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Books that I love and why you should read them too!

Nandini Roy

10 August 2023

Growing up I was never into books. In fact, reading books for me was something that I found quite repulsive as an activity. I would be shocked or appalled when my classmates professed their love for books. But while iconic books such as the Geronimo Silton and the diary of a Wimpy Kid failed to ignite in me the passion for reading books and entering a whole new world of imagination (which to be honest is way better than the imaginative world on television), it at last was the amazing India author Anuja Chauhan who was able to make me indulge in the imaginative world of books.

The first book I ever read by her was a war-time-based romance novel named Baaz, which in English translates to Falcon. The book is set in 1972 around the time of the Bangladesh Liberation War fought between India and Pakistan over 13 days. Its main protagonists, Flying Officer Ishaan Faujdar of the Indian Air Force and Tehmina Dadyseth, a rebellious young woman’s budding romance will fill the reader with a thrill that becomes the essence of every good romance novel. But more than the romantic aspect of the book, the author has also done a brilliant task of giving each character a personality of their own thus while it may be called a romance novel because of its primary premise, it for me became more of a book of different individuals whose lives were inextricably linked. Furthermore, her choice of the title also proved to be a perfect description of the book in a single word as the readers witness Ishaan Faujdar’s life unfolding throughout. Not wanting to give away any spoilers for prospective readers of the book, I will just say that it is a must-read especially if you are a sucker like me for war-time romance novels which in a way are much more than a romance novel.

Another book that I hold very dear is the famous novel Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, jumping straight from a romance novel to a heavy novel like The Kite Runner that talks about an individual’s evolution, about regret, of sorrow, and of grief is quite bizarre in my opinion but while Baaz was about romance in 1972, the Kite Runner brings forth a very different picture. It does not talk about romance or about happily ever afters but brings with it a story that never fails to make my chest heavy. Houssaini’s work is brilliant in the sense that the countless times I have read the book, I have always felt like I shared the burden of the story that unfolded in the book. The Kite Runner is a story about Amir and the complexities of his relationships with Hasan, his half-brother, his father (Baba), and later with his wife and the world in general. Set in Afghanistan and the United States between the 1960s to the 2000s, the book unfurls a tale of sorrow and grief. The best description I can provide for the book without letting a few spoilers from creeping in is that Khalid Housseini didn’t fail to bring out for the readers the complex nature of human relationships in a very simple and straightforward manner. The story of Amir and Hasan shows the harsh realities of the world and presents to the reader a beautifully devastating book to its readers.

Similar to Kite Runner is another book by Hossaini named A thousand splendid suns that I think brought a big shift in me, especially as a woman. The book has a similar setup to The Kite Runner. Set in Afghanistan between the 1960s and 1990s the book continues to humble me by reminding me how privileged I am to be a woman of the 21st century. Based on the story of two women Mariam and Laila, it is a remarkable book based on the hardships and plight of women in a ‘wounded country.’ With the general premise being how Mariam being an illegitimate daughter is subjected to the cruelty of the world and is married off to an older man following which she becomes a victim of abuse, and how Laila, a young ambitious girl is married off to the same man later in the story and she too becomes a victim of abuse, the story brings out emotions of sorrow, grief and even of hope. While a big yet promising (as it may make you want to read the book even if you aren’t looking for a heavy read) spoiler from the book is that both the women in a way attain happiness at the end. While Marian, some may debate, has a sad ending, I think that with her death she finally gets the liberation and peace that she always desired for. So even though the book is a heavy read and brings with it several emotions which may come across as being juxtaposed, it is a brilliant piece that deserves to be read.

Finally, a fourth book that I think deserves to be mentioned is the classic Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. It is a gothic historical fiction telling the tale of an orphaned young girl named Jane Eyre who has been a victim of domestic abuse since her childhood by her cruel aunt and her children giving it a cinderella-e ting, but stay hold because it is not a mere romance novel where a prince charming shows up on a high horse. The book focuses on different times of her life in England. First as a ward in her late uncle’s house where she is inflicted with varying degrees of abuse, then as a student in the Lowood institution, a school for poor and orphaned girls where she witnesses the loss of a friend that forms a big part of her personality as a whole, and finally as a governess. The book though has a romantic plot as well between Jane and her employer Mr Rochester, more than a romance novel, it is about a strong woman who becomes a fine example of bravery and courage. Though Jane fights no actual battles or learns how to use a sword (since this is how patriarchy defines bravery), her personality as portrayed by Charlotte Brontë becomes the symbol of a courageous woman as I may call it. Jane shows emotions of courage, bravery, ambition, love, and humbleness despite her harsh childhood, and while being emotional she defies patriarchy by being strong, courageous, and practical, thus making Jane Eyre a must-read for everyone looking for a wholesome book.


I hope you all liked the books I recommended! Let me know in the comments below what books you guys would recommend!!

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