Sunday, December 10, 2017

This Year in Book Reviews

This post is on all the books I read this year.

The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The palace of illusions was a fine novel. I was apprehensive about yet another take on our epics. But this book did not disappoint. The language was very simple but not amateurish. The narration kept me hooked and I was rifling through the pages a lot. It was very enjoyable to hear Mahabharata from the point of view of Draupadi.  While many retellings vilify her for laughing at Duryodhana's confusion, this version has an interesting take on it.

The Rise of Sivagami - Anand Neelakantan

Yet another book by an Indian author is on this list. Fueled by the Baahubali craze I purchased this book. I particularly enjoyed Kattappa's origin story. I'm extremely excited to know how the plot thickens. This is a prequel set in the immersive universe. Sivagami's character is definitely one of the most intriguing in the movies and the book does not disappoint.

Women at War - Vara Hildebrand

A non fiction book is next on my list. It described the all-female regiment that served in Subhash Chandra Bose INA. Though they never actually fought, this book describes their trials, tribulations and their mindsets quite eloquently. There is a wonderful authenticity through photographs and interviews that you picture yourself being led by Capt. Lakshmi.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

I revisited this particularly riveting tale in its original avatar. This is a story of the most romantic revenge. There is something in human nature that is immensely attracted to the age old tale of good defeats evil. Edmond Dantes, the highly successful sailor, poised to marry his sweetheart gets thrown into jail by jealous rivals in career and love. The prosecutor might have saved him but due to personal reasons, he keeps him in jail. Edmond, being a simple trusting person, believes he does not have enemies and languishes in prison. Withering away for fourteen long years, he strikes upon a magnificent treasure and rewards those who helped him and takes ruthless revenge on those who wronged him. He leaves the reader with the enigmatic statement for all the problems in the world - "Wait and Hope"! Do give this book a try.

Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith

This is a fast paced thriller by JK Rowling under a pseudonym. I enjoyed the style, a refreshing difference from the Harry Potter saga. Cormoran Strike, a private investigator, is sent a nasty mutilated leg in the mail. More disturbing is the fact that it was addressed to his secretary. It's a  fascinating tale of logic, drama and the society in its most real perspective. This is a thriller you would not want to miss. 

The Prince - Nicholas Machiavelli

One of the most translated Italian books, Machiavelli could be loosely seen as the Chanakya of medieval Italy. In a desperate bid to gain political favour, Machiavelli describes practical requirements of leadership sans all morality. Far ahead of its times, it describes why the global leaders acquire technologies, why good leaders have good reputation even if they have to do a task that is not palatable. This is a fascinating read for insights into human psychology.

Now there is a book store in my college and I have to go see if my list is to be edited later :)

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