It has been a terribly long time since I've written something,apart from my usual diary entries or exam answers. Both are generally very rambling in nature , so excuse me if I sound so in this post.
For no particular reason , I'm going to share intel on the books I've read this year with you all. But before that:-
Reading books is an activity which is fast becoming a dying one amongst kids these days. So much so that my mom bugs all the children who visit our home by asking them what book they are reading currently. The lack of immediate answer on their part scared me enough to write this,
I am 19 years old , consider myself a 'grown up' now ( although many might disagree) and books were a huge part of my childhood and the reason why I have such a vivid imagination. An active imagination is the only chance for independent thinking. I don't think watching umpteen repeats of chota bheem is going to develop one's thinking capacity. In fact , kids reading more books might help them create better serials in the future than the substandard ones on offer these days.
I hope the point is made.
Now in no particular order , I am going to briefly share the interesting books I happened to read this year. All the books I have read this year can be found here :- link
1. Mightier than the sword by Jeffrey Archer
My review at the time of reading the book in goodreads :
Best Archer book ever! Atleast his best in a long long time. Can't go into any plot points without revealing too much. What I've noticed in this book is that all characters have been well established over a period of 4 books and the 5th one is the best time to introduce new villains , wacky situations and problems for our characters to overcome. Really loved how Seb has developed , harry's moral compass is stronger than ever , Emma is as bold as ever , Cedric Hardcastle :') and all the villains are despicable enough.
The book is set in a period not usually found in Archer books and I really enjoyed the political and cultural circumstances of the 60's and 1970.
What sets this book apart from the rest in the series is that Archer is ready to embrace failure , go past the cliches and happy ending. Hence , it is scarier waters for the reader to swim in before reaching what seems like safety.
REALLY LOVED IT!!
Added bonus of meeting the man himself in the book signing of this book for the second time in 3 years! Man am I lucky :D
Now : -
Well , it is not his best book. I say that after I read every book of his. Still one of his best! It is book number 5 in the clifton chronicles and pick of right where it left. Highly recommend a new reader to read the previous four as this is a saga of character development which is better understood right from the start. No one writes drama like Jeffrey Archer and he proves it here again. What sets this book apart is thathe has a moved beyond his clichés and thrown a punch here and there. So even a seasoned reader will be on their those when they read this one.
My rating - 5/5
2. Agatha christie - Hercule poirot
I managed to read 2 books with hercule poirot as the lead - what can I say? The little , egg shaped gentleman has captured my heart.These books were like math puzzles - but fun ones :P and somehow you can never predict the ending and have to keep turning the pages.
a) Murder in Mesopotamia - Christie uses her experience in middle east ( her husband was a archaeologist) to dish out a murder mystery based in Mesopotamia. A house full of suspects , an archaeologist set up , a time frame , map of a house. Very systematically thrilling. Only poirot can find out!
b) Murder on the orient express - I finally read this insanely famous book. A running train , chilling murder , Poirot is in the next compartment when it happen , the murdered guy's room is locked from inside , no one seems to have the motive but everyone seems to have the opportunity. Things are way more than what meets the eye here. Ending was superb but also a cop out of sorts.
I feel that in most of her books ,the build up is so good that no conclusion seems good enough
3. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Writing about this reminded me that I have to read rest of the series. A famous fantasy book that teens read - certainly not my type :P I generally crinkle my nose and this book taught me that these books are pretty fun to read. After harry potter and 39 clues , this is the 3rd actual fantasy I am actually reading.
Book description on goodreads : Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a 'perfect society'. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice Prior renames herself Tris, rejects her family's Abnegation group, and chooses another faction.
On paper,this book seems like a simple mash up of hunger games , harry potter , 1984 and 39 clues. However , it managed to create its own identity somewhat by the end of it all and the characters and the situations they are in are pretty interesting. The pace at which it all goes is pretty quick and that certainly helped matters
verdict - A very readable fun book. Very excited to read the future books in the series.
4.Two lives by Vikram seth
After the monumental yet fascinating Suitable boy , I am a huge admirer of Vikram Seth. He is not a writer but an artist who paints words beautifully and poignantly. Two lives is an unique non fiction done by him on his late aunt and uncle with whom he had a good relationship. Both his aunt and uncle were impacted by the holocaust and this book covers that and many other little things a work of fiction can never quite cover. The mediums he uses for this book elevates it to the next level - first we get vikram's point of view , then that of his uncle through interviews with him and through the rich letters his aunt used to communicate with her relations from germany who were later wiped out in the holocaust and pictures too.
The quirks of a long marriage , love of the realistic kind , loss of a spouse , sickness , idle old age , family histories , the tensions that arise in a family when money comes into play , dementia , dentistry , Europe the book deals with a lot of topics with élan. Take this one if you're in a mood to read a different but intriguing biography about two ordinary yet extraordinary individuals.
5. Cut like wound by Anita Nair
Here comes a type of book I have been wanting to read since I was born!( pardon the exaggeration) . A procedural crime thriller covering the Indian diaspora by an Indian author is what I have been looking for forever. There are mystical giants like Salman Rushdie , and so called entertaining authors like Chetan Bhagat who write books to be made into movie scripts , so it invariably involves romance :( but a serious shortage of crime thrillers!Except Falooda by Satyajit Ray maybe.
The book is set in Bengaluru,the hub of modernity and cosmopolitan culture in India. We have Inspector Gowda the brow beaten unsuccessful police inspector whose personal life is also going nowhere. How does he deal with a set of murders,which his famous instincts tell him are connected. This book touches upon the status of transgenders in our society in a non preachy way. There is an adulterous love story , interesting side characters and modus operandi and police procedure to keep us interested. I would really love it if more people encouraged books like this and also if this book becomes a full fledged series!
So what books have you come across recently? They don't have to be deep , pretentious looking ones actually. Every book is has its own personality and traits which will rub off on us. I don't believe there is any such thing as a bad book. We always learn a lot indirectly when we read.
So please leave a comment , recommending a book. Who might know? We might just find our next favourite book there :)