A book and a hot cuppa are an eternal couple which can’t be separated, especially when the rain comes calling at your door. Who doesn’t love to get cosy with a book on a rainy evening. It’s like the rains have stopped time so that you can slow down and look around.
Did you hear something? Is there someone at the door? Or is it the earthy smell at the window? Perhaps a musical ballad playing on the tinned roof? Or is it a distant rainbow?
Whatever be it, the rain gives us the wings to our imagination. So, when you get to hear it in a book it’s as if you can hear a podcast of rain sounds.
But it’s hard to find such a book. Have you met one? Perhaps on a coffee date in a heavy downpour in July.
- Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater
Well, if you haven’t these monsoon book recommendations are certainly for you.
“As a romantic ideal, turbulent, impoverished India could still weave its spell, and the key to it all – the colours, the moods, the scents, the subtle, mysterious light, the poetry, the heightened expectations, the kind of beauty that made your heart miss a beat – well, that remained the monsoon.”
If you’re a traveler waiting to unleash the pluviophile in you then this monsoon trail through India is just the thing from you. From the wettest place on earth in Meghalaya to the Monsoon music of Kerala. This is a story hard to miss.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Surely, you have heard of this iconic mystical classic. The fictional town of Macondo with all its ups and downs, troubles and melancholy is just like the water. The water that come down as rains
“On rainy afternoons, embroidering with a group of friends on the begonia porch, she would lose the thread of the conversation and a tear of nostalgia would salt her palate when she saw the strips of damp earth and the piles of mud that the earthworms had pushed up in the garden. Those secret tastes, defeated in the past by oranges and rhubarb, broke out into an irrepressible urge when she began to weep. She went back to eating earth.
The first time she did it almost out of curiosity, sure that the bad taste would be the best cure for the temptation. And, in fact, she could not bear the earth in her mouth. But she persevered, overcome by the growing anxiety, and little by little she was getting back her ancestral appetite, the taste of primary minerals, the unbridled satisfaction of what was the original food.
She would put handfuls of earth in her pockets, and ate them in small bits without being seen, with a confused feeling of pleasure and rage, as she instructed her girl friends in the most difficult needlepoint and spoke about other men, who did not deserve the sacrifice of having one eat the whitewash on the walls because of them. The handfuls of earth made the only man who deserved that show of degradation less remote and more certain, as if the ground that he walked on with his fine patent leather boots in another part of the world were transmitting to her the weight and the temperature of his blood in a mineral savor that left a harsh aftertaste in her mouth and a sediment of peace in her heart.”
- Robert Macfarlane’s The Lost Words
It’s not just fiction which can thrill you with monsoon nature. This book telling the tales of birds and wildlife can equally cast a spell on you. Artist Jackie Morris has created some beautiful illustrations which literally transforms your surroundings and transfixes you to nature.
All over the country, there are words disappearing from children’s lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children’s minds.– Goodreads
The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustrations by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.
- The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond
Remember the carefree childhood days when ‘rainy day’ meant a holiday. A day snuggled up in bed with your favourite food and book. And splashing those puddles in the evening while displaying your colourful umbrella. With the magic of your favourite childhood author, Ruskin Bond, you can get all those back. Just tune in and play the Blue Umbrella. This innocent and witty novella starring a young girl and a shopkeeper will take you back in time
“She walked home through the darkening glade, singing of the stars; and the trees stood still and listened to her, and the mountains were glad.”
- J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series
Who wouldn’t love to take dip into the magical blue world of Hogwarts. The spooky air and the mushy terrains with a black and blue theme, surely resembles our rainy world. Perfect fit for our imagination. It’s as if the rain is saying Wingardium Leviosa and drifting you to your magical wand – the books.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
- Where the Rain Is Born Edited by Anita Nair
This list wouldn’t be complete without this breathtaking collection of stories taken from the best writers of india. This collection of short stories from Paul Zacharia, Kamala Das and other Malayalam writers has a petrichor effect as you peruse. One of the best short stories here is MT Vasudevan’s Karkitakam. Reading short stories is a privilege as they always leave you yearning for more, just like the rain. And you can always read in between your busy schedule.
7. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi
Last but not the least, is this epic tale of human and animal bonding which is best suited for a rainy day read. This is the ultimate choice to be in reality and in fiction all at the same time. It’s like taking your clouds to the sea to ride a growing cyclone. That’s how you make an adventure.
“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…”
So, there you go, books that cast a monsoon spell. Remember to take them out on a coffee date sometime. The rains are waiting for you two.