Monsoon is almost here. I cannot wait for the drizzle and the cloudy days when I will lose track of time. With the sound of raindrops pattering against the window, it is the best time to curl up with a cup of coffee and a good book. Here are 5 books of my choice, which could be your perfect companions for this monsoon.
1. Rain in The Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas by Ruskin Bond
Whenever I want to feel calm and cozy, I turn to Ruskin Bond’s books. They have the essence of the Himalayas and breathtakingly beautiful tales about simple lives of simple people.
‘Rain in The Mountains’ is a collection of essays, poems and entries from Ruskin Bond’s diary. In the solitude of his home in the mountains, the writer is captivated by the nature and life that surrounds him and his reflections are captured in his writings.
Monsoon in the mountains is perilous, yet bewitching. When you read this book, it will make you feel as if the mountain forests, the sound of rain and the chant of cicadas have become part of your existence.
2. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Category: Fiction, Classic Literature
I always had a soft spot in my heart for classic literature. I admire Thomas Hardy’s writings. His style of narration is art at its best. As soon as I read the first line of the book, I was sure that I was going to love it.
The novel revolves around young and carefree Bathsheba Everdene who unexpectedly becomes the owner of a fortune after the death of her uncle. She is being pursued by three men: farmer William Boldwood, Sergeant Francis Troy and shepherd Gabriel Oak. When she realizes that she is in love, she has to face the complex consequences of the decisions she makes.
Sometimes, after reading a particular line or finishing a passage in the book, I had to pause, read it again and marvel at the the beauty of it. I would suggest you to enjoy this book slowly, savour each word and expression when it rains outside.
3. No Path in Darjeeling is Straight by Parimal Bhattacharya
Category: Memoir, Non-fiction
I like to read more about the mountains during the rainy season. This is another of my favourite monsoon reads, and that too from the non-fiction genre: No Path in Darjeeling is Straight.
The violence for Gorkhaland was receding during the early 1990s, when Parimal Bhattacharya taught at the Government College in Darjeeling. In this book, he portrays Darjeeling’s history, nature, traditions, culture, people and sociopolitical situation from his own intimate experience. Darjeeling’s beating heart vibrates through the entire narrative.
I am including a small extract from the book here:
“…Yet when the town was wrapped in fog and the days were filled with a murky light, when fabulous moths swarmed at lighted window panes in the evenings, when the unending rains seemed to be coursing through the blood vessels, it was then that Darjeeling would work her charms on me.”
4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Category: Fiction, Fantasy, Classic Literature
I don’t know if you would agree with me, but I feel that the rainy days would be incomplete without reading Shakespeare. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is an ideal monsoon read in every way.
Lysander and Hermia love each other, but Hermia’s father Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius who also loves her. Lysander and Hermia plan to escape one night, and Hermia lets her friend Helena know her plans. Helena, who is in love with Demetrius, spills out her friend’s secret to him in order to gain his favour. The couple escape as planned, and so does Demetrius, followed by Helena. Chaos occurs in the forest, as the fairy king Oberon, with the help of mischievous Puck, tries to set things right.
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has magic and fairies, unrequited love and betrayal, humour and romance. It has everything one could wish for.
5. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Category: Fiction, Mystery, Classic Literature
Who doesn’t like reading mysteries on a dark, rainy evening? I dare not exclude Sherlock Holmes from a monsoon reading list. I suppose the book needs no introduction.
Mysteries of peculiar and the most intriguing kinds arise in the dark corners and alleys of London and the picturesque and secluded countryside of England in the late nineteenth century. The one man who goes on untangling them with his sharp intellect and impeccable observational skills is Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective. His friend Doctor John Watson accompanies him on his adventures.
Numerous films and television series have been made on Sherlock Holmes. Yet the magic of reading all the 56 stories and 4 novels of Sherlock Holmes is an experience you must not miss.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading during the rainy days? Send me your recommendations.