January 18, 2006

The book that inspires me most

That was the Title of an essay competition held today, and this is what I wrote:

I have to make that a question, because out of the thousands (that’s right –thousands) of books I have read, it is very difficult to locate one that has inspired me. I don’t read books for inspiration. I wish I could not be honest and go ahead and say that I loved ‘Who moved my cheese?’ which happens to be the only book I have read in the ‘improve self’ genre. But where books are concerned, I don’t lie. So why am I writing this then? Because I was hooked by the time I read the second word in your essay topic. So bear with me while I lead you through my journey into the world of books, because I simply can’t point to one and say ‘this is my favorite’.

Let me not make it a journey, I might just try your patience. Instead I shall pick a few books and tell you what I liked most about them.

Harry Potter – The series that mesmerized millions around the world. It’s a fascinating journey into a world of make believe, and you do get sucked into the world inhabited by a gifted orphan. The classic case of the fight between Good and Evil, but what a setting! All the characters are so finely etched, all the sequences perfectly logical, all of it the figment of one person’s imagination – J K Rowling’s. This book does inspire me, to use my imagination and maybe come up with a book of my own someday; amateur writer that I am. Who knows, I just might wield a wand and say ‘Bookwritiomus’ and the book will get written. Such is the power of this book, to make you believe in make believe.

If Tomorrow Comes – This is definitely one of Sidney Sheldon’s best. As is the norm in Sheldon’s books, it has a central female character. Tracy Whitney is sent to jail for a crime she did not commit, and when she does get out of living hell, she is not given a job. So she ends up living on her wits – literally. One man offers her remuneration, if she manages to rob a particular safe in a house that was left empty for the weekend – but this ‘benefactor’ sends someone else to rob Tracy after she has committed the act. But she manages to outwit the other robber, and goes on to pull off some daring heists. This book perhaps does not inspire people in the right direction; it shows that being bad is not necessarily bad for you, and that sometimes you might just be prodded onto the path of Evil, however unwilling a participant you may be.

Erich Segal – I write the author’s name and not just one book. Love Story – A beautiful book on the wonderful love the protagonists (Oliver Barett and Jennifer Cavilleri) share and how they cope with the imminent death of Jennifer. The most memorable thing about the book is the constant banter between the characters that might just have you rolling on the floor or touching a tissue to your eye.
Acts of Faith – This book is about three friends, two of them Jewish and the other, Roman Catholic. Deborah and Daniel are siblings, and their father is a prominent rabbi. But Daniel does not want to become a rabbi and Deborah decides to become one, breaking the rules of Orthodox Judaism which expressly forbids that a woman become a rabbi. It is a story of family ties under strain, pariahs not welcome in their home, even more so when Tim, the Roman Catholic and Deborah fall in love with each other. It inspires you to find the thing that you want most, even if it’s not allowed or inaccessible, because when you try hard enough, you will find it.

I can go on and on, but I will be exceeding my brief. So here is the list of books and I hope to have answered the question, the book(s) that inspired me the most?


Vasanth said...

You've got me on 3 out of 4 !! Maybe bcoz I havent read Acts of Faith ..But the other three are on top of my chart as well :D ..I would probably add "Rage of Angels" and "Oliver's Story" to the list !! and maybe "Stranger in the mirror"..but what about "Doomsday Conspiracy"..I am going to end up writing all of SS novels !!

Rush said...

hehe.. u an avid reader too?? i have read all of sidney's and i like 'if tomo comes,doomsday conspiracy, tell me ur dreams and rage of angels best' :D
acts of faith is sorta longish.. but i like it :)

Vasanth said...

not avid reader n all..But Ive enjoyed the Potter series, and all of Sidney Sheldon novels...I must admit I like Nicholas Sparks (notebook, wedding) and the usual suspects (archer, cook, follet, bach) ..A few strange ones including "the namesake" by Lahiri and now thinking of ruminating a bit on russian authors ..maybe Foydor and Anton Chekhov..

Rush said...

oh ya the potter series is really gud!! transports u into another world..
have not read lahiri.. read chetan bhagat tho.. five point someone was decent..didn like one night @ the call center
u knw wat..i went to a book fair two weeks back..got 6 books for 230 bucks!! cool eh??

Vasanth said...

Ivent tried bhagat..but tried some indian authors' works like maximum city, and two lives..and u know what Vikram seth lives around here and he was in town for a book talk ..damn I missed that...

cool..so what all books did you get ? here I can get used books at a sidey place for like $3..

Now am gonna try a few russian authors..maybe foydor and Anton Chekhov..lets see !!

Rush said...

didn know russians wrote english ;)
i got some non descript books.. past time material only!!
hav never read vikram seth.. he n salman rushdie wil be read by me.. dunno when :D

Simi said...

i came here blog-hopping..
and tell u wat- i agree with u on erich segal. so cannot zero in on any one book of his. i loved acts of faith, the class... and continue to re-read love story quite often.

and it really is unfair to choose on any one fav book. how can u do that?

Rush said...

hey simi!
thanks for ur comment :)
i like all of erich segal's books too! really cannot choose one fav book...it wud be like betraying another ;)