Very few things offer the same kind of giddy, yet delicate excitement like the time when you are in love. But one thing you can be sure will offer you not just the same, but far greater happiness and joy, is reading a book. Falling in love with the words, sentences, phrases and verse, with the protagonist, the villain or the sidekick, is something else. Discovering through the ideologies of the narrator your own ideologies. And sometimes even finding the words you’ve been struggling to find, through the words of the author; which makes you say – “this book was written for me.”
Away from the world of work, we have curated a list of five beautiful fiction reads which will flip your world on its head.
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
This piece of work deserves every bit of the credit it has received. It won the Booker prize in 2011 . Barnes, a magician, plays with the concept of time as if it were play dough. He twists and turns the plot any which way he pleases – through the voice of an omnipresent narrator. A moving, hilarious, and nail-biting exploration of the self, friendships and relationships. When you make it to the end, tell us if you know the answer to the question he asks.
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
When I started reading this book, I said to myself, “I have never read anything like this before.” And I wasn’t wrong. Don Tillman, a “socially challenged” genetics professor who has never been on a second date embarks on a certain project to find himself a wife. He calls it “The Wife Project”, and designs questionnaires for all the potential suitors he wants to “screen”. Don’t cringe yet. Read it to find out the hilarious bends and twists of his encounter with Rosie.
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
This work of beauty has to its credit a very deserving Pulitzer prize for fiction. Do not be intimidated by the size of the book because you will feel sorry when it gets over. It is that good. It is the story of a little boy who loses his mother to a bomb blast and ends up with a painting. The painting decides the trajectory of the rest of his life. Every page of this book will have you laughing and crying along with the narrator.
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Set against the background of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil war in Barcelona, this is a story of love, lost and found, and books lost and found in “forgotten cemeteries”. Passionately crafted and narrated, Carlos Zafon weaves magic by taking us around Barcelona through this story you will never forget. They don’t lie when they say, books help you see the world without leaving where you’re sitting at.
Stardust, Neil Gaiman
A must read if you are a fiction fan. Gaiman, a wizard with words is at his imaginative best with this book. No matter how old you are, you will believe in magic when you read this book. In a beautiful way, Gaiman explores the surreal, and the ethereal only by grounding it in very real and concrete everyday things – feelings. What happens when a boy goes out to find a shooting star that fell from the sky for his lover? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
If you’re contemplating a break and don’t know what to read, here you are spoilt for choices. If you’d really like a break but can’t take one – pick up any one of these books and feel yourself being transported very far away from wherever you are. Because you deserve a breather!