Set in the 1920s when the American stock market shot up the roofs and the wealthy became wealthier, the Great Gatsby is a tale about hope, love and despair.
Nick Carraway, a bond salesman, befriends his neighbour Jay Gatsby, who is obscenely rich and is always throwing the wildest parties. But Gatsby is secretly pining away in darkness for his one true love Daisy, who is married to the ‘old money’ Tom Buchanan.
What better way to spend the Arguably one of the best novels of Fitzgerald’s the Great Gatsby is filled with quotable quotes and you won’t regret reading it even on your down day.
That couldn’t have come as a surprise. One of the most famous romances by Shakespeare now stands the standard to compare any modern love to.
The young lovers Romeo and Juliet find themselves on the opposite sides of the familial feud between the Montagues and Capulets. In order to save their love they try to cheat death that seemed inevitable and fail infamously.
Even if not for the romance part, you should read it for the funny conversation between Romeo and his friend Mercutio. The play is definitely funny and will provide you a comic relief, despite its flowery, archaic language.
The colorful world of the unhappily married Anna and her lover Vronsky is seldon overlooked while talking of classic romances. Who would not fall in love with the magnificent Anna who struggled to fit in a society she didn’t feel a part of, while she pined for Vronsky?
I know the size of the book is terrorizing yet once you start reading you will have no choice but to finish it.
Tolstoy’s masterpiece should be on your must read list if you want to choose a classic romance novel for this V-day.
2) Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
Are you a firm believer of ‘true love conquers all’? Then you should read Love in the Time of Cholera for this Valentines Day. Love finds Fermina and Florentino when they are quite young.
When Fermina marries an older doctor Urbino, Florentino pines for her (though has about 622 affairs) for about 50 years until Urbino dies. He once again proposes his love for Fermina after all these years, seeking a second chance.
Yes this is a love story, but just not a love story. It talks about pain, jealousy, obsession and sex (a lot of perverse, sick sex). Above all, the language and prose of the Nobel laureate Márquez is to die for.
Gone With the Wind could easily be my favorite romance of all times. We can’t help but love Scarlett O’Hara (who is one of the most badass female character written ever) though she can be bitch-y, annoying and too head strong at times.
To make matters worse (or better) for her (and us) we have the ultimate bad boy, the arrogant, handsome devil who has a liking for her.
This American Civil War saga will feed your Valentines Day craving as long as you don’t look for your own Rhett Butler. If you have not read Gone With the Wind yet, you should definitely pick it up during this Valentines Day.
No time to read these books? I am sure all these classic novels have a film or two made on them. You can catch them up as well.
For someone who didn’t grow up celebrating Halloween in India, living in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai has its perks. I can already see the Halloween outfits displayed for sale. And that only means one thing for me: reading books about witches, vampires and other horror themed books.
Okay confession time. I recently went on a spree to create a Halloween themed reading list. And unsurprisingly, it had more than a fair share of books about witches. You can’t blame me, since I sincerely believe they were misunderstood and stronger feminists than we are.
Books with witches to make the best of Halloween
So without further ado, shall we check out some of the witch books that are on my TBR?
Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’
People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be skeptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?
You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.
It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.
And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman.
For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.
One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…
On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late.
The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied.
But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, Sunny, Orlu, Chichi and Sasha form the youngest ever Oha Coven. Their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children.
Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own, or will the future she saw in the flames become reality?
Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.
But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.
While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.
Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.
A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Toward the end of the Vietnam era, in a snug little Rhode Island seacoast town, wonderful powers have descended upon Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie, bewitching divorcées with sudden access to all that is female, fecund, and mysterious. Alexandra, a sculptor, summons thunderstorms; Jane, a cellist, floats on the air; and Sukie, the local gossip columnist, turns milk into cream.
Their happy little coven takes on new, malignant life when a dark and moneyed stranger, Darryl Van Horne, refurbishes the long-derelict Lenox mansion and invites them in to play. Thenceforth scandal flits through the darkening, crooked streets of Eastwick and through the even darker fantasies of the town’s collective psyche.