The Blue Umbrella, Ruskin Bond
Everyone’s favourite author, Ruskin Bond, set this well-known novel in the hills of Garhwal. Protagonist Binya’s story possesses the power to transport you back to your childhood and the story leaves you with a deep sense of fulfillment once you complete it. Just don’t blame us if you feel a strong urge to travel to the hills soon after!
Chasing The Monsoon, Alexander Frater
This underrated travelogue by Alexander Frater traces the monsoon from Kerala to Cherrapunji in Mehgalaya (aka The Wettest Place on Earth). Frater also travels to Burma (now Myanmar) and Thailand in his quest to, well, chase the monsoon. Frater’s sardonic writing and his process of discovering himself as he chases the rains add another layer to the narrative. If you love monsoons, you’ll love this book. Guaranteed. #LoveTravelogues
One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
There isn’t much to say about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s epic novel that hasn’t been said before. If you haven’t read it yet, then doing so during the rains will feel extra special. Natural elements take their toll on the fictional town of Macondo where, at one point in the book, it rains continuously for five years without a break! Magical realism at its finest.
The Hungry Tide, Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh’s detailed observations and research on the Sunderbans produced this wonderful novel that tells a story of past and present as fluid as the falling rain. The Hungry Tide is a must-read for its rich story and unforgettable characters. And when the country is hit by a major hurricane, it forces you to realise that the very same rain falling gently against your window can take on truly destructive proportions.
English August, Upamanyu Chatterjee
Slightly different from the other books in this list, English August is set during a sweltering summer in Madna – a hot, dusty and way-out-there town, where protagonist Agastya Sen begins his government job. This book provides some of the best insights you’ll ever get into the lifes of babus who rule the country. Author Upamanyu Chatterjee’s darkly comic tone is relevant more than a quarter of a century after the book was first published #WritingGoals
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is as much a journey of discovery as it is about the protagonist’s coming-of-age, and the thread binding the two themes is rain. Martel uses rain as a metaphor through most of the book and understanding its different uses in the narrative is one of the joys of reading this book.
Red Earth And Pouring Rain, Vikram Chandra
Vikram Chandra’s novel is a multi-layered tour de force written in some of the most beautiful and lyrical language ever used by an Indian author. The multiple stories in the novel might take some getting used to in the beginning, but once you get into the flow of things, this fascinating book won’t let go of you until you turn its final page.
-Like this article? Also read: 5 Books To Read This Weekend Because #ModiInAfrica Cover image courtesy: Shutterstock.com