By Juhi Bansal
I am nowhere close to my amazing feat of 50 books last year (yes I know, can’t believe it myself!) but I’ll cut myself some slack because of the extra 75 mins of workout everyday that I wasn’t doing in 2016 (religiously). Sharing my favourite 5 reads from this year’s tally.
PS: Before you ask, I mostly read e-books. Earlier it was just for convenience but I think I like them more than physical books now.
Also, this year I’ve been exploring audio books quite a bit. Especially when I work out. So much better than listening to music.
So here goes (you may already know some of these if you follow me on instagram):
1. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Even with all my love for books and fiction, I’ve particularly found my peace in whodunits. I grew up on them (I read my first Agatha Christie when I was 12) and somehow never found my way back. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I can always trust a good whodunit to make my day. Sometimes my more learned friends jibe- telling me I don’t read “real stuff” or that I haven’t grown up but if only they knew the joy of a murder happening unexpectedly, a slew of suspects presented to you and an arrogant (Hercule Poirot/Sherlock Holmes) or a terse (Miss Marple) or a troubled (Cormoran Strike) detective who has his/her faults but can see through commonplace people and situations and the culmination of the story with the big reveal- they would know what I am talking about.
What I particularly like about them is that they are not larger than life- neither the story nor the characters and that’s why you feel invested. I never try to guess the killer- sometimes it becomes very obvious (I make it a point to not go back to the author again) but most times I like to be surprised. Agatha Christie does it for me every single time.
Why I am saying all this- because Magpie Murders is narrated by someone like me. Someone who loves whodunits as much as I do and is not apologetic about it. While reading one she stumbles upon a whodunit for real and solves it. I wouldn’t say I was very surprised with atleast one of the reveals but if you love whodunits as much as I do (or even a tad bit lesser) this one is for you!
2. A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman
All through the book I either had tears rolling down my eyes or I was laughing out loud. This book is funny, smart, sensitive all rolled into one. Ove’s character tugs at your heart strings like no one else. He is a typical grumpy septuagenarian who lost the only person he cared for in his life- his wife. He doesn’t seem to care for anyone or anything apart from the rules laid down by his Residential Society and his beloved Saab. But, life brings a lot of interesting people and circumstances in his life and he tackles them “Ove” style. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Whether you are a cynic or a believer Ove will win you over 🙂 and make your belief in love, life and relationships stronger than ever.
3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Paul Kalanithi was a Neurosurgeon and a Literature major. When he discovers he has cancer he decides to write a book- a dream he had had for a long time. Between gruelling sessions of chemo and other painful treatment, with his ever decreasing levels of energy- he goes on, his spirit never once giving up on him. He’s written the book in a voice that will identify with you. I hung on to every word, every page, like my life depended on it.
He passed away before he could finish the book. His wife does the honours. The epilogue will break your heart but it will also make your belief in life stronger. Death is inevitable so does it help if you know when it is coming?
I heard the audiobook version of the remaining two.
4. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Bossypants may easily be one of the best autobiographical accounts by a comedy actor. I laughed out loud many times- and TinaFey reading it is definitely the icing on the cake. There were moments when I was nodding my head vigorously with her struggles as a mother, a woman boss and dealing with everyone with an opinion about her life.
5. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I urge every woman to read/ hear this book. Whether you’re working or stay at home, single or married, mom or not a mom- this book will resonate with you. I would like to believe I don’t give in to gender biases but while reading this book I realized that it is so deeply conditioned in our upbringing that we don’t even realize we are doing it- we don’t feel confident asking for raises and promotions and when lauded for a good performance more often than not attribute it to external factors. She backs up her theories with examples from her own life and women around her, factual data and actual case studies. She urges women to stand up for themselves (Lean in)- to demand an equal status both at home and work and suggests we work not because we need the money but because we’ve earned the right.
Do share some of your favourite books and i shall add them to my reading list.
I am not a diamonds/gold jewelry person but I do like owning statement pieces. I was invited by Star Jewellery to try some pieces from their Surreal collection. Do you like them?
Outfit: Vero Moda
Jewelry: c/o Star Jewellery
Pics: Bhavya Rathore