Last week I got my first paycheck from my internship (Hurrah!) and what better way to spend it than on books. My stipend is not much so I went to this huge book sale at one corner of my city which sells books by weight. This summer you could buy 1 kilogram of books for only Rs. 60 (i.e. only $1)! So naturally I went crazy and bought 8 kilograms of books carried them for 1 hour. Everyone in the train was staring at me as if I was carrying a dead body. So here I 10 best books I found at this sale.
1) Room by Emma Donoghue– I only found out about Donoghue in 2013 when her sensual courtroom thriller ‘The Sealed Letter‘ became a hit. It was a historical courtroom drama based on a true case in Victorian London about the homosexual affair of a married woman- my perfect match! After some research I found out that Donoghue is a revolutionary writer and her works from the LGBT genre are reknowed. So immediately I picked up ‘Room’ when I saw it and now I can’t wait to read it.
2)Guernica by David Boling– When I first saw it, something sparked in my head. I could not remember what ‘Guernica’ was but I knew it was something big and important. That is the only reason why I picked up this book by an author I had never read before.
3)Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence– Countless people have told me to read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and countless times I have told them that I wont waste my time on a Twilight fanfiction. I am not against erotica, I am only against bad erotica. Today’s erotica authors misunderstand the meanings of intercourse and literature. Sex is a part of the story, the story is not a part of the sex. So I picked up this ground-breaking book which was scandalous when it was published and even today remains one of the most sensual books ever written. (I was also looking for Lolita but couldn’t find it)
4)The Scarlett Letter by Nathniel Hawthorne– One of the many things that bothers me about the Indian education system is that we don’t get to read a lot of interesting books. In Britain, children participate in Shakespeare plays when they turn 4, in USA children read 1984 by George Orwell in high School. But in India the only books teenagers read are Twilight and it severely bothers me. I got attracted to this book after watching ‘Easy A’ and I finally found it.
5) The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory– My first book by Gregory was ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and since then I tried to read every book she has ever written. I have seen ‘The White Queen’ show on BBC and I loved it. So when I found this book which is the second book of a 4 book series on which the show is based- I leaped with joy.
6)The Bad Queen by Carolyn Meyer– I haven’t read any of Meyer’s books before but when I saw this book I picked it up because of the cover art. When I read the back page, I found out that it is based on the life of Marie Antoinette and I quickly bought it. Antoinette is a historical figure I haven’t explored yet, I only know her story superficially. Hopefully with this book, I’ll get a deeper insight.
7) The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood– I wanted to buy ‘The Blind Assasin’ by Atwood which won the Pulitzer price but I looked at its size and turned away (I know, I know I’m a wuss). Instead I picked up this book which is about the life of Penelope, the wife of Odyessus who goes with Achilles to capture the city of Troy.
8) Pompeii: The Living City by Alex Butterworth and Ray Lawrence-I never buy non-fiction books because I fall asleep halfway through them but I bought this one because a) ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ is one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes and b) ‘Pompeii’ by Bastille is an amazing song.
9) Cold Mountain by Jonathan Frazier– I first heard about Jonathan Frazier in one of Oprah’s episodes (stop laughing) and I wanted to read one of his works for a long time. Also this book has Jude Law on the cover.
10) Atonement by Ian McEwan– I have seen this movie and let me tell you this, it is mind-blowing. One of my favourite World War II movies ever made.
I also bought many other books such as – Alexander: The Child of a Dream by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Seige by Helen Dunmore, Winter in Madrid by C J Samson, Before I sleep by SJ Watson, Confessions of Katherine Howard by Suzanna Dunn,Hamlet, Othello King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar all by William Shakespeare and finally Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult.
P.S. I FOUND SHAKESPEARE MANGA! I kid you not, I actually found a series of comic books each based on a different Shakespeare play. The text was Shakespeare with no changes, only that it was a proper comic book and it was freaking genius.
Have you gone to any summer sales yet? Which books did you pick up? Which book is in your summer reading list? Let me know!