Best of..., Literature

The Best Books I Read in 2018

2018 will surely be remembered as the year when I truly understood the meaning of what Frank Zappa said, “So many books, so little time,” because when you come to think of it, gazillion books are published each year, in so many different languages, shapes and sizes. And if that were not enough we have now digital books. Where is the time to read all this? (Want to put more question marks but let’s keep it professional)

I read a little over 30 books this year which is not enough and quite short of my target of 50 books for 2018 but I believe the quality of books I’ve read this year has been quite high. So no regrets!

And now that we’ve come to the year-end it is an obligation more than anything else to make a “Best/ Worst of” list. I’m only making a “Best of” list because I’m not all that hard on people! The following list does not include books that released in 2018 particularly but, also the books that came out earlier but I read them this year and enjoyed. And also the list is in no particular order (that is too hard for me!).

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
I had read the abridged version of this book by Austen a few years back as part of my school curriculum but at that time I was no fan of reading and appreciating such beautiful writing. So, it was only later, this year, that I laid my hands on this classic (the unabridged version) and realized why it is a classic. Austen has the power to put life into her characters so they don’t, for even a single moment, come out as characters.

To purchase Pride and Prejudice, click here.

Letters From a Father to His Daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru (1928)
Nehru’s book is a compilation of 30 letters that he wrote to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, while she was in Mussoorie, and he was in jail in Allahabad (now, Prayagraj). Writing in a simplistic language, considering Gandhi was just 10 when she received the letters, Nehru gives his daughter her first lessons about human history and evolution. There are some very interesting values that Nehru tried to familiarize Gandhi with, who ended up becoming one of the strongest Prime Ministers of India.

To purchase Letters From a Father to His Daughter, click here.

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (2008)
The Mahabharata is a household tale in India and if in your childhood you haven’t heard this epic then you should certainly look back and figure out what exactly went wrong. I had heard the epic numerous times as a kid but what was missing was a female perspective. Divakaruni comes in at the rescue here, narrating the story from Panchaali’s point of view. This is one of the finest books I’ve read this year purely because of the richness of its content.

Read my review of the book here.
To purchase The Palace of Illusions, click here.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (2000)
One of the most popular characters in the world of thriller, Robert Langdon, lands up in Rome to find the bomb ticking under the holy land of Vatican City. Brown in this fast-paced novel gives no room for the reader to take a breath of relief or to keep the book down for a minute. Trust me, you won’t need a bookmark for this one.

To purchase Angels & Demons, click here.

The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen (2005)
In this book, Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen talks about Indian culture, history and identity, while raising important concerns about Hindutva, pluralism and the need for dissent. This is inarguably the best book I’ve read in 2018 because of the mere knowledge the 300-odd pages of this book hold. Sen talks about India’s relationship with China, Mahatma Gandhi’s equation with Rabindranath Tagore, India becoming a nuclear state, Hindu- Muslim issues and much more with such fervour that you cannot not read this one.

To purhase The Argumentative Indian, click here.

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