And now for something completely different…..
Since I’m the boss around here, I get to do whatever I please. And while it may seem that all I do is eat (at least if you just read this), I do in fact enjoy many other things. And one of those things is books. So to encourage myself to read more, especially now I’m officially finished school, I thought I should write about them too. Where better to start, then to list my top 5 favourite books of all time- so far- that I remember- (although I figure if I don’t remember it off the top of my head like these, then it’s probably not worthy of the list).
Book recommendations from trusted sources are always the best way to find new books. Now whether or not I should be considered a ‘trusted source’ is debatable, but I thought I would put my two cents in anyway. And now, in no particular order, the books (along with their first lines..some more telling than others..):
By Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram is the story of a man who escapes from high security prison in Australia in 1980, and flees to India. He proceeds to open a health clinic in the slums of Mumbai, work in Bollywood, and smuggle weapons for the Afghan mafia.
“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”
The Pillars of the Earth
By Ken Follet
The Pillars of the Earth takes place in 12th century Britain, and tells the tale of the building of a Gothic cathedral. It follows the master builder, Tom, and his family, amidst much political and social turmoil.
“The small boys came early to the hanging.”
East of Eden
By John Steinbeck
East of Eden tells the stories of two interwoven families, living in the Salinas Valley in California in the 1950s. Amidst themes of love (and absence of), identity, acceptance and self-destruction, the characters subtly reenact the stories of Cain and Abel and the fall of Adam and Eve in the Bible.
“The Salinas Valley is in Northern California.”
The Mists of Avalon
By Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Mists of Avalon is the retelling of Arthurian legends from the perspective of female characters. It tells the story of the struggle for power between Morgaine (also known as Morgan Le Fay) and Gwenhwyfar (Welsh version of Guinevere). It takes place at a time when Christianity has just started spreading across Britain, with Christianity vs. Paganism being a major theme.
“In my time I have been called many things: sister, lover, priestess, wise-woman, queen.”
A Fine Balance
By Rohinton Mistry
A Fine Balance is set in India throughout the late 1970s- early 1980s, and brings together four characters from vastly different walks of life- a Parsi widow, a young student boarder and two Hindu tailors trying to escape the caste system. It describes a period of expanded government power and suppression of civil liberties, cryptically referred to as the ‘Emergency’.
“The morning express bloated with passengers slowed to a crawl, then lurched forward suddenly, as though to resume full speed.”