Musings of a Reader: The Wonderful World of YA Fiction

Honestly, I thought this column would be a breeze to write. Like I mentioned the last time, talking about books is one of my top favorite things to do. But it’s turning out to be surprisingly difficult. See, when reading books is such an integral part of your existence, it’s hard to know where to start or what books to talk about. Should I start at the beginning, from the books my mom would read to me before I could read myself? The Dr Seuss books, with cats in hats and the fox wearing socks, and Ibn-e-Insha’s Billo Ka Basta poems which I memorized and would recite to my parents during long car rides? Or is it better to talk about the books I read more recently, the works of writers like Italo Calvino and Julian Barnes, which make me marvel at the mind-blowing narrative techniques or clever turns of phrases? In the end, I have decided to talk about some books which I personally really love and which offer some great writing and wonderful stories, but often don’t get talked about or worse, get dismissed entirely. I’m referring to young adult or YA fiction.

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Musings of a Reader: The Beginning

Talking about books is one of my top favourite things to do. It’s right up there with eating French fries and, you know, actually reading the books I love talking about. This was why I refused to study literature as an academic subject for a long time. “You mean you get to discuss books at length? And you get graded for it? That seems too much fun to be real. There must be a catch.”  Thankfully I got over it, and was ecstatic to discover, in one of my first literature classes, that I could gush about the many qualities of Mr Darcy and it would count as my assignment. The joy! The point being, talking about literature, to me is just plain fun.

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The Role of Fate in the Shakespearean Tragedy Julius Ceasar

Shakespearean drama often dealt with the eternal conflict between fate and free will. Whether it was Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers destined to die in their struggle to become united or Macbeth, whose blind ambition made him preordained for evil, fate has a significant presence in most of Shakespeare’s dramas. Through his characters, Shakespeare addressed the universal human struggle between succumbing to fate and exercising free will to overcome your fate. Like in his other works, the characters of Julius Caesar wrestle with this dilemma as well: Does man have the power to change his destiny? Each of the main characters of this play struggle with the important question of whether or not their actions can change the course of fate, and by the end of the play, this conflict is resolved in different ways.

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Pride and Prejudice: Austen’s Views on Love and Marriage

In the 200 years since its publication, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has spawned a plethora of sequels, prequels and adaptations, the most recent of them being a popular YouTube series. There can be several reasons for the enduring appeal of Pride and Prejudice – the handsome and rich Darcy, the witty banter the two protagonists engage in, the fairy tale-like happy ending. But an important reason why modern readers continue to relate to the novel may be Austen’s views on love and marriage which are reflected in it, views which are surprisingly aligned with progressive, modern-day sensibilities.

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On Books – And What They Mean To Me

They say a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place or even a person. Being an avid music fan myself, I can completely testify to that statement. But for me, it’s not just music. Books also hold sharp and distinguished memories for me. I remember not only the circumstances surrounding me obtaining and then reading a certain book, but, if it’s one of those excellent books you can’t stop thinking about afterwards, I also remember the whirlwind of emotions I experienced while reading them.

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Book Review: The Book Thief

Honestly, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is not the kind of book I usually read. I tend to shy away from books with extremely dark subject-matters, like war and death. This was why, when I first came upon the book in the bookstore, I took one glance at the cover and quickly dismissed it as not being my cup of tea. Later, however, at coming across the book again, I decided to flip through and read the first few pages. And immediately, I was engrossed.

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