If you are someone who loves to read books, then come meet the POPxo Team. We shall sit over a cup of coffee and discuss our faves for hours. And if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy reading, come over anyway. We will make sure you leave with at least one book you will thoroughly enjoy. Want to know our favourites? You’ve come to the right place!
1. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh
This isn't a book that changed my life, but it is one that opened up a whole new world for: the Indian novel in English. It is a heartbreaking book, one about dislocation and memory. And one that transcends the narrative constraints of location and time to tap into and brilliantly portray that one emotion that is at the core of all human interaction - an aching sense of loneliness, the desire to truly belong. Breathtaking, captivating. Amitav Ghosh at his best.
I have been travelling to Delhi six days a week, for the past seven years of my life. And yet, nothing made me think of this city as the magical place it truly is, until I read this book. The only reason I’d recommend this book to you is because it’ll introduce you to William Dalrymple - the man who will shift your perspective, change the history you know and help you look at the same old forts and ruins with wonder. Oh, and it’ll leave you with wanderlust too.
3. Palace Of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
This book is so empowering. Reading the Mahabharata from Draupadi’s point of view made me change my perspective on so much that had been ingrained in me since childhood. I know we’re all stories in the end, but this book made me realize how certain stories never get told. And on that feminist note, please also read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
It's a story, but it is so much more than just that. This book made me believe in signs and omens. No, not the superstitious ones, but the ones that nature and life uncover as you travel on your chosen path. More than anything else, this book taught me to believe, and how important it is to believe.
Do you know how some things just stick to you and remain with you for the rest of your life? The Sound And The Fury is one such book for me. It took me a few reads to understand it in the beginning, and then had to seek help from the internet to understand what was really going on. But once I started understanding it - I couldn’t put the book down. It’s a story about a very complicated family with all the characters taking turns as protagonists. Why do I love the book so much? Because it revealed my soul to me - it showed that just like me, everyone else has moments of sadness, of evil brewing inside all of us and most importantly, how brave we are to put up this strong facade, day in and day out, even though we may be weak inside.
I read this book as an eighteen-year-old and even after all these years it has remained close to my heart. The Catcher in the Rye is the kind of novel which each and every teenager can still relate to, despite it being written in the 1950s. This book made me realize that it’s okay to not have your life sorted out. You just have to remain true to yourself and never lose hope, and things will work out, always.
If you want to know what it truly is to feel grateful for the smallest and biggest happenings in your life, this is your go-to book. Rhonda Byrne engages you in her writing by explaining the importance of having gratitude, and what made it all the more interesting for me as a reader was the exercises I had to do every day as I followed the activities mentioned in the book. This book has repeat value too - ever since I read it two years ago, I’ve gone back to it twice to re-read it, and I’m left with an even more grateful heart each time.
I found High Fidelity in my brother’s classics collection a few years ago, started reading it after a bad break up, and instantly felt better. Hornby’s wisdom on love and relationships and the inevitable sadness of it all makes you feel upbeat about a broken heart. The story revolves around a record shop owner who gets dumped by his girlfriend for another man and what his life is like after the break up. How he pines for his ex-girlfriend and finds other women attractive at the same time and spends most of his time cribbing about everything. It was almost like Hornby was in my head and it is difficult to build that kind of a connection with a classic book which was written in 1995. I’d put this book right next to a glass of wine and cake as one of the top remedies for a broken heart!