Books Recommendations – World Book Day 2021

Photo by Huỳnh Đạt from Pexels

It is an understatement that books play an important in our lives. In current time, when we are all cooped up in our homes within the four walls, books offer a window, to escape the monotony of everyday life and people tend to forget the importance of READING.

Nadir Pop started reading really late, he was probably around 17-18 when he completed his first novel and after that he was hooked. He admits that he started reading books that were probably not age appropriate. So he has taken it upon himself to re-read all the books during this long lockdown that deserve to be read again.

Books (physical or digital) indulge your mind. Reading is an active undertaking and it empowers us to mingle with our feelings and emotions, eventually sparking imagination. Reading allows us to build non-existing worlds, fantastical concepts, heroes, utopias, a scary universe… a place you can call your own, your go-to place, your impregnable castle in the sky

Nadir Pop

Peter Pop on the other hand started reading at a young age and was a regular visitor to his school library. His highlight during summer vacations was a visit to the bookstore at the railway station or airport where he would look for a book he had not yet read. A routine that he follows till date.

Nadir Pop and his wife started reading to their daughter when she was only 3 months old. All those picture books made her happy and all giggly. Now at 4.5 years, Z cannot sleep without having being read to. They will continue to cultivate this habit and graduate to age appropriate books as and when required. Not that they will force it onto her but they will consider it a personal failure if she doesn’t take up to reading. But the chances of that happening are very low, because Nadir and the wife will always be found with books, and you know what they say “Monkey see, money do (read in this case)”.

L, Peter Pop’s son has slowly developed an interest in books. As he has grown older, his collection of books has grown thanks to his grandparents and extended family. His favourite book as a toddler was the one with dinosaurs, this might change in the coming months as he starts school and learns to read. Peter Pop is looking forward to their next family trip when he can take his son to the book store and buy a book for him.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Here are 5 books that Nadir Pop recommends in no particular order:

  • Emphyrio by Jack Vance – Halma, a world where humans were ruled by a race of effete and arrogant lords; where a neo-feudal system banned all work by machines; where a mock welfare state rewarded painful hand labor with a pitiful dole.Nadir is a huge Sci-fi fan and this was one of those books that really got him thinking from multiple standpoints – Future of work, political systems, freedom, class divide and parental relationships.
  • WATCHMEN by Alan Moore – This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin. Nadir is a sucker for graphic novels, a go to favourite for any situation. In a day and age when we are looking out for real heroes.
  • ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell – A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Everyone should read this book, no it’s not a children’s book. It is an out and out political story, wonderfully crafted using a farm as the powerful metaphor.
  • The Simoqin Prophecies by Samit Basu – The favourite Indian anthology Nadir has read and re-read again and again. It’s a lovely mish mash of fantastical characters that plant themselves so solidly in your psyche, makes it difficult to forget them. Nadir would love to see someone take this to the big screen and hope they don’t mess it up.
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – A powerful book and a favourite for a lot of people. There are so many things that we can learn from the past and tweak our future. Knowledge and information is wealth and Nadir knows that this book drove him to keep gaining knowledge on humanity and the world.

Here are 5 books that Peter Pop recommends in no particular order:

  • What the ladybird heard next by Julia Donaldson – The author created the iconic character the Gruffalo, and also has this series “What The Ladybird Heard”. In this particular book centers around farm animals trying to prevent bandits from stealing the hen’s eggs. Peter Pop’s son loves turning the pages and identifying the different animals, and often makes the animal noises too.
  • Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney – This book gave us the immortal phrase – “I love you right up to the moon and back”. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Anita Jeram add to the charm of the book. There are different editions of the book, this one centers around winter and the festive season. It helps explain to little tots the relationship and love between a parent and child and how they quantify their love. A book that Peter Pop and his wife will always cherish reading to their son.
  • The Shape of me and other stuff by Dr. Seuss – The first Dr. Seuss book that Peter Pop and his wife bought for L. It has plenty of rhyming words which is great for his age. It also helps identify different shapes and sizes – from body parts to animals and ordinary objects. Perfect for little readers!
  • Blink by Malcom Gladwell – Peter Pop was introduced to the work of Canadian journalist Malcom Gladwell and completely fascinated by his way of looking at the world. This book “examines the unconscious processes that allow the mind to “thin slice” reality”. A must read for those interested understanding the human mind.
  • Rockistan by Tayyab Khalil This list would not be complete without a book on music. Growing up listening to rock bands from across the border in Pakistan like Entity Paradigm, Fuzon and others, Peter Pop enjoyed reading the stories behind the bands. It helps him see their music in a completely different light. The book is an account of creating art in one of the most turbulent societies in the world.

What are some of your favourite books? Let us know via email – popsinapod(at)gmail.com Follow the Pops on social media below

Published by Pops in a Pod

Pops in a Pod is parenting podcast produced by first time dads Nadir Kanthawala (content and digital marketing professional) and Peter Kotikalapudi (marketing professional). Nadir has a daughter and Peter has a son. They currently reside in Mumbai, India

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