, rich and compassionate, The Lives of Others unfolds a family history and anatomizes a social class in all its contradictions. It asks: Can we escape what is in our blood? How do we imagine our place amongst others in the world? Can that be reimagined? And at what cost? This is a novel of rare power and emotional force.
SEA OF POPPIES BY AMITAV GHOSH
A motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts is sailing down the Hooghly aboard the Ibis on its way to Mauritius. As they journey across the Indian Ocean old family ties are washed away and they begin to view themselves as jahaj-bhais or ship brothers who will build new lives for themselves in the remote islands where they are being taken. A stunningly vibrant and intensely human work, Sea of Poppies, the first book in the Ibis trilogy confirms Amitav Ghosh’s reputation as a master storyteller.
PYRE BY PERUMAL MURUGAN
‘Pyre glows with as much power as [One Part Woman] did and adds immeasurable value to contemporary Indian literature’—The Hindu Saroja and Kumaresan are in love. After a hasty wedding, they arrive in Kumaresan’s village, harboring a dangerous secret: their marriage is an inter-caste one, likely to upset the village elders should they get to know of it. Kumaresan is naively confident that all will be well. But nothing is further from the truth. Despite the strident denials of the young couple, the villagers strongly suspect that Saroja must belong to a different caste. It is only a matter of time before their suspicions harden into certainty and, outraged, they set about exacting their revenge.
A devastating tale of innocent young love pitted against chilling savagery, Pyre conjures a terrifying vision of intolerance.
THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS BY KIRAN DESAI
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.
THE GREAT INDIAN NOVEL BY SHASHI THAROOR
In this award-winning, internationally acclaimed novel, Tharoor has masterfully recast the 2,000 year-old epic, The Mahabharata, with fictional but highly recognizable events and characters from twentieth-century Indian politics. Chronicling the Indian struggle for freedom and independence from Great Britain, Tharoor directs his hilarious satire as much against Indian foibles as the bumbling of the British rulers
DEATH- AN INSIDE STORYBYSADHGURU
Death is a taboo in most societies in the world. But what if we have got this completely wrong? What if death was not the catastrophe it is made out to be but an essential aspect of life, rife with spiritual possibilities for transcendence? For the first time, someone is saying just that.
In this unique treatise-like exposition, Sadhguru dwells extensively upon his inner experience as he expounds on the more profound aspects of death that are rarely spoken about. From a practical standpoint, he elaborates on what preparations one can make for one’s death, how best we can assist someone who is dying and how we can continue to support their journey even after death.
Whether a believer or not, a devotee or an agnostic, an accomplished seeker or a simpleton, this is truly a book for all those who shall die!
THE SHIVA TRILOGY BY AMISHTRIPTHI
The Shiva Trilogy is the tale of the extraordinary man whose adventures 4000 years ago are remembered today as the myths of the Mahadev, the God of Gods. It is chronicled through three books, The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas & The Oath of the Vayuputras. 1900 BC. When the book was published in February 2010, it went on to become a huge commercial success. It had to be reprinted a number of times to keep up with the demand. the Shiva Trilogy has become the fastest selling book series in the history of Indian publishing, with 2.5 million copies in print and over Rupees 60 crore (US$8.4 million) in sales.
So this was my list, hope you would find it helpful.
Tell me in the comment section, what do you think? And have you read any of these?