10 Books By Ruskin Bond That Celebrate The Mountains, Will Have You Yearning For Them, Too
By: Srishti Gurung on Sep 29th, 2015
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“It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”

That is Ruskin Bond for you! There is no denying the fact that his books are much loved, by readers of all ages. Many of us have grown up reading his short stories, and we still find solace in reading his novellas. Whether it be The Blue Umbrella or Time Stops at Shamli, Night Train at Deoli or A Flight of Pigeons, the writer has won us over with his simple but beautiful writing. As proficient as he is in writing children literature, he is a natural when it comes to describing the tranquility of his beloved hills.

Here is a list of books from Ruskin Bond that every lover of the hills can delight in.

A Town Called Dehra
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As appealing as the cover of this book is, so is Ruskin’s description of the Doon valley of the 1940s and 1950s. In this memoir, Ruskin shares with us reminiscences of the years he spent growing up in Dehra.

In his usual beautiful style, Ruskin has penned stories such as The Dilaram Bazaar, Dehradun - Winter of ’45, and Lily of the Valley, for this book. Surely, they will take you on a delightful journey through litchi and banyan trees, tonga rides, completely immersing its readers in the times gone by.

Buy it here.

A Book of Simple Living
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After years of mesmerizing readers with his writing, Ruskin does the same with his most recent book, A Book of Simple Living. Rich with details about his life in the hills, reading this book is like therapy for the soul. It tells us how simple life actually is, even though we find it way too complex. The book is full of positive words worth pondering over, which are sure to inspire one to find happiness in the ordinary.

Buy it here.

The Room on the Roof & Vagrants in the Valley
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Ruskin Bond's debut novel The Room on the Roof is based on the author's own adolescent years spent in Dehradun. The book made us all fall in love with Rusty, the gangly, adolescent hero, and also went on to bag the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize.

Vagrants in the Valley is regarded as a sequel to the former, in which Rusty returns to Dehradun and is seen indulging in many adventures. Here, we also find him on a quest to figure out his identity, introducing us, in the process, to new people, realities of life and its complexities.

Buy it here.

Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra
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This semi-autobiographical book beautifully sums up the author's life from childhood till date. As you flip through the pages, you get familiar with the people and situations that helped mould the man that Ruskin Bond is. The author's escaping the bombings and war in Java, his school days in Shimla, and his visit to Dehra after years - these are just some of the enchanting stories that the book is packed with. It definitely deserves the Sahitya Academy Award that it has been honoured with.

Buy it here.

Landour Days: A Writer’s Journal
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We all are well-acquainted with the fact that Ruskin has always been an ardent diarist. This is another book that came out of his journal, which describes the place where he is settled now – Landour, Mussoorie. He describes simple day-to-day events, seasons and flowers with such finesse that you feel as if they have been a part of your life too. The book also comprises notes on other writers, books he loves reading, and the process of writing. All in all, it is a must-read not just for Doon-ites, nature lovers, and travellers, but for every aspiring writer.

Buy it here.

Rain in the Mountains
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This is another semi-autobiography, comprising of essays on the author's life in Mussoorie. Living close to the mountains and looking at the beauty of nature through his window, Ruskin is an expert in penning down his observations and everyday musings, which he does flawlessly in this book too. There are excerpts from his journal, poems that will ring in your ears like a lullaby, and simple essays that feel like a breath of fresh air.

Buy it here.

Roads to Mussoorie
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Ruskin’s love affair with hills and nature started at a very young age and has continued ever since, bringing him to write about Mussoorie time and again. Roads to Mussoorie is a novel in which the writer has turned his experiences at the serene Mussoorie into stories. We can see him put forth his effortless sense of humour into writing about various incidents, including ghosts, the mail delivery system in the olden days, and many other everyday anecdotes.

Buy it here.

Secrets
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Secrets is a collection of seven short stories, in which we get to meet a very young Ruskin who is mischievous yet has a sense of maturity. The stories are from the writer’s childhood in Dehradun, and though each one is different from the other, they are interlinked. There is a story about a lady in Dehradun lady getting hitched to a British soldier, while another one talks about a murder taking place at a movie show where Ruskin was present. Now, if that is not interesting, what is?

Buy it here.

Ruskin Bond’s Book of Nature
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This book is, again, all about Ruskin's rendezvous with nature, yet different and refreshing in its own way. In this book, the author not only writes about his lovely experiences in the Himalayas, but also celebrates the beauty of some other towns that have crossed his path. If you decide to read this book, be ready to get captivated by the brilliant narration and the author's vivid imagination.

Buy it here.

The writer on the Hill
Image credit: Books Punch

If you are a devoted Ruskin fan, this book will bring back memories from the author's other novels. If you are new to his books, you will love this comprehensive collection of his published fiction and non-fiction works. There are excerpts about his childhood, his encounters with some special people, nature and the wild. Bond’s fondness for Mussoorie and Dehradun reflects right off the pages of this book.

Buy it here.

Apart from writing about nature,  over the decades, Ruskin Bond has produced numerous literary pieces ranging from children fiction to thrillers to humour and so much more. Which ones among them are your favourites? Share with us in the comments section below.

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Srishti Gurung
Owing to the confusion of what to do in life, Srishti has been a science student, an SSB aspirant, an MBA graduate and what not! However, the one thing that remained constant was that, no matter what life threw at her, she always found solace in penning down her musings. As a teenager she would scribble in the pages of her diary, and now she...   Read more
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