Right now, I am reading Atlas Shrugged. In this novel, Ayn Rand further expands the ideas and philosophies she introduced in Fountainhead. Ayn Rand’s writings have inspired millions of souls. I have learnt to think in a complete new way. I have learnt to value individualism. I have known about many theories so far unheard to me, ideas I had no clue about. I have jotted down my thoughts on Ayn Rand’s writings here – Thoughts on Ayn Rand’s Novels.I just finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Khaled Hosseini’s writing is rich in graphic imagery, drawn in vivid detail using plain and simple language. It was heart-wrenching – he knows how to pull every cord in the reader’s heart. The novel is like a condensed history of Afghanistan – before and after the Talibans. Khaled Hosseini’s family stayed in Afghanistan till 1980 after which they received political assylum in US. He is a doctor trained in US. He has now given up medical practice though and works with the UN. There’s a link on his website where you can donate to Afghanistan’s welfare. Last year, I also read the more recent Hosseini novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns. This one is even better than The Kite Runner, if you ask me. This enduring novel spanning decades, set in the Afghanistan, follows the tumultous lives of 2 Afghan women and how their lives cross each other, and proclaims that love will continue to bloom in young hearts even as nations fall apart in destructive wars.
Another book I plan to read very soon is Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Not long ago, I read Brida by the same author. Paulo Coelho’s ideas are great. It says – Magic is a bridge between the visible and invisible world… and that magic is…. love. Then another idea I liked was this – Everyone is a mirror of yourself. So don’t think too much about others. There was yet another line I am unable to recall right now.
Last Pujo vacation, I was reading Inheritance of Loss, the 2006 Booker Prize winner by Kiran Desai. She is the daughter of Anita Desai whose piece is included in the +2 English syllabus of Delhi board. The setting of Inheritance of Loss is Kalimpong and Darjeeling and the story delves into the hill movement of the 80s – things I had vague ideas about but didn’t know clearly enough. Came to know from the book what really happened back then, up there. Just as life in a retired judge’s house in a sleepy hill town is supposed to be, the speed of the novel is also slow. It progresses very slowly and there are often flashbacks from the past, in the form of the recollections of the judge’s early life. It is so well written that one can actually feel the clouds that clog the windows all day long, smell the heavy air in the judge’s decaying old house or savour the foods prepared by Noni and Lola, the rich sisters who often fly to London. The story goes in a direction opossite to what the reader’s heart wants. One would wish Biju would settle himself well in the US which was never too happen. Nor can Sai and Gyan continue their romance against the backdrop of a ethnic rivalry brewing in the hills. The ending of the story was meant to be like that, not a happy ending.
I am still reading Atlas Shrugged and wish to do a lot more reading in near future. I have a huge to-read list. Time is a constraint though. With all the departments going great guns, there is hardly any breathing space!