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  • Shivani Singh

Best books for travelling!

You know what is one of my favourite things about travelling? It is is that I suddenly have so much time to read.

Whether it’s on a plane or a cruise, an overnight train or probably just while waiting at the airport, a good book can really keep yourself entertained and spare you from getting bored. And I am going to give the list of my fav books that have really helped me to sail through those boring parts of my various journeys.

So, without further delay, below is the list:

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: I finished this one my trip to Trinidad. The journey was long and this book is actually massive so they both complimented each other. They say you either love this book or hate it. And I loved it totally! Its engrossing and unputdownable. It is a story of an escaped convict from an Australian prison, hoping to hide in India’s vast populace. I simply loved the complexities and nuances beautifully embedded throughout this piece!

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: I am a sucker for romantic novels, yes guilty as charged but can’t help it! Even if you have seen the movie, please read this book, its beautifully written. The story will take your breath away! Well, I am assuming you know the story about Noah and Allie so will not dig deeper but if you are a lover of love stories like me – take this one with you in your next travel!

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: Well, I might be a bit biased towards this one as Rohinton Mistry is my fav authors! I love his work, its intense, its dipped with the right amount of reality and clarity. And A fine balance is my fav piece from Rohinton. This magnificent piece captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India in the 70’s and 80’s.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This is a beautifully crafted story in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. Its emotional! While reading this one, be ready to shed few tears because at few place, it will rip your heart. It is an unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant. Its one of all time favs

A Song of Ice and Fire by Ken Follett: Once in a while a book comes along that grips you entirely, making it impossible to concentrate on other mundane things. Well, this series of epic fantasy novels did exactly that to me. The series deals with the economic, political and social incidents that marked the last century. The wars, the cold wars, the conflict between communism and democracy, fights for the civil rights, Revolutions in different parts of the world etc. Go read it!

Roll of the Dice and Rise of Kali by Anand Neelakantan:This book is enough to alter and shake all your prejudices and beliefs about Indian mythology. There is nothing new in the story or the incidents, Its Mahabharata, which we have grown up reading and watching again and again… The same story, same incidents, same characters, same drama, same plot, same conspiracies, same events, there is nothing different, absolutely nothing, apart from one thing, and this one thing has the capability to change your perspective about the ‘same’ old story and ‘same’ monotonous incidents entirely! And the thing I am talking about is that this Mahabharata is written from Suryodhana’s (yes it is not Duryodhana) point of views, the view of the fallen, the view of the defeated. This book, somehow makes you believe in a very old saying, “The history is written by the people who are left and not by who are right”

Timepass: the memoirs of Protima Bedi: Its beautiful, emotional, different, unique and yes, insane. This lady has lived many lifetimes in just one lifetime! Was fearless of everything. So bluntly, she has mentioned each and everything about her life in this book: her affairs (with the names: few famous ones!), her feelings, her fickle mindedness, her search for the perfect man, the ‘n’ no of times she had fallen in love. If you are a crazy person like me who just hates to be live the cage this world has set us to be in, then this book is for you!

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: If you haven’t read this one, please take it to your next vacation. Its a classic and aa must must read. Believe me, this novel has a power to change a person’s prospective towards life. I would say this is a very strong, influential and intense piece which really deserves a lot of appreciation. It is a story about an architect Howard Roark who is also the protagonist. Its about his individualism and perseverance. 

The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Triology) by Amish Tripathi: So I am a big big fan of Indian mythology, specially when its told from a very different perspective, and this one tops the chart – hand down! It will keep you engaged till the last word – trust me. Amish Tripathi weaves a splendid but totally fictional & fantasized account of Shiva’s travails. But use of the same characters, places and names which are associated with Lord Shiva -Mansarovar, Sati, Nandi, Daksh, Gunas, makes the whole story very believable and easy to relate to. This novel will compel you to fantasize and image the whole setup while reading!

Ram, Sita, Raavan by Amish Tripathi: These are 3 different books called as The Ram Chandra Series and narrates the story of the protagnists (well, the names of the book) from a very different perspectives – that you would have never thought or heard about. You will enjoy reading these

Not without my daughter by Betty Mahmoody: This is one of fav books of all times. This is one book which shook me from head to toe!This is said to be a true story of a woman Betty Mahmoody who goes to Iran with her Iranian husband to meet his family. It a story of hardships, survival, cultural differences which a woman face on a land which she would have never imagined if she wouldn’t have experienced the same by herself! It’s a sad story. You just feel almost in tears at many stages but then the ending surely makes you smile! 

Empire of the Moghul (Ruler of the world) by Alex Rutherford: Now another genre that I love is period drama! And this book is such a perfect eg of it. The novel gives a very detailed reflection of Akbar’s life, about his thoughts, about his personality, his likes, dislikes, his priorities etc. If you like reading history, you will surely love this one book. I specially loved the War scenes, they have been so amazingly described by the author that at times, you imagine the war being happening in front of your eyes. I even loved the way the author had woven the whole thing of relationships. He has so beautifully described the feelings and the emotions that bound different relations of a mother and a son, a husband and a wife, a ruler and his concubines, a father and a son and an emperor and the people. Its simply fabulous the way the author has described the feelings and insecurities of young Salim. It is just incomparable to anything! Ruler of the world is actually 3rd novel in the series of Empire of the Moghul. First one being Raiders from the north and second one is Brothers at war. The former one is about Babur who was the first Mughal emperor and the later one is about his son and his successor Humayun.

Few other favs of mine that I read recently are:

  1. Karna’s wife

  2. The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph

  3. Selection Day by Aravind Adiga

  4. The Weary Generations by Abdullah Hussein

  5. The Gospel of Yudas by K R Meera 

  6. The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur

  7. Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan

  8. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  9. Narasimha (The Mahaavatar Trilogy #1) by Kevin Missal

So thats my list! Do let me know about yours 🙂



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