Sunday, September 07, 2014

Booked @ 10 - My All Time Favorites

1. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

If there was ever a book that could be regarded as 'PERFECT' in every sense, Great Expectations would surely be in contention for that spot. A coming-of-age novel, charting the life of narrator Pip, Great Expectations has been my all - time favorite. The dramatic plot twists, the memorable characters and the classy writing surely gives it an edge over other books. Add to that the masterclass of Dickens, and you know you are in for a real treat.

Favorite Characters

Philip Pirrip, Miss Havisham, Estella

Favorite Quotes

"Ask no questions, and you'll be told no lies."

"The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day."

"Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape."

2. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

When I first picked up this book, I was awed by its sheer thickness. Over a thousand pages, who would read so much, I wondered? And then, when I started reading it, all my apprehensions vanished into thin air. A historical fiction based on the premises of love, Gone With The Wind adds a whole new dimension to the world of literary romance. Termed as a classic, and rightly so, this novel has everything going in its favor - a realistic backdrop, glimpses of history, and the most enigmatic fictional pairing I have ever come across - Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara.

Favorite Characters

Captain Rhett K. Butler, Scarlett O'Hara, Melanie (Hamilton) Wilkes.

Favorite Quotes

"Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient."

"I'll think of it tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day."

"Until you've lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is."

3. If Tomorrow Comes (Sidney Sheldon)

I wasn't an avid reader until a cousin gifted me this book on my birthday, and then, a new passion got imbibed into my soul. Sidney Sheldon undoubtedly is the master of crime fictions, and 'If Tomorrow Comes' surely rates as his best. The struggle and turmoil in the life of Tracy Whitney, and her eventual victory makes this novel a must read. A racy plot with breathtaking twists, and a villain like Orsatti, this is a book I can read again and again.

Favorite Characters

Tracy Whitney, Ernestine Littlechap, Jeff Stevens, Orsatti

Favorite Quotes

"We’re flimflam artists. But remember, sonny, you can’t con people unless they’re greedy to begin with. W. C. Fields had it right. You can’t cheat an honest man."

"I will survive. I face mine enemies naked, and my courage is my shield."

4. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

Every time I read this book, I could feel myself living the life of the characters. A father - son story, this is also a book based on friendship and love, and the sense of guilt that seeps in when you know you could have stopped something that was wrong, yet watched on helplessly. Set in Afghanistan, the book also highlights the political turmoil of the region.

Favorite Characters

Amir, Hassan

Favorite Quotes

"For you, a thousand times over."

"There is only one sin. and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someones right to the truth."

"There is a way to be good again..."

"There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood."

"I'm so afraid. Because I'm so profoundly happy. Happiness like this is frightening...They only let you this happy if they're preparing to take something from you."

5. Harry Potter Series (J. K. Rowling)

I would like to take the liberty here of not naming a particular book, but the entire series. This is because each of the seven books provide the saga with the feeling of completion. Also, once you start reading the first volume, you can't stop yourself from picking up the next. A brilliant continuation is in store, and by the time all the seven books have been read, you know you have witnessed something special. I, who was initially in two minds whether to read this series or not, became a complete fan owing to its brilliant storyline, beautiful characters and the wonderful world of Hogwarts.

Favorite Characters

Snape, Hermione, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, Hagrid

Favorite Quotes

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

"It is our choices, Harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities."

"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

"Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more, believing in yourself."

"Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."

6. Love Story (Erich Segal)

Love Story is romance. Love Story is humor. Love Story is tragedy. A book that will leave no stones unturned to make you feel every emotion that you are capable of, Love Story is the best love fiction I have read. The dialogues exchanged between Oliver and Jenny is the highlight of the book.

Favorite Characters

Oliver, Jenny

Favorite Quotes

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."

"What the hell makes you so smart?" I asked. "I wouldn't go for coffee with you, " she answered. "Listen -- I wouldn't ask you." "That, "she replied "is what makes you stupid.”

"Her handwriting was curious — small sharp little letters with no capitals (who did she think she was, e. e. cummings?)."

7. Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)

I have often wondered how brilliantly he can amalgamate religion and science, but then, that's why he is Dan Brown. A techno-thriller novel based on mathematics, code and crypography, Digital Fortress is the perfect book to get drenched if you are looking for a racy adventure. The detailing is top-notch, and the finesse of Brown rules your mind.

Favorite Characters

Susan Fletcher, David Becker, Ensei Tankado

Favorite Quotes

“Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.”

“Please accept this humble fax. My love for you is without wax.”

“Act first, explain later.”

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

Never before have I come across a female protagonist like Lisbeth Salander, and that's what brings this book into the list. An enigma of her own, Lisbeth leads a reclusive life, rarely revealing anything about her own self, her past and present as much a secret as her future. She is a genius in ways more than one, and yet, her acts are often perceived to be on the other side of law. A character who will come straight out of the pages, Lisbeth is the reason one should read this book.

Favorite Characters

Lisbeth Salander, Mikael Blomkvist

Favorite Quotes

"Everyone has secrets. It's just a matter of finding out what they are."

"I've had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back."

9. Five Point Someone (Chetan Bhagat)

Why did I start writing? The simple reason is this book. A story revolving around three friends studying in IIT, Chetan Bhagat takes the Indian book reading community by storm with his debut. He is hated by critics, and loved by his ardent admirers. Often, he has been bashed 'cause his writings do not follow the literary style. He remains unperturbed, and continues to inspire several young Indians to follow their dreams.

Favorite Characters

Hari, Ryan, Alok

Favorite Quotes

"They say you should not get into a relationship with people you sleepwith on the first date."

"Sometimes,if you just paraphrase everyone's arguments, you get to be the good guy."

10. The Great Indian Novel (Shashi Tharoor)

A satire based on the Mahabharata, the book narrates the Indian Freedom Movement and the events that happened three decades post independence. What really stands out is the way the author has created a sense of resemblance between the characters of Mahabharata and the legends of Indian Freedom struggle. The tongue - in - cheek humor is unabashed, and though it stores high in the fun quotient, the book also provides valuable insight into scenario of India pre and post independence.

Favorite Characters

Ved Vyas, Ganapathi, Ganga Datta, Priya Duryodhani.

Favorite Quotes

"They say every dog has its day, Ganapathi, but for this terrier twilight came before tea-time."

"If you want to know why democracy is held in such scant respect by our present elite, Ganapthi, you need only look at the way it was dispensed to us by those who claimed to be it's guardians."

"No Ganapathi, religion had never had much to do with our national politics. It was the British civil serpent who made our people collectively bite the apple of discord."

This post is my official entry to IndiSpire - Edition 29: Submit a list of your 10 favourite books with reasons as to why they made it to your list. Let us try to complete a circle and compile a list of books we are yet to pick. #loveofreading


  1. I see you've been doing quite a but of reading lately!!! I admire the first two most definitely. Have you ever read anything by Jane Austin? Mainly, pride and prejudice? Very good book!!! And I have all the Harry potter movies but I've never picked up the books

    1. You should try Harry Potter books ... they will get you addicted :-)

  2. Good list. Especially liked most of the quotes.
    Add a list of ur 10 fav authors too.

    1. Sure ... and would like to see your list too :-)

  3. Wow. loved this list. I have read all but the last one by Shashi Tharoor.

    1. You will love it if you like mythology :-)