The first part of the answer can be found here.
In terms of Fiction :
- Stranger (by Albert Camus) : It’s a beautiful short read like a novel, and shows how the world judges you. And how diplomacy is often looked upon as Truth, and when you go out just truthful in the world, how sometimes it can have consequences that are unimaginable!
- Siddhartha (by Hermann Hesse) : The second book which I quite liked is this. Hermann Hesse is a German author. I think both Albert Camus and Hermann Hesse won a Nobel prize for literature. Siddhartha is a beautiful book. It’s the journey of a young boy who leaves everything behind, and goes in search of various masters and his own Truth, and how he arrives at it.
- Somnath (by Acharya Chatursen) : The 3rd and 4th books are in Hindi and I only got to know about this work few years back. It’s a really really beautiful piece of work. It’s a historical fiction, and it is about when Somnath was damaged or looted, what all transpired. Some of the things are absolutely moving, touched to the core!
- Vaishali ki Nagarvadhu (by Acharya Chatursen) : This is also by the same author. Reading these two books (by Acharya Chatursen) was an absolute literary feast.
- Chess (by Stefan Zweig) : By chance I came across this book and I quite loved it! At one time, it was also called “The Royal Game”. Stefan was an Austrian author. It’s a really really good piece of Fiction, you’ll enjoy!
- Three men in a boat (by Jerome K. Jerome) : It is one of the most hilarious comedies I’ve ever read. It’s also deeply philosophical. I cannot even tell you how much I laughed reading some passages of this book! Just a beautiful piece of Fiction, that you might enjoy reading.
You may also enjoy the works of S. L. Bhyrappa. He’s a Kannada author, and Vidya Swami had introduced me to this author. Three of his works which I quite liked were : Aavarana, Parva and Saartha. All three are available in English and of course in Kannada as well.
- Bhagavad Gita : If you want to read Holy Texts out of many Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma, it is Bhagavad Gita. I would recommend you read Bhagavad Gita. The reason I didn’t categorize these in Fiction or Non-Fiction books is because : These texts, you cannot just read them. You have to reinternalize them and absorb them, and understand their essence, which only happens over a period of time. Bhagavad Gita is very nice.
- Guru Granth Sahib : Certain parts of it are just absolutely very very beautiful! They can make you cry.
- New King James Version of The Holy Bible : It’s easily readable and understandable.
- Masnavi (by Rumi) : If you want to read some Sufi literature, then this is the book. It’s a really beautiful book.
- Dhammapada (by Buddha) : It’s also a beautiful text.
If you want some more reading, then I have enjoyed every single book of Ramesh Menon. He has done literary renditions of various texts including Devi Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam and Ramayana. Just the sheer poetic use of his language, I just love it! They are really very moving works.
And you may also enjoy reading the works of Eknath Easwaran, notably his commentaries on Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. Very readable content, and at times very deep as well!
Between Fiction and Non-Fiction
These books blur the lines between Fiction and Non-Fiction. Here, you don’t really know if it’s all Truth, or if some of it is Truth, or how much of it to believe and so on. Nevertheless, from the perspective of reading literature, from the perspective of enjoying some reads, then some books are :
- Living with the Himalayan Masters (by Swami Rama)
- At the Eleventh Hour : It’s the biography of Swami Rama which was penned down by his disciple Pandit Rajmani.
- Autobiography of a Yogi : Some people get very upset when I talk about this book, or if I have anything critical to say. Please don’t be upset, I’m simply saying – You may enjoy reading this book and you may gain something out of it, you may feel inspired and so on. Feel free to read it.
- Aghora, At the Left Hand of God(by Robert Svoboda) : This book I read a while back. This was also not a bad book at all. It shows you a different dimension.
And, I would like to mention one thing – When you read fascinating literature, please read it like a reader, as opposed to reading it “blindly”! Just enjoy the read and see what the author is trying to tell you. In these few books which I just named, at least you travel with the author on a beautiful journey, and it may be Transformational!
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