I started and finished “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green in a day. I smiled and cried my way through this book, and in the end, I was glad to have read it. Written in prose by turns simple and elaborate, but mostly poetic, this book is a story of star (cancer) crossed teenagers, their tryst with romance, the way they cope with pain, and episodes from their lives told in a moving but never overly sentimental manner. It is a quick read, but if you are the kind that feels embarrassed to cry in front of strangers, I recommend you don’t read it while you are traveling. (Note: I especially loved the concept of fiction within fiction – simply beautiful!)
The other book I read happened to be “This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War” by Samanth Subramanian (journalist and author). I am not sure what to say. The book is wonderfully written, facts and stories of real people woven in with the author’s observations and understanding of the island country. It mostly made me feel sad and horrified, and led me to have more than one dream with a star cast of blood and gore. The more I understood the war, the worse I felt. The matter-of-fact manner in which violence is mentioned is a bit difficult to deal with, but we must remember that such has been the life of those in a Sri Lanka ravaged by civil war. The voices of people like you and me make one relate to the book more; we could have been those people, but I suppose our stars had fewer faults in them. My foremost thought was: how privileged I am to be living this life.