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Some of the Best Books I Have Read – Part -3 November 14, 2009

Posted by Chatore Diaries in animal, bram, code, dracula, farm, feynmann, god's debris da vinci, riots, shantaram, shashi, stoker, tharoor.
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Finally. After a long long time I am back. And with the third part of the series. And maybe the last. So here goes…

* Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts – Genre – Autobiographical: I believe that not many books have been able to capture the attention of Indian readers mind as fiercely as this one did. The exploits of Australian convict in Aamchi Mumbai is filled with moments of joy, despair, fear and courage. Part fact and part fiction, it is remarkable what all a man will do for survival. This is one such survivor’s story. Replete with funny moments, this book is captivating to say the least.

* 1984 – George Orwell; Genre – Fiction: This book published in 1949, painted the societal picture that would exist in 1984 – a good 35 years earlier. It portrayed the society to be living under a totalitarian regime in 1984, where all citizens would be under constant surveillance. Everyone would have a single job, and would be expected to behave in a particular manner. Any deviations would draw severe punishments from the government. The protagonist is a civil servant whose sole job is to modify historical records to suit the current propaganda. Tired of his monotonous life, the protagonist plans a rebellion. After reading this book, you will thank your stars for having born in a democracy- however corrupt it may be. I do.

* Alexander – Valerio Massimo Manfredi; Genre – Historical Fiction: The story of one of the greatest warriors and statesmen of all times. Alexander is a series of three parts, each describing the different stages of the warrior’s life. It is an inspiring and very well told account of a man, for who, honor is above all else. Loyalty, honesty, courage, betrayal, love are at the core of this narrative. The author has done his research thoroughly, and has presented us with what I call ‘Gems for Generations’ to come. Don’t miss this series.

* Animal Farm – George Orwell; Genre – fiction: – Animal Farm is political satire at its BEST. It cannot get any better than this. Picture this – a bunch of animals living in a farm. They have some level of intelligence, and hence decide to form a government. All hopes of Utopia are squashed because of the corrupt, stupid, and highly selfish interests of some animals. This book has parallels with humans, specifically our politicians, and draws on their innate characteristics to tell a story that will never go out of style. Because Politicians will never change. 🙂 And guess what, this book, was banned in the Eastern bloc till 1989. Imagine what must have been the significance of its publication on the government there.

* Riots – Shashi Tharoor; Genre – Fiction: A beautiful story of hope and hopeless-ness. The story of a riot ripped town, and an American student who is a victim of the riots. The uniqueness of this book lies in how it is written. It is in the form of multiple diaries, which bring out the inner most feelings and thoughts of all characters, lending the book an almost living quality about it. You can feel the book’s heartbeat between the pages, and the shallow breathing emanating throughout the story.

* Dracula – Bram Stoker; -Genre – Fiction: – So you think you know who or what Dracula is? You think he is only the greatest blood sucking ‘thing’ in the world? Well you are in for a surprise then. Dracula, or Count Dracula is nothing like the general perception that has been created about him. Sure he drinks blood, and has immense powers, but he is also a romantic at heart, smart and very very difficult to get hold off.. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is what I call a masterpiece. It is spooky, dark and full of moments where you WILL reach out for the nape of your neck; look around to see if there is anyone behind your back, getting ready to bite into you, and turn you into the living dead. Beware, read at your own risk, and keep plenty of garlic on you. Best of Luck.

* Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman -Richard Feynman; Genre- Autobiographical: Who said Scientists cannot be fun? This one sure had a lot of fun in between discoveries. The book is the life story of a Richard Feynman- a Nobel Prize winning Physicist. The book is peppered with funny instances and eccentricities that can only come from being a scientist. It is a light book with plenty of ‘ I wish I could do that do’ moments. Enjoy.

* Da Vinci Code – Do I need to say anything? Anything at all for this one?

* God’s Debris – Scott Adams -Genre – I don’t know: So you thought this guy was good with Dilbert kinda stuff only. So did I. And boy was I mistaken! This particular book, is about a lot of things, and as the author like to point out in the beginning, suitable for people only above 14 years of age, since they would (hopefully) have the maturity levels to understand the discussion. Like I was saying this book is about beliefs, religion, philosophy, good arguments, judgment and everything in between. This book will force you to question what you think you know. It will make you question your beliefs and the validity of those beliefs. I will make you wonder if you really have a free will. Or if you have been pre-programmed to think the way you do, act the way you’re supposed to. A quote from the book that does not leave me- “When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.”. Go figure. And read it.