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10 Reads For That Lazy Sunday Afternoon….

A friend of mine is trying to develop a habit of reading and naturally is finding the process a bit rough to get going with, since she is starting at the ripe age of 35; never having developed the kind of attention span that requires when reading a book! But it is always better late than never and really, there is no age for starting something as enriching as reading! Therefore I was all excited as a missionary who has just secured another difficult convert and of course supportive; and when asked me for insights to help her select some best suited for ability and interest! Her best time for reading is the Sunday afternoon and she asked me to refer to her to a couple of books that will get her hooked, was not very in-depth or philosophical and would keep her interest flowing till the end!  After much trawling of the Internet for a good reading list, I found absolutely nothing I could recommend and instead decided to come up with a plan of my own. Having come up with my plan, I naturally had to share it with all of you and get your thoughts on what you would want to read when, the time for a while, stops still, especially when starting at very edge of the reading curve –

Poynter_An-Evening-at-Home-1888

An Evening at Home, by Sir Edward John Poynter,1888

  1. The Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson – If I am getting started in reading and I am not motivated by fiction as much as I am by facts, in that case, this book for sure is for you! I cannot think of a more all encompassing, easy to read and yet funny book, on a subject, (Evolution) usually considered very dry and prosaic!
  2. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery – I know this is often considered a”young adult” book, but I feel there is much to love as an “older adult” in following Anne in her journey from a impetuous dramatic little girl, to a kind and gracious young woman, to a teacher and then as a wife and a mother, with all the gorgeous beauty of Prince Edward’s Island, that Ms. Montgomery brought beautifully to life!
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – The ultimate book on fairness, morality combines with a very very good yarn. I do not care about the controversy and I do not care what “Atticus” was originally meant to be; all I know is, in its current form this book is perfection! The narration of Finch Scout takes the reader through the innocent past times of children in deep Southern America in 1930’s, which is suddenly and irrevocably disturbed, when their father takes on a case defending an African American man accused of raping a white girl!
  4. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window & Disappeared by Jonas Jonnason – A fun ride into the fallacies of 21st century, at once a laugh riot as well a deeply thoughtful read! International Politics comes to life as never before as we follow Allan and his merry band as they take to road, and travel to discover the events of history and themselves, in this brilliant joyride!
  5. The Diary of Nobody George Grossmith – It is late 20th century England and the Pooters have moved into a new house and in a inspired moment, Mr. Pooter has decided to keep a diary! This diary that deals with domestic issues, life in high society and a wayward son, the effort of the Potters as they try their riotous best to keep it all together is a treat and provides undiluted, absolutely liberating hilarity to the readers!
  6. The Remains Of The Day by Ishiguro Kazuo – A more somber work than the ones listed above, this slim novel, is however a perfect start to for some soul food reading. Stevens, the butler of Darlington Hall decides to take a 6 day trip to West England and through the journey, he revisits the past, both of Darlington Hall and himself, and choices made and unmade! Lucid, succinct and rich in sparse prose, the way only Kazuo can write, this novel about lost moments in life and memories, takes one’s breath away!
  7. The Feast by Margaret Kennedy – This comparatively lesser known work is one of the prime examples of clear prose and strong character development, around an age old morality  tale! The collapse of the cliff, killing some of the residents of Pendzac Hotel, while sparing some is a tragedy, but as the reader travels, back to the 7 days, preceding the collapse, there are reasons galore, why some lived, while others did not!
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Cliched, I know but I also know the efficacy of this book in getting readers, especially new readers going. This heart wrenching tale of World War II Germany and the desperate effort 9 year old Liesel to learn to read, and her growing bond with her adoptive parents and the eventual tragedy, draws the reader in with its plots and characterization!
  9. A Rising Man(Sam Wyndham #1) by Abir Mukherjee – I am not much of a fan of modern whodunits.  But this murder mystery set in 1920’s Calcutta is really something else! Mr. Mukherjee deftly brings the time, the politics and the social mores to life, at the same time, keeping a strong hold on the characters and the plot! Easy prose and just right amount of history, make this a perfect reading for that afternoon, when you want something to give you an escape from the everyday and mundane!
  10. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels & Stories, Volume 1 &2 by Arthur Conan Doyle – I cannot pick one, so all I can say is if you are a beginner wading in the waters of English Literature, trying to find out, if you can swim here or not, you will have no better coach the Dr. Doyle and his brilliant creations in form of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they solve crimes of blackmail, theft and political intrigue!

There you go, that’s my take, for all those trying to get reading or for those looking for one sumptuous read on a lazy afternoon! What are some of the books, you would add or recommend, in similar circumstances?

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. The Remains of the Day – perfect choice!

    April 22, 2018
  2. What a great list! I think Anne of Green Gables and To Kill a Mockingbird would both be perfect Sunday afternoon books. And I have just finished The Feast and loved it. 🙂

    April 22, 2018
    • I have always felt that Anne of Green Gable is slotted in the incorrect genre and is as relevant to the young as well as the “older” adults! I love The Feast and am forever grateful to Jane for introducing me to it!!

      April 22, 2018
  3. I’m a big fan of short stories as consumable morsels for afternoon reading. More specifically, I recommend Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Chekhov.

    April 22, 2018
    • I love Flannery O’Connor and Chekov! Actually I worship Chekov! Thank You for the great suggestion!

      April 22, 2018
  4. mudpuddle #

    if your friend has a lively imagination, some early Asimov or Heinlein might be interesting… or Agatha Christie/Edmund Crispin/ Ngaio Marsh… Jules Verne, Voltaire(Candide), or maybe something that suits her interest? whatever it might be that she does… hmmm requires more cogitation…

    April 22, 2018
    • I did debate on Christie and Verne, but I then lost the battle to Mukherjee and Doyle! The latter as I hoped would sustain her interest as this is a closer home, historically speaking and Doyle, well its Doyle! I love Voltaire and will add it! Have to try Crispin and Marsh myself! She is quite smart so to speak but she is cultivating reading for the first time, so I am kind of holding off on the more thoughtful pieces….building attention and cogitation may be a bit of a uphill task for a full time working mum of 1 year old! Though, like I said, she is super smart and may be able to do both quite easily!

      April 22, 2018
  5. Soul food is the perfect way to describe The Remains of the Day!

    It is hard to think of the best books to recommend, since everyone has different tastes. However, I think Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a great novel for someone just getting into reading. It’s spooky but not graphic, easy to read but a classic, and overall hard to put down.

    By the way, I really like your blog background! 😀

    April 24, 2018
    • You are so right…I do not know why I missed on Rebecca! I am not personally a fan of Du Maurier but I know her power to hook a reader and is a classic and perfect for a newbie! Thank You for a great idea!

      April 24, 2018
      • P.S. Thank You for the background compliment, but it’s all credit to WordPress! I just picked a design/template I likes because I was BORED of that white background with a header banner!!!!

        April 24, 2018

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