Goodreads just told me that I have read 157 books this year. Please allow me to bask in this little moment for a couple of reasons. A) I have only read 364 books all my life. B) I started reading when I was 28. I don’t know what I was doing with my life till then. Quite an opsimath and a sulking one at that. When I read posts on how readers met books when they couldn’t even talk, I mope and mope. Again, one is never too late really. At least that’s how I comfort myself. C) Although I chased a goal every year and pushed myself to reach it (cheated a couple of times by reading picture books ;)), this year, I let go of goals; I read because I felt like reading. That was liberating.
So this is how I look as I write this post:
I wanted to write year-end lists, but I saw TJ and WG’s posts on Reading Bingo. It seemed like a simple yet creative idea to revisit the books I have read this year. Their posts are here and here. And here is my list:
As per the grid, I should choose one book for each square. But I am going to break the rules.
Books with more than 500 pages:
Stephen King’s IT – 1116 pp (I will never know how I survived 188.8.131.52 pages. I should not inflict such wounds on myself anymore. Will you remind me if I forget?)
Philip Pullman His Dark Materials – 1102 pp (Where does Iorek Byrnison live? I want to meet him.)
A forgotten classic:
Does Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself count? Maybe, I have brought it to this square because I want to forget it. 😉
Books that became movies:
Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything
The movie was like…
RJ Palacio’s Wonder (My neighbour — a stranger — and I became friends instantly because we bawled together. Such connections are precious. I missed that neighbour when I watched Coco. I would have so loved to cry with her.)
A book published this year:
Sharanya Manivannan’s The Altar of The Only World
A book with a number in the title:
Reema Moudgil’s Perfect Eight
A book with a mystery:
Abby Fabiaschi’s I Liked My Life
A book of non-ficion:
Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive (This book saves my life every now and then.)
A book written by someone under thirty:
Kirthi Jayakumar’s The Doodle of Dimashq (Kirthi, you were not 30 when you wrote the book. So yaay!)
A book with non-human characters:
Grid, you should not ask that question to me. I live to read books only animals. However, I must say something about this book because the dog is a poet — Samm Hodges’s Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog. I don’t think I can stop with one book. I loved Anita Nair’s Muezza and Baby Jaan, Robin Hobb’s The Farseer Trilogy, and Seigo Kijima’s Polar Bear Postman.
A funny book:
Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in A Boat (Hi Montmorency!)
A book by a female author:
Square, you are drunk. Go home!
Books with a one-word title:
Nayyirah Waheed’s Salt
Rana Dasgupta’s Solo
Natsuo Kirino’s Out
Books of short stories:
The Best Short Stories of O Henry (I took two years to read that book. Phew! Give me a medal.)
Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things
Books set on a different continent:
Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin
Karan Bajaj’s Johnny Gone Down
The first book by a favourite author:
John Green’s Looking For Alaska (The book hasn’t become my favourite though.)
A book you heard about online:
How do I even answer this question when I hear about books only online! How! To still use the square, let me choose Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy.
A best-selling book:
Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
A book based on a true story:
Imbolo Mbue’s Behold The Dreamers (This must be based on SO MANY true stories.)
A book at the bottom of your TBR pile:
Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A book your friend loves:
Since it’s impossible to mention all the 25,872 books, I shall stop with Cecelia Ahern’s Love, Rosie.
Books that scare you:
Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, and Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. They topple my universe, question my beliefs, challenge by habits. They are SUPER scary. You know what I mean.
A book that is more than 10 years old:
Munro Leaf’s The Story of Fredinand. The book is 81-years-old.
The second book in a series:
Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. Twitter introduced that book to me. An international readalong is going on now. The books starts on Midwinter’s eve and the boy turns 11. Does it remind you of any other book?
A book with a blue cover:
Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Some thoughts on the said books are here.
Thank you for reading. Please tell me about your favourites from this year. 🙂