Monday, March 09, 2009

list: 5 must read books

Kanchan at Elan and I have decided to start a monthly feature where we make lists of a certain topic and post on our blogs. We are both into list-mania, for no reason other than the simple exercise of cataloging things we like, things we don't like, things we ought to have done, things we are doing and so on!

The first of this series is on....surprise, surprise.......books, specifically books that have impacted us, affected us and stayed with us long after we finished reading. In essence, books that we highly recommend to everyone!

Here is my list:

1) My number one recommendation is Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. This book is about one man's unexpected journey to build schools and educate young girls in remote villages of Pakistan. This book grows on you and does not let you forget it for a long, long time. In keeping with the thought of the book, it has been lent to people continuously after I finished reading it. My full review is here.

2) The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. This book made an impact and changed the way people thought of global business. Very well written, it's not your regular 'business' book, but extremely readable and quite gripping. Since I have read this book, I have been a lot more interested in reading books of this genre.

3) East of Eden by John Steinbeck. A classic written in the classic style. A saga about a family and how it survives in a tumultuous time. After reading so many new authors, it was great to go back to a legend.

4) Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I read this in October 2000 and since then I have been hooked to travel reading, but this still remains my all-time favorite. I loved this book for how effortlessly it transports you to your own imaginary villa in Tuscany.

5) Kulanthapitha, the end of the habitable world by Penelope Chetwood. This is an astounding book written about her journey from Simla to Kulu over the Jalori pass accompanied by two mules and porters, a journey that she once did in grand style as the daughter of Sir Philip Chetwood, Commander-in-Chief of India during the 1930s. Chetwood Hall at IMA in Dehradun is named after him. I loved this book because of its setting and because it really goes into everything about the region, the flora and fauna, the geography, the history, and my favorite, the architecture of traditional Kulu style houses and temples.

I think a good book is one that is not only meaningful but also connects with you personally, one that you keep recommending to everyone and one that keep going back to.

More pics and reviews from my flickr set on books.

Updated at 930 am Tuesday, 10th March:
Read Kanchan's list on Elan.

Updated at 12noon on Tuesday, 17th March:
Read Lakshmi's list on Celebrations of Life


अविनाश said...

excelent idea

Shalini said... join in!

Anonymous said...

Impressive List here…..Well, Three Cups of Tea and Under the Tuscan Sun are my favs too. I completely agree with you on them.

Rest I guess are added to my ‘Must Read List’ :-)


Shalini said...

Thanks Kanchan! It's nice to go back and evaluate the ones that have really made an impact.

Anonymous said...

i have read three cups of tea from your list...i will pick up the rest :)
thanks this is a wonderful idea :)

Shalini said...

That's great! Glad you liked it.

Kits said...

Ah Shalini. The 1st one I would abs agree with and number 5 is something that sounds right up my alley. Will scrounge around for it. Nice one this is.

Shalini said...

Hello! As soon as I saw the photo of Heena on your blog, I knew who you were :-)

Number five can be hard to find...I was lent a copy by someone who loved the hills like me, then found an old copy in my grandfather's library and then stumbled upon a new copy at a bookstore in Simla.

Do join in making the list too....I'm sure your list would be pretty interesting!

Anonymous said...

This is my first time here but love it already. The Kerala pictures are amazing as is your header.

Arch at Rang said...

A few I have read..the rest let me add to "my list" ;-))

Shalini said...

Thanks and Welcome Aditi! Flickr has been a great impetus to take an increased interest in photography!

Arch: That's great! My list is getting super long lately!

bindu said...

I was glad to note that I hadn't read any of your five books! Now I have five new books to explore ... thanks!

Shalini said...

Yay, that's great Bindu. I love finding new ones to add to my list as well!

Lakshmi -Celebrations of Life said...

Have read some from your list.I am adding them to my list.I hope you will not be surprised at my favourites.Now I am into my husbands collection of books,wherein I find many interesting.He is an avid reader.

Shalini said...

Thanks Lakshmi....I like going through my hubby's collection fact I started reading biographies and current affairs through him. Looking forward to your list!

Leslie said...

I just finished Three Cups of Tea and it was excellent! I've also read East of Eden and Under the Tuscan Sun and loved them both. Thanks for the ideas for other new reads!

Shalini said...

Hey Leslie, thanks for visiting! I love adding books to my list too!