Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

It is that time of the year when people write Top-ten lists and I had that post coming some time. Then what more encouragement to write it than when The Broke and The Bookish team asked you to do it as a part of Top Ten Tuesday. So here is the list from me.

 1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (The Collected Works of A J Fikry) by Gabrielle Zevin has to be at the top of my Top Ten Books I Read in 2014. This book is one of the best books that I have read about books and set with a book shop in the background, this book comes so close to my heart. I will recommend this beautiful story to anyone and everyone and it is a must read for Book lovers.

2. The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak: I am sure this book will be having a place in many book lists and this is another tragically beautiful book about a girl Liesel who lives in Germany during WWII. I highly recommended it to all esp book lovers and please do keep some tissues handy when you read.

3. The Children Act  by Ian McEwan: This book is not one of McEwan's best books, but I loved this book for the characterization of Judge Fiona and Adam. This is a book that I was able to appreciate more once I finished. If you are a McEwan fan, you may immensely like it. Read my review of The Children Act.

4. We are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas: What can I say about this book? If you read this book's blurb, you  may find it slightly boring and it is case until the first half of the book...and then you will start realizing why this book is so so good. Matthew Thomas takes you for a difficult ride when he takes you through the lives of Eileen, Ed and their son Connell with their unexpected twists and turns.

5. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith: I stayed away from this book for a long time and once I picked it up, there was no going back. The second book in the Cormoran Strike detective series will also find a place in this list. I just loved the characters - Cormoran Strike and Robin.

6. The Sense of an Ending by Jules Barnes : This book is in a league of its own. The way Jules Barnes has written this one is amazing. I am not much of a prose fan, but this book blew me away. I just wanted to grab a pencil and mark each of the sentences in the small book. Read my review of The Sense of an Ending.

7.All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I think the fact that this book won the "Best Historical Fiction' award on Goodreads speaks for itself about this one. The story of a blind French girl and a young German soldier is so beautiful. Read my review of All the Light We Cannot See.

8. Gone Girl  by Gillian Flynn: This is a book that I absolutely loved. If you have read it, you know that it leaves you very unsettled. But then there is no other book that I have read like this one. I have heard that the movie leaves pretty much similar impression, but I am yet to watch it.Read my review of Gone Girl.

9. Crusader's Tomb by A J Cronin: This is another great book by my favorite author A J Cronin. I have not come across another author who can write like him. If there is a single book of his that I will recommend to you, it would be The Keys of the Kingdom.That book is just brilliant !

10. The Storyteller  by Jodi Picoult: The story starts like a normal one and then it takes you back to the Holocaust and then there is no respite for you until the end. It is yet another story about WWII and the Holocaust, but Jodi Picoult has nailed it. There was a parallel story that I would have happily skipped, but then there is a reason why it is there.

When I was compiling this list, I realized that I have not written about a lot of books that I have read this year. I don't think I can write about all of them, but I hope I can find time to write about a few of them in the coming days.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Recent Books on My Shelf #16

California by Edan Lepucki is a story set in “post-apocalyptic” era and talks about a couple who finds that they are expecting a child when it is a fight for mere survival. I have heard a lot of good things about this book, but I am yet to read this one.

Kinski by Gabriel Hardman is a graphic novel about a lost dog and a travelling salesman. I wanted to give graphic novels a try after hearing so many good things about them...And I loved it.

We are not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas is a tough book to read because it captures the life of Eileen who strives to achieve so much in her life and it is about her struggle for a better life for her family. I do not want to say more about this book so that I don't spoil it for anyone, but I will just say that it is a heartbreaking book dealing with something so so real and close to our lives. It is a slow and painful read when Matthew Thomas makes you go through all those things that Eileen goes through in her life. Amazing writing.

Sherlock Holmes - The Hound of Baskervilles is another graphic novel that I wanted to read. I am yet to read it but I liked the drawings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kinski by Gabriel Hardman (Graphic Novel) - Review

A salesman's self-styled mission to save a puppy from its neglectful owners escalates into a righteous crusade in this quirky crime thriller written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman.

Kinski should be my first graphic novel apart from Asterix and Calvin and Hobbes. But then I consider both of them in another league of their own.

This book is a combined version of Kinski#1 to Kinski #6 and contains all the six parts of the story.

I was never a fan of graphic novels, but I read so many book readers recommending a lot of them and then I realized that I should try a few. That is how I came across Kinski and decided to read it.

I had no idea who Gabriel Hardman is, still do not have much clue; but who can say no to such a cute puppy?

I liked Kinski very much and it was a fast read. At this point, I cannot say much more about the graphic-novel part of it because I am very new to this genre. I liked the simple black and white drawings in this one. They are very beautiful unlike so many graphic novels I have seen with a riot of dark colors.

I liked it...Why don't you all give it a try?

Source: eARC through Netgalley
Publisher: Image Comics
Pub Date

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Children Act by Ian McEwan - Review


Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.
Ian McEwan has a way of expressing in words many emotions that are so difficult to articulate even for a person who is actually experiencing them. And he puts them down in such beautiful language that you stand in awe of him once you have read his works.

I do agree that all his works have not made it to my favorite list, neither did this book. But this book will have a very special place in my 'good books' list. This book makes you think, introspect about life and death and how a small action from a person can affect another person in a highly disproportionate way.

I liked Fiona's and Adam's characters very much especially how they go about being themselves. Fiona comes out as a woman with a strong personality and a sense of doing the right thing for everyone; though she feels guilty for an impulsive act which had severe consequences later on.

Adam is a 17 year old who is behaving like a 17 year old should be; acting on his convictions and trying to be an adult even when he is scared to the core. I liked his character, but I think his expectations from a stranger who did had a saying about his life and death was a little exaggerated. But then that makes up the whole story.

The Children Act is a good book though not one of McEwan's best ones. I will recommend this book for Fiona's character alone.

Rating: 4.25/5
Publisher:  Random House UK, Vintage Publishing
Year of Release: 2014
Source: eARC from Netgalley

Other books by Ian McEwan:

On Chesil Beach
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