Bask in a literary milieu this weekend with books from diverse genres. Here are five books selected from entirely distinct eras and literary schools.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Considered as one of the most 'startling' books, there is no wonder why Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind figured in the list of Guradian's 100 best-best books of the 21st century. It may topple the existing notions of human life and shed light on the brevity of humankind's history on the vast span of earthly eons. The book by Yuval Noah Harari was first published in 2011 in Hebrew in Israel based on a series of lectures by Harari taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among several mind-boggling observations that Hariri puts forward in the book the most prominent one is that the reason for humankind's dominance in the world is its ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. An enriching document on the origin and progress of the human species, 'Sapiens' is a captivating book from cover to cover as Harari, one of the world's preeminent historians and thinkers, challenges every established notion regarding human beings.
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
In the novel published in 1981, the Indian-British author Salman Rushdie waxes eloquent on the transition period of India from the colonial era to Independence and troubles and tribulations people underwent as part of the partition. The story of Saleem Sinai, the protagonist of the novel is born exactly at the hour of India's Independence, that is midnight of August 1947. Reflecting the turmoil India faced in the initial stage of nation building including the conflict of ideas and the diverse religious, political, cultural, and linguistic aspects, the novel unfolds as an allegorical account with a poetic charm.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri, the British-American writer with Indian roots, often deals with the complexities of the cultural interconnections among Indian immigrants to America. Namesake, the debut novel by Jumpa Lahiri moves between Kolkata, Boston, and New York City reflecting the emotional cruise along the conflicting ideologies, cultures, traditions, and religious affinities. The theme and plot of this story were influenced in part by a family story she grew up hearing. The mixed feelings of Gogol, the protagonist of the novel over his unusual name is identical with Jhumpa Lahiri's ambivalence over her name and identity. The book is a smooth read and those who have the experience of navigating between cultures can easily connect with it.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Replete with student uprising, uneasy friendship, free love, passion, loss and desire Haruki Murakami's book 'Norwegian Wood' is a captivating read. The book, in which the writer gets transported back to his college days, has made him a literary superstar. Family plays a significant role in Japanese literature and Murakami writes mostly in first person. The novel explores the love story of Toru Watanabe and Naoko and the imagery of the forest setting and the Beatles song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) play significant roles in the book.
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Known for popularising the literary style of magic realism, Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the fictitious town of Macando founded by one Jose Arcadion Buendia, his family, and the following generations. The history of Macondo is repeated inevitably, which is the theme of the novel. The characters are controlled by the past and are visited by ghosts. Originally written in Spanish the book has been translated into more than thirty-seven languages. A gripping masterpiece literary work, the book etches various phases of human history showcasing both moments of glory and decadence. The picturesque narrative of the ambiance and the detailed actions give the novel an enthralling charm.