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Desert Island Books: The Guy with the Book


The Guy with the Book

A little over a month ago, Faroukh – known on Instagram as The Guy With The Book (you can follow him here) – was crowned Bookstagrammer of the Year at the London Book Fair. And while a friend and fellow Bookstagrammer was there to accept the award on his behalf (he lives in Saudi Arabia) and thus I didn’t get to meet him in person, we’ve formed an online friendship in the weeks that have since passed, discussing our favourite books and more besides. I’m delighted to invite The Guy With The Book onto my Desert Island Books series, and from a monster of a book to the only non-fiction that would make the cut, find out his eight picks below.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

ASB is a monster of a book with close to 1600 Pages written by Vikram Seth. It follows a young girl in India whose family is looking for a suitable boy for her to get married to. The book is set in and around the 50’s and is not limited to Lata, and it’s a very intriguing and detailed social commentary on Indian society and culture. It will take time, but once you’ve read it, this book will stay with you forever.

The Guy With The Book
© The Guy With The Book

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield is one of a handful characters who people remember very often. Holden became more than just a character and has a cult following even after 65 years. When I read this a couple of years ago I had no clue what to expect and when my sister said ‘It’s about a teen who is walking around town for a couple of days and we get to know his thoughts’ I was all in! Holden might be one of those rare characters I think might be based on a real life person. The last line of the book is my favorite of all the books I’ve ever read. (“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody”).

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

When I read The Kite Runner, I couldn’t imagine Khaled Hosseini could trump it and write an even better one. So The Kite Runner stayed one of my all-time favourites until I read A Thousand Splendid Suns. One of the reasons Khaled Hosseini is such a brilliant writer is that he is also a great story teller. I have read books that have great plots and story lines but the story telling just doesn’t glue them together. Khaled Hosseini masters this art and takes us through a heart-wrenching tale of two women linked through misfortune.

The One by John Marrs

Below the definition of page-turner should be a photo of this book. The One is the best thriller I’ve read in ages. A DNA test service makes it possible for people to find their perfect match. 5 different people’s stories alternate with each other. Each comes with a unique situation and constant moments of shock. Chapters are small (2-4 pages following each character) so it becomes a sort of addictive injection to the readers’ intrigued mind every few minutes. Absolutely recommend this to be read in a group (But oh well, I’m deserted on an island)

The Guy With The Book
© The Guy With The Book

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

This is the only non-fiction (Self-Help) book I’ll bring with me. Haruki Murakami talks about his thoughts on life, writing and running. It’s filled with little gems which you can apply on a daily basis. I don’t think it is sold as a self-help but for me it was exactly that, Murakami teaches us a lot without being preachy at all (the sole reason I don’t pick self-help books, they are just too preachy).

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

This is the most precious book I’ve read in recent times. Being a cat-lover, I didn’t even think of reading the blurb and jumped in to the book. Nana the cat is traveling with his owner who is looking for someone to adopt Nana. The book is from the perspective of Nana and I have never read a more engaging POV. Nana is sassy and has cat-like thoughts full of sarcasm. The book is filled with beautiful moments but it ends with heartbreak. It’s that rare sort of book which actually made me tear up.

The Guy With The Book
© The Guy With The Book

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 is what sparked the love of reading for pleasure in me again. Since I’m on a deserted island, I don’t want to give a reason why I’m choosing to bring this with me. It’s magical, unexplainable.

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