Best Eateries for bookworms – II

Related read – Best Eateries for Bookworms – I

In Part I, I had listed 15 of my favorite books, but since then I have read a number of books which I have found equally unputdownable. So, here is another list of 15 of my favorites in alphabetical order. If you like reading fiction, they are a must read. If you want more information on a particular book, just click on the name of the book. Here goes:

Catch22Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

The story of Yossarian, a bomber in the U.S. Air force set during the later years of the World War II. The reader might find the story a little out of sequence because at times there are same events which are described by different characters at different points of time. The story is dipped in satire and questions touching upon various themes like moral dilemma, bureaucracies, personal integrity and patriotism. The book is considered as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century.

DuneDune by Frank Herbert

The book revolves around a highly evolved form of  human race scattered across various planets in the universe some twenty thousand years in the future where science and technology has evolved far beyond its present state. The story touches upon various themes like politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion. Dune was first published in 1965 and it won the Hugo and the Nebula awards for best novel in the following year. It is considered the best science fiction novel of all times.

LolitaLolita by Vladimir Nobokov

A book which holds the distinction of being called “sheer unrestrained pornography” and “one of the best novels of 1955” at the same time. Lolita was refused by 4 American publishers because of its subject content before it finally saw the light of the day. The book follows the story of a middle aged literary scholar who is obsessed with young girls and gets sexually involved with a 12 year old girl named Dolores Haze. Lolita now holds the status of a classic and is considered as the most controversial book of 20th century.

lordofthefliesLord of the Flies by William Golding

During an unnamed nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of young boys crashes in a deserted island. There are no adult survivors and the boys are left on their own. The book dwells into the idea of how culture and society created by humans fail even at the smallest level. The boys create group amongst themselves which finally ends up in disaster and they end up being hungry for each others blood. The book underlines the conflict between the “greater good of the society’ and the “hunger for power”. As you reach the climax of the story, you would have completely forgotten that you were reading about a bunch of school kids.

my name is redMy name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

An enriching book by the Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk. The book was originally written in Turkish and was later translated to English. How difficult the translation would have been can be understood by the complex English sentences. The story is a murder mystery set during the rein of the Ottoman Empire during the late 1500s where a miniaturist is murdered while working on a very special book. Each of the chapter is narrated by a different character and sometimes even by a coin, a color or the corpse of the murdered miniaturist.

night train to lisbonNight Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier

One of the most mesmerizing books I have read recently. The narrative flows beautifully even though the book has been translated from German. The book follows the story of Raimund Gregorius, a teacher of Greek and Latin, whose chance encounter with a beautiful Portuguese woman sets a chain of events where he finds himself on a journey to an unknown country to find about the past of Amadeu de Prado, a Portuguese Doctor and a writer. My favorite lines from the book are – “Can God create a stone He couldn’t lift? If not, then he isn’t almighty; if yes, He isn’t either, for now there is a stone He cannot lift.”

19841984 by George Orwell

The book which has already been translated into 65 languages, was written in 1944 and contained chilling accounts of how the world might be in 1984. The story is set in Oceania, a super state, where the protagonist Winston Smith works for the ruling party(the term Big Brother was coined for the leader of the ruling party) and who is assigned the work of falsifying political records and history. The book touches upon the theme of Nationalism, sexual oppression and censorship. Thankfully, the world did not end up as the book predicted, except for China.

the blind assassinThe Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Winner of the Booker Prize in 2000, the novel follows the story of Iris Chase and her sister Laura who commits suicide immediately after the Second World War. The beauty of the book is that there is a story within the story. As the story of Iris and Laura proceeds, the reader comes across another story of a Blind Assassin in a fictional world and his love for a mute girl whom he is sent to kill. This book is a classic example of how a story can be woven to keep the reader glued till the end. An amazing book.

the book thiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a story told by the Angel of Death, the surreptitious soul collector who is haunted by humans and who was very busy during the Second world war. Set in the Nazi Germany, during the beginning of the second World War, the book follows the story of an orphaned girl who is sent to live with her foster parents in a small town. The family hides a Jew in the basement of their house during the war, which changes their lives in many ways. A beautifully written book.

the Color purpleThe Color Purple by Alice Walker

The book won the 1983 Pulitzer for fiction and was later made into a movie by Steven Spielberg which introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to the big screen. The book takes into account the extreme low condition of the black females in the conservative society of the United States during the 1930s. The book is a series of letters and diary entries of a black woman named Celie , a poor and uneducated woman, who at the age of fourteen is raped and impregnated twice by the man she believes to be her father. And yes, the movie is as good as the book.

the-english-patientThe English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

A critically burnt English man, his nurse Hana, a thief and a Sikh Sapper named Kip form the central characters of this beautifully written book which won the Booker in 1992. The book was also made into a movie which won 9 Oscars including the Best Picture in 1996. The story of the English Patient’s past and the love story between Hana and Kip form the two parallel stories of the book.

the kite runnerThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner tells the story of Amir, a young boy from a small village in Kabul, who betrays his best friend Hassan, the son of his father’s servant, and lives in regret. The story has the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion and the rise of the Taliban as its background. I think enough has been said about the book already. Its a shame if you haven’t read it by now.

The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

First published in 1850, this novel is the story of Hester Prynne, who commits adultery while she is waiting for her husband to return from a journey. She gives birth to a girl and refuses to identify the father as a result of which she is subjected to public shame and a red cloth(in the form of the letter A, which stands for Adultery) is attached to her gown while she is lead out of the town. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt. The book was an instant success and was the first mass produced book using mechanized printing.

secretlifeofbeesThe Secret life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

A beautifully written book, The Secret life of Bees tell the story of 14 year-old Lily Owens whose life is somehow connected to her mother’s accidental death. Lily’s black caretaker Rosaleen insults three white men one day and had to run away to save her life. Repeatedly abused by her father, Lily runs away with Rosaleen and is taken in by three black beekeeping sisters who hold the key to her mother’s past. A moving, must read book.

timelineTimeline by Micheal Crichton

If you want Science fiction with the chills and thrills of a roller coaster ride, Micheal Crichton is the best bet. Timeline remains undoubtedly his best novel, although each of his book has turned into a bestseller. The book tells the story of a group of Historians who travel back to the Middle ages to save a friend of theirs who had already traveled back in time before them. The way Crichton combines the minute Historical details with Quantum Physics and Time travel is amazing.

I hope you enjoyed the list and

p.s. A lot of the information in the post is via wiki.

90 comments on “Best Eateries for bookworms – II

  1. Ha! Let me see what I’ve read…

    1. Catch-22 (was too young to enjoy it)

    2. Night Train to Lisbon(was old enough to recognize beautiful prose!)

    3. 1984 (Smith truly got me thinking and researching)

    4. The color purple (proved that books can wrench your very soul)

    5. The scarlet letter (prescribed in my UG syllabus. I managed to provoke serious arguments in the classroom… Loved it)

    6.Time Line (After Jurassic Park, I managed to understand that Timeline was by far his best. Helped me branch off into Dean Koontz’s ‘From the corner of his eye’, also about quantum mechanics and parallel universes)

  2. Well, I believe that you can enjoy these books after a certain age. So I can understand what you said about Catch 22. The same thing happened with me when I read ‘The God of small things’ too soon. 🙂
    And have you read ‘Sphere’? Its another classic by Micheal Crichton. Chilling. It gave me goosebumps enough number of times. 🙂

  3. when i saw ‘eateries’ in the title, i thought you were listing places bookworms would like to go to eat! 😆 i read some of the books you listed and agree they were good reads. i also recommend flowers for algernon by daniel keyes.

  4. Out of all these, i have read only “kite runner” and thoroughly enjoyed it… next time when i want to buy a new book, this list is gonna help me a lot! 🙂

    Thanks amit 🙂

  5. oh lovely list have read most of them barring English Patient and Secret Life of bees.. will try and grab them too 🙂

    and needless to say they are all brilliant books

  6. These all look amazing. I am a huge bookworm and I will have to check these out. I have several books that I have lined up to read but I will put these on the list. Thank you for the great tips.

  7. Good list Amit… i was planning to read Catch22 for a long time… i think now i will read it.
    Btw, haven’t u read Memoirs of Gaiesha? it is very nice.. i liked it a lot. may b u shd read it…..

  8. Great list Amit and I have been wanting to read the Blind Assasin for a while. You reminded me. By the way as I was scrolling up the surfer I guessed this was your post!

    • You must read it. The forte of the book is the way it is written.
      Haha! Well, I guess I am the only one besides Smita who writes about books. 🙂

  9. I LOVE this tag
    saw it at another blog too and decided to take it up 🙂

    love all the books..havent read The Book Thief yet…sounds interesting 🙂

    you have a great choice in books 🙂

    The Color Purple , The English Patient and The Kite Runner are my favs in this list

    • Well….err…this is not a tag. 😛
      This has been created by me. Take it up!!! It will be nice to know the kind of books you have read!

      Thanks! I hope so! 😛

  10. My Name Is Red, 1984, Catch-22 and The Kite Runner… My absolute favs among those followed by Night Train and The Color Purple…

    Amazing list…

    • Now a days, I am not getting enough time and I am a little cautious too. The problem is that I don’t like lending books from the library and if I keep on buying them, I’ll be having problem taking them home. Kya dilemma hai! 😦

        • Hmm…well, I have taken the intelligent step now and have filled up an online form of a library near my home. Guess I have to read library books for some time. 😦

  11. That was a good list, Amit. Havent read few from your list. I havent read any novel since last 6-8 months, so it’s good to be reminded by somebody that what Iam missing.
    Dune, 1984 and The Blind Assasin will be my top 3 from your list. I havent read Lolita. Though ofcourse have seen Kubrick’s adaptation of the novel, Lolita (1962). He changed and added few things to make the film more interesting, as he thought that the story gets flat and very predictable around half way in the original novel.
    Again, have seen the film English Patient, not read the novel.

    • Thanks Dev! I am glad that I was of some service! 🙂
      I haven’t seen Lolita yet. I am a little surprised that Kubrick changed the plot.

      • Well he didnt change it much. Just flipped the ending to start to maintain the interest in the story till the end, as Kubrick felt that in the original novel, story drags after reader finds out what Qulity is all about. Plus, he did few minor changes here and there. But, ofcourse the essence of the story was kept by Kubrick. Many people have claimed that film was better than the book..I cant say as I havent read the book but film was certainly marvelous.

        • Ok. Well, yes, the story might be a little boring as a movie as there are just two main characters. I think I need to see the movie myself to understand how much it deviates from the book.
          And now I am curious too. 🙂

  12. Wow, reminds me of how much I need to catch up on reading! Only read The Color Purple among these, while The Book Thief has been sitting patiently on my book shelf. I’m going to put Lolita on my list.

  13. Although all of your list is not of my kind, will try to read atleast some of my kind 😉

    Is there any word like ‘unputdownable’ or is it your experimental word ?

    • Yeah! That’s great. And to answer your last question:

      un·put·down·a·ble (npt-doun-bl)
      adj. Informal
      So well written and entertaining as to be difficult to put down.

      Its a real, actual word! 😛

  14. HA! Only read Kite runner out of this list and it was heart-wrenching.
    Of your previous list, I have read more..but I found Dickens immensely boring (maybe I read it too young) and not impressed with Thornbirds (saw the movie too and that was even more blah!)

    Thanks for the list though. There are many books here that I thought I should read and then forgot about, so your list serves as a good reminder.

    Have you read the White Tiger….I found it totally asinine! Am reading Field of poppies by Amitava Ghosh now to cleanse my mind (yes, I am his fan!)

    • When I started reading novels, I started with Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Conan Doyle because these were the only ones available in my school library. 🙂
      I am reading the White Tiger right now. I think its brilliant.

  15. You’ve listed some of my favorite books…The Blind Assassin, 1984 and Catch-22. 🙂 Have you read other books by Atwood? I love all of them.

    • Yeah, I knew that the Blind Assassin was your favorite. I came across the name of the book thanks to you! 🙂
      I will surely pick up her other books.

  16. Dude, catch 22? I’ve tried to read that book 5 times.. and get just too bored to continue.. yeah the catch 22 situation is cool… but the book is really dull..
    and wish i could find the book thief on the internet or in my city.. have been waiting to read it for a long time..

    • Haha! So, maybe, its not time yet! 🙂 Wait for some more time, you will definitely like it.
      Can’t you order it online or something?

  17. I always thought 1984 was a book written based on some historic plot! Now that I came to know of it, it might be interesting to read it too! Micheal Crighton is one of my favorite author, along with Sidney Shelton. Two great authors whose fiction thrilled me!! But now, I am reading non-fiction.

    Destination Infinity

    • Yeah, the title gives that kind of a feel. 🙂
      MC was one of the best Science fiction writers ever. On the other hand, I think SS is not that good. His books are very elementary. They are good when you are developing the habit of reading but you’ll get bored of them pretty soon.

  18. I had seen ‘The Color Purple’ first and then read the book much later. Movie I had not many memories so I rented and watched after some ten years or so yesterday. And I can vouch this is the only Book/Movie which brought tears for real. I have been choked, felt depressed or plain sad by many movies/books but The Color Purple just moves me..

    • Actually its very rare, but I liked the movie more than the book. When I read the book, I thought that it would be very difficult to make a movie out of this book, but Steven Spielberg did a very fine job. He is the best!

  19. Thanks for sharing those books Amit. I might hunt for one of those since I’m done leafing through my last book. I’ve read a couple of Michale Crichton books before and I must say that they are seductive books.

    Do you read true-crime stories anyway? I am a voracious reader of those books that fall into this genre.

    • You are welcome Den.
      Well, I have never tried yet. So which one is the best you have read so far? I might pick it up next time I go book hunting.

  20. Of your list I have only read “The Kite Runner”.

    Catch 22 tried reading but couldn’t.

    Have ordered Lolita and “My Name is Red” is cooling heels in my book shelf!!!! Hoping to read both of them soon!!!

    But that’s a nice list that you have come up with though I am finding few of the subjects sound heavy but will surely look out for others, specially The Color Purple!!

    • Hmmm..well, I know that both of us don’t read the same kind of books. 🙂
      Yes, most of the books are heavy. Have you noticed you many times World War has been mentioned? 🙂

  21. I didn’t like Catch 22, I think I will never like it. Dark humor, eh. I found it depressing and it was one of rare books that I wanted to give up in between.

    Blind Assassin is my bookshelf.

    I read Color Purple few days back, certainly wanted to write about. (I am reading all the books available on child abuse these days.)

    Kite Runner is my favorite. Though of writing about Sue Monk Kid’s book too, gave up. I liked 1984 a lot, I believe I also write about it during initial days of my blogging.

    Its a nice list, I would pick up about little mroe than half from here. 😉

    • I found it very very funny! I was laughing most of the times. 🙂
      You must read TBA. Its beautifully written.
      More than half is just great! 🙂

      • Yes, I read TBA. It is a masterpiece. I wonder how Adiga got his Booker for his shallow book. TBA is what you call master storytelling.

        I read God of Small Things again, I had first read it when I was 15. I detested it them but I have had to review my opinion now that I read it again. I am sure I didn’t understand many things when I was 15. There is no real plot actually and it meanders a lot. So I can be forgiven as a teen of 15 not to understand cryptic references of ‘He (Velutha) entered.’

        Language is great and I still believe she describes too many unrelated things too much. Some of metaphor ( such as cold moth for a child’s fear) are chilling and effective.

        I am sure I didn’t understand the CSA incident at 15, or even the incest. But yes overall I could appreciate it more now as a adult. It was not so bad. 🙂

        The Book Thief is on my bookshelf at the moment with several of other books to read.

        • Yes, even I don’t understand how The White Tiger got the Booker.

          I think I am going to pick up God of small things very soon. I don’t remember it at all.

  22. Allright, there was a time, when I just couldn’t live without books…and now I just hardly find the time to even just go through the latest ones that may have come out…!! Geesh, really need to push hard to get back into that habit. Good informative post there for people like me…! Thanks!

  23. Great list Amit! Interesting summary and though my book forte is a little different, I am also trying to be flexible and read what is recommended 🙂

  24. Pingback: The books I have read.. « Silent Thoughts

  25. Pingback: Best Eateries for Bookworms – III « Mashed Musings

  26. Again, have read only one book out of this list – The Kite Runner. I loved the book, and it impacted me quite deeply. I read A Thousand Splendid Suns immediately after that, and loved that one too. Wonder why Khaled Hosseini has not written any more books. Would love to read more by him.

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