With thousands of books being released every month by multiple publishing houses, it’s really hard to pick a good title from a bookshop. Sometimes, it just makes sense to reread a book that you loved instead of spending money on a new book that may turn out to be disappointing. Here’s our list of our 10 favourite books.
1. The English Patient
For all those who were too young, when the English Patient film came out and didn’t get to see it, you couldn’t be luckier. Because now you can read the book before you watch Ralph Fiennes in action. Written by Sri Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje and set during World War II, the story is about a critically burnt man and his Canadian nurse who are both enveloped in the pain of their past.
2. The Reader
This is a novel written by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink. The story deals with the difficulties faced by post-war German generations in comprehending the Holocaust. Schlink’s book was well-received in his native country and won several awards. The Reader’s film adaptation, which was released in 2008 and directed by Stephen Daldry, was nominated for five Academy Awards.
3. The Dying Animal
There isn’t a better novella out there than this one. Written by US writer Philip Roth, it tells the story of a 70-year old literature professor David Kepesh who falls in lust with one of his younger students named Consuela Castillo and an erotic liaison is formed between the two.
Kamila Shamsie is one of the few female authors of the 90s who managed to get Pakistan on the literary map. Shamsie’s Kartography is a literary masterpiece and her passion and love for her city Karachi is evident in her every sentence, page and chapter.
5. Who Moved My Cheese?
Dr Spencer Johnson knows how to get through to people who are resistant to change. And he does that simply by relating the parables of four mice in their search for cheese. This motivational book can easily be applied to personal as well as professional relationships, goals and failures.
6. The End of the Affair
There is no emotion like jealousy. And Graham Greene is the kind of author who can translate the power of that emotion onto paper. The book, which was originally published in 1951, was also adapted into films in 1955 and 1999. Set in London during and after World War II, it tells the story of writer Maurice Bendrix, Sarah Miles and her husband, civil servant Henry Miles.
7. Moth Smoke
Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke told the story of a marijuana-smoking ex-banker in post-nuclear-test Lahore who falls in love with his best friend’s wife and becomes a heroin addict. It was published in 2000 and quickly became a hit in Pakistan and India.
Elizabeth Gilbert has mastered the art of writing memoirs. If Eat, Pray, Love wasn’t brilliant enough, she topped herself with Committed. This book discusses in great detail the tradition and history behind marriage. She intricately weaves this information with the situations she experienced herself while tying the knot.
9. Home Boy
In Home Boy, HM Naqvi provides a new voice, a new way of examining and understanding the life of Muslims in New York City after 9/11. It is the voice of the young, hip male trying to blend into a new and different world, a world removed from life in Karachi.
10. Starry Nights
Starry Nights was acclaimed writer and columnist Shobha De’s second novel. It is said that the novels’ characters, Aasha Rani and her lover Akshay, were based on the real life love affair of Amitabh Bachchan with Rekha. It was a bestseller in India and cemented its author’s reputation as provocative and daring.
(With additional information from Amazon.com)
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.