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Posts Tagged ‘Favourite Books 2017’

We are already three weeks into the new year and 2017 already feels like the distant past. But I was reading till the last day of December and so wanted to wait for a few weeks to get some perspective, before I could look back.

2017 was a good reading year for me. I read 49 books (the previous year I had read 18 books and so that was a good improvement). I travelled to atleast 14 countries through the medium of reading –  America, Austria, Chile, China, England, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Wales, the West Indies. I also got to travel back in time to the India of the 3rd century A.D., and to spiritual worlds, alien planets,  and the imaginary kingdoms of Dagonaut and Unauwen. I read 20 books by women writers and 29 books by male writers. I normally, unconsciously, aim for a ratio of 50:50, but this was not bad and I am happy with that.

These are my favourite books from 2017, with a short description of them. I normally like most of the books I read and so this list is long.

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Fiction

Literary Fiction (in translation)

(1) Judas by Amos Oz (Hebrew) – a novel which is mostly a conversation between three people from three different generations

(2) Seeing Red by Lina Meruane (Spanish) – it is about the descent into blindness by the main character

(3) Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig (German) – Zweig is brilliant as always

(4) Without Blood by Alessandro Baricco (Italian) – a revenge thriller which is also a love story.

(5) The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide (Japanese) – a story about a couple and a guest cat which changes their lives.

(6) Silence by Shusaku Endo (Japanese) – a novel about faith, its loss and how it is regained

(7) Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki (Japanese) – a story about a house and a garden

(8) Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbag (Kannada) – about a family in probably the ’90s. It was the book of the month in our reading group.

Classics (English)

(9) O, Pioneers by Willa Cather – about a woman who has to tackle the challenges of being the head of the family in the early 20th century. Willa Cather’s prose is gorgeous.

(10) The Painted Veil by W.Somerset Maugham – about a woman who has an affair and its aftermath. Maugham is brilliant as always.

Literary / Contemporary Fiction (English)

(11) When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy – a novel about marital violence and abuse – dark, bleak and heartbreaking, but also brilliant.

(12) Kathputli by Ushasi Sen Basu – a story about a woman who goes on a quest for her family’s past. Beautiful and elegant with exquisite artwork.

(13) The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak – a story which is a love letter to the ’80s, Vanna White, friendship and computer programming

(14) This House of Clay and Water by Faiqa Mansab – a story of a unique friendship between two women and a hijra. Beautiful prose.

(15) Dirty Martini by Kavipriya Moorthy – a story about marital abuse and its aftermath – dark, bleak and insightful.

Historical Fiction

(16) The King Within by Nandini Sen Gupta – a historical novel set during the Gupta dynasty. Beautiful and gorgeous and unique.

Short Stories

(17) Stuck Like Lint by Shefali Tripathi Mehta – a collection of short stories which is also a novel, about women from different parts of society and the challenges they face. Brilliant.

(18) Eleven Kinds of Loneliness by Richard Yates – Brilliant title. Book lives up to that.

Love Stories

(19) Our Story Ends Here by Sara Naveed – Beautiful love story about a young woman and an unconventional young man.

(20) Crescendo by Amy Weiss – a spiritual love story. Gorgeous prose.

Sports Fiction

(21) Centre Court by Sriram Subramanian – beautiful novel set during the two weeks of Wimbledon. Rare bird of a novel. Must read for any tennis fan.

Crime Fiction

(22) Birds of Prey by Archana Sarat – a thriller which is more than a thriller, a novel about child abuse – dark, bleak, heartbreaking, but also beautiful in parts with some light at the end of the tunnel.

Science Fiction

(23) Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke – a novel about what happens when aliens come to earth and try to change the world for the better. Many people have tried writing this plot. This is the brilliant original.

(24) The Diary of a Space Traveller and Other Stories by Satyajit Ray – Who knew that the Master was a brilliant science fiction writer too! So wonderful and charming!

Children’s Literature

(25) Khoka by Moupia Basu – a novel about a boy growing up in Bengal during the independence era, inspired by real life events. Beautiful and charming.

(26) Princeless Vol.1 : Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and M.Goodwin – a comic which turns the traditional fairytale upside down, in which a princess instead of waiting for the prince, tames the dragon herself, and goes on adventures. Cool and stylish.

(27) A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas – Dylan Thomas’ nostalgic and charming account of Christmases of times gone by.

(28) A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively – a story about a girl who goes on a holiday to a seaside resort and discovers that someone very similar to her stayed in the same house decades back.

(29) The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt – a young aspiring knight has to deliver a letter to the king of the neighbouring country after travelling through dangerous terrain and evading treacherous enemies. Fascinating adventure!

(30) The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald – a story about
a princess and a goblin and our young boy hero who is in the middle of it all.

Poetry

(31) Meghadutam by Kalidasa – brilliant, sensual poetry

(32) Poems by Hermann Hesse – who thought Hesse wrote poetry! Brilliant!

Nonfiction

(33) Fire in Babylon by Simon Lister – a history of the legendary West Indian cricket team which dominated the sport from the middle ’70s to the middle ’90s. Must read for cricket fans.

(34) The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer – a love letter to stillness and solitude and the joys of inner travel.

(35) Keep Calm and Mommy On by Tanu Shree Singh – a beautiful, charming parenting guide

(36) Voltaire’s Alphabet of Wit – a collection of short essays with Voltaire’s trademark satire

(37) Dear Ijeawale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – a book essay with beautiful advice in every page.

(38) Introducing Feminism : A Graphic Guide by Cathia Jenainati and Judy Groves – a wonderful graphic introduction to feminism

(39) The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison – Toni Morrison’s brilliant analysis on why we categorize some people as the ‘other’

So, that’s it 🙂 These are my favourite books from 2017. What about you? Did you have a good reading year in 2017? Which were your favourite books?

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