The Books I read in 2018
Yes, I read just 6 books in 2018. Just 6 as compared to 2-3 a year for 5 years and almost none for 15 years at a stretch before that. So, 6 is a big number for me, may not be for you. Especially so because I actively worked on improving this number and the results showed!! How ? Yes, I researched, did some homework and analysis of my time data. I also found some tips, and most importantly, I adapted them to my context. Interested ?
Also, if you are wondering why I am suddenly sharing the list of books I read in 2018, then you need to listen to this episode of New Indian Woman. Yes, you will then know the context.
Listen here :
I said 6 books and did you just count 7 in the above picture. That is because one book is in Tamil and I have put the cover image of the translated version as well. And I have also given the link to the goodreads entry for these books so that you could read a quick review if you are interested. Click here
A quick note about what I liked about these books -
Kuzhanthaigal, Pengal, Aangal by Sundaram Ramaswamy – I had only heard about this great Tamil author and this famous book -yes, the fact that that he is also my mom's cousin did influence the decision. The depiction of characters is amazing – how can one author get into the deep recesses of the minds of a child, a father, an ailing mother, the aunt, cover so much… I am amazed -very relatable set of characters..and the writing style.. And , for the very first time, I was reading a book signed by the author himself.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
This is non fiction and it talks about the immortal cells used in labs worldwide called HeLa cells. These were taken from the cervical cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks, without her knowledge and it has been used in research worldwide. At the same time the family continued to live in penury and were denied right to information on this. This is discrimination of a different kind, once again, of black underprivileged woman!!
Tamas – Bhisham Sahni –
This book slowly sets the context and shows how such small stuff on a daily basis can lead to a tragedy of the kind that explodes on your face in the subsequent pages. I am wanting to watch the movie with a wonderful cast.. It is sad that I am unable to see any review or wiki entry for the book per se..
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Adichie
This is the 2nd book of this very young author, the first one I read was Purple Hibiscus – I did not like this one as much as I did the earlier, while reading. But then, this book sinks in quietly, taking its own time and I am struck by the beauty of the characters and how gently the war changes people – the loud and visible changes and the subtle ones. I am liking it more with every passing day!!
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
Wish I had read this book much earlier – maybe mid way thru my career. I particularly liked the chapter Make Your Partner a Real Partner – a must read for all, especially for unmarried women. It is surprising to see despite the cultural differences how the societal expectations are similar from women and how women’s mind is shaped by it
Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told – selected and translated by Arunava Sinha
This had such gems like
The kabuliwallha by Tagore - reading it now is such a wonderful experience. How I relate to it now is very different from when it was a chapter in my English textbook in school.
Mahesh by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay – about drought and Mahesh the buffalo and the connection between man and animal as part of the family
Thunder and Lightning by Ashapurna Debi about Bula’s disappearance – to filmdom and how money changes relationships
Urvashi and Johnny by Mahashweta Devi – about Johnny’s relationship with Urvashi and the unimaginable climax
The Marble Table by Sanjib Chattopadhyay – role of a woman in a feudal set up in the context of a table
Air and Water by Amar Mitra – about a family squeezing money from the head of the family and how he wants to escape
Any of the above looks interesting to you ? Waiting to first listen to the tips and then pick up one of these books ?
Tell me your experience in trying out these tips..