Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 in books


At the beginning of the year, I set a challenge on goodreads to read 20 books. In between lots of travel for work, I was worried I may not be able to complete the challenge but as always I carried books wherever I went and not only 20, but I completed 22 books and I’m on the 23rd book of the year. At this rate, I’m sure I can beat that challenge of 55 books before I hit 30 in life.

I cannot help but brag about this achievement of mine. But again I feel truly embarrassed when I see my goodreads friends setting 70 books challenge and completing it. 70? I gape at them. I’m amazed at how they could do it, but again, it’s all about priority and the love for reading. After a while, it becomes an addiction, which of course is good.
If I sum up my 2015 in books;

-The highlight of the year has been discovering Jhumpa Lahiri. I came across The Namesake four years back, but then I just shrugged it off and never gave a second glance. I must have been living under the rocks all this while not to pick up her books again. I restarted with Namesake. I was blown away. 

The buttery texture of her writing is so irresistible. Once you start reading, she keeps you on the hook and I especially love the details in her writing. Coming from a Bengali descent, she mostly writes on the lives of Non Resident Indians in America.

A master story teller she is. I loved her writing so much that I picked her three books; The Namesake, The Lowland and The Interpreter of Maladies.
It was like a discovery of a whole lot of gem.

-I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird a couple of years back but didn’t enjoy it. Perhaps, it didn’t bear any significance in my life that time. I picked it up again this year and loved it to bits. 

Initially, I read The Mockingbird Next door by Marja Mills, a non-fiction, written on the lives of the Lee sisters. It gave me a deep insight into the lives of the Lee sisters and made it so much easier for me to appreciate the timeless classic afterwards. It’s said that Harper Lee was given a year off from work (she worked as a Receptionist for an airline) as a Christmas gift to write a book. What could be more rewarding than that for a writer?

Her recent book, Go set a watchman, a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird was published after 50 years and won the goodreads award for Best Fiction 2015. However, it was an awful read. I didn't enjoy it. 

- I have been meaning to include non-fiction in my readings. I included The Spinster and The Girl with the Seven Names. The Spinster explores the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. 

One thing that struck me was evaluating your life in the last ten years. More particularly, it was about taking stock of what I’d gained and lost in ten years’ time. It struck me so profoundly that I actually sat down one night and started writing about all those ten years. It amazed me so much, the level of maturity I exuberated over the years was astounding. 
On the other hand, The Girl with the Seven Names was a killer. More about the book can be found here

- A Little Life was the most hyped book on my tbr list and it didn’t disappoint me at all. As I mentioned already, it was the book of the year for me. Though, it drags on quite a lot over 720 pages, but it’s all worth the read. And yes, I confess that I love fat books.

Speaking of fat books, 1Q84 was a fat book in itself, a trilogy in fact. And my reading list would be incomplete without Murakami. I started with 1Q84 and loved it tremendously that I recommend it to everyone. I even started dreaming about the stories in 1Q84 and one time I was so disturbed that I had to put away the book for a week. 

What is there not to love about Murakami? Dance Dance Dance was the other book and I loved how there’s a nameless character in the book. You cannot help but be curious till the end and like always he leaves you estranged, the best part of him. 

But The Strange Library was a huge disappointment. I paid Nu. 480/- for the 72 pages book with lots of illustrations like a children book and finished reading it in one sitting. For the first time in my life, I was filled with remorse for investing in a book. I couldn’t help but rant about it to him. Heights of disappointment!  

A few other reviews can be found here

How was your 2015 in books? I'd love to hear your recommendation as well. 


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