My Favorite Reads of 2021

Of course, what better way to kick off favorites than books. This year it’s fairly easy for me as well to decide on my favorite books of 2021 as neither the number of reads is too high nor are favorites too many. I completed reading only 13 books this year, while i totally expected me to end up reading more. So, yea, 2021 sucked in more ways than one.

Without further ado, here are my most favorite books of 2021 in no particular order –

1. The French Baker’s War: i have done a detailed post here and I am so glad this was my initiation into reading about World War. I will definitely be reading more on World War. Please leave your suggestions for books on that in the comments.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: here’s something mind boggling – i had never read Harry Potter before and a friend of mine tried to force me to read one really long ago back in school, i just didn’t get into it at that time. I have been meaning to read the series since a long time and just happened to mention it to a friend right before my birthday (seriously, i was not dropping any hints😀). She very thoughtfully gifted me the illustrated edition by Jim Kay. It is so beautiful that I can cry. The book was a thing of pure joy and I am so glad that I entered Harry’s world in a tensed year. More than the magic though, i loved Harry’s life in school and with his friends, it’s always lovely to read about fun childhood or adolescence stories. Very quickly i also bought me the second book, the same illustrated edition. I am looking forward to try more editions for the remaining books in the series.

3. Persepolis: again a gift from the same friend. My first graphic novel and what a great book! This is all about coming of age of a young Iranian woman in the political backdrop of Iran’s war. It’s the kind of book i would love to revisit and see how much additional i get to grasp the next time. The dry humour that the author has tried to create is also remarkable. I think it’s a must read if you haven’t already read it.

4. Alternative Realities: not really a favorite, not by any means, but a good book that I want to mention as i think this is a pretty obscure book. A friend of mine once mentioned that I read a lot of obscure books and I couldn’t agree more with him. But in that moment, i thought of this book. I found it in one of those 100 rs for a kg kind of book sales and what a discovery!

The author is a muslim native of now Bangladesh, her family settled in now Pakistan at the time of partition and she then went on to marry an Indian Hindu. Truly a child of the subcontinent. Through this book, she has tried to meet various Muslim women and other genders across the subcontinent to understand their journeys due to being womxn and being muslims, while also exploring herself as she turns more inwards via Sufism. So, this is a travelogue, memoir, biographical piece of sorts. There were times when I got bored in the book, especially the parts about author’s self reflections, but what I truly loved in this book is how diverse the people are that the author has tried to interview for her book. There’s a Pakistani writer, a Lesbian from upper middle class – a learned woman, a transgender from Sind who barely gets by, a young woman who seems like leading a pretty normal life just like young adults do until you find out that her lover set himself on fire. I especially loved the chapter on this friend of hers from Oghi, a small town in Pakistan, where she stayed with her for a month or so. Why I liked this chapter particularly was because it was a different feeling to look at a woman’s life who doesn’t have much choice in life owing to the ways things are set in stone in her family, but how she makes the most of the world that’s on offer to her.

This is it then! I am soon going to do a post on my next year’s TBR (yes, i think it’s time to up my game) so any suggestions are welcome.

Do share your thoughts in the comments if you have read any of these.

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