The Story of a Christmas Carol

There is only so much I can add to all that is written about Charles Dickens and his famous novel A Christmas Carol, a story that has apparently never been out of print since its first edition in the late 1800s. One can only aim of such success. So what is it that makes this novel so special. In one word, I’d say, relatability.

We are introduced to a grumpy old rich man Ebenezer Scrooge, who despises people, pleasantries, cheer, charity and frankly anything and everything related to being a good human. He doesn’t hurt anyone but is the personification of stinginess and unpleasantness. One day he is visited by the ghost of his dead friend and partner, who seems to be chained by the bad deeds that he did in his lifetime and is forewarned that he will be visited again by three ghosts. These are the ghosts of Christmas – Past, Present and Future.

A Christmas Carol, booked for 100, #achristmascarol, #charlesdickens, #christamscarol, #bookedfor100, #unclescrooge
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The Story of a Moonstone

Moonstone, written in the early 19th century by Wilkie Collins is a detective story where instead of a detective solving the crime, it’s the readers who discover the thief through a series of narrations. A very interesting way to put it. And quite skillful too

The plot starts with how the Moonstone comes into the hands of a Colonel, through a series of plunder of the Hindu temples that happened during the 600 yr rule of the Mughals and British in India. It then talks of its journey to England and there it is bequeathed to the Colonel’s niece during her 18th birthday. She receives it on her birthday dinner but the following day, it is found to be missing. Who stole it, How did it find its way out of the house into a banker, Who then recovers it, forms the rest of the plot

Moonstone Wilkie Collins, #moonstone, #wilkiecollins #bookedfor100
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The Story of Siddhartha

What more do I write about this book except that it is an experience. An experience of living in the mind of a person who is out to seek the meaning of life, who is on a path of self awakening. It is as simple as that and yet not.

Hermann Hesse in his book Siddhartha takes us through Siddhartha’s life as he leaves behind his family and comforts to seek answers to his existence, to learn the ultimate truth.

Siddhartha isn’t Gautam Buddha, as one may be led to believe considering the name is the same, the story is similar and the cover picture is deceptive. But after you read the book you realise the true meaning of that cover, and I’ll let you decipher that for yourself.

Interestingly they both live in the same time and their paths do cross. And as much as Siddhartha admires The Buddha, he still sets out to find answers on his own with the basic belief that he has developed – that wisdom cannot be taught by any teachings, it has to be attained, be learned by oneself. Be truly understood by the self. Because once put into words, it loses its complexity as mere words cannot do justice to its depth.

In his journey he encounters his many teachers or influences – Govinda, his friend and follower who sets out on his own path and follows Gautam Buddha, the Samanas or ascetics who live in the forests, Kamala, the courtesan who has found peace, Kamaswami, the merchant who introduces him to trade and the many lusts of human existence, Vasudev, the ferryman who in his simplicity possesses far more knowledge than can be taught. Each of them has a role to play in his awakening and he leaves each character with more to give than take from. Learnings from the most unassuming of sources. His conversation with Kamala where in he says,

“You are life me, you are different from most people. You are Kamala, nothing else, and inside of you, there is a peace and refuge to which you can go to at every hour of the day and be at home inside yourself, as I can also do. Few people have this, and yet everyone could have it.”

Makes you want to believe that there is more to a person than what we see. In fact these words made me want to seek that ‘peace’ myself.

Hesse’s descriptions are just amazing. They take you with them. For instance there is a sequence where he talks of Siddhartha’s meditative experience when he transcends beyond his body and floats into the sky and dwells inside a heron and lives its life and begins to see the world through its eyes. You’ve read my words, now go and read Hesse’s and you’ll understand how much more interesting and read he has made this very experience. I had to pause and pull myself out.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #siddhartha #hermannhesse

Does this book take you on a path of self realisation? I don’t know. It didn’t really push me to it. But does it give you a peep into the mystical workings of the mind of an awakened soul and its path to enlightenment? Oh yes. And so poetically at that.

A quick quick read. And a poignant one at that. Enjoy!



Photos: Remya Nair


The Story of a Beloved

A masterpiece. Oh it is a masterpiece!

Toni Morrison in Beloved tells us the story of a slave family during the times when slavery was being abolished; when they’ve lived such a life and didn’t know how to live otherwise or are still living in the aftermath of what they went through. A time, when legally slavery was done with, but society still had a long way to go in terms of realigning ideologies.

Subtle realities hit you in the passing. Brutal realities. Things that happened to them, choices they had to make, blatant hypocrisy they had to accept as normal, everything hits you. When one of the characters talks of freedom as

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose – not to need permission for desire. That was freedom”

You begin to realise how deprived they were.

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The Story of The Magic Faraway Tree

A children’s fantasy novel like you’d expect from Enid Blyton, though this is the first fantasy work of hers I’ve read. There have been The Famous Fives and The Secret Sevens and the Malory Towers and the like but all of those were real people so to say.

The Magic Faraway Tree is nothing like that. An adventurous tale where three siblings, Joe, Beth and Franny, take their cousin Rick to a magical tree in the forest behind their home which houses strange characters such as Moonface (who obviously has a face as round as the moon), Silky (a pretty little fairy), The Saucepan Man (who is covered in kettles and pans and is short of hearing thanks to the noise his vessels make), Dame Washalot (an old lady who loves washing), Mr. Watzinaname (the perfect nobody character) and The Angry Pixie (name says it all). Together these  embark on a journey that start with them climbing up the tree into the clouds. The tree serves as the pathway into the different mysterious Lands atop clouds which station themselves on the tree every few days.

And the fun begins.

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The Story of Two Lovers and Mahatma Gandhi

To say that I went into this book with zero expectations wouldn’t be completely untrue. Titled ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’ this book didn’t really boast of a great plot. However, what intrigued me was why then was this chosen by Goodreads as one of RK Narayan’s best work. There is a flavour to his writing which I hoped would see me through what otherwise seems like a plain old story – a coming of age story of a boy who is fascinated by a girl, during the freedom struggle era, complete with Mahatma Gandhi actually appearing in the novel as a significant character and not just an imaginary idol.

Like I said, there is a style of writing that I expected from RK Narayan that would see me through this novel. A la ‘swami and his friends’ mode where you blissfully follow their tales in the land of Malgudi.

Treat this book like you would a new writer’s and you’d be able to see the beauty in its simplicity. The absolute truth that it represents. The real scenario of the impact of India’s freedom struggle on the common man. Common folk who led otherwise normal lives far removed from the play of politics at the centre. For whom The British were just another king who ruled their lands. One they did not see, but whose rules they lived by.

And that probably must have been the reality of hundreds of villages in our country during those times.

Set in the backdrop of such a village is our protagonist – Sriram, who though old enough, is not really mature or serious about life. Then comes in Bharati, a freedom fighter working in Gandhi’s camp, a girl who captures his attention and then begins our story. How he slowly understands Mahatma Gandhi’s words and becomes involved in the freedom movement, all in the effort to impress her forms the rest of the story.

The base plot is cliché. But somewhere behind this story, RK Narayan has drawn out a picture of the other side of India. The unexpected undertones of characters is what you begin to take note of. It is the Indian Sarpanch who takes advantage of the simple village folk whereas a British landowner who has been living in India all his life is the one providing for employment to thousands of people in his plantation. Shopkeepers who sell English biscuits don’t see anything wrong it since it is afterall only a commodity, while people carrying on the fight are often thought to be nuisances who disrupt every gathering with their speeches.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #waitingforthemahatma, #rknarayan

I guess India is too large a country for each and everyone to be influenced by the need to fight for his own freedom.

And yes, Mahatma Gandhi DOES appear. As a central character. Who the lovers consult with. Whose orders they follow. The real speaking leader. Which I found amusing.

If you can get past the beginning of the novel (which incidentally took me 2 weeks a lot of determination), you will not be disappointed. It isn’t his best work, but RK Narayan definitely doesn’t disappoint.


Photos: Remya Nair



The Story of Ten Strangers

The first thing you’ll notice about Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is the author’s note. I rarely read the author’s note. Rather read it after I finish the novel just to see what was going on in their head when they wrote it. But in this case, the note is so short, so crisp and so surprisingly honest that one can just not avoid it. A rare occurrence where the author has been so pleased with herself and has actually gone a step ahead and mentioned it in the author’s note, the absolute thrill she feels in having put to words such a complicated plot.

And what a plot it is.

A book that I finished in one sitting, after long. Of course it is Agatha Christie. So it will be a nail biter till the end, but And Then There Were None is a nail biter even after you finish the book. You are just left stunned at the brilliance of the plot. The perfection of the storyline. And the identity of the killer. A clue which doesn’t spring up till almost the end when a small detail is revealed. The book doesn’t just elaborate a murder mystery but also dwells on the intricacies of the human mind and the transformations in their behaviour caused by the changing situation around them. The slow manner in which each human slowly turns into an animal with only one skill heightened – the need for survival.

The novel starts with a series of character introduction making you want to grab a pen and write down their names and background lest you miss a clue somewhere. Yes, knowing the author, you automatically don a Sherlock Holmes hat. Trust me, you might as well leave it aside. No amount of being alert from the start prepares you for the end.

The ten strangers are called upon a millionaire’s island and forced to stay there for a few days owing to bad weather. Things take an ugly turn when one of them gets murdered in the very first night and then the drama begins. A search to find the killer, the need to trust each other while at the same time being suspicious, the slow piling up of dead bodies and a last ditch attempt to save oneself; the situation only gets more confusing. As the plot unveils itself, the devil within comes out and the least likely suspect obviously turns out to be the criminal.

It is so evident why she loved the book. She should. Anyone would feel proud of themselves. This is the kind of masterpiece that would make even a seasoned thriller author feel like it is their best work. Even someone as accomplished as Agatha Christie.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #agathachristie #andthentherewerenone

I guess there comes a point in every artist’s life when they realise that the work they just completed is the best that can ever come out of them. Something that surpasses their own expectation. Something that makes them lay down their tools and say, “I am done.” They may choose to continue their work or stop right there, but they will know in their heart that it can never get better than this. Artists tend to like all their work, some more than the others. But there is always one work, one piece of art, that surprises them. That makes them its fan. The one piece which is their ultimate work. A moment that every artist dreads and craves for at the same time.

And I quite imagine Agatha Christie smiling smugly after going through the manuscript, sipping her cup of tea, looking out of the window and saying to herself, “You’ve outdone yourself, my girl.”

Pick up And Then There Were None, finish it in one sitting, and don’t bother about the cup of coffee; You won’t find time to sip it.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #andthentherewerenone


Photos: Remya Nair


The Story of Mort

Terry Pratchett is an author whose works I haven’t read, and I must admit, regrettably so, wasn’t even aware of. This whole reading acclaimed authors/books is turning out to be an interesting exercise and I am only at my fourth book. A whole 96 more to go.

Getting back to novel no.4, Terry Pratchett’s Mort was shall I say a surprise. I went into this one with zero expectations but expectations have a strange tendency to create a range between good and bad and when you say zero you intend a neutral stance. You never, however, account for emotions such as surprise in that frame. And that is precisely what this book does to you. Throws out the whole frame and all you knew about expectations right out of the window.

Surprised? Flabbergasted is more like it. And by what you might ask. Well, humour. Yes. Humour. Not the in your face Ha Ha jokes or comic situations, but a blast of wit that hits you out of nowhere like that crazy little pup you just bumped into when you turn around the corner of an otherwise mundane street on an otherwise mundane morning. You jump. You are startled, and you find yourself laughing at your own silliness. Pretty much sums up the interjection of humour in this book. An odd joke or two creeps up at the most unexpected places. Not in a conversation, not a punchline at the end of a chapter, but just some random sentence bang in the middle of a character’s thoughts. Humour writ with wisdom, making it the funniest combination possible. Reminds me a lot of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But that’s an epic for another day.

Mort by Terry Pratchett, Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #mort, #terrypratchett

Mort is part of the author’s Discworld Series. The Discworld is an amazingly whimsical way of looking at the world we know. A flat world that rides on the back of four giant elephants who stand on the shell of the enormous star turtle Great A’Tuin and which is bounded by a waterfall that cascades endlessly into space. Mindblown at the picture this creates in your head? This is only the beginning.

Mort is the story of an otherwise clumsy fellow, whose behaviour doesn’t fit into the confines of a traditional way of being, and who soon finds himself employed as the apprentice of the oddest of employers – Death himself. And thus begins his adventures in this job and a realisation of how things look from up above or for that matter from beyond.

Throw in a place where time stands still, a name that no one remembers to call him by, a botched up errand, a bunch of wizards, a lonely daughter who surprisingly knows too much, a queen who should’ve been dead but isn’t, a kingdom in chaos, history busy trying to correct itself, reality trying to stitch the lines and Death trotting off on a vacation because he, of all people, is feeling low, and you would have what I call a weekend full of excitement, unpredictability and loads and loads of laughter.

Caution, read this at a place where you suddenly laughing out loud doesn’t necessarily draw unwanted attention or the occasional shush! Not that it bothered me. I was way too deep inside the Discworld.

Taking a line out of the book, May you also be able to see Octarine, the Eighth colour of the spectrum, the colour of magic, the pigment of imagination. Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Mort by Terry Pratchett.


Photos: Remya Nair



The Little Girl and her Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett, in her book The Secret Garden’, paints a pretty picture of the ‘English moors’ complete with a hundred room Manor, Yorkshire country folk and their queer accents and the gardens and orchards that surround those lands. For someone who hasn’t been to such a place, it does set the imagination wild.

But, this book isn’t what I’d call a children’s novel, (not little kids, atleast). Nor does it have an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ charm to it, which I expected (it to have) what with it being a story of a little girl who discovers a whole new world when she chances upon the buried keys to a secret garden shown to her by a bird. Familiar much?

What it does do however, is take you through the transformation of a little sickly girl, who hated people and was miserable, into this bright spirited healthy kid as she tends to her secret garden and watches in wonder as the grass grows and the flowers bloom. The garden slowly comes to life, much to the thrill of this child, and so do the lives of two other inhabitants, of that Manor, who had given up hope altogether.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #thesecretgarden

Hope, I think is what this book is about. Hope and a childlike way of dealing with problems. For even though it is a plain story, the writing makes you so involved, that you find yourself rejoicing when someone with no hope of tomorrow suddenly exclaims,

“I’ll live forever and ever!”

Is it a sweet read. Yes. Is it something that should be in the top 100 all time must read lists. Not really.

Then again, not all great books are for everyone.

I think the popularity of this book lies in the fact that it was written by a female author in times when women weren’t considered to be proficient enough to earn their bread.

That said, do read it. If you find yourself with this book on a lazy afternoon, turn the pages and stroll through the beautiful countryside, breathe in the fresh spring air and be amazed by the secret garden so delicately detailed that you can almost touch it.


Photos: Remya Nair


A Prince and His Tales

The first thought that crossed my mind when I saw this book was, ‘How could something so little have captivated the minds of so many readers across time’. As I turned the pages of the book, I found my answer. This book reaches out to that core instinct in us which makes us treasure something. Our desire to protect. Who, you may ask.

It’s The Little Prince. For he symbolises all that we’ve forgotten to be.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry takes you through his encounter with a little prince who he meets while being stranded in a desert. This little man with golden hair claims to be from another star and engages him in tales of his travel across the universe till he got to the Earth.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, The Little Prince , #thelittleprince

I must admit I found myself searching for the hidden meaning in all those stories that the little prince narrated, of the characters he met on the way. Was there something more that we needed to learn from this? Isn’t this character a reference to someone we know? Do those words from a random animal (he met along the way) have hidden pearls of wisdom in them.

I couldn’t see it.

And then I came across the lines in the book,

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

I stopped reading with my eyes and let myself be immersed in the simplicity of the words of the author. I let myself flow with the poetic beauty that the story has. I let myself be touched by the poignant charm of the little prince.

And then I understood what the author meant when he said, “All grown ups were once children – although few of them remember it.”

I found myself making a promise, that someday when I travel to the African Desert, if I were to come upon that spot under the star, I’ll wait. I’ll wait for the little man with golden hair who laughs and refuses to answer questions.

The Little Prince, Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #thelittleprince

Thank you, Little Prince. Thank you for reminding me what it is like – to see with the heart.

Photos: Remya Nair


A Bunch of Kids and the Mockingbird

I didn’t know much about this book and honestly speaking expected a typical courtroom drama where the blacks were being pitted against the whites, and you have one lone crusader who is trying to fight for them.

It was so much more.

Harper Lee, in To Kill a Mocking Bird, her first book, beautifully weaves the world of two kids – Jem and Scout Finch – and through their eyes takes us into the lives of their dad Atticus Finch, and the varied characters of Maycomb County, complete with the mysterious neighbour, the nosy old women, the bullying kids, the defiant policeman, the upright reporter, the amusing judge, the helps and the hidden society of the oppressed.

In the course of their adventures and observations, what she skillfully reveals is a refreshing way of seeing the world as it is, a way that remains, still, untainted by the various prejudices and hypocrisies that adults have about them. Makes you think twice on who is actually the wiser.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, to kill a mockingbird, #harperlee,

Humour sneaks in throughout the book at the most unexpected moments, largely in the thoughts of Jem and Scout, the latter mainly, a little girl with enough doubts and gumption to put any adult in a tight spot. But their doubts only tug at your heartstrings for they show what they really are, just kids, trying hard to make sense of the obvious irrationality of the adult world.

Atticus Finch, a character so steadfast yet amusing, is among the handful in those times that doesn’t believe in racism but is rather fighting the silent war against it, knowing very well that it might seem like a lost cause now but not giving up on the hope that someday it’ll all change. However what he is fighting the most is to be a better example to his children. What he is protecting the most is the free spirited, unprejudiced innocence they possess while at the same time letting them learn the ways of the world on their own.

“Shoot all the Blue Jays you want, if you can hit ‘em. But remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird.”

A simple statement by him that reveals the clarity of his thoughts and the gentle manner in which he is nudging his kids to understand the difference between the choices they must make one day.

Read this. Read this to re-live your childhood as you enter the minds of the Finch kids. Read this for the beautiful but painful humour that Harper Lee has deftly used to drive the point home. Read this to understand what it must be like to know someone by standing in his shoes and walking around in them. Read this, because it is one of the most beautiful portrayals of what is wrong in the way we see the world.

Booked for 100, #bookedfor100, #tokillamockingbird, #harperlee

And like in the end when Scout rambles away in her sleep about a character she read or encountered, “… Atticus, he was real nice.”, Atticus replies, “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

Well, aren’t they really.


Photos: Remya Nair


The Story of The List

Coming up with a list of books was anything but easy. How did I go about it then?

The first step in this self imposed adventure is, of course, to make The List. Tempted as I was to pick a certain genre or read the books I’ve been wishing to for a while, I figured it would be a lot more interesting to throw a wider net. In comes Google.

A basic search showed ‘Must Read’ lists ranging from the classics to children’s books to new age authors and so forth. I however, narrowed down to the below lists to compile my own

  1. Telegraph – 100 novels everyone should read
  2. Goodreads by Amazon
  3. Guardian – 100 best novels compiled by Robert Mcrum (2015 version)
  4. BBC Big Read – A famous compilation
  5. Time Magazine – All time 100 novels

Of these, BBC Big Read, Amazon Goodreads and The Telegraph have titles by authors ranging from Jane Austen and JRR Tolkien to Charles Dickens and Rowling. This list is what I would call ‘The comfortable list’, one that most voracious readers have either read from or are familiar with. Titles that are comfortable to the eye and genres that one is familiar with. Every other book that one hasn’t read is either the among the ones they read the abridged version of sometime when they were younger, or are by authors whose other works they are familiar with. Comfortable List.

Along came The Guardian’s list. A not-completely-unfamiliar set of books, but titles that you’ve heard somewhere and forgotten. Names that ring a distant bell in that memory of yours but you cannot place where or when you heard of it. Most of the authors look familiar, some of the works have even been read. Yet, something about this list makes it seem like you know lesser and lesser of the literary world that you thought you were a pro at.

And then came the list by the Time Magazine. Deliberately published by the makers (of the list) by excluding books that might appeal to a larger audience, this list had more than 75 books out of 100 that were not only completely new to a reader’s eyes, but also dark. Very dark. I had to look up the synopsis of each of the books mentioned, to get an idea of the genre they belonged to or the author’s style of writing. A very scary list. Not just in its character, but also in the fact that it makes you realise how little you know.

Did I ever mention that I am a voracious reader. Well, that is one description that is definitely out of the window.

Book Lover. A book lover, making a humble attempt to read a miniscule percent of acclaimed books. Yes. That’s more like it.

As I put together my list, I excluded obvious books such as LOTR, The Hobbit, a few Jane Austen classics, The Harry Potter series, Memoirs of Geisha, Sherlock Holmes, Chronicles of Narnia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dracula, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind, Hamlet, One Hundred Years Of Solitude… you get the drift. Yet, I am mentioning them here because most of them are present in all the lists and are classics that one must definitely not miss.

But yes, I have kept a few (12 precisely) books that are very dear to me, the ones I can never get enough of.

Presenting, my plans for the next 100 weekends, my 100 books:

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul (1979)
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)
  5. A Passage to India by EM Forster (1924)
  6. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (1964)
  7. A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
  9. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (1946)
  10. Amongst Women by John McGahern (1990)
  11. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)
  12. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  13. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)
  14. At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien (1939)
  15. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (1988)
  16. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  17. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (1932)
  18. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)
  19. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  20. Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  21. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos (1925)
  22. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)
  23. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1981)
  24. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)
  25. Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse (1946)
  26. Kane And Abel by Jeffery Archer
  27. Little Women by Louis May Alcott
  28. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
  29. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)
  30. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  31. Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871-2)
  32. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
  33. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
  34. Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis (1984)
  35. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)
  36. Murphy by Samuel Beckett (1938)
  37. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
  38. Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock (1818)
  39. Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham (1915)
  40. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
  41. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
  42. Party Going by Henry Green (1939)
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  44. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)
  45. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
  46. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  47. Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli (1845)
  48. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (1953)
  49. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)
  50. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  51. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1966)
  52. The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)
  53. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
  54. The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
  55. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (1951)
  56. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962)
  57. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (1915)
  58. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  59. The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen (1948)
  60. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  61. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  62. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
  63. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  64. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exuper
  65. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (1929)
  66. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
  67. The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (1838)
  68. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  69. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678)
  70. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (1895)
  71. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
  72. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  73. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915)
  74. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  75. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908)
  76. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome (1889)
  77. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
  78. Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
  79. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray (1848)
  80. Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan
  81. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  82. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  83. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  84. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977)
  85. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  86. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  87. And Then there were None by Agatha Christie
  88. Watchmen by Alen Moore
  89. The Wind up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  90. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  91. Loving by Henry Green
  92. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kessey
  93. Light in August in William Faulkner
  94. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by July Blume
  95. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  96. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  97. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  98. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  99. Mort by Terry Pratchett
  100. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Starting with a famous author’s account of legal case through the eyes of innocence. Any guesses?

See you next week.

photos: Remya Nair