Oh right, because I was going be able to ignore a book meme...pah!

Confirming that one of the key issues with me and a career in politics is that I’m all hinterland.

Apparently, and only ‘apparently’ because I cannot access live journal blogs from this PC and the battery on my iPhone is running so low that I daren’t use it to surf the interweb there is a new book meme going about.

First you pick a genre and then 5 books from that genre and then you tell people why they should read them.

My genre is Indian Literature.

India is my second favourite country in the world (bearing in mind I haven’t been to New Zealand, which I am told is the BEST country in the world; although judging by the pen I picked up this morning that is because they have exported all their pen chewers to south east London).

But Indian Literature is probably my favourite genre. It is rich, luscious and sensual and I love it. I could have given your 10 or 20 favourite novels but the meme said five so five is what you’re going to get! So, here we go:

The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy

I often cry whilst watching movies and TV (I’m a very willing suspender of disbelief) but rarely when I’m reading a book. This one made me cry; if fact just thinking about it now I get a little pain just above my stomach. I cannot for the life of me remember if I read it before or after my first trip to Kerala but just as Kerala has a misty, green, dewdrop kind of beauty so does this book.

Animal’s People by Indra Sinha

This was Shortlisted for last years Booker prize and was definitely my favourite of the shortlist. This is a book set in a fictional city that is basically Bhopal and deals with the long, long aftermath of the chemical leak and the cynicism of politicians and corporate bosses. However, it is a very human story of a young man disfigured by the leak and his coming to terms with himself. What I like most is the very individual voice of this young man who is the narrator of the whole story. Brilliant!

The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru

This is a fast paced, fantastical romp and really rather rude at times (what am I talking about ? Most of the time!). But I liked it! It is funny and sad and I’m not sure I actually like the impressionist that much but hey, its’ good fun. It was the first of Hari Kunzru’s novels and it made me look out for his next one. He! He!

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

On the shortlist of this years Booker Prize it is my favourite so far this year (and so far I’ve read 4 of the 6 shortlisted books); at least I think it is – they’re all so good I find it difficult to choose. Ghosh is one of my favourite novelists. He tells a really good story and sets them in eastern india around the Bay of Bengal always in interesting histirical settings (and I just can’t wait for the next two instalments of this trilogy – I’m just sorry it’s only a trilogy and not a 7 or 8 book series) and his characters are well rounded and he particularly does well rounded female characters. This one’s interesting historical setting is the lead up to the Opium Wars and the impact that Opium farming had on eastern India. I’m hoping that it’s going to win the Booker Prize this year but then what do I know? Last year the only book I actually didn’t like on the shortlist won!

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Very long but very epic this pulls you into an old, old country but also one that is hurtling towards modernity. This book reveals much of what I personally love about India and why it is my second favourite country in the whole wide world. He has created a whole world here and it is as big as the real India!

As I said, I have put only a fraction of the books that I would like to tell you about in this genre – and if I were to do it agin in a few days time I might very well choose 5 different books. Enjoy!!


Denford said...
26 Nov 2008, 23:49:00

What, no Midight's Children, the Booker of Bookers? Never mind Indian, that book is one the top five of all time!
Still, A Suitable Boy is a suitable choice. But God will never forgive you fir leaving Midnight's Children off the list!!!!

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