Hello! How you doin’? I am here with a recommendations list today!! I am really excited for two reasons! First, this is the Asian Heritage month and I see soo many people talking about books by Asian authors! It makes me really happy! And secondly, I also wrote this specially for Ray’s Blogging Issue Two! And I am so proud of her for coming up with such great stuff! This month’s issue has some pretty cool poems by @Zoe and an awesome interview by @Pottawand and more content by Chloe and Anna! Do check out the magazine here.
I am going to recommend books from my country – India. 🇮🇳 I am kinda ashamed to admit that despite reading so many books, I haven’t read a lot of books from my country, but I do have my favorites! I hope you enjoy and take your time to read a few of these because they deserve so much more love!
1. BAAZ BY ANUJA CHAUHAN
Set in 1971, we follow the life of Ishaan, who is just another farm boy, but grows up to be a pilot in the prestigious army, and the life of Tehmina, who struggles to be a successful female journalist, and makes Ishaan question all the deluded and violent thoughts on patriotism. The USSR-backed India-Mukti-Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the America-aided Pakistani forces.
This book is written in double pov, and that is something that in itself will always make me want to read the book. I remember reading this book, in one sitting the day my exams got over. And I don’t know if it was because it was 3 a.m. at night or some other reason, but this book had me bawling my eyes out. This is one of my all-time favorites, and if you ever want to get a taste of what Indian culture and believes and people are like, I definitely recommend this book. Take it from me: this will break your heart, because the love interests in these are 🥺
2. THE GUIDE BY R.K. NARAYAN
Formerly India’s most corrupt tourist guide, Raju-just released from prison- seeks refuge in an abandoned temple. Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju’s newfound sanctity to the test. I am not gonna lie, I dnf-ed this book twice before finally picking it up and making it to the end. The writing pace is slow, there is no denying it. But it was totally worth it. What took me a while to actually get into it was that, the events were not written in chronological order, and it took me ages to figure what was actually happening. But in just 200 pages, Narayan delivers a wonderful story which gives you an insight to how corruption and blinding faith, all weaved in with religion, constitutes a huge part of the country. It also exposes the reality of how women are treated in our society if they choose dance, or other creative professions.
There is also a bollywood movie based on this, so you can check it out if you are interested.
3. THE ROOM ON THE ROOF BY RUSKIN BOND
This is Ruskin Bond’s masterpiece of adolescence and coming of age. Written when the author was seventeen, it brilliantly describes the hopes and passions that capture young minds and hearts. A moving tale of love and friendship, it is said to be his best novel. This book is exactly what it sounds like. Ruskin Bond has been a huge part of my childhood, and the reason behind my love for stories. I can’t usually say this, but I can announce proudly that I have read every single novel that has been written by him, and I have never ever read all the novels by a single author before.
His books have the ability to enchant you like no other. Sometimes, his descriptions are so vivid that it almost feels like the books are teleport crystals! I think if you ever want to visit my country, but you can’t, Bond’s books will be perfect for you.
4. TRAIN TO PAKISTAN BY KHUSHWANT SINGH
It is one of those heart-breaking love stories, that stays with you till the end. It is one of those books, which renews your belief in love. For hundreds of years, Sikhs and Muslims have lived together in peace, but one day at the end of the summer of 1947, after the division of the country, the “ghost train” arrives, a silent, incredible funeral train loaded with the bodies of thousands of refugees, bringing the village its first taste of the horrors of the civil war. This story brings to light the horrors that innocent people have to face, when plunged into the abyss of religious hate. This is also the story of a Sikh Boy and a Muslim Girl, who got separated in this wave of hate, but found their way back to each other in a refugee camp.
There is also a bollywood movie based on this, so you can check it out if you are interested
5. FACES IN THE WATER BY RANJIT LAL
This book was so hauntingly true, that it horrified me. Despite being a fictional book, it is one of the most honest stories that I have ever read.
The Diwanchand family boasted of having only sons, no daughters. The water from a magical well in their farmhouse was the reason behind this ‘good fortune’, they said. One day, fifteen-year-old Gurmi sets out to look for the well and what he sees changes everyone’s world forever. The faces of three girls look up at him from the water, and draw him into a world of fun, games and cyber magic—and Gurmi has to face up to an unnerving truth as murky as the surreal well. Easy to read, and sensitive and powerful – this book is the story of the people of our society, as they strive to fulfil their hunger for male children, and the price they pay in order to get it.