Haven’t picked up a novel in the last three months? Or tried to pick one up but never got past the first couple of chapters? Who has the time, you say. What with that mounting pile of course work, multiple readings for the same topic, classes, a dozen societies and some socialising squeezed in amidst it all, reading for leisure has been pushed into a corner somewhere at the back of our minds, where we know we would like to read that book, but just haven’t got around to actually doing it.
You could possibly use the mid semester break to catch up on some of the reading you’ve missed over the first half of the semester. Since it’s an incredibly short break, here’s a list of equally short reads that you can finish over the duration of the break, and still have time to do other productive things like sleeping and sleeping some more.
- The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
If you’re questioning your place in the world, this is the book to go to for some solace. Exupéry’s lovely illustrations to the book, which are almost child-like in their simplicity, are an added bonus. Though it reads much like a children’s book, the message is something everybody needs to be told once in while for, “one sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
- Mottled Dawn, Saadat Hasan Manto
This is a collection of 50 stories on the partition of India. At a time when the atmosphere between India and Pakistan is charged, there is no better book to familiarise yourself with the angst and violence that partition entailed. The last couple of pages of the book is a collection called Siyah Hashiye, which translates to ‘black margins.’ These poignant stories are barely a couple of lines long, but they drive home the pain of partition.
- Animal Farm, George Orwell
Orwell’s critique of dictatorship in general and the Stalinist regime in particular is couched in the allegory of animals running a farm by themselves after they have driven out the owner (reminds you of a revolution?). It’s a quick read and Orwell’s clever usage of allegory to make a political point makes it an interesting one.
- Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s own life, growing up as a girl in Iran, in the form of a graphic novel. Besides the graphics, which are a work of art in themselves, Satrapi’s subtle humour makes the book (to use a term that’s quite cliched) ‘unputdownable.’
- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby lives an oppulent life in the America of the Roaring Twenties. The story will leave you feeling sorry for that Gatsby that lies within all of us-the one that clings on to a long gone past.
Image credits: http://www.forbes.com