I love reading. And books were so much a part of my life growing up that I even considered being a librarian. I even started cataloguing the book collection at home when I was in middle school. With my own set of library codes I built up a list that is now lost. Not to worry, it was never of any archaeological significance. In the midst of the Big Bang Theory, Mad Men and Game of Thrones, I now sit with “Dongri to Dubai” – a book that chronicles the rise of the Mumbai Mafia, Dawood Ibrahim in particular. Racy, dramatic and written in a sort of guerilla documentary style, one gets a pretty clear idea of the machinations involved in creating one of the most powerful mafia and terrorist networks in the world.

Books are a tradition in our family and have greatly influenced us. In fact, Dad was influenced by A.J. Cronin‘s novels to become a doctor. Going back to our family collection of books, I was searching for some books that I hadn’t read from our library when I came across my first full novel that I had read back when I was in second standard. It was a small 188 page book called “The Rockingdown Mystery” by Enid Blyton. It had characters who would stay with me forever, among them the orphaned Barney and his pet monkey Miranda. This book was the first in a series of adventures that Barney and his friends embarked on once Barney got himself out of the clutches of a travelling circus. Enid Blyton knew how to spin stories that thrilled, touched and gave you the pleasure of adventure that you could literally feel.

With this I gathered my thoughts to recall my favourite books and following are the one’s that really made my day (arranged in no particular order):

The Count of Monte Cristo – Edmond Dantes was the perfect anti-hero in this saga of love, revenge and redemption. This sweeping story by Alexandre Dumas was full of adventure and drama that resonates to this day.
The Shoes of the Fisherman – The trappings of religious and political power make for a strong cocktail in this Morris L. West book.
















Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sherlock Holmes on the moors! Need I say more…
The Best of Roald Dahl – Before Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there were tales of the unexpected with the most wicked twists in short story fiction ever.














The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – I never saw the ending coming. Nor did the millions who read the book in the early half of the twentieth century resulting in sacrilegious horror from litterateurs. It is now an Agatha Christie classic.
The Mystery of the Hidden House – Enid Blyton spun a fun mystery story enlivened by Ern – the nephew of the local policeman, Mr. Goon. I could recite Ern’s poetry on his uncle in my dreams… lovaduck!
















The Hobbit – I consider this the best in The Lord of the Rings series. Small, but packing a punch in more ways, this novel is an adventurous gem to read.
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park – The book was much better than the movie. I watched the movie first, but nothing to beat the book in terms of sheer scale of the nature of the suspense and disaster that was waiting to happen.
















The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – She never ceases to amaze. An unforgettable character in a master thriller.
Shutter Island
Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane’s novels delve into the psyche of the individual in relation to his/her surroundings. This book is creepy and the horror in line with the works of Edgar Allan Poe.



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