Summers are typically a beautiful time to read, and an even better time to start reading if you plan to. I have been reading since as long as I can remember, and the impact of books in my life simply cannot be overstated.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… the man who never reads lives only one”
When something like this comes from the guy who made the world of Game of Thrones (for the uninitiated, that’s George RR Martin), it means something, doesn’t it? Readers will agree with me, and as for non-readers, well I’m just sorry for you.
Here is a small list of probably the most influential books I’ve read in the summers, in order of simplicity in reading:
1. Chicken Soup for the Soul – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
These were my favorite books growing up, especially Part I and the Teenage Soul Series. The best part about the books is its core concept of short stories contributed by real people going through the same experiences and emotions. You can totally relate to every word! It is an excellent book for beginners, and it is one of the rare books I go back to when I’m in the mood. I’ve also got my favorite stories bookmarked! :P. Every story is unique and personal, and they teach you so much about love, family, hardships, loss, meeting challenges and learning from life. If you have vowed to start reading this summer, here is a perfect book to begin with!
2. The Harry Potter Epics – J K Rowling
Yes, I call them epics, because that’s what they are! A fantastic journey spread across Seven Masterpieces. Luckily for people of my age-group, we grew up alongside Harry. So many stories of my childhood can be directly credited to the books. It stunningly portraits the several personalities of humankind – the good in the bad, and the bad in the good. No matter what your age-group is, if you have not read HP before, drop everything else and start. I promise you, it would be a memorable summer.
3. Paths of Glory – Jeffrey Archer
This book introduced me to Jeffrey Archer. He is one author you ABSOLUTELY MUST read, although his writing style does get a little repetitive after the first few novels. However, there is no denying the brilliant characters that he portrays in his novels – he makes you want to be like one of them! Hardworking, passionate and extremely successful (eventually). This one is based on the true story of George Mallory and his attempt at Mt. Everest nearly 30 years before Edmund Hillary in 1953. The plot is typical Archer-isque – a grand, almost larger-than-life journey that spans a lifetime. If you have not read a book by this author before, start with this one.
4. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
Arguably the best book I have read till date. Although it might be a tad exaggerated, the incredible journey of an escaped Australian convict for 10 years in the Golden Age (‘80s) of the Bombay Underworld is tragic, philosophical, surreal, romantic and heartbreaking; and leaves you wanting more . Roberts has an uncanny perspective about the world, and it is amazing how he can find something positive and happy in every experience. Every character in the book is so delicately described. And I also might be a bit biased towards this book because it depicts Bombay, my beloved birthplace, like never before. If you have just started reading novels, it might be a bit too much for you (953 pages, to be exact), but otherwise, try this one even if it is the only book you read this summer.
5. Behind the Beautiful Forevers – Katherine Boo
Another spectacular depiction of Bombay, but in a stark contrast to the sunny and jubilant Shantaram. It describes the life in a poor Bombay slum with harrowing authenticity. What is even more enthralling is that every incident in the book is true. Katherine herself stayed in the particular slum for years, gathering stories and accounts for the novel. It describes how all law and policies break down at the lower echelons of the society, where Cash becomes King, and how all sympathy and morality take the back seat. One for the more regular readers, this book was shortlisted for the Pulitzer. Need we say any more?
So, when are you planning to start reading your first summer book? How was your experience reading the first book? Comment below and let us know. 😀