8 Books from 8 Genres to Tide You Over the Summer of Quarantine
Let’s face it! None of us predicted this situation to last so long. Consequently, our watch list is running out of movies. Even the show binging business is getting monotonous lately. Judging by the fact that you clicked on this article, it’s safe to assume that you are feeling the same. However, there can be other reasons why you are opting for books instead of movies and OTT series. One of the primal reasons being that books offer us rooms for imagination that are mostly absent from the visual mediums.
The literary prowess of great authors, enables the reader to feel beyond the words. And the feelings help us form a world of our own in our minds about what we are reading. And it stays with us for years. Our ideas, habits and even our ideologies are often shaped by what we read. You and all the literary peeps out there have certainly experienced it. Of course, that’s why you are here!
So here we are bringing you a list of eight captivating books to read this summer during the quarantine. We have selected one book from a specific genre to keep things interesting and full of variety. Enjoy!
1. Classics- 1984
1984, George Orwell’s last book, was published in 1949 and it is a legendary work of dystopian fiction. It’s a cautionary tale about a world consumed by totalitarianism where life is micromanaged to the point where free thinking is an afterthought. Our protagonist in this novel is Winston Smith a citizen of a London ruled by Bigbrother (a representative figure of the party). The heart of the plot lies in when Winston begins to commit thought crimes by writing diaries or harvesting feelings of love in his heart with an ever-looming threat of getting caught and convicted for these feelings.
This is a complex imaginative choice of reading, underscoring critical themes about how power, corruption, society, and government’s impact, manipulate, and often destroy the individualism of its subjects. Its themes, symbols, and context continue to resonate with generations of readers, earning it the status of a cult classic.
2. Poetry- The Essential Rumi
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, scholastic, and Sufi mystic. His influence transcends sovereign borders and ethnic barriers alike. People from Iran, Pashtu’s & Tajiks ethnic group, Turkey, Greek, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent have greatly cherished his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.
The Essential Rumi is a collection of Rumi’s finest verses and it was originally published in 1995. American poet Coleman Barks gives us Rumi’s startling visions and euphoric emissions with contemporary rhythm and import. The Essential Rumi is a rare as well as precious kind of a book that will stir your heart and cultivate your mind with passion.
3. Fiction- Americanah
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel “Americanah” garnered triumphant recognition from critics all around the world right after its publication in the year 2013. This piece of fiction follows the story of a smart, strong-willed Nigerian woman named Ifemelu in her transition while shifting to the United State from her homeland. While graduating from college she started a blog acknowledging an important, yet neglected question: What’s the difference between an African-American and an American-African? Ifemelu also struggles with her feelings for her high school boyfriend, Obinze, who is an equally intelligent if gentler, more self-effacing Nigerian.
Adichie went on record stating that many situations and events faced by Ifemelu were her first-hand encounter. Indeed this book unapologetically presents a lucid experience of deep-seated racism as well as the discomfiting realities we are surrounded with.
4. Non-Fiction – Sapiens
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a non-fiction piece by Yuval Noah Harari. It was initially published in Hebrew in Israel in the year 2011. This book is based on a series of lectures Harari taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The English version came into publication in 2014.
This book mostly deals with the evolution of humankind and how we have come so far. It further makes thought-provoking arguments regarding the things we have gained or lost at an individual as well as collective level as a society in the journey from learning to light a fire to stepping on the moon.
5. Humor- The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The title character Nina Hall is an introverted bookworm. She had her life sorted with a mundane yet satisfying job in a bookstore and a cat named Phil. However, her life took an unusual turn when her father (who she never knew existed) suddenly dies. The incident left her with innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. Their loud and chaotic spirit coupled with their excitement to get to meet Nina overwhelmed her. As any proud introvert would, she found herself panicking. Consequently, she even considered changing her identity and appearance. Or even better, fleeing to a deserted island.
Right after its publication on July 9th, 2019, Abbi Waxman’s The Bookish Life of Nina Hill made its mark among the readers and critics alike. Regarded as a tribute to bookworms all around the globe this piece of comedy will surely fill you up with pure delight.
6. Suspense/Thriller – The Silent Patient
Alicia Berenson, a celebrated painter, is married to a famous fashion photographer. She lives in a luxurious house in one of London’s most desirable areas, overlooking a park & greenery.
However, her seemingly spotless, as well as blooming life comes to a halt when Alicia proceeds to shoot her husband five times in the face one fateful evening. And then she never speaks. Not even a single word! And this very silence of her turns a domestic homicide into something far grander. As the intriguing mystery around the ordeal engrosses the public imagination, Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist determines to unravel the mystery.
Alex Michaelides’s The Silent Patient became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. According to the critics, this piece of thriller comprises the essence of Agatha Christie plotting, Hitchcockian suspense, and Greek Tragedy. We have said more than enough about this one, especially for a thriller. Just pick it up.
7. Biographies/Autobiographies – Autobiography of a Yogi
Paramahansa Yogananda was the first important Indian teacher to settle in America. He was also the first notable Indian to be hosted in the White House. Furthermore, his teachings of yoga to the West left profound influence in the West. As a result, the Los Angeles Times remarked him as “the 20th century’s first superstar guru”.
Autobiography of a Yogi was first published in 1946 and it acquaints the reader to the life of Paramahansa Yogananda along with his encounters with spiritual figures of both the Eastern and the Western world. The book opens with his childhood life into a Bengali Hindu family. Then it proceeds with him finding his guru which eventually led the groundwork for him to become a monk. The book also establishes his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation.
8. Indian Mythology – The Forest of Enchantments
Though the story is as old as the hills, this rendition is as fresh as a morning dewdrop. Published in 2019, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Forest of Enchantments is a brilliant retelling of the tragic love story of Ram-Sita. This piece of mythological fiction places Sita at the center. For a novel depicting certain aspects of one of the world’s greatest epics, The Forest of Enchantments is very humane and relatable at its core.
Though there are countless great works based on Ramayana, this novel has succeeded to earn its praise both from the readers and the critics.
Subscribe for newsletter
* You will receive the latest news and updates