I am always looking for new Books to try and read. It’s the start of a new year, and Why not start the new year with some wonderful reading. So I am starting this New series where every month we will present to you 6 Books to read.Even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is planning on trying out a new book to read every week. 2015 is sure going to be the year of Books.
So, keeping up with the trends, I will present to you books which are good to read. I will cover all types of books but these are the books that I am reading or have read myself! Why preach something that you cannot practice. I am an avid reader myself and read books from all genres. I am not sure whether all of these would fit into your realm of reading but I can promise you that, on the literary front at least, your will not be disappointed.
1. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Ok. I’ll be honest. This is nothing new in the world of Best selling thriller and mystery novels but it is a dark gripping thriller that does not fail to deliver. Journalist Paula Hawkins has a debut psychological thriller that has inventive twists and a shocking climax towards the end. If you travel to your work daily on a metro or suburban train you’ll immediately connect with the plot. The protagonist Rachel’s life currently is a complete mess. She had lost her job, her marriage has broken and she has a huge drinking problem. yet she rides the train daily to pretend that she works. On her way she passes over a house where she sees this couple she calls Jess and Jason who have a perfect fairytale life. She sees them daily just for a few minutes but immediately forms a connection. Then one day she sees Jess kissing someone else and then the News that Jess has disappeared. She then decides to investigate this on her own. The story telling is really compelling and character sketch is really wonderful. The missing woman also tells her story till the day she disappears. The narration alternates between Rachel, missing woman and Anna (her ex husbands girlfriend). The plot is really gripping and changes with every revelation, memory and action. The way Hawkins juggles with perspectives and timescales makes it a wonderful read. If you liked “Gone Girl”, you would love this.. Its less flashy but more solid than Gone girl. I would say pick a Saturday where you don’t want to go out and start the indulgence
2. The Fall of Language in the Age of English – Minae Mizumura, Mari Yoshihara
Winner of the Kobayashi Hideo Award, this is one of the most controversial best-selling books from Japan. It was written by Minae Mizumura one of Japan’s most ambitious contemporary fiction writers and translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter . Don’t let the fact that it is a translated book stop you from reading this – the soul of book is intact even after the English Translation. Juliet does an absolutely stunning task of translation. The Books talks about struggle for own’s language under the dominance of one World Language – English. It talks about how universal languages have played important part in development of civilization. But the real beauty of the book comes when the influence on English as common language on human race is shown on other languages. The basic premise is that every language has certain attributes which it creates and nourishes over time which cannot be translated. The book questions what sensibilities — of sounds, smell, thought, vision — are lost when a single language dominates others. Dominant language add their own alternate flavor to the less dominant language Even though it is written for Japanese language, the context is relevant for any language in the world. as dominance of English can be seen in virtually all other languages of the World. Not for light reading but a great read nevertheless. I however couldn’t kee my copy down because of the way the book is written. It doesn’t feel like a normal critique, instead its very personal and sometimes acerbic and hilarious
3. Life after life – Kate Atkinson
Once you are dead everything is over right? But What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? What is life gave not only second chance but infinite number of chances? Thats the basic premise of this Novel. The books covers the life of Ursula Todd from when she is born in 1910 and then dies immediately . She is born again and dies a number of times, every time getting slightly better in the process. This is not just a family drama but an epic period novel covering some of the greatest events of last century. The Novel captures your attention immediately as it begins with Ursula assassinating Hitler with his father’s revolver and gets killed by SS in the process. The next scene goes back to 1910 where she dies as the family doctor could not come due to heavy snow and no one is able to cut the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck
“Her helpless little heart was beating wildly, a bird trapped in her chest. A thousand bees buzzed in the curled pearl of her ear. No breath. A drowning child, a bird dropped from the sky. Darkness fell”
The next chapter begins again, but this time she survives. And then, we are taken to an incredible journey with Ursulla as she grows up, living out her life time and time again. Ursula keeps dying, and dying again. She dies in childbirth, drowns, falls out of a window, and succumbs to influenza. She is murdered. She commits suicide. She dies in the bombing of London in World War II and in Berlin in 1945. She gets déjà vu and often has a sense of impending doom, but the future is still unknown, and her new path always has fresh challenges. By this time, you must be thinking that this is either a game of Snakes and Ladder or a First person shooter where you can restart your game. This is much more than that. The narrative tension that what will happen and what would be the outcome of each strand is beautifully written and keeps you engrossed. Each time a new thread of life starts , it is described differently with another context or with another character’s view point and slowly you can comprehend that its all part of a grand complex yet subtle plan. Life After Life is an ambitious and absorbing novel and unlike anything that you’ve read before. I suggest you get cracking
4. Dark Places – Gilliam Flynn
Last year I read Gone girl and loved it. Since then I have read all of her work. Last week I picked up her second book Dark Places. The story is about Libby day who is sole Survivor of Satanic sacrifice 24 years ago when she was 7. Her Fifteen year old brother was convicted of the murder by her testimony. Now she is contacted by a murder club who solves old crimes and believes that Ben was innocent. Book alternates between two timelines – one where Libby searches for truth and another about the events leading up to the unfaithful told from various perspectives. It’s much more than just a suspense thriller – The character sketch is really evocative. Keep in mind this does have some grisly and grotesque murder scenes and one animal torture. This is not a vacation or beach read with no warm fuzzies in between but it is a very well written novel which is best suited for people loving the Crime novels.
5. A Bad character – Deepti Kapoor
Delhi is no place for a woman in the dark unless she has a man and a car or a car and a gun,”
A novel closer to home but its no like your usual romantic Indian novel. Deepti presents a picture of 21st century Delhi avoids the exotic touches in favor of realistic and hard hitting. Her picture of Delhi while fully acknowledging it’s flaws paints a poignant and baroque picture of India’s capital city. A great capture of every sound scent and stories of Delhi. This portrays the story of young girl and her end of innocence. The main protagonist is Idha, a young Delhi student at the brink if adulthood. Her father abandons her and leaves her a Car as a way of saying sorry. In the city that belongs to Men, she tries to find her way as a young woman. The car acts as her reliable side kick. She escapes the world of middle class struggles and diminishing arrange marriage prospects by the company of a charismatic, rich and alone young man. Soon the story unfolds and we get the view of the girls fluctuating and fragmented state of mind. This serves as a raw picture of what it is like to be a woman in the 21st century Delhi. But the real beauty is her portrait of Delhi. The qawalli of Nizamuddin, maze of streets in old Delhi, Khan market, money obsessed Gurgaon, all are so vividly sketched that you actually feel them. A must read for everyone who has ever been to Delhi.
6. All the Bright places – Jennifer Niven
What interested me here was the description of the book. The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Theodore Finch and Violet Market both study in the same school but do not move in same social circles and have never met each other. They meet at the top of the school bell tower, both intending to jump. Violet is lost after the death of her sister, and Finch struggles with depression and a mood disorder. They are two very different persons. It’s uncertain who saves who but Violet is given credit for saving finch. Finch and violet develop a friendship and they collaborte on a school project and Finch attemps to bring darkness out of violet’s life.As he tries to do that, Violet serves as Theo’s bright place, pulling him out of his dark times and giving him happiness to cling onto
The book covers some of the issues which are very relevant currently but regarded as social stigma.Depression. Mental Illness. Suicide. All of these issues are very real and prevalent, but no one wants to talk about these issues. The Book covers these issues in a wonderful manner. .
While Violet is a beautiful character, it’s Finch that captured me from the moment I started reading the book. Finch is a larger than life character that is smart, talented, and handsome, but also wildly impulsive. He seems to have bipolar disorder, living with intense highs and lows. He is an amazing character – broken definitely but mesmerizing none the less. The novel is written like a movie and the scenes really come to life with Vivid and colorful description. I would highly recommend this fresh out of oven novel for teens and Young adults.