Saturday, November 1, 2014
Wonderful Small Books
Does size matters?
The classification of book as novel, novella, novelette and short story is not an easy job. Reviewers/Editors/Critiques classify randomly and seldom bother to follow international standard. Some literary guild had been doing the exercise but they also do not have universal acceptance.
If we say that the novella is written with a satirical, moral or educational nature and purpose, it would be a gross generalization and the very object of the author could be defeated by such blatant categorization. Or a story may even have the ingredient of a novel like multiple characters, sub-plots, conflicts and twists, and all novels are also ultimately a story.
"The Science Fiction" and "Fantasy Writers of America" specifies word lengths for each category of its Nebula award categories: Novel over 40,000 words, Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words, Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words, Short Story under 7,500 words.
How the words would be counted, is also not defined. There are different opinions and "different word counting programs may give varying results, depending on the text segmentation rule details, and on whether words outside the main text (such as footnotes, endnotes, or hidden text) are counted. But the behavior of most major word processing applications is broadly similar" as endorsed by Wiki.
A reader, however remains unaffected by such jugglery and is straightforward in judging the true value of the books. Some, such books which are though small in word count, but have influenced the life or thought process of millions of people are listed here. If by chance we have over passed any of them earlier this is the high time to pick it now.
1. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach is a book that teaches self -perfection, how to be true to yourself and keep working on love. It is motivational, life changing book, if taken seriously.
2. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a book from which many theories of Philosophies have emerged and also a paradigm shift in many existing philosophies has occurred. The description of mental state when one enjoys sufferings and conscious inertia makes this book as a masterpiece.
3. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery is most-read, most-translated book of the world. The book has been tagged in the category of "Children's Book" would sure leave every mature wondering about the strangeness and logistics of the adult world.
4. Who moved my cheese? By Spencer Johnson would change how you perceive the changes that are taking place in your life. It is written like a fable which has maximum appeal for the human psyche.
5. Self-reliance by R.W. Emerson is a book of essay. You may have to re-read to grasp the depiction of self worth by trusting your own self.
6. The old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway can be put at the top of the list, if this matters at all. There are very few books in the world that would touch your heart and mind both equally. Moreover who would not honor the struggle of old man and also would feel honored in doing so.
This list would grow if you can add few books of your choice in the comments.