One of the best loved modern authors, his simple stories and prolific work transcends age. His first novel was “The Room On the Roof”, was published when he was 21 and is partly based on the experiences at Dehra in his small rented room on the roof.
Love for the mountain towns and descriptions of beautiful hills and landscapes of north India are a characteristic feature of his works. The beauty of Bond’s stories lies in their simplicity. He talks about simple people who one encounters in day to day life. His language is simple and highly readable. But the best feature in my opinion is probably his sense of humor. He describes even sad events with a tinge of humour.
On reading his works, one gets a feeling that he has a deep understanding of the human mind and heart, especially of children. He is an Anglo-Indian, but yet, writes about India from an Indian perspective. If one reads his “autobiographies”, which are like leaves from his journals, they are very similar to his stories. He writes about what he experiences. Indeed, he is a master storyteller.
A LIST OF RUSKIN BOND BOOKS YOU JUST CAN’T MISS
Books about books
He has written “The Puffin Good Reading Guide for Children” which has a selection of classical and contemporary books for children aged 4-16. The selections are from all over the world. You may use this as a guide if you’re not sure which book to read to your child, or if you’re in need for more rounded advice!
He also talks about the books that he has loved in a couple of titles- Love Among the Bookshelves and Confessions of a Book Lover . These books about books are very delightful and give an insight into the books that have made him what he is today. They also have passages from the books he recommends and so it’s like a taster for what you could go on to read.
Nature is the predominant theme of Ruskin bond’s stories. The recently released A Little Book of Flowers is a book dedicated to poetic descriptions of his favourite flowers, packed with facts and nuggets about these beauties! Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas brings alive the natural bounty of the Himalayas. My Favourite Nature Stories chronicles more interactions with nature.
Journal all the way
Bond has come out with a hauntingly beautiful journal, where you can relish some amazing illustrations, some inspiring lines from his works, and a whole lot of space to write down your thoughts. It’s called Words from the Hills, and you can read a detailed review here.
Thoughts on life
In a life rich with experiences, both sorrowful and happy, and in a life lived in close proximity to nature, bond has some beautiful and heartfelt words of advice and comfort to share with his readers. All his books contain expressions of his life-philosophies which are very honest and simple and will really resonate deeply with the reader. My favourite is The Book of Simple Things. Other suggestions include A Little Book of Happiness, The Little Book of Comfort, A Little book of Courage and A Little Book of Life. A Box of Happiness, that comprises of 3 Books is also a good series to read for thoughts on happiness and serenity.
You cannot live amongst the hills and not meet a ghost or two! Face in the Dark and Other Hauntings: Collected Stories of the Supernatural is apt for young adults. A Face in the Dark and Other Hauntings is another spooky book filled with supernatural encounters as is Whispers in the Dark: A Book of Spooks
Bond has edited a book called “Ghost Stories from the Raj” that look at encounters of British officers with the paranormal.
A lot of his work is autobiographical. However, his latest autobiography, Lone Fox Dancing is a tome that very comprehensively leads the reader through his eventful life, in the lap of nature. Looking for the Rainbow also chronicles his life, and has been written with a young readership in mind. This the first of a trio of books that talk about his life, the other two being,
Bond has written numerous books and it is really not possible to enlist all the names! As he grows older, he remains as prolific as ever. Indeed, Ruskin Bond books continue to retain their magical charm!
For another interesting article on Ruskin Bond click here.