So, seeing as we are all currently stuck at home, what better to do than to read? The ones stuck in the attic, those books you’ve been putting off, the thick ones that now seem very appealing considering the circumstances? Here is a list to consider.
Agatha Christie Novels
From the fancy villas of the French Riviera to the comfortable cottages of St Mary Mead Christie goes all over the world with her books, filled with juicy murders and thefts and false identities to the complexity of the human psyche.
The best suggestion considering the circumstances of lockdowns without the possibility of leaving the house for the time being, either alone or with a bunch of people, is her classics like And Then There Were None or Murder on the Orient Express. Both are about people being locked down and can’t get out, one in a large house on an island and the other on a train stuck on its tracks because of snow.
Both have excellent plots (And Then There Were None is a personal favourite of mine) and are in a way a contrast to one another. One has the reader almost as a detective with the people on the island and on the other our favourite Hercule Poirot. Either way, if you choose these to see how much worse it could be under lockdown then, in contrast, Christie’s other work is a fine choice too.
Her books set abroad especially are a good escape from the quietness of the ordinary filled with death that follows all. Death on the Nile set in a travelling boat upon the Nile in Egypt, Evil Under the Sun takes place at a resort hotel in Devon, Murder in Mesopotamia happens in Iraq, Appointment with Death happens in Petra and Death in the Clouds happens on an aeroplane. There is plenty of travelling with words and a lot of grisly murders to be read!
Almost anything from a Culture or Country that is NOT your own!
Sitting inside is a good time to reflect. To travel, to know or just grow the knowledge. WARNING! Some are heavy hitters in the cultural examination department because I like to read those kinds of books. Here are just SOME of the books.
India (because I read mostly books from there):
- The Guide by R.K. Narayan – a book that critiques Indian culture by an Indian, a classic in every sense of the word. Also, made into a successful movie in both Hindi and English in 1965. Haven’t read it, but hoping to one day get it on paperback because it is such a classic it deserves it.
- Pinjar: The Skeleton and other stories by Amrita Pritam – It is the Partition told in the eyes of a Punjabi woman stolen in revenge for her families actions, her story (encompassing one of many) and made into a powerful movie in 2003. Told poetically, but nothing less than impactful.
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: A Modern Classic by Anupama Chopra – Tells of the making, the impact and influence of the classic 90s film that changed Hindi Cinema into Bollywood, taking the world by storm.
- King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema by Anupama Chopra – From Mumbai’s mobsters in the 90s to the rise of an unknown actor from Delhi who became the most famous star in the world, this book encompasses everything for those as of yet not uninitiated into Hindi Cinema and its world in Mumbai.
- So Now You Know: Growing Up Gay in India (my review) by Vivek Tetuja – An honest portrait of the struggles and hopes told in a way that tugs at the heartstrings
INDEPENDENT WRITERS AND BOOKS ALL THE WAY!
Times are hard and they deserve it. Even if it is just a romance novel with a bad cover or a book in a niche subject that only you like. It helping others in the best way possible!
- Tapestry of Bronze Series: The Niobe Trilogy (my review) and Jocasta (my review). A series that deserves better! It is so well done!
- Cupid and Psyche: The Bad Quarto (my review) by Emily C. A. Snyder – A play, but very well written and enjoyable to read with plenty of fun iambic verses, with also a lot of background stories from behind the scenes of the making and writing of this play (one of a trilogy, the rest haven’t been published)
That’s my list, at least for now, but it is a start. Stay strong, don’t hoard, and be kind to each other!
Thank you for reading!