How to pretend to be a lit pro for Facebook’s 10-book challenge

  • Asad Ali and Saudamini Jain, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 19:09 IST

You’ve seen the 10-book challenge going viral on Facebook (in which you’re asked to list ten of your favourite books and nominate others to do the same). But you’ve kept your distance. Looked on with silent envy as others around you spewed intellect. You gripped your racy ‘bestseller thriller’ by its spine ever so harder. You wanted to list back.

Well, now with our custom-made book list, you can furnish proof of your grey cells on FB with ease! Plus we tell you exactly how to negotiate offline scenarios where the books need discussion! Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Imperative to use the word "seminal" when starting to talk about this book. Say "it was something", half-chuckle and look vacantly outside the window. Communist Manifestoby Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Avoid being seen reading this on an iPad. Just carry an old, tattered copy, and look very intense. You need to know just two core words: bourgeoise and proletariat when talking about it. Outsider by Albert Camus

Use words like "absurd", "hollowness of existence" and "angst" in the same sentence. And repeat the vacant look outside the window. Then say "Mother died today" and wink. versions of the Mahabharata

Marvel at how "our epic" is bigger than other epics of the world. Then just randomly talk about war ethics in today’s age. hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Say that you feel like going away to Macondo every time you are asked about the book. Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

Talk about the "treatment of unconscious". This is in no way related to the movie Inception. Don’t make any reference to the film. God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Best to say something cool like "he is the poster boy for modern-day atheism". Then commend author for "starting such a radical counter-narrative to religiosity." Do not forget to use "religiosity". by Vladamir Nabokov

Praise Nabokov for handling paedophilia so delicately. Steer clear from calling it erotica. And say that Stanley Kubrick did a great job with the film to earn brownie points. On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

First compliment the author’s ability to sustain "first person narrative structure" so well. And then talk about the magic realism in the novel that left you spellbound. Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Read up a bit about Nigerian colonisation and then spice up the discussion by talking about the "cultural conflict" that the book depicts.

From HT Brunch, September 14
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