Thursday, 5 January 2017

My Year in Books

Happy New Year!

Although this was supposed to be mylast post of 2016, December was so busy that it just flew by!  But what better way of starting 2017 than by reminicing about the books read last year? My reading journey has been interesting and Goodreads tells me I read 40 books in 2016. I have cherry picked one from different genres from the collection, ones that had most recall value and also highlighted some debut writers that I enjoyed along the way.

1. I Let You Go: Clare Mackintosh

I have a weakness for psychological thrillers so much that i even tried writing one, (a disastrous short story!). But anyway, I love the complexity of the genre and its study of human mind and through its complex characters.

This book ranks high because it is cleverly written and at one point, it really floored me with its clever use of device. Usually, I can predict the twists, but I admit, I did not see it coming. So yes, this definitely ranks high up there.

Perhaps, yet another reason is the fact that part of the story is based in Wales, a place I love. The plot, the atmospheric setting with its description of the seaside and  the biting winds just did not "let me go" till the end.

2. BFG

I just realised that the book review is lying in my drafts. But this was read in my 2016 and therefore deserves a mention here. What a wonderful book! My daughter and I discovered Dahl together and since then we have bookmarked all his other books. My daughter kept on laughing at BFG's weird use of language whereas I couldn't help but marvel at how Dahl flexed language so deftly. I always thought Rowling was the only one who could write for adults and kids alike. Nope, Dahl got there first!

Playing It My Way: Sachin Tendulkar

I haven't read too many autobiographies and Sachin's is someone I grew up with. His legend, his triumphs, his failures are open knowledge to most Indians. Therefore while reading his autobiography, I had expectations. He has always maintained silence even amid tough media speculation. I was hoping to get some inside stories.Though I did not get much, I liked the way the book tries to break his mega star superhero persona. It tries hard to show him as an average human with flaws. Even if I feel it did not work hard enough, it is a good read with some well written bits about the cricketing God.

Promising Writers of 2016: 

Radhika Swarup and Sudha Balagopal

I always get excited by new writers. It was a pleasure to discover Radhika Swarup's Where the River Parts (WTRP) and Sudha Balagopal's A New Dawn. They are similar in terms of their Indian heritage yet different in their style and subject. I loved the Partition element in WTRP and the diasporic tone in A New Dawn and found their writing to be fresh and their perspective new. I look forward to see what they think of writing about next.

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