In 2015, I decided I needed to pursue my passion amidst work. I decided I had to read. I took up the challenge of finishing to read one book every month. I did it because I had to nourish my soul and feed my dreams. I had to travel through text. So I took up the 12 months, 12 books challenge. Most of the books I read were randomly picked, some were my loyalty to that particular author and some were must reads. I was always sure I would document my reviews for all my book reader friends. So, here I present my review of the books.
January: The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga
I started with reading a bestseller. This book is a revelation on the lives of car drivers in India. Their perception of the rich and poor. It takes you through the life of the protagonist who wants to lead a dignified life like the village bus ticket collector. However, he is corrupted as the story progresses. He manages to lead a richer life but how? This one definitely deserves to be read.
February:Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
A very cleverly written book that shuttles between two eras. Chanakya’s wisdom carves personalities merely to save India. A political backdrop makes the book interesting. Chanakya’s strategies prove to be useful in both business and politics even today. Do not skip this one, it’s worth the accumulating tension.
March: Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul At Work by multiple authors
A light, motivational read, for when you feel unhappy with work. It’s many stories will help you keep going at work.
May: Princess Secrets To Share by Jean Sasson
Jean Sasson, is an acclaimed author who is well known to convey the plight of women and their victories in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait and more. This is a heart warming book that revolves around the life of Princess Sultana who is the central character in all of the books and her struggle to save lives of women and even men, this time from Yemen, the ISIS and Pakistan. Read it if you can handle bitter truths of our society.
June: Get to The Top by Suhel Seth
This book is a helpful guide on how to get people to like you, accept you in their social circles and become a social success. The language is simple and the rules are easy to remember. A fun book that is worth a read.
July: India Vs Pakistan: Why can’t we just be friends? by Husain Haqqani
One of my perpetual favourite topics of discussion. This book provides a surprising insight into the minds of Indian and Pakistani persons of authority. It also takes us to a time before India was divided, cricket and more. The author ends on a positive, hopeful note by providing solutions on strengthening the ties between the two lost brothers.
August: Mrs. Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna
I actually thought this book would be silly and it turned out to be a fun read. I finished it in a day. The book is a page turner. It gives you a peek into the celebrity life of Mrs. Funnybones ie. Twinkle Khanna, but it is not what you imagined it to be. You will like it if you like reading Moni Mohsin. Good job done by Twinkle Khanna.
September: Family Wisdom by Robin Sharma
My mom received this as a gift on tour. DIY manuals are my least favourites, however, at this point I had no book to read and the cash was limited. Hence, I chose to read this one. Although, this book is meant for parents, I’m glad I read it at this stage in my life. It is a book that talks about creating great family values and goals and how to bond with your kids.
October: One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat
You may hate his work, but I read his books because of the love stories, Indianness and simple language. Yes, I am a fan of most of his books. However, you can give this one a miss. It is way too filmy. What I liked is that it is written from a girl’s point of view and CB has got that right.
November: Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I got this as a gift from my best friend. If you get scared too easily or get bogged down by depressing sad stories, completely avoid this book. Almost all stories are about death and ghosts. What makes it bad is, it is very descriptive of the dark rotting details. Not for those who instantly sense negativity and disdain it. I returned the gift back to my friend but only with a look of disgust.
Short stories from the once celebrated author Sadat Ali Manto. His work is written during, pre and post Independence. He captures human emotions and their situations in a very raw way. Within the pages of this book, you will feel Indian culture and a Hindustan from a few decades ago.
To sum up my experience, I was almost short of breath from the continuous reading of books. Only because I knew I had but, a month for every book. I’m glad to have made time for my hobby, once again. And as expected I am soul nourished, time travelled and with newer dreams! I hope you are able to reconnect with your hobbies just as I did.