Bookish Stuff

10 Day Challenge: Four Books

Books. Everyone probably knows by now just how much I love my books. So how in the world am I supposed to choose just four? Oh well. I will mention four books that have left me speechless and have just been fantastic.  These are books I have read more than once and can still vividly remember them. They are books where I have identified with one or more characters and basically, lived the story. That to me, is the sign of a great author.

1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This was the first book I read by the author and I have been hooked on her ever since. A story about a family struggling with one daughter who has leukaemia and another who has been conceived to be a donor. For life. The ups and downs, the pain and little joys…they are all beautifully depicted. This heart-wrenching book had me sobbing in the end. And to those who have watched the movie (which I haven’t), and haven’t read the book, apparently the movie changed the ending. So reading the book is well worth it. You can read my complete review here.

2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry is about India in the 70s under the reign of Indira Gandhi seen through the eyes of Dina Dalal, a widowed Parsi woman, Ishvar Darji and his nephew Omprakash, two tailors working for Dina, and Maneck Kohlah, a paying guest at Dina’s house. The book is about how the lives of these four characters from completely different backgrounds inter-connect thereby taking a look at the government, the caste system and how life in general hangs by a thin rope. It is by far, one of the best books by an Indian author I’ve read and to this day, I cannot believe that it didn’t win the Booker prize when crap like Arundhati Roy’s did! My review of this book can be found here.

3. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling began a new era of fantasy and school novels. She had people reading again. While her novels appear to be mainly for kids and teens, I would disagree. Given that I started reading them at 18 and continue to enjoy them today when I am almost 28 should say something. Yes, it is about an orphaned boy wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as they attend Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry, however, is not just any wizard. As a baby, when the most evil dark wizrd, Voldermort tried to kill him, the curse backfired and Harry lived. Something no other wizard or witch had ever done. The novels follow Harry and his friends throughout school, dealing with adolescent years as well as him trying to fight Lord Voldermort. While on the surface it is a good versus evil story, it has several underlying themes and in fact, is making a comment on society over the years. I am currently in the process of reviewing the books on our book blog. So you can read those for more…

4. We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver

This is a book written by a woman Eva Khatchadourian to her absent husband about their 15 year old son Kevin. Who is currently in prison for murdering seven classmates, a teacher and a canteen worker. Eva never wanted to have a child when she fell pregnant with Kevin. And therein lies the issues that Shriver tries to bring through her book. She makes you question the nature versus nurture debate, motherhood and issues surrounding it, the source of evil, the apparent taboo of a woman not wanting to have kids. It is a brilliant yet disturbing book and will linger with you a long time after you are done. Here’s a detailed review of the same. It has now been made into a movie and I am looking forward to seeing it. Hopefully it won’t disappoint.

So that’s it. Four books that have had a massive impact on me. Four books that I can remember vividly till today. And that I would re-read whenever I have the chance.

Any books that impacted on your life? Or stayed with you long after you were done with it? Do share.

Until next time,


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  • Prateek
    18 July 2011 at 12:36 am

    Harry Potter series. <3

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 12:40 am

    Absoutely Prateek! Agree 100% 😀

  • Avada Kedavra
    18 July 2011 at 5:14 am

    Harry Potter.. 🙂 I had tried reading a Jodi Picoult’s earlier but somehow did not get interested. Should try reading it again sometime..

  • Prateek Gupta
    18 July 2011 at 5:23 am

    Harry Potter!!! Yay 🙂 

    Haven’t read the rest, will try and get hold of them pretty soon 🙂 

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 5:32 am

    I knew you’d be one of the HP buffs Ava 🙂 Re Jodi Picoult, I would probably
    recommend starting with My sister’s keeper or Picture prefect or Perfect
    match or Nineteen minutes or Salem falls…these have been her very best
    books so far. Probably the only two that didn’t do much for me were Tenth
    circle and Change of heart.

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 5:39 am

    🙂 Harry Potter! We are all on that train! To Hogwarts! Definitely recommend
    the others…if and when you do read the, let us know your thoughts!

  • PNA
    18 July 2011 at 5:43 am

    Bought my Sister’s Keeper and shelved it… Harry Potter any day, any time 🙂 

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 5:53 am

    You didn’t like My Sister’s Keeper? Or just couldn’t get started? I think
    Picoult’s books look at moral and social issues and do make you question
    them even if it’s sometimes a bit too much to handle for the reader! 🙂 And
    yes, I’m still re-reading HP (currently on the 6th book)

  • Raindrop
    18 July 2011 at 6:38 am

    You’ve got 2 of my fav books listed here- A Fine Balance and Harry Potter 🙂
    Another book which left a profound impact on me is To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.

  • Raindrop
    18 July 2011 at 6:41 am

    And though  not technically a ‘book’, the Diary of Anne Frank has also been a fav. A grim reminder to the crimes in the name of religion and race

  • nidsitis
    18 July 2011 at 10:31 am

    I loved my sisters keeper. Too painful to read again. But so beautiful.

    Potter! duh!!

    Rohinton mistry. i must read. 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 11:02 am

    Oh yes, I loved To Kill a Mockingbird too! I could have added so many more books…unfortunately, narrowing it down to 4 meant some great ones were excluded…

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 11:03 am

    I remember reading it many years ago and yes, it was a great window into the atrocities committed….

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 11:04 am

    I sobbed the first time I read My Sister’s Keeper; the second time, because I knew what was coming, I only wept instead of sobbing. Painful yes. But beautiful as you say.

    And another Potter fan! 🙂 Yay!

    And highly recommend A Fine Balance…loved it!

  • Priyanka Victor
    18 July 2011 at 11:11 am

    I have wanted to read My Sister’s Keeper for a long time now, never got around to it. 

    One that would be on my list will be The Kite Runner.

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 11:14 am

    Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid sons would be in my top 10 for sure! Do read My Sister’s Keeper…wonderful book!

  • Titaxy
    18 July 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I am reading HP series this year, yes I am 😀

  • Bikram
    18 July 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I saw the movie my sisters keeper, it was a lovely movie so i am assuming the book is much more better ..

    HP again seen a couple of movies thats all ..

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 8:38 pm

    🙂 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you will like it. No pressure of course! 😛 But yeah, do read it and let us know what you think…

  • Psych Babbler
    18 July 2011 at 8:40 pm

    My Sister’s Keeper — book definitely better than the movie. Even though I haven’t watched the movie. My sis told me the ending of the movie and I was disappointed they changed it to make it more ‘Hollywood’.

    Harry Potter — movies are crap. Books are a zillion times better! I stopped watching after the third movie because it was so disppointing. I think I may be one of the only HP fans not going to watch the last movie…

  • Deepthi
    19 July 2011 at 11:29 am

    I love Harry Potter :)…I grew up reading those books and I feel that some characters are like friends(I read HP too many times)… 
    I have seen the movie-My Sister’s keeper and liked it.. haven’t read the book yet..
    I shall add all the other 3 books you have mentioned to my list…

  • Psych Babbler
    19 July 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I read HP when I was 18 and still feel like you do. Haven’t seen thhe movie
    of My Sister’s Keeper because my sis told me the ending and I wasn’t happy
    with the change. Highly recommend all the books.

  • nisha punjabi
    26 July 2011 at 9:25 am

    this post makes me want to read all the books mentioned. I hope I can!

  • Debosmita
    30 July 2011 at 9:50 am

    A high five on Harry Potter and A Fine Balance. Did you cry at the end of Fine Balance? I did!
    I am also doing the challenge and I decided to write on different books because I have cried hoarse on my blog about how I love these two books 🙂 I shall try Jodi Picoult and the other one, since I like what you have written about them here 🙂 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    30 July 2011 at 10:58 am

    I didn’t cry at the end of A Fine Balance Debosmita…but I did feel this immense sadness and emptiness. I look forward to reading your take on the whole challenge…and yes, do read the other two books…worth a read for sure!