Written by Sumedha Manhas, a grade 10 student.
I have always wanted to read stories that connect the human inside of me to the human personified in between those perfectly woven words written by the author.
A story that would make my heart beat faster and slower at the same time. A story that could keep me thinking about it for days, a story I keep thinking about all night. I wanted to connect to the characters, desperately. To mark a journey to witness various human emotions and to read something that could flourish the writer in me too.
Here are some of my favourite picks…
The Timekeeper, Mitch Albom
While Mitch Albom is known for his bestsellers like the five people you meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie, it’s as if the timekeeper keeps on calling me for a re-read and I keep going back without remorse. I have read this book thrice now, and have equally enjoyed reading it every time. I and the timekeeper have had an indescribable bond because I unapologetically can talk, write or read it all the time.
The naturalistic human emotion that has been portrayed in the story is heartwarming. The stories of three people have been woven as Beautifully as they could have. This book shows you the complexity of human feelings towards time. Mitch Album truly ‘has the power to create extraordinary out of simple’.
The Bastard of Istanbul, Elif Shafak
I have always wanted to read stories with charming, feisty, sarcastic, beautiful female characters who also were true to the characteristics of females around us. The story starts off with Zeliha a 19-year-old Rebel walking on the streets of Istanbul, breaking the laws of ‘prudence for women’. The story delights you with the feminine touch and is Zeliha character and portrayal of a woman’s miserable emotions. The story has a lot more to offer to you, but Zeliha is my personal favourite.
This Side of Paradise, F Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby has marked its place on the minds of readers all around the world, but I can never stop talking about how this story made me a fan of Amory. Amory an exceptionally charming character gives you a glimpse of his life without glitter and glamour at the end of the story when he realises that poor boys can’t really dream of rich girls. While I have always loved the panache in his tone, his subtle but is scathing criticism, controlled vanity. His way of living people in wonder and awe of him, one Would really wonder if people like Amory exist in real life.
With F Scott Fitzgerald‘s exquisite writing style and a character like Amory so poetic and dreamy with an insatiable desire for romance, this story will lure you back for more.
The Country Without a Post Office, Agha Shahid Ali
Kashmir, called Paradise on Earth is now echoed with the thuds of bullets and is guarded by armed forces, is not only the state where I reside but it is also an idea in its self, divine and tragic.
People say art is liberation, art helps the oppressed to sense the kind of freedom that is in one way or another taken away. Art has been used as a form of communication of the one in certain kinds of oppression or trouble for ages. Agha Shahid Ali has proven it to us, Through this wonderful masterpiece. I was shaken to my bones when I finished reading this and have spent a lot many sleepless nights thinking about the same.
This poetry collection would not only intimate you with the lives of Kashmiris but would also show you a different side of paradise where the sun sets in the colour blood red. Agha Shahid Ali has given us one of the most beautiful poetry collections and it would be a shame to not have read it.
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