#LeMillRecommends: Literary Reads For Summer

“April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain,” T.S. Elliot wrote in his poem ‘The Waste Land’. Anyone living close to the tropics will agree with his exaggerated description of what is one of the hottest months of the year. The heat makes you feel overwhelmed by the slightest of inconveniences, but it almost has a poetic quality to it. When the weather around you dictates so much, one is forced to shut down and stay in. Try as you may to hop from one air conditioned environment to another, embracing the heat will help your mood better than any frozen latte. So when you’ve run out of activities and pool houses, use your summer to sink into literature that details the heat in all its gory glory.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Literary Reads For Summer, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

“Both described at the same time how it was always March there and always Monday, and then they understood that José Arcadio Buendía was not as crazy as the family said, but that he was the only one who had enough lucidity to sense the truth of the fact that time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room.”

Gabriel García Márquez is inarguably one of the greatest writers of our time. His style of magical realism immerses the reader so deep in a world that’s mirrored on reality, you stop questioning fiction from fact and sink into the storytelling. Like the name suggests, this literary masterpiece is long and could take more than your average time spent devouring a novel. The layered history of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Mocando set against the backdrop of Márquez’s childhood town of Aracataca will take you to Colombia. Armed with a family tree chart that will make Bollywood writers dizzy, children born with tails, incest and insanity this novel is better entertainment than any movie you’ve watched. Márquez’s charming storytelling is sure to turn you into a bookworm if it hasn’t already.

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

Literary Reads For Summer, Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan

“...what are we looking or, if not to be liked? To this day I still don't know does that wish for conquest hide plenty of life strength, desire for power or secret, unconfirmed need to encourage and defend yourself.”

French author Françoise Sagan’s work focuses on the inner musings of the bourgeois. This novel, written by Sagan when she was a teenager is fit to be a plot of a noughties era teen drama. The plot follows the jealous, scheming and misunderstood Cécile who spends her summer in the French Riviera with her philandering father and his mistresses. It’s easy to judge when one is not the person living the experience, dealing with their innermost thoughts that they hope no one can hear. Cécile’s series of actions are motivated by a simple thought but the repercussions of it are harsher than any would have imagine. Bonjour Tristesse leaves the reader questioning the limits of human greed.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Literary Reads For Summer, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

“The way her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke.”

“That it really began in the days when the Love Laws were made. The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how.”

“May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.”

Set in ‘God’s own country’ of Kerala, Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize winning novel warrants a re-read. Through the cast of characters and their memories of the truth, the story of a family gripped by casteism unravels. Filled with bittersweet moments, nostalgia and colloquial terminology, it’s hard to forget a story as gripping as this one. The God of Small Things will set you into an introspective mood, it’s lyrical prose will take up space in your mind for a lifetime.