Guilty Pleasure – II

It is time for some more embarrassing confessions. Do not judge; being judgmental is BAD. And anyway, the guy who said that “you can know a man by the books he reads” was both sexist and a liar.

Topic of the Week: Books

Tregaron's Daughter by Madeleine Brent

You don't even know who Madeleine Brent is, right?

“Tregaron's Daughter” is essentially a romantic thriller written by Peter O'Donnell, a comic strip writer. O'Donnell assumed the nom de plume Madeleine Brent to author romantic adventures. Apparently, writing this book was a guilty pleasure for him! My mother had picked it up from a railway station years before I was even born. I found this book in her old trunk when I was in class ten. I was not reading much besides my text books in those days and this was the book that brought reading back into my life. I loved the way Brent weaved a gripping tale of suspense and romance using the most fantastic characters. The elaborate descriptions and mesmerising characters of this book were what rocked the world of a fifteen year old. It remains a favorite till date.

If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon

“If you write a book every month, you write crap”, I thought when a friend thrust a copy of “If Tomorrow Comes” into my hands.

I still hesitate in picking (read DO NOT pick up) books by Sheldon. With the exception of this one, of course. It was summer holidays and I was stuck in a small boring town with relatives who were not really bothered with talking to a confused teenager. With nothing better to do, I read the only book I had in my bag. It was an easy read and I continued at a leisurely pace until I reached the part where Tracy is in the prison. At first, Tracy is like any other heroine: beautiful, quick witted, bright, and young. Only, she is also a professional criminal. And a good one too. What got me hooked to the book was the ability of the protagonist to take pleasure in crime. Today, I am sure that I have read many better books about lives of criminals, but the first is always the first. It is trashy, but it is fun trash.

How to Forget by Denise Robins

I think this is from where my love for Yash Chopra brand of movies started.

I read this book during my MB days. You know, MB days? Mills and Boons days. I found it in a used books' store. I must have read other books by the author, or may be not. Can't say. But I still have a battered copy of “How to Forget” with its extremely yellow and mouldy pages falling out. I remember reading this book at least five times in one year. Simon and Helen were my heros in those days. I deemed their love the purest and truest of all kinds of love. I knew those characters. There images were crystal clear in my head. I knew how they walked, how they spoke, what they liked, what they feared. So vivid were those images that the name Simon still brings to my mind an extremely impressive and strong willed man, who always has his hair pulled back in an elegant manner.

Girl Alone by Rupa Gulab

Its a Cosmopolitan article that goes on and on. And I love it.

Rupa Gulab is actually a columnist for some women magazine and writes the whole book in the same style. What can I say, it is an Indian version of Bridget Jones and I am officially a chick book fan. It only helps when the protagonist is close to your age, lives in a city you know, and has problems you can relate to. Okay, so I am not addicted to cough syrup and I do not need to listen to rock music to gain emotional security but I know what it feels to have a super bitch for your boss, to have your parents hound you to tie the knot, to know that your dearest friend is dangerously faltering but being unable to tell her so, to be crazy about a guy who is scared of anything that remotely resembles a ring. I truly believe that in the last ten pages of the book, the protagonist gives words to my feelings.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

When you were reading “The Fountainhead” and “Gone with the Wind,” I was curled up with my copy of “The Thorn Birds.”

I reckon that some call this book a classic, but I know better. Nevertheless, that does not stop “The Thorn Birds” from being my favorite tearjerker. The tale of deep, rich, and forbidden love, betrayal, tragedy, and ambition of an Irish family settled in Australia, grows sadder every time you flip a page. While reading the book for the first time, I gave up halfway; it was way to sad. However, I could not get Maggie out of my head and had no choice but to pick up the book and find out what fate held for the poor woman. Find I did, and in the process I became a fan of this book.


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