If you have lauded Gul Panag for her acting prowess, you’ll also admire her for the books she loves reading. When we asked Gul, also a winner of the Miss India title (1999), she named ‘The Prodigal Daughter’, ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, ‘The White Tiger’ as her favourite reads. Here are 10 books Gul loved reading (Book descriptions: Wikipedia).
‘The Prodigal Daughter’ is a novel by Jeffrey Archer, published in 1982. It is the story of Florentyna Kane, the daughter of Abel Rosnovski of Archer’s Kane and Abel. The novel, one of Archer’s best sellers, portrays Florentyna’s life from early childhood to her final ascension to the position of President of United States. In this way, President Kane becomes the first female U.S. president.
‘Animal Farm’ is an allegorical and dystopian novel by George Orwell, published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was an outspoken critic of Joseph Stalin and, especially after experiences with the NKVD and the Spanish Civil War, he was actively opposed to the controversial ideology of Stalinism.
‘The White Tiger’ is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year. The novel provides a darkly humorous perspective of India’s class struggle in a globalized world as told through a retrospective narration from Balram Halwai, a village boy.
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon. Its title quotes the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1892 short story ‘Silver Blaze’. Haddon and The Curious Incident won the Whitbread Book Awards for Best Novel and Book of the Year, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. As a writer for The Guardian remarked, “Unusually, it was published simultaneously in separate editions for adults and children.”
‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a 1957 novel by Ayn Rand. Rand’s fourth and last novel, it was also her longest, and the one she considered to be her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing. ‘Atlas Shrugged’ includes elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance, and it contains Rand’s most extensive statement of Objectivism in any of her works of fiction.
‘The Far Pavilions’ is an epic novel of British-Indian history by M. M. Kaye, first published in 1978, which tells the story of an English officer during the British Raj. The novel, rooted deeply in the romantic epics of the 19th century, has been hailed as a masterpiece of storytelling. It is based partly on biographical writings of the author’s grandfather as well as her knowledge of and childhood experiences in India.
‘Catch-22’ is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century. It uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from different characters’ points of view and out of sequence so that the time line develops along with the plot.
‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ is a novel by Nobel Prize-winningColombian author Gabriel García Márquez first published in Spanish in 1985. Alfred A. Knopf published an Englishtranslation in 1988, and an English-language movie adaptation was released in 2007.
‘Train To Pakistan’ is a historical novel by Khushwant Singh, published in 1956. It recounts the Partition of India in August 1947. Instead of depicting the Partition in terms of only the political events surrounding it, Singh digs into a deep local focus, providing a human dimension which brings to the event a sense of reality, horror, and believability.
‘Games Nations Play’ is written by John W. Spanier. The book highlights the world’s shifting balance of power and elucidates the domestic issues that have an effect on policy decisions.