Our last two posts on Good Books To Read were very popular, so here is third post in the Series. For those of you who are new, these are the good books which I have either read or planning to read this March. 

I am an avid reader and book lover like yourself and recommend  you only those books which are on my radar. So, without any further ado, here is the list of good book to read in 2015 – March. So, what are we waiting for? Start the Indulgence.

1. All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

Good Books to read in 2015 - All the Light we cannot See - Review

All the Light we cannot see is a beautifully written book  with a page-turning, suspenseful quality that is virtually unseen. This 500 page masterpiece was written by Doerr over 10 years and its time well spent. This was one of the best novels of 2014 and a surprise sleeper hit.

The plot alternates between different timelines and point of view of three characters every chapter. This is a tricky thing to achieve, but this is probably the best execution I have ever seen. Add to it the thrill of impending intersection between the Characters and the lyrical beauty of words, and you have an wonderful book.

Stones are just stones and rain is just rain and misfortune is just bad luck.

The book is set against the backdrop of WWII  US Bombing of St Malo. The first main character is Marie Laure – a girl living in Paris who became blind at the age of 6. Her father is a locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Due to impending German invasion of France, precious work of art is under risk of being taken by Hitler for inclusion in his own Fuhrer museum. Second Major character is Werner, an German orphan whose father died at the mines when he was 6. He is a brilliant with radios and other technical things but he is sent to mines but work. But then a German officer notices his skills and he  passes the test for an elite Nazi training school. But how will getting into a Nazi elite school impact him? Third major character is Sergeant Major von Rumpel who is looking to add precious gems and works of art to Hitler’s collection. 

The book shows the Brutality of war in a way that is both cold and dark, the way wars are supposed to be. But, this book is less about the war and more about emotional chaos of war and its impact on the innocent.  All the praise and awards on this are well deserved and this is highly recommended.

Buy "All the Light we cannot see" from Amazon

2. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Good Books to read in 2015 - Child 44 - Review

This is one book which I purchased a while back , but never got the time to read it back then. But when I saw the movie trailer based on the book, I knew it was the time to bite the bullet. Now, my expectations were quite high for this book and after finishing it, I can say that it did live up to my expectations. The novel is based on an interesting premise and has all the makings of a good ol classical thriller. The entire plot is based in Stalin era Soviet union. Anyone who knows about communism will appreciate the depiction in this Book. Its a wonderful portrayal of how it was in its extreme in 1950s when Stalin ruled with an Iron fist. The mystery in the book is a total page turner and the character sketch is also done beautifully making it a true masterpiece. 

Ok, now a bit about the plot. The Novel is loosely based on life and crimes of Rostov ripper who supposedly committed 56 murders.  Imagine a serial killer operating in a society that has zero crime. If a crime is committed, it cannot be reported as it would go against the perfect law and order claimed by the communist party.  Then how do you investigate crimes that the government claims do not occur? Leo is an MGB agent who is a War hero. He has a case involving murder of the child of a fellow agent. All the signs points towards a clear murder yet, the state declares it an accident involving a train. Later, due to various unrelated incidents, Leo is asked to investigate and denounce his own wife. In order for her wife to avoid death or 25 years of prison, they flee to the outbacks. But then slowly Leo begins to uncover a killing spree over the entire soviet union. As he is trying to investigate, State is doing what it knows best – Silence those who knows about a crime to ensure zero crime and that includes Leo. 

Trust but check. Check on those we trust.

I would recommend this to fans of mystery and thriller novels and also to general Audience. Highly Recommended. Do keep in mind its over 400 pages long though!

Buy "Child 44" from Amazon

3. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Good Books to read in 2015 - The Longest Ride

This was on my radar for a while because its the latest Nicholas Spark’s book and the only one out of 17 that I haven’t read! (I know, I read a lot!). So when I finally picked this, I was happy and waited for a nice and quiet Saturday morning to start reading. And it did not disappoint me. It is a good love story who will impress all the cynics and hopeless romantics out there, yet the emotions and a few twists in the story will keep fans of others genres excited too! 

About the Plot. The Longest ride tells the story of two couples in North Carolina who could not be more different from one another. Yet their lives will intersect in multiple ways. The story begins with 91 year old Ira levinson who is injured after a car crash and couldn’t find the will or strength to do anything. Suddenly his wife, who passed away 9 years ago, appears besides him and prevents him from drifting away by reminding him of their story.

Remember me with joy, for this is how I always thought of you. That is what I want, more than anything. I want you to smile when you think of me. And in your smile, I will live forever

A few Miles away, a young college senior Sophia meets a cowboy Luke and their life will change forever. The built up of relationship between Luke and Sophia presents a very nice contrast to the Ira’s story. It is like you have both the beginning and End intertwined together but told from the different point of views.

You kissed me yes, But it was not just goodnight even then I could feel the promise in it. The promise that you could kiss me like that forever.

For those who have read a lot of Sparks, it might seem more of the same. Yes, the plot seems very similar to what you would have read in other Nicholas spark’s novel. But I am not sure if  it is a bad thing. There are not too many twists barring an odd bombshell, but the story is sentimental and poignant. And for the romantics, a great read. And if you like a mystery read, there are a few others in my list which you can check out. I enjoyed the long ride, probably not so much as Notebook or Dear John. But then, I am not a teenager anymore, so that could be a reason. Still a recommended book. Additionally, a motion picture is coming out in April, so all the more motivation for you to read it before the movie comes out.

Buy "The Longest Ride" from Amazon

 

4. The Martian: Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir - Book Review

This is for the fans of Science fiction genre. I like the Science fiction genre as an occasional read and this book was recommended by  a close friend (who loaned it to me as well!). It is one of those rare indie success stories where the novel was first self published before going mainstream. After finishing the book, I can see why. The book is well written especially the scientific facts and parts on Mars. Another good thing is sense of humor of the main character on the face of atrocities. A few things could have been better especially the parts happening on Earth. But that’s a minor nuisance and only if I had to be picky. 

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.

Now about the Plot. The premise is very simple. The story is based on Man’s first mission to Mars. Astronaut Mark Whatney is stuck in a Dust Storm in mars with his suit unable to communicate back to the base. Mark is believed to be dead and his Team leaves him behind after an emergency extraction. This leaves Mark  alone on an inhospitable planet with almost nothing and the next mission 4 years and 2000 miles away! He has to use his technical and scientific skills along with the limited resources to survive on the planet for 4 years which is next to impossible. The scientific details are very accurate and plausible and anyone with working knowledge of high school science would love that. Did He survive? I would leave it for you to read yourself and find out.

In the end, despite the medium dose of technical and scientific facts, going through the pages of the book was a breeze. I would have loved it to be slightly less oriented on Science and more on Emotions though. That would then be a perfect book for a general audience. It is still recommended and if you are  a geek, don’t wait and just buy the damn book.

Buy "The Martian" from Amazon

 

5. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Good Books to read in 2015 - First Frost - Book Review

You might not have heard about Waverly family, so let me start with this. Waverly women were first introduced in the Novel Garden Spells. Each of the Waverly women possesses a unique magic which both helps them and alienates them from one another. And in their garden lies a special magical Apple Tree . The Novel tells the story of that magical Apple tree and the people who tend to it. The First frost is a stand alone piece and it is not necessary to read garden spell first, but I would say, having read Garden spells before would give you a better perspective.

First frost is set 10 years after the Garden spells. All the three Waverly women still have their own little bit of magic. Bay is now 15 years old and is in love for the first time . Her magic is that she always knows where things belong. Bay’s mother Claire still cuts hair, working at the Salon.  It is renowned for the magic she does with a pair of scissors in her hands. Sydney has left her catering business and started a candy selling venture which is now a National success. Through her gift, she handcrafts perfect confections—Rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds.  Claire is happily married to Tyler and Sydney to Henry. And the whimsical Apple tree  still blossoms while throwing apples at anyone who doesn’t approve . While on the surface it seems, everything is wonderful for the family, it isn’t without their very own set of problems.  Sydney, Claire and Bay all have their own insecurities and doubts to contend with in the week approaching first Frost. Bay is in love with a boy called Josh. But he is the Son of Sydney’s old high school boyfriend who left her. So, she wants Bay to end it with him. Clair’s Business is a success , but as the business grows, the pressure of selling slowly drifts her away from the family. She begins to question if her magical ability was a gift after all. And amidst all this, a mysterious stranger appears. The Waverley women now  must rely on one other like never before.

Sarah’s writing is more focused on character development than the twists and turns in the plot. This can wither work wonders or end in an disaster. In this case, it works beautifully as character sketch is really detailed and you start to live the life of each of the three main characters. For all the fans who love stories with a little bit of magic, this is a perfect match. The magic is very practical and subtle which makes it believable. Yet, it still adds to the enchanting and fairy-tale like feel which is reminiscent in the entire book. Sarah’s writing is really beautiful and her prose appeals to all the senses like Waverly women’s gifts

Buy "First Frost" from Amazon

 

6. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Good Books to read in 2015 - 4 Hour Work Week

This is the book that I am currently reading. I have always been a fan of books on Entrepreneurship. And For 2015, my goal is read at-least one such book every month. The 4 hour Workweek is one of the most well known books and comes highly recommended. Initially I was skeptical about the book and had doubts if it was one of those get rich quick books which does everything but make you rich. The First couple of chapters into the book, I could see this getting true. But then, I was able to look past the details into the message , and it became a true marvel. I do believe anyone can benefit from the ideas presented in this book. For me, I have made the notes from the book in a pad which is probably half as thick as the book and now completely filled.

Ok, let me start with What Timothy  wants to deliver. Between all the buzz words and messages, the underlying message is simple – Lifehacks that can make you more effective and productive. You might not quit your job, but I can say for sure that you will definitely get more out of it once you have read the book honestly. The Book wants you to make a DEAL with yourself to get Rich. The DEAL is as following:

Define your objectives and Goals. A lot of examples are from people who have applied this in their own business including how Ferris did it in his own life. Now, a lot of these  at first might seem a bit far fetched for someone who is not an entrepreneur, but the basic premise is simple. Ask yourself what you want from your life. And this is something which all of us need.

Eliminate Distractions. Another important message. This talks about application of pareto principle and selective ignorance. Remove those 20% of things in your life which are casuing you 80% of the problems. Some of the examples here are really good and something which can be instantly applied.

Automate: This is an especially important lesson for all the budding entrepreneurs. The time is apt now to focus on your core strengths and outsource everything. All the mundane tasks which takes a lot of time need to be Automated. He combines ideas from different disciplines to produce something exciting and inspirational.

Liberate: He talks about how you can liberate yourself from the geographical location and from your work. Another very useful set of ideas and examples which can be implemented by anyone and not just entrepreneurs.

Buy "The 4 Hour Work-Week" from Amazon

As books are timeless, here are my previous posts on the topic. You can read these as well

Also, Check out all the great books to read from LayZeeBee Amazon Store and get exclusive discounts

And for some light fun, here is an interesting post for all the Book lovers.

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