I have been an avid reader since I was a child. From reading Enid Blyton to Shakespeare, books are my life. I have three book shelves in my house and still there isn’t enough space. But I will always have room for these top ten books:
1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: This novel will change any woman’s life. She will start getting a new perspective to what she wants and who she is. I loved reading it the first time and do so often when I need some encouragement. This is the story of a woman who leaves her husband to find her way through Eating in Italy, Praying in India and finding Love in Bali. The novel will make you laugh, cry and understand life better.
2. 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafaq: The story of Rumi and Shams, the love that no one understands and relationships that stay strong through centuries is one that has stayed with me, long after I turned the last page. It is a book for the intelligent woman.
3. The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sunderasan: Passion, adventure, history and the inner world of the Mughal emperors and their love lives makes the book a great read. And not just women, several men have loved it too because of the intrigue of the Mughal court and the history behind the love affairs.
4. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri: The title refers to the first story in this collection of stories and a motif that dominates the book throughout. Unaccustomed Earth is about a world unaccustomed to the constant changes of life, traumas from natural disasters and conflicts in relationships because of this. It is a collection of beautiful, heart-wrenching stories.
5. The Hindi Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan: A book on family, food, relationships, men, marriage and mothers. A lovely tale of how women bond over the simplest of things and always need each other.
6. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding: This is a book about a woman who tries desperately to lose weight, find love and makes a fool of herself wherever she goes is so identifiable. The fact that she writes a diary about it relates it to my life entirely. Bridget Jones is the quintessential modern day woman struggling like everyone else to become thin, find love and achieve some recognition.
7. Sister of My Heart and The Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: A love triangle between two cousins and a husband, it is a complete potboiler that makes you look at your own life and the judgments you pronounce every day.
8. The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik: An autobiographical tale of a daughter who discovers her mother’s past life through tapes and realizes the sacrifices she has made for her family. Sweeping and poignant, it is an enchanting story.
9. Leela: A Patchwork Life by Leela Naidu with Jerry Pinto: An autobiography told in memories Leela remembers. An extraordinary life lived in the times of great change in Indian history. Evocative and unforgettable.
10. Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas by Madhuri Banerjee: It was my debut novel and will remain my favourite chick lit. Not because I’m being a narcissist but because it is identifiable, true and extremely tender. It is the story of a girl trying to find love who gives up her virginity to a married man, only to get her heart broken. A story of self-respect, finding love and believing in one self.
The writer is a columnist, screenplay writer, ad film director and novelist. Her fourth novel Advantage Love was released earlier this month.