10 books to reread this summer

Published: May 7, 2012

When new books fail to move, go back to the oldies. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

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.

4. Kartography

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.

8. Committed

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.

Reader Comments (7)

  • May 7, 2012 - 10:30PM

    I would not recommend anyone Starry Nights. The book has nothing to offer but handsome amount of flarancy and gaudy imagry. But good list, I have read most of them, but committed , Kartography and Home boy are taken note. Thanks for the recommendations. It was a good read.

    Recommend

  • BlackJack
    May 7, 2012 - 11:59PM

    Can’t believe that any recommended list would contain a book by Shobhaa De. I assumed when you mentioned old books that they would contain classics and not relatively new books along with some chick lit. Michael Ondaatje and Graham Greene are stand-out classics; Philip Roth is a good writer but enjoys shocking the reader and plays the Jew card too often; I like Mohsin Hamid although he doesn’t fall within the same league as the 3 listed above; the Reader was an excellent movie – gave a fillip to the book and author just like Schindler’s List’s release did for Thomas Kenneally.

    Recommend

  • May 8, 2012 - 1:15PM

    I was looking for Self Help/Motivational books but unfortunately only one (5. Who Moved My Cheese?) was included.

    Recommend

  • sidjeen
    May 8, 2012 - 1:21PM

    i would rather suggest every one to read Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

    Recommend

  • ashar
    May 8, 2012 - 1:51PM

    Who would have the patience to reread the reader

    Recommend

  • @plarkin
    May 8, 2012 - 10:27PM

    Elizabeth Gilbert is rubbish. Eat, Pray, Love was atrocious – the movie even worst (if that’s possible).

    Recommend

  • Bakht Ansari
    May 19, 2012 - 9:39PM

    @sidjeen:
    Sorry, Cannot get Any Rushdie novels in Pakistan, even as sublime as Midnight’s Children! I wonder if they will release the movie by Seema Mehta coming this summer..

    Recommend

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