Guwahati: Reading books or rather novels have been a favourite pastime of many. Good books allow us to lose ourselves inside yet find ourselves as well. Confusing, right? Well, that’s an experience every bibliophile would be able to relate to.
With the terrifying coronavirus aka COVID-19 pandemic, it’s best to confine ourselves to our own dwellings and actually follow social distancing. The entire nation is starting to confine themselves for damage control.
Now, for book lovers, this is a perfect opportunity to brush yourself up with some literature pieces. So, here are a few recommendations from one bibliophile to another
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Starting off with a real head scratcher, here is a 1981 novel by Indian author Salman Rushdie which deals with India’s transition from British colonialism to partition of India and well independence as well. Mixing historical events with postmodern and magical realism reading this book makes one lose their grip in time as it weaves through different time periods with ease. A definite read at times like this as you have plenty of time and want to escape to another reality.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Want a book that literally makes you feel that you are on a journey as well? Then search no further as Kafka takes you on a journey through the streets of Nakano ward to the Komura Memorial Library in Takamatsu and even taste the local delicacies. If I seem carried away it is because I am. Such is the power of Murakami, his attention to mudane details and ability to combine popular culture, magical realism, suspense, humor, an involved plot and sexuality is incomparable. It’s difficult to sum it up in a few words as it is filled with riddles and sometimes its those riddles that help you find an answer. A book that must be read more times then one.
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
This 2014 novel moves back and forth between the first days of a pandemic that ends civilization, and the long aftermath, as small groups of survivors try to rebuild. Yes, I know what you are thinking, pandemic- check end of civilization- yet to determine. However, a perfect book for these days which brings in topics that seems alarmingly plausible now. Once you start it, you will not be able to stop thinking about it.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Now if you want to escape in the era of Victorian England then this Oscar Wilde classic masterpiece is what I offer to you. The story revolves around and young and handsome (but turns to become morally corrupt as the story progresses) Dorian Gray who has his portrait made. Taking in the hedonistic world of the painter’s aristocratic friend Lord Henry Wotton that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life, Dorian sells his soul to the picture so that he remains young forever unlike his portrait. This book created quite a critical turmoil during its publication and is surely a worthwhile lonely and dark read.
The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre
Last but certainly not the least, this non-fiction thriller set in the 80s puts even fiction writers to shame. It involves Thatcher, Putin and a bunch of villainous double agents, MI5 and KGB. This book cannot be described in few lines and even if I do it will almost give away the plot.