I was recently asked ( considering I last posted less than 24 hours ago stating it should be a while till my next post , the word recently should be taken to mean in the last few hours) about the absence of the more standard authors in my blog, authors that most avid readers in India grow up with. This question made me start forming this post in my head. I realise that hearing your own voice is addictive and will try to reign in my gusto and will definitely not post for the next few days.
Going back to the question, I have not read any of my older standard authors this year yet and hence their absence. But this post ( I am leaving it open for part II in case I feel like it) is about those books that shaped not only my reading drive but also me as a person ( a little heavy I know, bear with me it will get lighter).
I wish I was going to follow-up the above statement with some profound books like Gone with the wind, Wuthering Heights, David Copperfield or Jane Eyre but unfortunately these are not what I inhaled during my school days. ( in my defence, I have read these books just not in the same way)
The start of it all ( I believe I read a lot of comics in Hindi when I first learnt my letters but lost touch with reading hindi way back in school and I switched to English) has to be awarded to Famous Five . I was lucky enough to be given the first book( Yay parents!) and I worked my way down the series ( My companions through chicken pox and more) . Other Enid Blyton must mentions are the five find outers and Malory Towers/ St Clare’s( I wanted to go to a hostel just because of that series). These are books I do re read when I feel like a pick me up. By the time middle school rolled around I was neck-deep in Agatha Christie ( and sometimes Perry Mason which is not in the same level of brilliance and hence I have not touched since). I found the rich character description and their interactions the best part of Hercule Poirot though I had to finish high school to enjoy Miss Marple.
Then ( please imagine the ‘Then’ in capitals and looming larger than the other words) I borrowed Anne of Green Gables ( By LM Montgomery) from a classmate. It introduced me to a joy of reading I did not know I had been missing,If you have not read it and need a fresh lease on life, read Anne, savour every description and it will all be worth it. Anne has been the start of a few of my best friendships and I would read it again any given day.
P.G Wodehouse the God of sarcasm was a late entry into my tale , only because I tried him too early. My childish brain could not grasp the nuances of his talent and I dropped it. Around the time I started Jeffrey Archer with his life long sagas making books interesting I was tasked with trying Wodehouse again by my aunt ( a die-hard fan!). My writing was definitely never the same after Wodehouse.( please attribute the length of my sentences to my attempt at trying to find even the slightest of the Wodehouse charm)
Sherlock Holmes got me into mystery and fine art of deception by a writer. When they feign left and go right you are left stunned in your seats!
James Herriot is a slightly lesser known author in our age group ( another aunt almost gave them to the library before I had a go at them!) but if you are fond of a tale well spun, surely try him out especially since they are true!
Last but not the least the classics Little Women, Secret Garden , Heidi in order to make sure that I sound like I have a few classy sensibilities.
This is but a brief synopsis of the young adult section that I revisit often and if you have not tried any of these please do!