Monsoons are finally here and it’s the only time when the city is draped in breath-taking exquisiteness. Each one of us has our own special way of relishing the charm that monsoons are. Some would say – a cozy spot by the window with a view of the lush greens beyond, a cup of ginger tea, a bite or two of a savoury snack – are the essentials for a rainy day. But bookworms would say the list remains sadly incomplete. After all, “What’s a rainy day without a good book!”
What are some of the best books to read on a rainy day?
If you too have tried to Google that and haven’t come across a decent recommendation, your search ends here. Being the good bookworm that I am, I have put together a fantastic list of books that covers various genres, authors, formats, etc. to complement your rainy mood. I prefer light, engaging reads, myself. Books that would keep me intrigued but also mesmerized, leaving me in a sensuous bliss; while I enjoy the chill of the weather, are my favorite rainy day reads. That’s exactly what you can expect from my list.
Let’s quickly check them out and add them to your cart.
Six thousand years before the One Ring is destroyed, Middle-earth lies under the shadow of the Dark Lord Morgoth. The greatest warriors among elves and men have perished, and all is in darkness and despair. But a deadly new leader rises, Túrin, son of Húrin, and with his grim band of outlaws begins to turn the tide in the war for Middle-earth — awaiting the day he confronts his destiny and the deadly curse laid upon him.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
Genre: Gothic Fiction, Romance
Bored and restless in London’s Restoration Court, Lady Dona escapes into the British countryside with her restlessness and thirst for adventure as her only guides. Eventually Dona lands in remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds the passion her spirit craves in the love of a daring French pirate who is being hunted by all of Cornwall. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.
The Pleasures of the Damned is a selection of the best poetry from America’s most iconic and imitated poet, Charles Bukowski. Celebrating the full range of the poet’s extraordinary sensibility and his uncompromising linguistic brilliance, these poems cover a lifetime of experience, from his renegade early work to never-before-collected poems penned during his final days.
Genre: Mythology, Romance
Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Genre: Non-fiction, Short Stories
Rain in the Mountains brings together some of Ruskin Bond’s most beautiful works from his years spent in the foothills of the Himalayas in the town of Mussoorie. Through vivid images and lucid writing, Bond evokes the everyday sights and sounds, and captures the essence of mountain life. The musings on his natural habitat, in both prose and poetry, offer a view of that simple and affable world. Some of his writings featured in the book are ‘Once Upon a Mountain Time’, ‘Sounds I Like to Hear’, ‘How Far Is the River’ and ‘After the Monsoon’.
Twenty-five fascinating stories from the inimitable Gulzar. From real-life stories about Javed Akhtar, Sahir Ludhianvi and Kuldip Nayyar to tales set in Kashmir, in the hinterland, in the modern megapolis and on the LoC, from anecdotes of love and betrayal to fables of courage and conviction, this is an enthralling collection available in English for the very first time.
Genre: Mystery, Crime
The stolen Mercedes emerges from the pre-dawn fog and plows through a crowd of men and women on line for a job fair in a distressed American city. Then the lone driver backs up, charges again, and speeds off, leaving eight dead and more wounded. The case goes unsolved and ex-cop Bill Hodges is out of hope when he gets a letter from a man who loved the feel of death under the Mercedes’s wheels. Brady Hartsfield wants that rush again, but this time he’s going big, with an attack that would take down thousands—unless Hodges and two new unusual allies he picks up along the way can throw a wrench in Hartsfield’s diabolical plans.
Genre: Short Stories
You’ve just passed someone on the street who could be the love of your life, the person you’re destined for – what do you do? In Murakami’s world, you tell them a story. The five weird and wonderful tales collected here each unlock the many-tongued language of desire, whether it takes the form of hunger, lust, sudden infatuation or the secret longings of the heart. Selected from Haruki’s Murakami’s short story collections The Elephant Vanishes, Blind Willow Sleeping Woman and Men Without Women.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Indian Literature
“In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman.”
So begins the story of Myshkin and his mother Gayatri, who is driven to rebel against tradition and follow her artist’s instinct for freedom. Freedom of a different kind is in the air across India. The fight against British rule is reaching a critical turn. The Nazis have come to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, two strangers arrive in Gayatri’s town, opening up to her the vision of other possible lives. What took Myshkin’s mother from India to Dutch-held Bali in the 1930s, ripping a knife through his comfortingly familiar universe? Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, Myshkin comes to understand the connections between the anguish at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed. Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.
Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their young son Jonah but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah’s second-grade teacher. A young woman recovering from a difficult divorce, Sarah moved to New Bern hoping to start over. Tentatively, Miles and Sarah reach out to each other…soon they are falling in love. But what neither realizes is that they are also bound together by a shocking secret, one that will force them to reexamine everything they believe in—including their love.
In this new edition of Mappings , Vikram Seth’s first book of poems and one that has long been out of print, the reader is introduced to work written in the author’s twenties, when he was a student in England and later, California. More immediate if less polished than his later work, these poems enchant and impress with their classical learning, wit, perceptiveness and lyricism—all facets of Vikram Seth’s now celebrated poetic achievement.
Genre: Environmental Fiction, Wildlife
A defenceless male elephant calf, born on the grasslands of the great Brahmaputra River, grows into a formidable tusker, journeying through the verdant green hills of northeastern India and Burma. With him, we walk through the vastness of the Indo-Malayan rainforests as he attempts to understand the humans who have irretrievably changed the jungles he roams.
Hira Singh, a forest guard in the Nadhia Wildlife Sanctuary, crosses paths with a female leopard who is facing shrinking forests in the hills that are her home. Their lives closely mirror each other’s, following similar patterns of love and loss, as fate resolves to bring the two together, perhaps for the last time.
Nadia, a wildlife biologist researching geese, travels to Mongolia, where she tags two geese: Blue Sky and White Cloud. As the birds fly southwards over the Himalayas, she meets Vivek, India’s Minister of State for Environment. Their instantaneous friendship soon takes Vivek to a lush valley at the base of the soaring Himalayas, where he must make a decision that will impact the lives of all around him.
With beautiful illustrations and rich prose, the three novellas in Blue Sky, White Cloud narrate stories from the perspectives of man and beast, showing us that, much like us, animals, too, have extraordinary stories to tell.
Genre: Satire, Science Fiction
A rich, successful Moscow professor befriends a stray dog and attempts a scientific first by transplanting into it the testicles and pituitary gland of a recently deceased man. A distinctly worryingly human animal is now on the loose, and the professor’s hitherto respectable life becomes a nightmare beyond endurance. An absurd and superbly comic story, this classic novel can also be read as a fierce parable of the Russian Revolution.
Genre: Russian Literature, Novella
Michael, an angel from heaven, is punished by God for not following God’s bidding and is sent to earth. Michael is set a task to find answers to God’s 3 questions, only then can he return. What follows is a heart-touching tale, one narrated from the angel’s perspective. Written in Tolstoy’s classic style, it teaches us just how important is to love, to forgive, to understand, to obey, and finally, not look down upon one.
The farcical tale of Jeremy Garnet, an author and an old friend of Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, an erstwhile chicken farmer. Upon meeting Ukridge for the first time in years, Garnet finds himself enmeshed Ukridge’s new and struggling chicken farm. Garnet soon falls in love with a girl living near the estate as he struggles with the farm and with Ukridge’s bizarre business methods.
Genre: Classics, Mystery
When Dr John Watson takes rooms in Baker Street with amateur detective Sherlock Holmes, he has no idea that he is about to enter a shadowy world of criminality and violence. Accompanying Holmes to an ill-omened house in south London, Watson is startled to find a dead man whose face is contorted in a rictus of horror. There is no mark of violence on the body yet a single word is written on the wall in blood. Dr Watson is as baffled as the police, but Holmes’s brilliant analytical skills soon uncover a trail of murder, revenge and lost love…
Genre: Historical Fiction
They are an unlikely pair: George is “small and quick and dark of face”; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a “family,” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. But George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. An intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness, a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.
Genre: Historical Fiction
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
Gipsy’s Acre was a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea – and in Michael Rogers it stirred a child-like fantasy. There, amongst the dark fir trees, he planned to build a house, find a girl and live happily ever after. Yet, as he left the village, a shadow of menace hung over the land. For this was the place where accidents happened. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals’ warnings: ‘There’s no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy’s Acre.’ Michael Rogers is a man who is about to learn the true meaning of the old saying ‘In my end is my beginning.’
Here’s hoping you pick them up when the rainy feels grip you and your soul is drenched in their awesomeness. You can thank me later. 😉
What are some of your favorite rainy day books? ☔📚
Do share them in comments.
Happy reading till we meet next. Until then, carpe diem!
Love how eclectic your list is, got some books to add to my TBR, and also excited to read your forthcoming work.
This is a fantastic list, Asha, thank you! It’s a beautiful day in Montreal today but I will bookmark it for when the rain comes. 😊
Lovely list, Asha. Would surely check out Gulzar’s book. ❤️
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