25 | Friday’s List: 2 cents on all the Books I read in 2018

I was just going through my old posts & came across some about books that I have totally forgotten about. It made me realize even harder this time just how important it is to log down everything here. Books especially so. In case I forget what all I have read over the years (after I started logging them here, of course), there is always a place to come back to.

So, here’s a list talking about what all I read in 2018, and my 2 cents on how I felt about these books:

  1. The Feast Of Roses: The first and possibly my favorite book of the year. Simply because Mughal historical fiction written in such all-engrossing manner is totally the drug of my choice. I get so immersed while reading books like these. I survived a 17-hour train journey while reading its predecessor. If you enjoy these kinds as much as I do, do not miss these series. The predecessor is called “The Twentieth Wife”.
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    Book 1 of 2018: The Feast of Roses. When @jeffmat5 got me ‘The Twentieth Wife’ for a gift, I was giddy thinking that he had an idea the kind of books I like (friends like that :’)). That book was so engrossing that I forgot all about the discomforts of a 17-hour train journey while reading it. I so wanted to read its sequel which is this one, and I loved it!!! Indian historical fiction is so my thing I feel, so any recommendations are welcome!! Also, I miss reading in my bed in Bangalore! . . . . #books #book #bookshelves #booksontoast #booklover #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramindia #thefeastofroses #indusundaresan #fiction #indianfiction #indianwriters

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  2. Milk & Honey: Obviously, I had to read one Rupi Kaur to see what the deal is about (FOMO is a real thing, friends). However, I can safely say now that I can very much live without these. Please note that I speak only for myself, as I know some people totally love these. My opinion: these poems are scribbles made by a heart full of emotions. A lot of people write that and have written that over the years. There is a lot of books out there which do this kind of content, and way better. I wouldn’t want to waste my time on this, because there are so many books and so little time.
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  3. Mrs. Funnybones: Wow! I love me a good, lighthearted comedy always & this is something else!! The way it is written in such a fun, unabashed and witty manner, it made for an extremely fun read & so breezy! Now, I see a lot of people bashing this book for just how first world it is. Well, you only write something when you feel strongly about writing that particular thing, she wanted to write about this. Its totally okay to not like it, but don’t go all surprised about why its loved so much. That’s because its enjoyable for a lot of us.
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  4. ChaiChai – Travels in Places where you stop but never get off: Such a forgettable book. Normally when I complete a book, I am in the habit of reading a couple of reviews on Goodreads. One of the reviews about this one mentioned – “Seems like the author has just written a diary about his every day when he decided to write this book”. So, so apt. As is evident from the title, the book is about cities which are very vital for having a railway station that connects multiple parts of India through the rail network – one of the best & most extensive rail networks in the world. However, these cities are known for just that, nobody happens to know what is the character of each of these cities other than the railway bit. Very promising topic indeed & I always love books which glorify some city and the author’s love or opinion about that city shines through the book. However, this one was written in a very ‘Dear Diary, today I did this, this and this in xyz city’ way and it wasn’t even like that each day was totally different from another.
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    4 of 2018 – Chai, Chai: Places where you stop but never get off by Biswanath Ghosh. . . . Not to say that there’s anything wrong with this book, but I had really high expectations due to (as is obvious) the name. The name makes you feel that you will be getting to know about these towns and cities which are important railway stops where we, as passengers, might stop for a tea or two and move on. However, its not so much about these places as it is basically a diary/journal of what the author did in his day when he stopped and stayed at these places for his book. I enjoyed certain parts very much, especially that one about opportunities getting snatched at a young age in a developing country like ours, but, overall, the book was only alright for me. . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #bookstagramdubai #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramming #books #booklovers #readers #reading #readersofinstagram #booksontoast #booklover #booklove #books #chaichai #biswanathghosh #teatime #teaoclock #chaitime #indianrailways #indianrailwaysdiaries

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  5. This House of Clay & Water: Very beautifully written fiction talking about how no one knows how much and how they are capable of loving or un-loving. I wouldn’t put this in my Do-Not-Miss-For-Anything list, but definitely a very different, poetic and lovely read. Read it for the different kind of story it has.
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  6. The House that Jack Ma built: I am slowly trying to take baby steps in the world of non-fiction and I had thought long ago that whenever I feel comfortable reading more non-fiction, I’ll read about Jack Ma. I enjoyed knowing his story, his characteristics etc but the book itself was written in a very unstructured manner. I wish there were less numbers & more structured parts of the book to make it enjoyable.
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    6th of 2018: Alibaba – The House that Jack Ma built. As it is, I find it very difficult to get around to reading non-fiction. To add, this book was very haphazard & I wish it had a more structured approach towards Jack's life as well as Alibaba, making it easier for people like me to read it. If non-fiction is your usual thing, this book does have information about the beginning of Alibaba as a company and Jack Ma as a person! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #bookstagramdubai #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramming #books #booklovers #readers #reading #readersofinstagram #booksontoast #booklover #booklove #books #thehousethatjackmabuilt

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  7. Godan: First & the only Hindi read this year. As I have mentioned countless times before, I have been reading Premchand since childhood and I love his short stories, but that’s all I have read over the years. I hadn’t read even a single novel by him until this. This one I didn’t love, like I normally love his works. Maybe because it has multiple story lines in parallel, something I am not a big fan of.
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    7th of 2018: I have been reading Premchand since I was a kid. Shockingly enough I have never read even a single one of his novels, only short stories or abridged versions at best. I really wanted to change that this year and what better one to start off than the most famed 'Godan'. What I like the most about Premchand's works is that how much the problems of those times are still so relevant in India, be it poverty, caste system or patriarchy (this one is sometimes so non chalant in his books). However, the sad thing is I didn't enjoy Godan as much as I expected to. Cannot really say why. It was getting a bit boring and repetitive with it's multiple story lines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #bookstagramfeatures #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramming #books #booklovers #readers #reading #readersofinstagram #booksontoast #booklover #booklove #books #godan #premchand #munshipremchand #book

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  8. Pride & Prejudice: I didn’t expect to like it a lot, because I have never enjoyed non-Hindi classics just as much as I enjoy contemporary stuff. However, this was so lovely, so so lovely. I think I love me a well-written, traditional love story always! I think I am going to watch all screen adaptations! 😀
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  9. The Black Shalwar: I haven’t read a lot of Manto, but whatever little I have read as part of magazine or newspaper excerpts, I have always enjoyed. Right now also, I am reading a collection of short stories by Manto. I am now finding it a little underwhelming than my expectations, to be honest. However, at the time I read this story, I absolutely loved it.
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  10. Maid in India: “It ought to be sobering and vertiginous to think of how many other people could be where you are, doing exactly what you do, if everything in India was just a little better”. Another non-fiction of 2018 & extremely good. Please read this. I am sharing my Instagram post below about this book, which very well summarizes how I feel about this one.
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    10th of 2018: Maid in India – Stories of Opportunity and Inequality Inside our Homes . . . The income disparity in India is something not hidden from anyone across the globe. I was looking forward to read this book since a long time to see what the author has to say about how maids are treated in homes like yours and mine. I am happy to say that some accounts actually gave hope, but more were horrifying than I ever expected. Seriously one of the last ones gave me jitters beyond limits! I still can't come to terms with the fact that it's a real account. Some may pass it off as just another leftist book and I don't disagree but it's a topic I wanted to read about and I did and I liked what I read. Except that I wish the book was more structured, it was too haphazard! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #bookstagramfeatures #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramming #books #booklovers #readers #reading #readersofinstagram #booksontoast #booklover #booklove #books #bookstores #manto #saadathassanmanto #bookish #bookishlove #bookstagramming

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  11. The Palace of Illusions: Another wonderful read of this year. Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective – a story of just being who you are & not shying away from it- now why did someone not think of this earlier? Please read this!!
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  12. Midnight’s Children: Somehow I have never read the super popular books of different eras. I have not read Harry Potter, not a lot of Enid Blyton, you get the drift. I wanted to get a start on those, so this was one of those categories. This was one of the most boring books I read & this is the reason why the number of books I read in 2018 is less than 12. I spent more than 2 months trying to finish this one. But two things I liked about this book – 1) the author’s love for Bombay, 2) the comparison he keeps making about his Indian childhood & Pakistani adolescence.

 
 
 
 
 
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Book 12 of 2018 or book 1 of 2019 – finally finished!! That’s why the blank page, just to record this ‘Book Completed’ page. phew! This book was so boring for me and took me into a reading slump that lasted for more than 2 months. I really felt bad how much it led to me reading lesser books in 2018. One thing though I absolutely loved in this book – the author’s love for Bombay and midnights. Can you now take a guess which one is it?😊 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramindia #bookstagramfeatures #bookstagramfeature #bookstagramming #books #booklovers #readers #reading #readersofinstagram #booksontoast #booklover #booklove #books #bookstores #manto #saadathassanmanto #bookish #bookishlove #bookstagramming #midnightschildren

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That’s it for today’s Friday List. I guess its pretty clear which are my top 3 from 2018. Please share yours with me. 🙂

One thought on “25 | Friday’s List: 2 cents on all the Books I read in 2018

  1. Of all these, I have read Palace and Godaan. Actually seen a doordarshan series too in the days when Premchand stories were enacted out stunningly.
    I found Palace amazing and it reminded me of a keyword that I try to keep in my head always. Perspective. I also remember reading a chapter on 10th Hindi from Duryodhan’s perspective. It was the final scene Before his death, where he is hidden in the lake and Bheem is waiting to wrestle him. He talks and talks wonderfully.

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