Thursday, January 25, 2007


STATUTORY WARNING: If you are not a bookworm, or not one of those who like non-academic books, or one of those to whom I need to explain that "books" are not Extra-Terrestrial flying objects, please go the top right corner of this page. You will find a small box containing an 'X' mark. Please click on that to experience a magical effect. If you have any doubts related to reference books, then you may please keep them to yourself.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I'm going to write about the books which have given me good company for most part of my 23 year old stay on Planet Earth. Please note that these books have got absolutely nothing to do with the ones they prescribe in school, college etc etc. (Heck I am not qualified enough to write about them).

Let me start off with the books that I read when I was ummm..well just about old enough to read them... Misha, Tinkle... These books rock till date... For those of you who don't know who Misha is, first of all Misha isn't a who, it is a what. One of the better things to happen to the USSR. I guess they found out about my addiction to Misha and hence USSR had to disintegrate. (Mebbe they dint want me to be the future editor of Misha) Dont know whether it still exists. Tinkle, champak and chandamama can be classified as classics.. Every single one of them.. Purists might like to point out that 'the Bard' Will Shakespeare's novels are classics, I say...Screw them... Oh and yes, Gokulam was equally good as well...It was the cheapest of the lot (available at Rs 3 way back in 1990), plus it featured the Undir stories.

I'm not sure as to how many would have of Indrajal Comics ( are not the ones which were made into Mithun Chakraborthy movies).. These were our good ol' Phantom, Superman, Garth, Mandrake... I'm willing to offer all my earnings to the person who can procure the entire set of these books.

Cut to my middle school when teenage detective novels were the hottest selling stuff around...Or at least I was addicted to them.. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew... Sounds childish now..But back then, it was every youngster's dream to be a detective. There was a friend of mine who wanted to join CBI after reading Hardy Boys. The last time I heard from him, he was a software engineer... Oh...Please dont club The Three Investigators into the Hardy Boys - Nancy Drew league... That series was a class apart (specially the ones written by Alfred Hitchcock). For those of you who are wondering as to why I have included Enid Blyton in this list: She was a Englishwoman and hence I abstained from reading her novels. The truth: I was too busy playing 'gully' cricket and yes, 'Third term at Mallory Towers' wasn't the best Enid Blyton book to start off with.

After reading almost the entire Hardy Boys collection (during which time, my dad was on the verge of throwing me out of the house for spending Rs2 everyday on the hardy boys books which I used to daily borrow from the local library), there were a couple of years that I wasted reading academics (If i'm right, that was PU-1 and PU-2). To think of it, had I spent those two years fruitfully, I might have ended up adding few more authors to my collection of "I finished them" list.

Post PU it was Agatha Christie for almost the rest of the summer. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, MURDER IN MESOPOTAMIA, MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD, HICKORY DICKORY DOCK, POIROT's LAST CASE still give me sleepless nights... I'm not a fag... I dare anyone to read AND THEN THERE WERE NONE sitting all alone in a room, with no one at home on a dark, rainy night and sleep peacefully after reading it.

Sidney Sheldon's THE DOOMSDAY CONSPIRACY had me hooked on to his novels (yes, Sidney Sheldon is a HE and not a SHE). I've often said that DIGITAL FORTRESS (by Dan Brown) and other similar books have been cheap imitations of this Sheldon's thriller. Hari would disagree with me on this count. I almost forgot, except for the SANDS OF TIME, all his other books are must read books.

Speaking of the other must read books, Mario Puzo sure has delivered cult books GODFATHER, THE SICILIAN, OMERTA, LAST DON, FOURTH K being just some of them. And after reading all these books if you consider Mario Puzo as God, then please DONT read FOOLS DIE or THE FAMILY. Chances are that you might end up retching the food you ate weeks ago.

Colin Forbes is the easiest of all authors to plagiarize. Create an imaginary character called Tweed, who is human, has Chacha Chaudhary's brains, a side-kick assistant called Paula Gray, and some sidekick sharpshooter (called Marler), a reporter (Bob Newman) and keep running from Britain to Germany to France to Spain and back to Britain with this Tweed character trying to save the world from the evil forces. Also create an assasin(preferably the son or daughter of a Knight/Earl) who has the nickname of a 3 year old whose identity you should reveal at the end of the book. Refrain from using the 'F**K' word in your book and there you go. You can name yourself as Colin Forbes and start publishing.

John Grisham is one author who can be compared to our very own Vinod Kambli. He delivers brilliant bestselling novels like PELICAN BRIEF, CLIENT, THE PARTNER and whatnot and just as you are about to classify him as one of the best author's till date he comes up with equally pathetic novels like KING OF TORTS and THE INNOCENT MAN. Hamburger.

Michael Crichton is GOD. I cannot praise him further. For those of you who aren't familiar with his writings, start off with any book other than STATE OF FEAR.

Robert Ludlum, Fredrick Forsythe, Jack Higgins, Tom Clancy - Some of the world's best 'espionage' tale-spinners. Most of their novels are bestsellers. Having said that, Matthew Reilly's novels are the most fast-paced novels I've ever read. (If you doubt this statement of mine, read AREA-7).

I wont comment on JK Rowling. Awaiting her seventh book. Will dedicate an entire post to her.

Despite having read so many books, I feel that the world is divided into two categories:
Those who have read the HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and those who haven't. The single greatest book to be ever written. I rest my case.

@All those who read my blog: I've left out a lot of big names here. Partially attributed to my failing memory and also due to the monotony of the blog. Also partially because I got bored typing. Please feel free to click on Comments-> Post a comment and type the rest of the names.


Anonymous said...

Nice post dude... Too bad there are very few people who have read as many books as you and can actually comment on your choices.. I, have read a few or two... here and there... So here are a few additions and modifications to your post(based on my limited knowledge..)

1)Harlen Coben : U should atleast added this name for my sake... Cmon dude.. This guy has some of the wittiest conversations ever.. The plots aren't too bad either...

2)Greg Iles: Here's one author(other than God himself, Michaeal Crichton) who writes a novel completely different from the others..His novels actually keeps u on the edge of your seat..

3)Tom Clancy: Dude.. What the hell.. you have written that Tom Clancy is an espionage writer??? I guess he is a war writer.. Please correct me if I am wrong..

4)Douglas Adams: Dude... The phrase actually goes like this "The world is divided into two categories:
Those who have read the HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY and those who are going to read(except Sharath, of course)the HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.

5) William Diehl: Dude.. His book "Primal Fear". I think, deserves a mention here.. Awesome book..

6) Enid Blyton:One of the greatest authors I ever read. Better than JK Rowling(Ya.. I said it).. Dude.. U have to read all her books and then ur comment will be accepted

7)Godse and Godse : HEHEHEHE.. Just Kiddin...

8)Robert Ludlum: I think this guy deserves more praise here.. If people thought Tolkein was a great epic-writer(LOTR), then maybe people should read the Bourne Series.. Awesome writing... Need a lot of patience to read his books but once read then completely only then will someone realize the true worth of this man.. RIP Robert....

Also have some of the worst authors that need a mention here..

1)David Baldacci: Kunta writes better.. Need I say more..

2)Kunta : hold on.. I take back my last statement.. Kunta is worse.. Dont believe me.. Read his latest post...

3)JRR Tolkein : Write a smaller book dude..

4)Varun( Bhargav... U knw who)

Cheers to book mate..My best friend after P@RN..

Bhargav said...

1. Harlan Coben, Greg Iles: I saw the length of the post and decided to terminate it excluding most of the current authors... If u noticed very carefully, my blog ended quite abruptly... Was frustrated typing.. Not that I forgot about them totally..Hell, I wouldn't have missed writing about William Diehl, A J Quinell and many of the other authors, Ian Fleming included had the length of the blog not been this big.. Mebbe, I should've written it in two parts..I accept my mistake..

2. Tom Clancy: Intentional error..Had i classified him into war, I'd have had to write another para on war books including alistair maclean.

3. Douglas Adams: Sorry about that... I take back my statement..

4.Enid Blyton: For some reason The Malory Towers start dint quite get me inclined towards her style of writing.

5. Robert Ludlum: He is the master. Again due to frustration at the length of the blog, I had to cut it short.. Again, I feel I should have phased it out in two parts.. Else, how can I have missed out classics like Bourne, Matarese and Parsifal Mosaic.

6.Godse and Godse: LIFESAVERS.

7.David Baldacci: This name had actually crossed my mind while blogging. Thought of poking fun at that guy, but again lenght was a constraint.

8. JRR Tolkien: Haven't read LOTR but the movie was simply brilliant.

9. Kunta: This guy and Mills and Boon authors keep toggling in my list of worst authors.

10. Varun: No comments.. :)

And yes, dude... I'll write another blog..And yes, this will cover all the books I haven't covered in this one... i.e. Harold Robbins, Jeffrey Archer (my favorite), Irving Wallace, James Hadley Chase, Arthur Hailey, Harlan Coben, Greg Iles, Steve Martin, Robin Cook etc etc etc... :)

dharmu said...

Very refreshing post bro. reminded me of those days when we would read these books hidden under the text books.

adding to this list.

1.Harold Robbins-guess you forgot all those gigglings we did in badravathi.

2.Chetan Bhagat-you could not forget him, could you? maybe only 2 books, but still he was good.

3. Robert Fulghum-ok, he is one of my fav authors

4. John Gray-i guess you would not have been a single if you had read him.

5. I.V.Mooditaya Bosco-you forgot them too???(this reminds me, you still haven't returned my books)

6. Jules Verne- man, he was our fav suring one vacation remember??? the athree book shop???

7. Alister Mclain-we smuggled his books from guddianna. er, i gues i have them now.

too good re, i had a nice time laughing about the old times. btw, does wren and martin count???

anyway, will give my book list on my blog.

Aslan said...


Misha??!! I thought I was the only one outside the USSR to have read it.

Aslan said...
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Aslan said...
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Aslan said...

And Michael Crichton SUCKS!! Read NEXT to know what I'm talking about. Or rather don't, if you want any semblance of respect for the guy to remain. State of Fear will seem like his best work afterward. NEXT is spine-chilling, well-researched, innovative and realistic (please detect a note of satire here). I used to think Crichton was cool. But even the Lost World effect has gone after NEXT. And some dick has asked for Chetan Bhagat to be listed among good authors. Please refrain from associating yourself with such people.

Shariq said...

how can you ever leave out Jeffrey Archer.Agreed most of his books are not so goood but he has delivered masterpieces...

Bhargav said...

@Dharmu: Harold Robbins is the junior version of Nancy Friday.. Chetan Bhagat's One night at call center did not deserve blog space..hence I conveniently excluded him..Who the he*k is Robert Fulcrum? And I assume John Gray is this guy who gives tips on how-to-pataofy girls..Jules Verne and Alistair Maclean.. Hats off to them...

@Kuts: We are th only two surviving creatures who've read MISHA.. :) And speaking of Michael Crichton, all his books before STATE of FEAR elevated him to the status of GOD..
And the person who mentioned Chetan Bhagat is my sis.. She aint a dickhead.. :)

@Shariq: You haven't read my blog completely.. Me has said again and again that me couldn't include authors like him because of time, space and boredom.. :)