I heard bout Flipkart.com from Anju and that site has changed my life. All the books that I have been searching for since centuries, are now sitting prettily on my book shelf. Landmark is a thing of the past now... in fact Landmark is not what it used to be anymore, they do not seem to have stock on most of the good books. So I am deliriously thankful to the creators of flipkart, I seriously love you guys... continue with your fabulous work.
Talking of books, here are a few people who have enriched my life with their recommendations of the written word...
- My brother Manoj for buying the 'The Partner' by John Grisham. Now I hadn't heard of Grisham before so the book was just lying there at home. One day I got bored and picked it up, that was the start of my love affair with Grisham and legal thrillers in general. This was the first John Grisham book I read and it was in a word mindblowing. I couldn't set the book down, my heart was racing away with Patrick Lanigan (the protagonist) on his incredible journey. I love that guy Patrick, he's only a character but he's got me through many things in life. Anyway after that, I got hooked to John Grisham and his other novels (prior to The Partner) were deadly exciting too... though 'The Partner' and 'The Street Lawyer' remain my favorite. Recently he hasn't been writing all that well though, his recent books lack the excitement and the adrenalin rush of his earlier novels. So you might wanna stick to his older well known and well loved legal thrillers.
- My sister Nameeta introduced me to Harlan Coben and I love this guy! Man! he sure can keep you guessing till the very last page... his books are intense thrillers and you can't set them down. Everything is fast paced, and you get so sucked into the novel that you seem like a zombie to the rest of the world (this will irritate the people around you and they will threaten to destroy your library membership card... but nothin registers cause you are right there in the middle of the story waiting with bated breath to see what happens next). I read 'Gone for Good' recently by Harlan Coben and absolutely loved it, another book that was equally exciting was 'The Woods'.
- My cousin Tina... I don't know where to start with her. Since before I can remember we have been exchanging and discussing books. Back in school we were crazy bout Malory Towers, Twins at St. Clare's, Naughtiest Girl in school and the whole Enid Blyton series. In our teens we used to exchange Hardy Boys (I had a crush on one of the hardy boys... can't remember if it was Frank or Joe) and Nancy Drew books... those were some good times. Whenever I go visiting the cousins in Bombay I find books lying all over her place and that's how I came across Maeve Binchy and Joy Fielding. I totally adore Maeve Binchy, her books are large and full of joy... she writes simple stories bout people and their lives. Its like sitting in a park or in a station and you see some people that catch your interest and you wonder how their lives are... you wish you could know their story. That's how her books are, they bring a smile to your face. Joy Fielding on the other hand is totally different, she writes psychological thrillers... her books are suspenseful page turners. I've read only a few of them, and she really plays with her characters mind and you get caught in between. The whole experience is totally unnerving, you get so damn scared and you can't set the book down... I love that bout her, she grips you by the bones and shakes you. Anyway, you should check out 'See Jane Run' and 'Kiss Mommy Goodbye' which are bound to keep you on edge. And if you are interested in Maeve Binchy you should read Evening Class, Circle of Friends and Tara Road to name a few.
- Anju my pal from college gave me some the most supernaturally and spiritually exciting books that I've ever read like The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike and I loved them. Pike's novels seem to encompass time, eternity, cosmos, universe... stuff like that, stuff too large to comprehend and that's what I love bout him... he makes you think, takes you on a thrilling ride through time and space and its exhilarating. You feel different after reading his books... I can't quite explain it but its as though you've seen things, you know things and you know why you are here, you just have to read his books to understand what I'm saying. I remember reading 'Sati' and being blown away by it... its a story bout a girl who claims to be God and its so invigoratingly simple. Anju seems to have set me off on many series... like the Vampire series by Pike, then The Great Brain Series by J.D. Fitzgerald and the Harry Potter series. The Great Brain series are a riot of fun and laugher, it is loosely based on the author's mischievous brother Tom Dennis Fitzgerald... I love this series, the way the author describes life back in 1890's is interesting and the escapades of the author and his brothers makes for a very delightful read. Anju was the one who got us (me and shil) started on Harry Potter before it became a world wide phenomenon. One day in college she was talking about this boy Harry and how he attends a wizardry school and she was like why can't our college be more exciting like that. She lent us the book and we muggles got caught in the magic of JK Rowling... until the book achieved cult status and that's when the series went downhill after the third book. But the first three books were exciting and fascinating and I grew to love Ron, Hermoine, the twins, the magic and all the charms and the way she used words like You-Know-Who, dementors, patronus, muggle, quidditch, gryffindor, slytherin to name a few. Anju also got me started on Michael Crichton and that guy is amazing, some of his books like The Lost World, The Sphere, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Timeline and A Case of Need are wonderfully written, most of them are either scientific or medical thrillers. His books keep you hooked and you learn something intellectual along the way. His most recent books aren't all that great though, he kinda lost his touch with all the fame and seemed to write more for the big screen than for the joy of reading. Crichton is still a great author and I hope that he is happy roaming the skies with the creatures he brought to life from eons ago.
- Shilpa another pal from college is a sucker for anything romantic and because of her I've come across many a good Mills and Boons. She also gave me The Heiress to read, this book by Jude Deveraux is about mistaken identity and its very entertaining. Another great book that Shil recommended and that I absolutely love is 'This Heart of Mine' by Susan E. Philips. Shil mailed me an ebook copy last year and I was hooked to it at work, it's hilariously entertaining and the flawed characters are endearing... I had a hard time trying to stifle my laughter at work. This book is a refreshing take on modern romance and the way she starts each chapter is interesting, this book is a real treasure.
- Mithun a junior in college who lived in my colony gave me The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes one day and that was the start of my obsession with Arthur Conan Doyle and his most famous character Sherlock Holmes. I totally love the author and I revere Sherlock Holmes, no other character even compares to him. If there was one character I could wish to life, it would undoubtedly be Sherlock Holmes... such is the mastery of Sir Conan Doyle who created one of the most exceptionally intelligent and beloved characters of all time.
- Abid a friend from my days in Bangalore gave me Princess and its actually a true story bout the life of a Saudi Princess. This book is truly captivating, it shows you the atrocities meted out to muslim women in this time and age. A real Saudi princess has told her story anonymously to the author Jean Sasson and its heart-wrenching. On the surface everything seems fine enough, the daughters of the ruling sheikh's have everything that money can buy except pure love and happiness. They hop on a jet and go to Paris to do their shopping, they are filthy stinking rich yet they do not have the basic respect and freedom as human beings, they live in a polygamous society and are often married off at a very young age. They are royals yet live like birds in a golden cage... its a sordid tale of what goes on behind the veil.
- Deepak a friend at work has given me many interesting books to read like Agatha Christie's 'And then there were none' and Jeffrey Archer's 'Not a penny more not a penny less'. These books are sure to keep you engrossed and happy, I love them both. He also suggested 'The Bridges of Madison County' by Robert James Waller, its a poignant love story very beautifully and lyrically penned. This guy Waller sure knows how to string words together, take a look at this: candles of sunlit frost melting upon the green grass of summer and the red leaves of autumn. Isn't that pretty...
- Mother Magdalene, the Mother Superior in the special school I used to work in earlier is an avid reader too and she told me bout the works of A J Cronin. Now his books are hard to find, but when I got hold of a few of them from the library it was like falling in love. I loved his Keys of the Kingdom, Adventures of a black bag, The Citadel and Adventures in Two Worlds. Adventures in Two Worlds in kinda like his biography and I admire the guy for the kind of person that he is, I love the way he writes... in fact I think I really love the guy. If there was one author I could meet, it would have to be Archibald Joseph Cronin.
I did not intend for this post to be so long... apparently when it comes to books I don't know when to shut up.