5 Best Books by Ruskin Bond That You Must Read

Bond’s literary repertoire extends beyond children and young adults, and here are the 5 best books by Ruskin Bond that tell stories of life, love, mountains, and people.

Perhaps most of us identify him as the cherubic children’s writer, who effortlessly narrated the stories of Rusty that were added in our English textbooks while we were growing up.

I remember when I first read ‘The Blue Umbrella‘, I was about 13 years old and was quite thrilled to flip through the pages, reading about the mountains and the leopards, and how an umbrella became the central point of a little girl’s life which she finally gave to a needy old man.

Years later, when I was turning 22, a friend gifted me ‘Falling In Love Again’ – and that’s when I started to rediscover Ruskin Bond.

Needless to say, I actually fell in love with his work and realized the depth of his words. Each story in that book had something beautiful and by the time I finished reading it, my heart craved to read more.

That’s what books of Ruskin Bond can do to you! It’ll make your heart skip a beat, not because you have fallen in love with the hero and he is dead or because the heroine has a tragic life, but because the words will touch your soul.

 

Best books by Ruskin Bond:

1. A Book of Simple Living

“Happiness is a mysterious thing, to be found somewhere between too little and too much.”

This book is one of my favorites, and trust me when I say this – whenever I feel low, I would just pick this one and randomly read any page – and that makes me feel better.

Comprising of his thoughts and realizations, this book will automatically help you to slow down from the chaos of life and reflect on the smaller things amidst us, which, one way or another, elude our field of vision.

It’s a series of sketches from Bond’s life, acutely observed and diligently recorded, they are written as poems and page-length anecdotes.

 

2. Falling in Love Again

“It isn’t time that’s passing by, it is you and I.”

In this book, we witness stories of love, that is for a succinct time, but the everlasting fragrance that it leaves on the heart of the author.

His stories will somehow desert you with an incomplete desire, but that’s how life is – this is a journey, not a happy ending to be reached.

Not only does he talks about love for another person, but he also expresses his love for nature, for the beauty of the countryside and the mountains.

And the best thing is, all the stories are about people like you and me – everyday people who happen to stumble upon that exalted feeling called love and struggle to hold on to it.

There is angst, there is joy, there is anticipation, there is heartbreak – everything, in a nutshell.

 

3. Delhi Is Not Far

“Yesterday, I was sad, tomorrow I may be sad again, but today I know that I am happy. I want to live on and on…”

For people living in small towns, life in Delhi seems to full of glamour and all-things-good.

In a very light tone, with a tinge of his characteristic sympathy and quiet wisdom, Bond tells us the tale of some of its residents who dream of moving to the big city of Delhi from Pipalnagar.

Vivid descriptions of Chandni Chowk and the rickshaws, the lanes & the barbershops, a man’s love for a sex-worker, and his attempts to chase his dreams will surely keep you hooked to this novel.

A poignant tale of ambition, love, friendship, and homecoming, ‘Delhi Is Not Far’ is a moving portrait of small-town India.

 

4. Rain in the Mountains

“It is always the same with the mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”

I could so well connect to these words after my first Himalayan trek, and they kept echoing in my ears.

This book is a collection of semi-autobiographical writings of Bond, after having lived in many small towns across the Himalayas.

Effortlessly, he touches a raw nerve for an urban dweller when he describes the beauty of Himalaya’s wilderness, surrounded by chirping birds, clear blue skies, and sparkling streams.

It’ll almost feel like you’re out on a journey with him, as he takes you down the hills, through the valley, and introduces you to the warm mountain folks.

 

5. Lone Fox Dancing

“No life is more, or less, important or interesting than another—much of it, after all, is lived inside our heads.”

After nearly six decades of writing, Bond finally penned down his autobiography and spilled the beans about his childhood, school years, life in England, and his years in his beloved hills.

It shows us the origin stories for all that he had previously written – the sources of inspiration for his short stories, novels, and poems, as well as the very real people who’ve been immortalized in the pages of different stories.

Full of anecdote, warmth, and gentle wit; often deeply moving and always with a magnificent sense of time and place, this book has magic. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best autobiographies that I’ve read till date.

 

Related:

Best India fiction books to read

Best books by Paulo Coelho

 

Hills or plains, India or England, small towns or big cities, Bond’s work permeates all demographics and phases of life.

As a child you read his books with wonder and delight, learning, exploring, and imagining all the wonderful things.

As a young adult, you see in them the endless possibilities of life, the agony of a broken heart, the ecstasy of finding love.

As a grown-up you reflect on the deep profoundness of his deceptively simple prose, as a middle-aged reader you’ll find yourself nodding every now and then sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. And sometimes, amidst all this, you notice a teardrop escape your brimming eyes.

If you still haven’t discovered the magic of Ruskin Bond’s work, then now is the time to pick up these books and start reading them.

You can also drop a comment below and let us know about your favorite Ruskin Bond book.

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