Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The BBC List of 100 books to read!

Disclaimer: This post has been derived from Aakanshaa's blog. Do go there and read some fabulous reviews :) 

Top 100 books chosen by viewers (re-edited and remastered from the BBC site). The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed hereSee the original list here.

Copy this, Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice  - Jane Austin 

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible  (Some of it)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials –  Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare  (Some of it)
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis (Btw this should  be in the Chronicles of Narnia)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (English)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (Unabridged and all three volumes)
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Additional books that seemed to have been excised from the list above and replaced with some others.
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
53. The Stand, Stephen King (Some of it)
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indra's luck...

I knocked on the door knowing fully well what to expect – a lonely, beautiful woman unsatisfied by her beloved.

‘What you doing here Neil? I thought you were on your way to Ambaji’, she asked, her steaming cup of chai evaporating the air and aura around her. I decided to ignore the not-so-concealed mock directed at my faith; I was a man on mission today and nothing was going to distract me from my new found purpose in life.

‘I am Indra and today am here to help you help me release my rasa, so as to help you feel complete and content in life’, I said this with all possible seriousness. Alley listened to me carefully, and offering me a cup of chai asked casually, ‘But I always thought you were Neil?’

‘Not today and certainly not for you’, said I. She was certainly amused now, and decided to play along, lightly pulling at the hair of my hand and looking oh-so-briefly into my eyes. ‘Hmmm…so what brings you here today Indra? I am sure there are lands parched elsewhere as well, and need more rains than my humble abode’, as she said this her hands curled seductively around the remote she had in her hand; the channels flicked at an uneven pace, and the sounds from serials intermixed with the squealing penguins from the more earthy channels. The message was confusing, yet the array of broken, mixing sound was surprisingly seductive.

Soon we were on her bed, our clothes on the floor and all our rasas flowing, inside and outside. Alley's hands turned into claws and she drew blood with them, while her teeth left a trail of marks on my muscles. I was a feast for her, and she was making sure she left nothing to be had later.


Gautam was humming to himself as he walked up the steps to his house. It was for the first time he actually walked up instead of taking the stairs, as Alley always demanded. He was happy as his weight had shown a reduction of 2 kg over the last three weeks. Just 15 more kgs and he would be a perfect husband. He knew she would be pleased today and might even allow him some bread for dinner. 

There was much in life that Gautama was unaware of, including the fact that he had special powers that could wreck havoc in the materialistic world around him. He didn't yet know that his curse could castrate a man, remove his phallus and cover his body with a thousand vaginas. All he had to do was say - your body will be covered by that which you desired so much!


Gautam's first reaction when he saw his beloved Alley entwined with what looked like a bundle of injured muscles, was horror. He was afraid for the man, who he thought was being eaten alive by his virtuous wife. He screamed and suddenly the world around him started moving in slow motion, and he alone moved in real time. He realised what was going on and had a tremendous urge to do something.

He looked at the sky, but his view was obscured by the ceiling. While everything was still slow, he went out in the air and got instant karma. This was the moment his cursing abilities were revealed to him!


The last thing I heard was Alley's fat husband screaming 'Your body will be covered by that which you desired so much!' All of a sudden, I ceased to exist, my existence only a joke...

Meanwhile Alley fell on Gautam's feet and begged forgiveness which he instantly granted. It took only one look at my thousand-vagina-covered body to make her realise that a fat husband was better than the unusual and helpless mass that I was at that moment. They walked away from my quivering body, while the TV in the living room screamed 'You have to try this' for a shampoo ad...

Alley and Gautam lived happily ever after.
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