A good beginning to the year when it comes to Reading. Fifteen books in the first quarter – a good mix of Fiction and Non Fiction. (Read this post if you like reading and improve your reading by 10x times – how to read more.)
While JK Rowling (Harry Potter Series) & JRR Tolkein (Hobbit & LOTR #1) kept my imagination away from the Muggle’s world and took me to a faroff journey to the the Middle Earth,, the hard hitting Autobiographical Novel by Viktor Frankl brought me face to face with the horrors of the atrocities conducted in the World War II (Must Read.)
Also Reread “Selected Stories”by Rabindra Nath Tagore – He brings to life the rustic life of the middle twentieth century so beautifully and poetically.
With the Origin Dan Brown has brought back his touch which was missing in his last couple of novels with his fast paced thriller this time staged in Spain (The fact that I visited Spain last year also made it an interesting Read.)
The surprise read was Mr g: A novel about Creation – which through a fictional set up gives out entire history of early universe. (A must read especially for those who are still tethered to “Creationism”)
The list of books read (The short reviews and other details in the photo Link below)
Supplement below with my all time favorite post on the life-learning I got from reading sixty books in a year. and List of must read books for young professionals.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone – “Mr. and Mrs. Dursely of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. There were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.” – I happen to stumble upon this passage that started it all, the first passage of the Harry Potter Series and even though I have read the HP Series twice, I just couldn’t stop myself reading the book. A couple of months down the line, and I have already started the third instalment of the series
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Liked this book more than the initial first two readings. In this book was first revealed that how intricately Harry Potter’s life and destiny are linked to the Voldemort. The Tom Riddle Arc provided a perfect twist. So was the little part by Dobby in the book.
- The Prestige – We all have seen the Movie. But I didn’t know that it was based (loosely) on a book. The book is extremely well crafted (though it is vastly different in terms of story lines and endings) but it did fleshed out more the characters of the two rival magicians – Robert Angier & Alfred Borden. Their upbringings, family backgrounds, their initial years of struggle.
- Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the world – Haruki Murakami: In 2016 I read around ten books written by HM. Two years down the life the magic has worn off a bit, (there is a lot of overlaps in his story arcs) the book still mesmerised my senses with two alternate story lines that seemed so far off, yet so connected.
- Origin – Dan Brown: Run, run, run – Professor Langdon is always on the run. And too our advantage too. this time the stakes are higher, the quest is to save (or destroy) the very secret that could disrupt the way in which we understand the Origin of the life. A fast paced Read.
- The fellowship of the Rings (LOTR # 1) – JRR Tolkein: It’s too slow for me. For the fact that I’m already a GRRM consumer (have read all the instalments) I find JRR world’s far too simple. But that doesn’t take away the fact that how much I enjoyed the rich and luscious description of the journey.
- The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein: A much lighter and easier read compared to the LOTR # 1
- Mr g: A novel about creation: Someone / Something must have started the universe. With a hypothetical couple and their nephew depicting that someone/something, the book very beautifully explains the beginning of universe, the creation of time and space, the concepts of multiverse, the fusion of hydrogen into helium to form stars and then matter and how somehow a transition from inorganic to organic started this whole life.
- The Blue Hotel – Short story, yet extremely philosophical.
- Selected Short Stories – Rabindra Nath Tagore: The rustic old towns, the smell of earth after the first rain, the life, the death, the hopes, the desires – the book has everything about the life that seems so long gone, that still occupies, but often forgotten, the major part of India – the Indian villages. RN Tagore is almost poetic when he recount stories of individuals whose concerns are so different from what occupies our mind today. Taxes, rain, crops, the money to get daughters married, and a love so Pure that is hard to come by these days.
- The Dead – James Joyce: Short story – Often cited as the best work of short fiction ever written, Joyce’s elegant story details a New Year’s Eve gathering in Dublin that is so evocative and beautiful that it prompts the protagonist’s wife to make a shocking revelation to her husband—closing the story with an emotionally powerful epiphany that is unsurpassed in modern literature.
Autobiographies / Memoir
- Man’s search for Meaning – Viktor K Frankl : Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
- The Getaway Car – Ann Patchett