Shristi Shakya loves to read but laments the fact that, in Nepal, there aren’t many book clubs or book related events. Thus she plans to create an online community for avid readers in Nepal where they can share reviews and discuss their favorite books. After all, one of the true pleasures of reading lies in sharing the stories. Here, Shakya shares eight of her all time favorite reads.
Wild Embers by Nikita Gill
The book basically tells you not to let a king, or a prince, or a fairytale tell you that you are smaller than who you are meant to be. Wild Embers is a collection of poetry and prose that teaches you to love your flaws and embrace your uniqueness. The content is split into seven sections that are separated by untitled poem themes related to the section’s subject matter such as femininity, empowerment, and personal growth. Shakya’s favorite part from the book is the one where all the old typical fairytales have been rewritten, giving a new meaning for girls to be their own hero rather waiting for Prince Charming to save them.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
This book tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft between two major characters, Lily and Ryle. You can also call it a story of finding the strength to make the right choice in tough situations in life because sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most. Shakya happened to read this book when she wanted someone to explain to her that she was not selfish for having left without an explanation. So, the book came at the right time and it felt like an adviser of sorts.
The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
The book is about ‘marveling at the 180-degree swings of life in general.’ In turns of events after events, when all hope seems to be lost and you feel completely alone, there is only one thing we can and should do, as difficult as it might be: Stay positive. No matter how heartbroken you are and how much sadness envelopes us, sometimes being in the moment can stupidly make you happy. This is exactly what the author wants to convey through the book.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
Goodnight Stories for Rebel girls is a collection of a 100 bedtimes stories that are definitely the best replacement for the old fairytales. Shakya encourages all to read these to kids, little sisters and brothers so that they don’t have a messed up idea of themselves and the world when they grow up. After all, she says, the world can be a much better place if we didn’t believe in fairy tales.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is a crime novel. Shakya says it’s an absorbing, ingenious thriller in which, halfway through, a big twist upends everything. It was also listed on the New York’s Times Bestseller list soon after being published and was also made into a movie. But the book is definitely better than the movie, says Shakya who thinks the events in the book make sense and the voices, thoughts, and actions of Nick and Amy seem like they could belong to actual people living ordinary lives.
The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon
The book features Sheldon’s most memorable character ‘Lara Cameron’, who is an icon of glamor, beautiful yet insecure, and ruthless but vulnerable. She has struggled brutally to achieve her fortune, fame and finally the man she loves. Shakya says that the book is entertaining, easy to read, and has a positive message in the end.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The book is a series of different novels that follows the turbulent lives of characters Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire. Initially, the series had 13 books in total but one more has recently been added. Shakya treasures this particular series because it’s an important part of her childhood memories. She grew up reading these books and she claims to have read the whole collection twice and is now in search of the main and the last book ‘Letters to Beatrice’.
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
The story is about people who hide and cover themselves with layers of secrets until the right person unwraps it and discovers what is inside. After reading the story, Shakya kept pondering about it for days. She claims to have thought about the ones she loves and what they mean to her. It’s human nature to take things for granted until they are taken away from us. The Gift reminds us not to do that and for that deserves to be read.