On the eve of 71st Independence Day of India, here is my “freedom-inspired” book tag.
I’ve picked up 7 books that bent and re-shaped the way I used to think the “stereotypical” in various facets of life and the way the world operates.
A book about sexual freedom:
- Book: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Author: D.H. Lawrence
Genre: fiction, romance, classic
I read this book as a teenager, growing in a pretty conservative environment in India. I forgot how I got hold of this book but remember the feeling of reading it sneakily all-night, while the parents were deep in sleep next-room.
The sensuous tale of how a high-class (and married to boot) woman fell in love with a man from entirely different strata of society, shattered many many taboos that my mind was fed on till then.
2. Book: The Second Sex
Author: Simone de Beauvoir
Genre: Non-fiction, feminism, classics
I’ve not completed this book (and I’ve been reading it in bits and pieces for years). If you want to muddle your brain up (in a good way) regarding feminism, the indoctrination regarding the ‘holy pursuit’ of motherhood sexuality and “becoming a woman”, then pick this seminal work.
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
A book about creative freedom:
Book: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Non-fiction, self-help
As an average Jane blogger, this book is a nudge-on-ass for me, who doesn’t have tons of moolah to spend on a creative writing course right now.
This is not the holy bible for creative folks out there, but if you want to know how to pursue your “artsy call” without fear and without splurging money- then this is the book for you.
A book about freedom from “bad eating habits” :
Book: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Author: Eric Schlosser
Genre: Non-fiction, health, politics
This is a book about the junk food industry in USA and its nexus with powerful corridors that has changed how the average American eats largely.
Irony no. 1: I’m an Indian, writing about this book while nibbling on deep-fried frozen meatballs, stashed between two slices of white-bread and loads of ketchup.
However, if you value your body and believe in you’re what you eat and are curious about how fast food MNCs operate ( not only the junk food they churn out and advertise, but also the horrible working conditions in their factories), pick this book up.
A book about economic freedom:
There might be a plethora of people who would quote Seth Godin, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” or ” The Stock Market Outsider“, but I’ve not found that would spoon-feed me all.
To make money one needs to get hands dirty, give through endless trials and errors or bag a government job (the last is entirely in the South-East Asian context).
A book about freedom from typical ‘Indian woman’ stereotype:
Book: Rasidi Ticket
Author: Amrita Pritam
I can painstakingly read in Hindi .
And “Rasidi Ticket” was the first Hindi-book I attempted to read and left mid-way, for reasons I don’t know.
But whatever I read showed me the life arc of an amazing Indian woman (poet, writer, essayist, social convention-slayer) from the 20th century who defied all odds and lived a magnificent on her own terms.
A book about freedom from religious oppression :
Author: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Genre: Non-fiction, autobiography, religion, culture
Boo to haters. ‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a firebomb and so is this book’ speakethan agnostic.
A book about freedom from everyday drudgery:
Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, YA
Right now, I’m reading the Harry Potter series ( for the first time in life).
Though I’m way, way late in the party to join Potterdom ( so late that I missed the bus), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is giving me a window to escape.
Here’s my other book-tag post