Me, myshelf and I: Soha Ali Khan on her favourite books and authors
What books are currently on your reading list?
I have a long list of books I mean to read. The first comes highly recommended by my brother, called The Devil, a novella by Leo Tolstoy. The others are Christopher Hitchens’ Letters to a Young Contrarian, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
What is your favourite book?
That’s an impossible question. My current favourites are Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes, Museum Of Innocence By Orhan Pamuk, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
What genres do you enjoy reading?
My favourite genre is murder mystery. Agatha Christie remains my favourite in this area, besides Jeffery Deaver, Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbø, etc.
What do you like to read when you travel?
I get motion sickness and find it impossible to read when I’m travelling. But when I am in a foreign country, I like to read something by a local author. For example, in Istanbul (Turkey), I read Orhan Pamuk, and in Prague (Czech Republic), I read Franz Kafka.
Name a book that made you cry or laugh?
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen made me sob. I was reading it in bed one night, after Kunal (Kemmu; husband) had gone off to sleep, and had to lock myself in the bathroom so that he wouldn’t think I had lost it. The one author who is guaranteed to make me laugh is PG Wodehouse.
Which is your favourite fairy tale or folklore?
The cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar tells the beautiful legend of Mirabai.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors have stayed with you?
I was a voracious reader. I read everything by Enid Blyton and the Nancy Drew series. When I was a little older, I read Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and Oscar Wilde.
If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
I don’t think there is one book that defines me. But I do believe in the adage — you are what you read.
Which author would you choose to write your life story?
I am a total control freak, so I imagine I would have to take a course in writing and write it myself!
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