One Book favourites – Part 2

I am in the process of listing “one book favourites” of mine, since 2001. I listed till 2003 in the previous post, here. Now, the second and last post under this heading:


On yet another Republic Day, I again made my mom buy this book – Moved By Love, memoirs of Vinobha Bhave, at that place in Koti on Gokul Chat road… which is related to Sabarmati. Its name … Gandhi something… I forgot… The memoirs were told my Vinobha and written by Marjorie Sykes. This book served the purpose of a history book too. Vinobha wrote about so many people of medieval India as well as pre-independent modern India. More than the books written for academic purposes, it is books like this and some fo the ones mentioned in the previous post (eg:Time to be happy, Azadi etc) that provide a better and more readable view of history… (in my opinion). “Everyday life in a Harem” by Babs Rule is an account of how royal women spend the rest of their lives, confined to palace walls, in the Saudi countries. It told stories about different aspects of the Arab way of living. As the name itself says…its their everyday life. It was kind of surprising to read it, at some places especially.

Next comes the children’s book, which I read and enjoyed after crossing that age. It is “Railway Children” by E.Nesbit. It is the story of the children in a small town, in search of their father. It was a delight to read this book, I should say. I did not find this when I was a child…but, I have no doubt I would have enjoyed it more then. Worldly knowledge come in the way of enjoyment sometimes, when older people read childrens’ books. 🙂 “At the feet of the Badri” by S.S.L.Malhotra is one book which kept me glued to it. It is a sort of travelogue on a team’s trip to Badrinath. The whole narration is in such a way that we ourselves experience the whole travel. Towards the end…. it made me long for Badri. The descriptions of places were all too lovely.

“City of Joy” is perhaps the first book I read in 2004, but, mentioning it now.. 🙂 temporary memory loss 🙂 It is by Dominique Lapierre. I previously read a few essays in “Freedom at Midnight” written by the same author along with Larry Collins, which prompted me to read this book. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Three and Half years after reading it, I still feel the feelings I got when I read that book. Its that touching and thought provoking. Should thank my brother for introducing this book to me.


It began with Taslima Nasreen‘s Lajja. I have my own complaints about this book, like it being too statistical some times. But, nevertheless, it is a book which told me a lot of things. It is one book that every History enthusiast must read. There is one special book which is different from others here. It is “18th Parellel” by Ashoka Mitran, written originally in Tamil, translated in to English by Gomathi Narayanan. It is special in this list in two senses. First one being, this is the first book in this list so far, about which I blogged here. Second one being, I read the same book’s Telugu translation too, without feeling any boredom…a couple of days ago. I have been looking for Ashoka Mitran’s books for the past 2 years, but none came to my notice till now except this Telugu translation of the same book, which I un-knowingly purchased blinded by the name Ashoka Mitran 🙂 Its only after coming home with the book did I notice that it is the same book that I read in English! “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjof Capra is on the books that opened new doors to me. I grew up looking at this book in the book-shelf, never attempting to read it, imagining that its not for me. One fine day, my brother, who was reading it told me that it is very interesting… and I began reading it. It is an extremely interesting book. Very well-written too. I have not found enough time to read the same Author’s “The Turning point”. Otherwise, this book should not have been in this list 🙂 Now, there are two other books, which I never completed..but, still qualify to come in to this list. One was “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler, a very interesting book. The other was a book, which I read during my training days at TCS, called “Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge. Its case studies were very well analysed.

“A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry is again, one of the best books I have read so far. It also, like City of Joy is thoroughly about “LIFE”. Incidentally, both these books came to me through my brother. The last for 2005 is “Comic Century” by Gautham Bhatia. It is a series of articles written in a light hearted and satirical vein, covering every major event of the past century. I liked it a lot at that time, but, somehow, when I tried reading it for the second time a few days back, I did not like it 😦


Such kind of One-book favourites gradually reduced since last year, for I have access to a good library in IIIT and if I like one book by an author, I always have the choice to read the second one. 🙂 “The Road Ahead” by Bill Gates is one book, which I saw everywhere in the book-shops, but never ventured to buy, owing to its cost. A friend offered to exchange it with “Future shock” by Alvin Toffler temporarily, which was there in our house, luckily. So I finally read it. The visionary in Gates is seen in many parts of the book. He used good examples to explain certain things too. Gates can be a good teacher :). The next book was “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. I blogged about here, one of the first posts of my blog. This book influenced me a lot in the initial days. I should thank that friend who suggested me this book…the same one who gave the Gates’ book too. Tuesdays with morrie is an inspiring tale of life and living. At times, it did appear a bit wierd, like the idea of “living funeral”. But, I still got influenced by it. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is a short book, but it is of that kind, which will live in our memory for long. It is a satire on how communism changed from the initial ideals as time passed. “Where on earth am I?” by Jug Suraiya is a travelogue. I mentioned about it once or twice in this blog too.

… and the latest… which means, I reached the end….. U must be feeling lucky 🙂
“India wins freedom” by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad…. most of you must have read about him and the book in history books at school. I picked this book from the library only with that excitement. It is a must read book, again, for a history enthusiast. There were some hitherto unknown stories about lot of things in the book. “Argumentative Indian” by Amartya Sen is the last of the series of “One book favourites in English..” I doubt if I come up with such a list in telugu…but, to be technically correct, I am saying so. 🙂 Argumentative Indian is a collection of Essays by Amartya Sen. I did not complete reading it. But, whatever essays I have read were really good. They told me a lot of things…. Logically, when I wrote this post 2 days back, the post stopped here. But, I read something in the mean time, which inspired me a lot. It is Lance Armstrong’s autobiography – “It’s not about the bike”. I felt compelled to add it to this list.

– This kind of posts serve the purpose of refreshing our memories. So, I might come with a couple of such posts in near future. Bear with me. 🙂 There is an advantage too. If you have not heard of any books mentioned here, it will be useful in that sense. If you have, it will serve as a nostalgia post. 😉

Published in: on August 17, 2007 at 5:32 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. ఈ “ఒక పుస్తక అభిమానం” ఫండా ఏంటో నాకు అర్ధం కాలేదు – అంటే ఆయా రచయితలవి ఒక్కొక్క పుస్తకమే చదివినా చాలా నచ్చేశాయనా? నువ్వు వెలువరించిన రెండు లిస్టుల్లో ఏవీ నేను చదివినట్టు లేదు. నాకిప్పుడు చాలా గాబరాగా ఉంది!!

  2. గాబరా పడకండి. 🙂
    ఇక్కడ రాసిన లిస్టులోని పుస్తకాలు బెస్ట్ సెల్లర్సో ఇంకేవో కాదు. క్లాసిక్సు అంతకంటే కాదు. ఇవన్నీ నాకు నా టైం బాగుండి కనబడ్డ మంచి పుస్తకాలు అంతే. వీటిలో సగం పుస్తకాలన్నా ఆ రచయితల మొదటి-చివరి మేజర్ పుస్తకం అయి ఉంటాయి అన్న విషయం లో నాకు అనుమానం లేదు. ఎక్కువ భాగం అలాంటి రచయితలు కనుకనే ఒక్క పుస్తకం మాత్రమే చదవగలిగాను.
    “ఈ “ఒక పుస్తక అభిమానం” ఫండా ఏంటో నాకు అర్ధం కాలేదు – అంటే ఆయా రచయితలవి ఒక్కొక్క పుస్తకమే చదివినా చాలా నచ్చేశాయనా?” – అవును. ఆ విషయం పార్టు వన్ లో రాసాను. ఈ onebook favourites అన్న వాక్యం కి definition….

  3. Good account, Sowmya. On the downside, my confidence in myself is sinking. Maybe you are pulling my leg ;). Tuesdays with Morrie is a saving grace. I have read the book and saw the movie too.
    I have read the Animal Farm too. I think that is the best of all times–never going to be dated. In a strange way, reminds me of panchatantra stories.

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